6/16 – Yankees vs. Nationals
Shairon Martis (5-1, 5.04)
CC Sabathia (5-4, 3.68)
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
The Yankees have activated RHP Brian Bruney and designated RHP Jose Veras for assignment. … Alex Rodriguez spent about 15 minutes in Monument Park greeting fans. The Yankees are trying to do this about once a homestand after there were complaints early in the season about a separation between players and fans at the new Stadium … First-round pick Slade Heathcott took batting practice with the Yankees on the field … New daddy Chien-Ming Wang is excused from the game tonight and also on Thursday. He’ll have to be here tomorrow, though — he’s pitching. … The Yankees are going to send Xavier Nady back to Tampa to continue his rehab and Girardi said it is “unlikely” Nady will join the team for the upcoming road trip … Jose Molina will head to Tampa as well and should start getting in games again … Girardi said he is leaning toward not starting Hideki Matsui in the outfield but could use him in double-switches.
Finally, remember this scene from Office Space, where a soon-to-be-fired employee is asked: “What would you say … you do here?” Girardi was essentially posed that question today about Angel Berroa, looking ahead to play at National League parks.
For the record, here’s the response: “It’s just, a lot of clubs carry two middle infielders, because if you choose to give one of the guys a day off, you’ve got to have an extra guy. If I choose to DH Alex one of these days and play someone else, if someone goes down, you don’t necessarily want to lose your DH. It’s just protection.”
FROM THE GAME NOTES
Tonight the Yankees play the first game of a three-game series vs. Washington after taking two of three games vs. the Mets from Friday-Sunday…is the fourth game of a six-game Interleague homestand that included an off day on Monday…is the fourth of 15 straight Interleague games for the Yankees…the Yankees trail the Red Sox by 2.0G for first place in the AL East…still own the fourth-best record in the Majors (Los Angeles-NL, 42-22; Boston, 38-25; and Philadelphia, 36-25)…prior to the current homestand, the Yankees were swept by Boston at Fenway Park from 6/9-11, marking their first three-game losing streak since a five-game skid from 5/2-7…the Yankees have won 21 of their last 31 games, including a season-high nine-game winning streak (5/13-21) to start the stretch…are 14-5 in their last 19 home games (since 5/15)…after this homestand, the Yankees begin a nine-game Interleague road trip with three games at Florida (6/19-21), three games at Atlanta (6/23-25) and three games at the Mets (6/26-28).
YANKEES IN INTERLEAGUE PLAY: The Yankees are 3-3 in Interleague play in 2009 (2-1 vs. Mets from Friday-Sunday; and 1-2 vs. Philadelphia from 5/22-24)…the Yankees are the all-time leader in both Interleague wins and winning percentage (.583, 126-90)…have gone 10-8 vs. the NL in each of the last three years (2006-08) and have had 11 straight non-losing seasons of Interleague play.
FOR THE RECORD: In a House Resolution on Monday, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania honored RHP Mike Mussina for his retirement from Baseball following his 18-year Major League career…a native of Montoursville, Pa., Mussina combined to go 270-153 with a 3.68 ERA with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees…Mussina won his 20th game of the 2008 season in his final career start on 9/28/08 (Game 1) at Boston at the age of 39, becoming the oldest pitcher in Baseball history to record his first 20-win season.
ON THE MARK: 1B Mark Teixeira is tied for first in the AL with Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena- and tied for fourth in the Majors – with 20HR…is tied for third in the AL (tied for sixth in the Majors) with 54RBI…is batting .346 (46-for-133) with 30R, 13 doubles, 15HR, 39RBI and 15BB in 34G since Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup on 5/8…prior to A-Rod’s return, Teixeira hit .198 (19-for-96) with 14R, 4 doubles, 5HR, 15RBI and 19BB in 25G.