The Yanks face off against lefty Zach Duke tonight. Duke had a strong start to his career in 2005 — one of my buddies did a nice write-up of him during his rookie campaign. After pitching 215 innings of league average ball in 2006, he struggled mightily in 2007, and missed July, August, and half of September. At 92 innings this year, it seems that Duke has found himself again, pitching to a 3.91 ERA, though that 1.48 WHIP could come around to haunt him down the road.
What can I say about the Yanks, other than they need to win tonight? They did score two in the ninth last night, so I guess we get to put the ol’ theory to the test tonight. Fate will be in the hands of Joba Chamberlain, who has pitched rather well since making the conversion to a starter.
Questions for tonight:
Will Derek Jeter avoid grounding into a double play if presented with the opportunity?
Will Melky draw a couple more walks in the leadoff spot?
Will we be able to string together a few hits, rather than leaving our men on base?
Will A-Rod come back with a vengeance after taking an 0 for 5 last night?
If the answers to those four are all yes, we might be onto something.
1. Melky Cabrera, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Jason Giambi, 1B
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Justin Christian, LF — felt good to type that
9. Joba Chamberlain, P
I guess there doesn’t need to be a pitching announcement…damn NL.
Notes: per Ed Price, Ian Kennedy will throw a rehab start for Tampa on Saturday. Phil Hughes played catch for the first time since suffering his broken rib. Price says we’re still six weeks away. I’d believe it.