News of the Yankees lineup usually drops sometime around 3, 3:30ish for a 7:00 game. Usually there are no surprises. Yeah, sometimes we get a curveball with Angel Berroa in the lineup, but those are few and far between. Girardi has apparently settled on a certain lineup scheme this year, and he’s sticking with it for the most part. However, upon seeing today’s lineup I had to scratch my head a little, for Nick Swisher was sitting.
Now, I’ve long advocated giving Swish a few days off during his skid. With Melky Cabrera claiming the everyday CF role and with Brett Gardner hitting decently of late, the Yanks could afford to rest the slumping Swish a few times, hopefully helping him get out of his funk. Yet last night Swisher showed signs of a breakout, smacking two doubles including the go-ahead one with the bases loaded in the seventh. One would think that would earn him a start today — wait, scratch that. He’s already the regular starter, so one would think that his performance wouldn’t be cause for a day off.
Yet that’s just what happened. The lineup came out, and Swisher was nowhere to be found. This struck me as odd, and I said so on the Twitter feed. I got a bunch of responses talking about Swisher’s track record against Padilla: 1 for 15 with five strikeouts. So what? Fifteen freaking at bats? That’s a nothing sample. Just read what PeteAbe said about it:
Swisher finally seems to have his swing intact. Why screw him up against a pitcher he obviously can’t hit? Let Gardner start and when the Rangers go to the bullpen, you have Swisher ready and waiting for an at-bat or two.
A pitcher he obviously can’t hit? Nothing is obvious in 15 at bats. If Girardi wants to sit Swish, fine. As Pete also says (and with which I totally, 100%, no doubt agree), “The Yankees have won 15 of 19, let’s give the manager the benefit of the doubt, shall we?” I do like Joe Girardi as manager of this team, and I like him a lot. I sincerely hope he didn’t base this decision on 15 measly at bats.
That said, Brett Gardner has been fine recently and there’s nothing wrong with starting him. Starting Damon is a given because he had last night off, as is Melky because of his absence over the weekend. So please don’t mistake. I’m not complaining about Swisher on the bench, per se. I just don’t want to see him sitting because of a tiny, minuscule, insignificant sample against Padilla. Not to mention, Of those 19 plate appearances, 18 came in 2006 and one came in 2007. So Nick Swisher’s sitting because of something that happened three years ago? Give me a break.
Anyway, enough of the complaining/debunking. Onto the lineups:
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Hideki Matsui, DH
8. Melky Cabrera, RF
9. Brett Gardner, CF
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.