The Yankees have a big week coming up with a pair of series against last place ball clubs, with the July 31 trading deadline in the middle of that on Thursday, and it beings tonight with the first of three games against the Texas Rangers down in Arlington.
The Rangers, as you know, were just in the Bronx last week, where they lost three of their four games against the Yankees. Texas followed that up by losing two of three to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend, and come into tonight's game having last seven of ten since the All-Stare break.
New York, meanwhile, won seven of their first eight games following the break before dropping the final two games to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. After a good series against Cincinnati, the Yankees' offense suddenly stopped hitting against both the Rangers and Blue Jays. Maybe that'll change this week, because it really needs to.
Short preview tonight, so I'm just going to let you know that David Phelps and Yu Darvish are the starting pitchers tonight. You know the story with them. Those two faced off last week in New York, the Yankees won that game, 2-1, in just five innings thanks to Mother Nature.
Tonight's lineup vs Texas:
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brian McCann 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF
* The Yankees recalled Almonte from Triple-A Scranton before tonight's game, while designating LHP Jeff Francis for assignment.
* The Yankees are hoping that Mark Teixeira will play tomorrow night.
“If I wake up tomorrow and have back spasms (then it won’t happen),” Teixeira said. “But I don’t expect that to happen. I feel very good right now. I expect to have a very good BP today and be in there tomorrow. … The back spasms are gone, which I’ve been dealing with for a long time, so that’s really good. Good to see that the treatments worked, and the time off helped, so hopefully they won’t come back.”
* Just an off-day for Jacoby Ellsbury tonight because Joe Girardi doesn't want to overwork him. It's likely that Gardner will also get a day off this week.
“I’ve got to check with Gardy and see how he’s doing tomorrow,” Girardi said. “This long stretch — the heat, the day games, the 14-inning game — I don’t want one of these guys to get hurt. They’re really important to our lineup. So maybe Gardy will get a day off. Maybe he won’t, but maybe he will.”