Game 20: Yankees vs. Tigers

April 28, 2012, 4:05 p.m. ET, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
TV / Radio: YES, WCBS 880 AM

What makes Joe Girardi confident that Freddy Garcia can turn it around and pitch better against the potent Tigers lineup than he did at Fenway Park? For one thing, Garcia didn’t have his usual arm speed against the Red Sox and could have been battling a little bit of a ‘dead arm’ period. Clearly, the Yankees believe he’s healthy since he’s on the mound this afternoon, and they aren’t ready to give up on a veteran who pitched quite well for them last year.

“I’ve seen Freddy do it a number of times, and I’ve seen him do it a number of different ways being creative,” Girardi said. “I don’t think you forget how to pitch from Spring Training until now, so I think (the key) is just him getting on a roll.”

That’d be nice, considering the Yankees have squeezed just five quality starts — at least six innings and three runs or less — from their rotation through the first 19 games of the year. They’ve gotten by with help from their lineup and bullpen, but that’s not a recipe that works over a 162 game schedule.

“We definitely have to do better, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “To compete in this division, and to compete in this league, you have to do better. Our bullpen will get worn out if we continue at this pace, but I believe they will turn it around.”

The Tigers send lefty Drew Smyly to the hill for the fourth start of his big league career. Smyly made his debut on April 12 against the Rays and is second among AL rookies with a 1.13 ERA, while he is tied for third with 15 strikeouts. He has found ways to limit the damage so far against the Rays, Royals and Rangers; opponents are just 1-for-13 against him with runners in scoring position.

Here are the lineups:

TIGERS (10-10)
Austin Jackson CF
Brennan Boesch RF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Andy Dirks LF
Brad Eldred DH
Alex Avila C
Jhonny Peralta SS
Ramon Santiago 2B

Pitching: LHP Drew Smyly (0-0, 1.13)

YANKEES (11-8)
Derek Jeter DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (0-1, 9.75)


Pitching woes——maybe it is better that it is now so obvious. Last year Colon and Garcia made us think—maybe we’ll be ok. Now is a better time to change. Andy P is almost ready, but who knows with Hughes. I think though, Garcia is finished. He can’t get out big league hitters anymore.


1 2/3 innings pitched, 6 earned runs. Enough of Freddy Garcia. Time to release him. He’s done!!!!


Hello operator this is Brian Cashman can you give me the phone number of a Roy Oswalt? With Garcia’s start today how soon before Cashman makes that phone call?


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