Is it harder to believe that the Yankees have already played half of their scheduled games or that they have the third-best record in the Majors?
After beating the Blue Jays for the third straight time yesterday, the Yanks stand at 48-33, one game behind the Red Sox in the AL East and 2.5 over the Angels/Rangers tandem in the Wild Card standings. Meanwhile, no team has scored more runs than the Yankees.
To start the second half, the Yankees are playing with house money. They’ve already won the series against the Blue Jays, and the Bombers, behind Andy Pettitte, will go for the sweep today in a mid-afternoon special that should make us all far less productive than we need to be for the next three hours. A win would be a nice reward on this sunny July afternoon.
Pettitte is coming off of a good start, and based upon his recent trends, that’s not necessarily a good thing for the Yanks. Since May 29, Pettitte, as you can see from his gamelog has alternated good starts with bad starts, and he hasn’t recorded Ws in back-to-back since mid-May. Hopefully, he can break that streak today.
The Blue Jays counter with promising youngster Ricky Romero. The lefty hasn’t allowed a run since the 2nd inning of his June 21 start against the Nationals. He’s shut down the Phillies’ potent offense and the Rays’ potent offense. Perhaps he’s due for a clunker. On the season, he is 6-3 with a 2.85 ERA.
The Yanks will send out a modified lineup against the lefty. Johnny Damon gets the day off, and Eric Hinske will make his pinstriped debut. Nick Swisher plays first; Mark Teixeira DHs; and finally, Jorge Posada, and not Robinson “King of the GIDP” Cano, will provide protection for A-Rod.
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Mark Teixeira DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robbie Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera LF
Eric Hinske RF
Brett Gardner CF
And pitching, number 46, Andy Pettitte.