Quick hits: Yanks try their luck with Huff
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-66) and Red Sox (85-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium for the third game of a four-game series that has been just heartbreaking thus far for the home team. The Yanks turn the ball over to lefty David Huff (2-0, 3.32) as he moves from the bullpen to the rotation, while the Red Sox aren’t making things much easier by presenting a tough customer in right-hander John Lackey (8-12, 3.22).
Sending Huff to the mound is Joe Girardi‘s way of going with the hot hand. He has earned the start with his recent stellar work out of the bullpen, and even Phil Hughes could see the writing on the wall that the Yankees were beginning to lean toward seeing if they can catch lightning in a bottle with Huff.
“I haven’t seen anything that would tell me he can’t give you some distance and throw the ball well,” Girardi said of Huff. “That’s all he’s done since he’s been here, so I think 90 to 100 pitches, I expect that from him, but you have to see the quality of pitches once you’re up around that mark.”
Alex Rodriguez is not in the Yankees lineup this afternoon. Girardi said that he has Rodriguez available to pinch-hit, and that, “He’s fine, it’s just six days in a row, day game after a night game.” Eduardo Nunez is at third base in place of A-Rod.
Who’s in the bullpen behind Huff? Brett Marshall would be the long man, and Girardi said that he could “piece it together” with Dellin Betances and right-hander Jim Miller, who was added to the roster on Saturday after spending this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. You won’t see Joba Chamberlain or Preston Claiborne today. Mariano Rivera should be available.
“You pretty much know the pieces that you have going in, so you look at that,” Girardi said. “Huff’s thrown the ball well, so I have confidence in him. It’s no different than any other day when you don’t have a couple of guys that you can use in your bullpen.”
No word yet on Boone Logan, who had a date with an MRI tube this morning.
My Beat The Streak pick today: Curtis Granderson, who is starting today as the DH and is 8-for-21 lifetime vs. Lackey. The streak is currently at seven games after Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-3 last night.