Saturday, July 5, 2014

After getting the Fourth of July off, Derek Jeter is back in the Yankees' lineup this afternoon as the Bombers look to make it three straight wins over the Minnesota Twins to begin this four-game series at Target Field. The Twins plan to honor Jeter before the game today. Last year, they gave Mariano Rivera rocking chair made out of bats he broke in his career and called it the "Chair of Broken Dreams."

That was a really cool gift -- maybe the best of his farewell tour -- so it'll be interesting to see what Minnesota gives Jeter today.

The Yankees won the battle of the bullpens yesterday, with starter Chase Whitley only going three innings. David Huff was perfect in his three innings of work -- I started thinking about what would happen if the Yankees give Huff a chance to start, then I remembered how that worked out last season -- then Adam Warren, Dellin Betances and David Robertson finished off the final three innings.

With the loss to the Bombers yesterday, the Twins fell to 0-7 in their last seven games against the Yankees at Target Field. It's basically the Yanks' home away from home.

Today's lineup against Minnesota:

SS Derek Jeter
2B Brian Roberts
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
RF Ichiro Suzuki
LF Alfonso Soriano
C Francisco Cervelli
3B Zelous Wheeler

* Brian McCann was a late scratch from the lineup today because of some soreness in his foot that also kept him out of Friday's game. Joe Girardi thought that McCann would be good to go, but that was obvisouly not the case. The lineup has been moved a around: Jeter will now lead off rather than Ellsbury, and Roberts will slot in the No. 2 spot, where he hit yesterday.

We saw something happen to McCann during Thursday night's game after reaching first base on a single, but he stayed in the game and everything was fine for the rest of the night. Don't really know the problem other than that it's sore.

Pitching matchup preview:

Maybe David Phelps could give the Yankees some innings today and let the bullpen have a nice easy day off. Phelps will be on the mound for the Bombers this afternoon, and has been pitching well lately, allowing two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts.

Phelps is coming off of a no-decision against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium this past week, when he gave up two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Rookie right-hander Yohan Pino will be taking the mound for the Twins today, looking for his first career victory after going winless in his first three starts.

Pino allowed four runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in his last outing against the Kansas City Royals on Monday.


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