Quick hits: Gardner’s season may be over
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (79-68) and Red Sox (89-59) get set to kick off a three-game weekend series here at Fenway Park.
Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99) has the ball for the Yankees, and John Lackey (9-12, 3.48) goes for Boston. It was raining here this afternoon, but the tarp is off the field and we should start on time. Temperatures are right around 70 degrees, dropping as the night goes on.
- Bad news, if not completely unexpected, for Brett Gardner. Gardner has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique, and as you know, obliques are a tricky injury to figure out. Joe Girardi acknowledged that it is possible Gardner has played his last regular season game. There is some hope that Gardner could return as a pinch-runner before he can be a full player, but that depends on how this all heals. Girardi said that he wouldn’t expect to have Gardner back for the upcoming Blue Jays series, but he could be back for the playoffs if the Yankees get that far.
- Curtis Granderson is taking over for Gardner in center field, and he’s hitting leadoff tonight. Girardi said that he can move that around as the weekend goes on, but Granderson has had the flexibility to hit in seven different lineup spots this season so it’s not really anything new. Granderson has homered in two straight games, sending rockets out to Eutaw Street in Baltimore the last two nights.
- Austin Romine took some swings today and felt OK, but they’ll be very cautious bringing him back from a concussion. It’s possible Romine won’t be available to play all weekend.
- Boone Logan may have turned a corner in his rehab of a left elbow injury, as Girardi said that Logan felt better and wants to try playing catch again. It didn’t go well yesterday, as Logan said he shut down the session after about five tosses.
- Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play third base tomorrow. He’s DHing tonight. Girardi said that once he gets A-Rod back to third base, he could go either way with Eduardo Nunez or Brendan Ryan at shortstop.
- Who’s closing tonight? That’s a “great question,” Girardi said. It won’t be Mariano Rivera or David Robertson, apparently, though I guess you can never say that for sure. Rivera has pitched in four of the Yanks’ last five games but didn’t rule out campaigning to pitch if needed.
- Girardi on the Baltimore scorer’s decision to credit Rivera with a win instead of a save last night: “I’d like to see him get a save, but when I woke up this morning, it didn’t change my life.”
My Beat The Streak picks today: Doubling down with Ichiro Suzuki (33-for-110 vs. Lackey) and Lyle Overbay (11-for-30 vs. Lackey). The streak is at zero, and you know what? I’m beginning to think that a run at Joe D. isn’t happening. There’s always 2014.