Yankees Notes: Vazquez, Swisher, Gardner, and Matchups

The Yankees have been bad lately, but they’re still in first place because the Tampa Bay Rays have also been struggling. That lead is down to just half a game though and it will be put to the test over the next three days as the two AL East juggernauts go head-to-head. It starts tonight with a battle of the aces, CC Sabathia vs. David Price.

Here are some notes:

  • Javier Vazquez is going to have at least one start skipped through the rotation. If you were paying attention to a post I wrote this morning, it was something I just assumed when I laid out the rotation for the next three weeks.
  • Nick Swisher sat out yesterdays game because of his knee. He fouled a ball off it a couple weeks ago and has played from time to time, but he’s complaining that it’s not getting better. MRI’s were taken and came back negative.
  • Swisher is sitting out tonight’s game, as is Brett Gardner who has been dealing with pain in his wrist. He is expected to have an MRI this week.
  • Here is tonight’s lineup:
    • Jeter SS
      Cano 2B
      Teixeira 1B
      Rodriguez 3B
      Thames DH
      Posada C
      Kearns LF
      Granderson CF
      Golson RF
  • Here are the pitching matchups for the Rays series:
    • Tonight: CC Sabathia (19-6, 3.14) vs. LHP David Price (17-6, 2.87).
    • Tuesday: Ivan Nova (1-0, 2.92) vs. RHP Matt Garza (14-8, 3.68).
    • Wednesday: Phil Hughes (16-7, 4.26) vs. RHP James Shields (13-12, 4.98).

This is a pretty big series for the Yankees. Getting swept by the Rangers isn’t the end of the world, especially because it can only help them as they will be forced to take the Rangers seriously when they face them in the playoffs. But they have lost six of their last seven and really need to start winning again before they start getting down on themselves.

They have the perfect man on the mound to help them turn themselves around. Sabathia gets his second chance at picking up his 20th victory and joining the Black Aces. Hopefully he has more tonight than he did in his last start when he got shelled by the last place Baltimore Orioles.

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