Yanks look to deliver some punch vs. Price, Rays
Kevin Youkilis is tethered to a table in the trainer’s room at Tropicana Field, his lower back keeping him from making a difference in the Yankees’ lineup. Mark Teixeira is on the bench but unable to make contact with baseballs as he tries to repair his right wrist. We’d imagine Derek Jeter is doing whatever world-famous professional athletes do on a Tuesday night in Charlotte, N.C.
All this means that the Yankees lineup they’ve got going for Phil Hughes against David Price tonight … leaves something to be desired. Joe Girardi believes they’ll find a way to get it done because it’s baseball and anything can happen on any given night, but it doesn’t look all that wonderful on paper. Girardi acknowledged tonight that he’d love to have Youkilis in the lineup, and while he’s at it, he wants the switch-hitting Teixeira and the right-handed Jeter back as well.
“You feel it a lot. You definitely feel it a lot because of what they’ve done against left-handers in their careers,” Girardi said. “A leadoff hitter and a middle-of-the-order hitter, you’ve got those two guys out, that’s something substantial.”
The good news for the Yankees is that Youkilis is expected to return on Thursday, when the Yankees come back to New York and open a series at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks haven’t done much against left-handed pitching this year – their .190 team batting average (42-for-221) is tied for the lowest in the American League and second only to the Pirates’ .169 mark – but Girardi is hopeful that it’s still just a small sample size.
“We haven’t seen that many lefties. I still think it’s a small sample,” Girardi said. “We’ve had some people out of the lineup too, which is a problem, but I think our guys are going to hit better against left-handers. Some of the right-handers, I think are going to hit better against the left-handers.”