Johnny Damon is out. His foot is bothering him. Hideki Matsui is out. As anyone who watched the game on Sunday could see, his knee was bothering him.
So what has Joe Girardi done? Why, he’s installed the Yankee regular with the second lowest OBP to lead off. Brilliant!
With Damon out, the much-maligned Melky draws the one hole tonight. He and his .310 OBP will bat in front of Derek Jeter and his career-low .336 OBP. Robinson Cano is batting third. Just kidding.
Filling in for the two injured outfielders is none other than…..not Brett Gardner! Because the Yankees are facing a whole bunch of lefties over the next few days, Justin Christian, 28, got the call up. He’s hitting .309/.360/.455 with 18 stolen bases. If he produces over the next few days, the pressure will really be on Melky to turn it up a notch. Billy Traber has been exiled to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yanks face the Pirates at 7:05 p.m. tonight in Pittsburgh. The NL Central doormats are 36-40 with a -44 run differential. This is the first trip to Pittsburgh for the Yanks since the 1960 World Series. Darrell Rasner is on the mound; hopefully, he won’t have to run the bases either.
And just an FYI: This weekday night game is actually on Channel 9 tonight and not the YES Network.