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Hey! My name is Zachary and this is my site, Yankee Mania, where I explore the games, players, and transactions of the greatest team in baseball. Hated by some but loved by others, the New York Yankees have dominated the world of sports for over a century. This year I follow their noble quest to win yet another World Series Championship. Click here to send me an email!

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Friday September, 01 2006.
News from Around the Clubhouse
By mvyb, 10:32

 - After feeling discomfort on his right elbow, Mariano Rivera underwent an MRI Thursday morning. The test revealed a mild muscle strain, but no serious injury. Rivera went right back to work, closing out the final game against Detroit.  Read more here
 
- Kyle Farnsworth says his back is feeling better and that he is ready to pitch at any time. Read more here
 
- The Yankees are expected to call up Darrell Rasner to make a start against the Minnesota Twins Sunday afternoon. Rasner will be removed from the 60-day DL ( sore shoulder). Rasner has only made one start for the Yankees, six total appearances. Read more here
 
-Mike Mussina is expected to start against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. Mussina was placed on the 15-day DL two weeks ago due to a groin injury.
 
 - Jason Giambi took an MRI on his sore wrist yesterday, but the results have not yet been revealed. Giambi may miss another game or two.
 
- September's here! That means the rosters get expanded- Wil Nieves, Andy Phillips, Miguel Cairo, Jose Veras, TJ Beam, Koyie Hill, and Kevin Thompson are the most likely to get called up within the week.
 

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Yankees Take Series Aagainst Tigers
By mvyb, 10:09

The Yankees are now 5-2 against the "best team in baseball" this year. The only 2 times they lost, were games during which Mariano Rivera could not pitch ( once in Detroit Mariano had tweaked his back, and then 2 days ago, Mariano had pitched game 1 of the doubleheader). I am very confident in the Yankees' ability to beat this team in the postseason.
 
 
Randy Johnson gave us another solid outing, 8 innings and only four runs ( two were given up in the ninth when Torre was trying to milk a CG out of the tired Johnson). The Big Unit struck out 8 and allowed only 4 hits. Rivera came in and picked up his 33rd save of the year.
 
And, oh happy day! Alex Rodriguez hit a home run, and a double, and an RBI single ( plus, he scored two runs and stole a base). Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come in this month and the next.

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Thursday August, 31 2006.
Game 1: Everything Goes Right, Game 2: Everything Goes Wrong
By mvyb, 11:10

In the first game of New York's day-night doubleheader against Detroit, Chien-Ming Wang was brilliant. He pitched 7 and 2/3rds innings of scoreless baseball, holding the Tigers down to just 3 hits. Wang struck out three and induced 13 ground-ball outs.
 
The offense came from Craig Wilson who launched a monster solo home run into the left field stands and Jason Giambi who added an insurance run on a sac fly.
 
Game 2 was a bit more pathetic. The Yankees finally received a strong outing from Jaret Wright: 6.1IP, 6H, 2ER, BB, 5K
 
It was Wright's longest outing of the year. Brian Bruney and Ron Villone did an outstanding job in relief ( getting the Yanks out of two major jams). Derek Jeter ( 2-run double) and Alex Rodriguez ( RBI groundout) drove in all the Yankee runs. But as a team, the Bombers only collected 3 hits. Not so good. So into the ninth we went, with our hearts set on a sweep.
 
 
And Scott Proctor rudely rips them out.  After walking two batters, Proctor hung a breakingball to Craig Monroe. Because he pitched in Game 1, Rivera wasn't available.... and without him, we can't win.

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Tuesday August, 29 2006.
Preview: Detroit Tigers v. New York Yankees
By mvyb, 11:49

As the Red Sox continue to falter ( now 7 games back) the Yankees need to start winning consistently and distancing themselves from all AL East opposition.
 
Now, this series with Detroit is important for another reason: homefield advantage in the playoffs. Detroit ( and Oakland) play very well at home, but struggle a bit on the road. You can see that homefield advantage could be a key factor in how far the Yankees advance in the postseason.
 
 
Game 1: August 29th, 7:05PM
Nate Robertson (11-10) v. Chien-Ming Wang (15-5)
 
Chien-Ming Wang is the ace of our staff with his team-leading 15 wins ( second best in the majors). He has shocked New York fans by his consistency and skill. Wang is 2-0 in his last 2 starts, beating Boston and Seattle on the road. But Wang pitches even better in the Bronx ( 9-2 with a 2.92 ERA).
 
 
Nate Robertson was beaten up badly in his last start ( against the  White Sox):
6.2 IP, 9H, 10R, 2BB, 3HR
 
He got very similar results in his only career start against the Yankees ( 0-1).
 
Yankee numbers against Robertson:
 
Rodriguez: .375 BA ( 6 for 16), HR, 5 RBI
Damon: .500 BA ( 7 for 14), 5 RBI
Giambi: .714 BA ( 5 for 7)
 
Robertson has struggled this month, 1-4 ( 5.03 ERA) Hopefully that trend will continue Tuesday.
 
Game 2: August 30th, 7:05PM
Wilfredo Ledezma (2-1) v. Randy Johnson (14-10)
 
Randy Johnson is 3-1 this month ( his only loss coming against the Mariners, but even in that game Johnson pitched well). In his only start against Detroit this season, Johnson shut out the team through six solid innings of work: 6IP, 2H, 3BB, 4K, 0R
 
NONE of the Detroit batters have good numbers against Johnson.
 
Wilfredo Ledezma has taken over for Mike Maroth ( currently on the DL). Ledezma won his only start of the season, but only pitched 5 and 2/3rds of an inning.
 
Ledezma only has one career start against the Yankees, which he lost after allowing 8 runs. Here are some individual stats against Ledezma:
 
Alex Rodriguez: 4 for 4, 4 HR, 6 RBI
Posada: .333 BA ( 1 for 3), HR
 
That's right folks.... Alex Rodriguez is 4 for 4 against Ledezma with 4 homers.
 
Game 3: August 31st, 1:05 PM
Jeremy Bonderman (11-6) v. Jaret Wright (9-7)
 
Let me guess, this one won't be a pitcher's duel.
 
Jaret Wright is 3-1 in 5 starts ( and 2 relief appearances) this month, alloowing only 1 home run. Wright is a career 5-4 against Detroit with a nice 3.45 ERA.
 
That's the good news.
 
The bad news is that Wright has been terrible lately ( both in runs allowed and innings pitched) with a wicked walk-to-strike-ratio ( 16-16).
 
 
Bonderman is winless in his last 6 starts ( 5.17 ERA), usually imploding in one certain inning. Jeremy is 2-3 career against the Yankees with a 4.85 ERA and 8 HRs allowed.
 
Yankee numbers against Bonderman:
 
Cano: .400 BA ( 4 for 10)
Damon: .333 BA ( 7 for 21), 2 2B
Posada: .357 ( 5 for 14), 3 RBI
Rodriguez: .263 BA ( 5 for 19), 2 HR
 
Conclusion:
 
Yankees will most likely win the series, maybe ( MAYBE) even sweep the Tigers. The Yanks have homefield advantage ( which is big against Detroit), pitching advantages in 2 of the 3 games, and heavy hitting advantages. Plus Detroit has been stumbling against sub .500 teams.
 
This could be a really good, confidence-building series for the Yankees if they play decently. And, maybe, A-Rod can catch fire against one of these pitchers he's hit well in the past.
 

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Monday August, 28 2006.
Pavano Suffers Two Broken Ribs after Car Accident
By mvyb, 20:24

Carl Pavano must be made of glass... or just REALLY, REALLY unlucky....
 
 Over the last two years, Pavano has suffered countless injuries to all parts of his body. Today, he revealed another one.
 
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Carl Pavano was in a two-car accident several weeks ago. He didn't think it was important enough to report to the team- instead, he made three minor league starts with the broken ribs. After his latest outing, Pavano felt pain in his ribs, and decided to tell Brian Cashman about the injury.
 
 
"Of course I'm angry," said New York Yankees GM, Brian Cashman. He later told the media that the team would take no action against Pavano, and that he still hopes Pavano will pitch for New York in the majors this year.
 
Peter Abraham has more details on the situation.
 
I'm glad the Yanks wasted $40 million on this guy....

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Did We Win?
By mvyb, 10:20

Yes! The Yankees finally pulled off a victory against these dreaded Anaheim Angels, 11-7.  Bernie smacked two monstrous homers, a double, and a single, driving in 6 RBIs ( his first 6 RBI game since 2000). The Captain also had a great game, as he went 3 for 5 ( raising the BA to .337) with two homers and a great defensive play. Even though these two players ( Jeter and Williams) have played together since '95, this was the first time they both homered in the same game. Cano also had 4 hits and 2 RBIs.
 
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
 
While the Yanks knocked around LA rookie, Joe Saunders, the NY rookie, Jeff Karstens, was excellent:  6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K ( only 83 pitches)
 
The Game got closer in the later innings, as Proctor, Farnsworth, and Rivera worked some rust off....
 
And, the team from Beantown lost, so the Yanks retake a 6.5 game lead over them. All in all, it wasn't a total meltdown that we feared might take place out West... the Yanks just didn't gain any ground.
 
The next six games will be the only really tough games the Yankees have to play for the rest of the regular season. Three against Detroit and then three against Minnesota.
 
Fortunately, the Tigers are struggling ( they just lost 4 out of 5), and they Yanks have played very well against them this year. The Yankees also have homefield advantage in all of these games. And, during this time, Boston will have to play 3 in Oakland, and then host the Jays ( who have killed them this year) and the ChiSox for a combined 6 games in Fenway.
 
After the Detroit-Minnesota series, the Yanks have it fairly easy from then on:
 
Boston: 4 games ( in the Bronx)
Toronto: 6 games ( swept them last time we played)
Baltimore: 7 games
Tampa Bay: 7 games
 Kansas City: 3 games
 
( 3 off days in September)
 
Not that tough....

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Saturday August, 26 2006.
Can we go home now?
By mvyb, 21:13

Blame this one on Joe. The reason we lost this ballgame is because Joe Torre didn't want to win.
 
That's the only thing I got out of this game.
 
WHY did Myers, who has shown he cannot pitch effectively to righties ( in Spring Training and in the latest series with Baltimore), pitch to both lefties AND RIGHTIES in the bottom of the eighth?????????? WHY did Ron Villone, who pitched yesterday, pitch the ninth instead of Kyle Farnsworth who hasn't pitched in four days???????
 
Give us an answer, Joe.

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Friday August, 25 2006.
Preview: New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
By mvyb, 11:54

This weekend, the Yankees play a crucial three-game series with the LA Angels. Why is this series so crucial, you ask? First of all, the Yanks haven't played well against the Angels and need to start doing so right now. If the Angels make the playoffs ( this year or the next), the Yankees are gonna have to find a way to beat them. Also, the BoSox have an easy three-game series with the Mariners. Over the next three days, Boston can easily gain ground if the Yankees falter in Anaheim.
 
The Yanks are 9-8 on this 21-games-in-20-days streak, a good series here could improve that record.
 
Game 1:  August 25, 10:05PM
Jaret Wright ( 9-7)  v. John Lackey (10-9)
 
Jaret Wright hasn't started since August 17th, and in that game, he couldn't get out of the 4th inning. Not good.
 
But. let's look at some positives here: On August 12th ( his only start against the Angels this year), Jaret Wright beat the Angels in the Bronx by a score of 5 to 2. He pitched into the 6th and allowed only one run... not too shabby.  Wright is 3-1 in August and 4-2 on the road this year.
 
Now on the other hand, John Lackey, picked up a loss in his only start this year against the Yankees ( August 14th).
 
Lackey's pitching line: 7IP, 11H, 3ER, 3R, 4BB, HR
 
(MLB.com photo)
 
And the Yankee batters really own this guy:
 
Rodriguez-  .258 BA, 3HR
Damon-  .333 BA ( 10 for 30)
Giambi-  .478 BA ( 11 for 23), 2 HR
Jeter-  .348 BA, HR
Guiel-  .444 BA ( 4 for 9), 2 HR
Cano-  .500 ( 3 for 6)
Cabrera- .667 ( 2 for 3)
 
Ok, so all the Yanks need is a decent outing from Wright, and they should win the game. But what are the chances they get a good outing.... 50/50? No, I think it's a little more in their favor, probably 60/40.
 
Game 2: August 26th, 4:10PM
Cory Lidle (10-9)  v.  Ervin Santana (12-6)
 
We were all impressed by Cory Lidle's last start, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 6 shutout innings, establishing his spot in the Yankee rotation.
 
(Reuters)
 
Lidle has been great in August ( 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA), and he has pitched well on the road all year long ( 3-2, 3.91 ERA).
 
Lidle had one start against the Angels this year, and picked up the loss ( allowing only 3 runs), but other then that start, he doesn't have much history against the Angels. None of their players have any outstanding numbers against him- Guerrero ( 0 for 2), Erstad ( 1 for 17), Rivera ( 0 for 7), and Quinlan ( 0 for 2).
 
Ervin Santana has one start against the Yanks this year, a victory. Santana's pitching line: 5.2 IP, 2H, ER, 3BB, HR
 
But, Santana hasn't been pitching as well this month ( 4.87 ERA), which is the one flicker of hope for the Yankees.
 
Yankees against Santana:
 
Jeter-  .714 BA ( 5 for 7), 2HR
Cano-  .143 BA ( 1 for 7), HR
Rodriguez-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Posada-  .167 BA ( 1 for 6)
Damon-  .125 BA ( 1 for 8)
Giambi-  0 for 7
 
Never faced: Abreu, Cabrera, Williams, Guiel, or Green
 
Ouch! Oh, that hurts... I'm not very optimistic about this game.
 
Game 3: August 27th, 3:35PM
Jeff Karstens ( 0-0)  v.  Joe Saunders ( 3-1)
 
Karstens made his major league debut on Tuesday, and did very well ( especially against the lefties). Karstens pitching line: 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
 
But one start against the Mariners doesn't really tell you much, so we'll have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
 
Saunders has one career start against the Yankees, a victory. Saunders' pitching line: 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 2BB
 
This one is a toss-up, Saunders has shown that he has great stuff, but we haven't really seen that much from Karstens.
 
This game may come down to a battle of the bullpens, which the Yankees might win. The Villone-Proctor-Farnsworth-Rivera combo has worked brilliantly this year, and, thanks to RJ, all of these pitchers had the day off yesterday.
 
In Conclusion
 
The Angels will at least take 2 of 3, maybe even sweep the Yankees. The Angels have homefield advantage and all the pitching-matchup advantages.
 
But, keep in mind that the Angels just lost two of three from the Red Sox, losing to Beckett and Lester, two pitchers that the Yankees mauled. The Angels averaged just 3 runs a ballgame which would not have been enough to beat the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees can surprise us like they did in Boston, and kick some tail.

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Johnson Struggles With Control, Yanks Lose Series to Mariners
By mvyb, 10:12

Despite the title of this post, last night's loss cannot be blamed on Randy Johnson alone; Johnson gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 3 K's. He only had one rough inning, the 3rd, where he coughed up three runs. His control was terrible in that inning ( Posada would call for a slider in the dirt and Johnson would through a shoulder high pitch). But after that, Johnson was great... He gave his teammates plenty of time to jump back into the ballgame. And, Randy saved the bullpen as he pitched all 8 innings for the Yankees... that's the one good thing we can take out of this game.
 
 (AP photo)
 
But the Yankee bats were very quiet against Washburn. With the exception of Jeter's RBI single and Damon's solo HR, the Bombers struggled to score against the M's starter.
 
A couple things to note- Nick Green and Jorge Posada were hit by Washburn, but Johnson showed no sign of retaliaton. How come? Even if Washburn plunked the Yankee batters accidentally, Johnson should have made sure Washburn was more careful.
 
And Cano better be more careful when he gets on base, that pickoff was embarrassing.
 
With another Boston win ( and a good outing by Josh Beckett), the Sox gain a bit of ground on New York. The Yanks are still up by 5.5 games, but if they don't start playing better, we could see that soon evaporate.

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Thursday August, 24 2006.
Wang's Winning Ways
By mvyb, 14:37

The Yankees were blest with another outstanding pitching performance by Chien-Ming Wang Wednesday night. Wang pitched seven innings, allowing only 2 earned runs on 7 hits. He picked up his team-leading 15th win of the year, and is 4-0 in 4 career starts against the M's.
 
 
Wang actually pitched a shutout, but firstbase umpire, Jeff Nelson, made an outrageously terrible call- and Seattle took advantage. With a runner on third ( thanks to an error by Green) and two outs, Jose Lopez grounded a ball slowly up the middle. Cano made a great grab and throw to first base, nailing the runner by at least three steps ( as replays showed). For some reason he was called safe and the run scored. Wang then let up two more singles and a run. It's times like these when I feel that baseball needs to have instant replays for the umpires.
 
Mike Myers and Octavio Dotel pitched very, very well in the 8th & 9th innings. Dotel's fastball ( and curveball) looked great.
 
Alex Rodriguez did not play due to a minor throat infection, but his fill-in, Nick Green, had three hits. Damon, Abreu, and Cano all had two hits...
 
The Yankees did receive some bad news last night- Mike Mussina was put on the 15-day DL because of a groin injury he re-aggrivated in Boston. Mussina will miss 3 starts, but sounded optimistic about returning soon ( when he was interviewed by the YES network).
 
Tonight, its Randy Johnson versus Jarrod Washburn... the Yanks should ( if Good Randy shows up) take the game and the series.

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Wednesday August, 23 2006.
Despite A-Rod's Monstrous Homer, Yanks Snap 5-Game Win Streak
By mvyb, 09:41

All things considered, this wasn't that tough to take. I mean, we did have our rookie out on the mound ( his major league debut), the Yanks had just finished traveling across the country ( therefore being exhausted), and Boston lost as well ( making it 6 losses in a row for them).
 
Alex Rodriguez hits an enormous home run to left field....
Bobby Abreu also homered in the game.
 
Jeff Karstens was pretty good- 5.2IP, 6H, 3ER, BB, 2K- and deserved the win. But Joe Torre's confusing bullpen management let the game slip away. Why did Jaret Wright pitch the seventh??? Why did Villone go back out there in the ninth ( after pitching in the 7th & 8th innings)???
 
But then, the offense was also a bit to blame... Jorge Posada grounding into the inning-ending double play in the seventh spelled disaster. And of course, Alex wiffed a couple times with runners in scoring position...
 
Tonight we have Chien-Ming Wang taking on King Felix, a game we should be able to win.

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Tuesday August, 22 2006.
Woah...
By mvyb, 17:27

What else is there to say after a series like that? The Yankees absolutely dominated their arch-rivals and played like World Champions. It wasn't always easy ( games 4 & 5), but every day the Bombers found a way to win.
 
Game 1: Yankees- 12, Red Sox- 4
 
Chien Ming Wang had his second consecutive, solid outing ( 6IP, 3ER) against the Red Sox while Boston's Johnson was humiliated by Yankee sluggers. Johnny Damon beat the tar out of his old team ( leadoff triple, 2-run single, and 2-run HR). Abreu, Jeter, and Rodriguez also had multiple hits.
 
 
 
Game 2: Yankees- 14, Red Sox- 11
 
 The one we had no business winning. Sidney Ponson stunk ( what a surprise) in his third start as a Yankee. But the Boston bullpen couldn't hold a 4-run lead going into the seventh inning. Derek Jeter's two out, two strike, bases-loaded double was the key hit in this game. After all was said and done, the Yanks had won the longest nine-inning game in the history of MLB. Oh, and Sidney Ponson was designated for assignment afterwards.
 
 
 
Game 3: Yankees- 13, Red Sox- 5
 
I'm so glad the Sox gave Beckett ( 5.2IP, 7H, 9ER, 9BB)  that three-year extension.
 
Game 4: Yankees- 8, Red Sox- 5 ( 10 innings)
 
This was probably the best ( as in, most exciting) game of the 5-game series. Mussina ( who left the ballgame in the 4th due to an injury) and Schilling ( who pitched well enough to win) were pretty much non-factors in this game. Thanks to the heroics of Derek Jeter ( RBI single of Papelbon), the Yanks erased a 2-run deficit to win the game in the 10th. Giambi hit two homers- one, a monstrous blast off of Schilling and the other, a line drive to win the ballgame in the 10th. Mariano Rivera shut out the Sox through two innings ( no thanks to New York's shining defense).
 
 
Game 5: Yankees- 2, Red Sox- 1
 
I told you Lidle was worth something to this team! Six innings, no runs.... the best starting pitching performance of the series.
 
 
So.... what do we take out of this series? A 6.5 game lead in the AL East division, the biggest New York lead of the year.
 
The Yanks proved that they are a great team, Derek Jeter proved that he is the AL MVP, and guys like Lidle, Myers, and Farnsworth proved their worth. With spirits uplifted, the Yanks go to Seattle.
 
 
 
( I apologize over the lack of updates, by my computer crashed last week so... I just got it fixed)

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Wednesday August, 09 2006.
Two of Three from Baltimore, Not Bad
By mvyb, 10:15

Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with stuff here on Yankee Mania, but I've been on the road for a while.
 
During that time, the Yankees won two of three games against the O's and lost the series opener against the ChiSox. Abreu and Giambi (who left the game last night due to an injured left elbow) have been hitting the ball well. Cano made his return last night, and gathered 3 hits.
 
Mo blew the lead in the bottom of the ninth ( very depressing) and Proctor gave the ballgame away in the 11th. The Yanks had a lot of op[portunities to win this game, but failed to take advantage of them.
 
Thankfully the Red Sox lost too ( to the Royals!), and have lost 5 out of their last 8 games.

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Friday August, 04 2006.
Yanks Sweep Jays, Climb on Top of Division
By mvyb, 13:09

Cory Lidle went way past expectations, yesterday, as he pitched 6 solid innings. He allowed only one run on a handful of hits... his offspeed stuff was brilliant. Abreu continues to fit in perfectly with the Yanks ( three hits and a couple of runs scored) as does Craig Wilson ( a two-run single). During this series, the Yanks batted a combined .303 with 20 runs scored ( and only 4 runs allowed). They pretty much eliminated the Jays postseason hopes, and took the top spot in the AL East.
 
Tonight, Johnson faces the O's in Baltimore....if he can come back from his last rough start, I think it's safe to say that the Yankees have the best starting rotation in baseball ( after Detroit).
 
1. Mussina- candidate for the Cy Young award
2. Chien-Ming Wang- more then the Yanks could have hoped for
3. Randy Johnson- still has a bit left ion the tank
4. Jaret Wright- has pitched better then you realized ( leads the majors in fewest homers allowed)
5. Cory Lidle- impressive debut
 
With the ruthless offense, strong bullpen, and acceptable defense- the Yanks are easily one of the best teams in baseball.

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Wednesday August, 02 2006.
Game 104: Blue Jays v. Yankees
By mvyb, 16:16

7:05PM
 
New York Yankees' Starting Lineup:
 
CF- Damon
SS- Jeter
RF-Abreu
3B- Rodriguez
C- Posada
DH- Williams
1B- Wilson
LF- Cabrera
2B- Cairo
 
Toronto Blue Jays' Starting Lineup:
 
LF- Johnson
DH- Catalanotto
CF- Wells
3B- Glaus
1B- Overbay
RF- Hinske
C- Zaun
2B- Hill
SS- McDonald
 
Craig Wilson makes his Yankee debut tonight, and Bobby Abreu plays his second game as a Yankee, this time batting third. Johnny Damon ( best leadoff hitter in MLB), Derek Jeter ( king of working the count), and Bobby Abreu ( approaching 100 walks and the top of the pitches-per-at-bat list) start things off for New York. Man, do you think that Lily ( who sometimes has trouble throwing strikes) will even get out of the first?
 
Giambi's out do to a cramp he had last night, but should be back in the lineup tomorrow or Friday.
 
Chien-Ming Wang goes for win #13. Since Wright  only pitched five innings last night, it'd be nice to see Wang go seven or eight innings. Wang is amongst the league leaders in innings-pitched ( only 8 innings behind the overall leader, Roy Halladay)
 
Big game tonight. Go Yanks!

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