Game 95: Yankees at Rays
ST. PETERSBURG — So, on Sunday, Sean Rodriguez shattered a light bulb. On Monday, there was a power outage. And on Tuesday, Curtis Granderson lost a ball in the roof. What’s the next strange occurrence at this quirky Tropicana Field?
We’ll find out soon.
Joe Girardi called an audible with his lineup just before batting practice, opting to put Nick Swisher in as the designated hitter and start Andruw Jones in right field. Girardi said it wasn’t physical — “Just changed my mind.” — so he probably just wanted to give Swisher a break from the turf, since he hasn’t had one yet in this second half.
Derek Jeter is back leading off, which is no surprise but is interesting considering how much he has struggled (5-for-26 since that magical 3,000th-hit day) and how well Wednesday’s No. 9 hitter, Brett Gardner (.591 batting average in the second half), is hitting. Girardi talked pregame about the possibility of a top three of Gardner, Jeter and Granderson while Alex Rodriguez is out. As for Jeter dropping to the bottom third of the lineup? I’d think something really drastic would have to take place for that to happen.
The lineup’s below, but I’m curious as to how y’all would order things while A-Rod is out …
Pitching: RH Freddy Garcia (7-7, 3.43 ERA)
Pitching: LH David Price (9-7, 3.73 ERA)
Some goodies from the game notes …
* The Yankees have had 17 players on the disabled list, the most of any Major League team in 2011 . Their current total of 11 players on the DL matches their total from all of last season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* The Yanks are 19-9 with a Major League-high 39 homers vs. lefty starters this season.
* New York has gone seven straight games without allowing a homer, which marks its longest stretch since ’08.
* With one more stolen base, Gardner will become the first Yankees player with back-to-back 30-stolen-base seasons since Alfonso Soriano did it in three straight years from 2001-03.
* Opposing batters have hit just .182 with runners in scoring position off Garcia this year.
Some links from last night …
* Yanks lose, but Colon looks good
* Yankees Notebook, on Soriano, Nova, Mo and Garrison
* Yanks expect bounceback effort from Garcia
* HBO special on Jeter to air July 28
(picture above courtesy of The Associated Press)