The Yankees take on the Red Sox in game 2 of a four game series. New York lost a heartbreaker last night, so they are going to need to come back strong tonight against Felix Doubront if they want to stay in the playoff race. They send out this lineup and try again:
#Yankees lineup: Gardner 8 Jeter 0 Soriano 7 Cano 4 Rodriguez 5 Wells 9 Nunez 6 Reynolds 8 Stewart 2 Pettitte 1— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) September 6, 2013
Brett Gardner leads off the offense, followed by Derek Jeter, who is DHing for some reason. He has hit .194/.302/.222 in 43 plate appearances so far, and in as near to a must-win as possible, It's unclear what kind of advantage he can provide if he's not also playing in the field. Alfonso Soriano, Robinson Cano, and Alex Rodriguez make up the heart of the lineup, while Vernon Wells, Eduardo Nunez and Mark Reynolds follow, all playing in the field.
Chris Stewart is behind the plate again, because of course he is. Leave it to Girardi to effectively drown out someone like Austin Romine who has been hitting much better in the second half, though if Romine's defense going forward is anything like what he showed last night, I don't think I can blame him for being hesitant about putting him in. The problem is that Stewart is no better, so why not give JR Murphy a shot for a few games and see how he does? The Yankees have already started his clock by playing him, so why not let him get some playing time so they can see what he can really do? It's not like you'd be keeping anyone essential out of the lineup.
Following last night's blown save, Mariano Rivera, who has appeared in three straight games, and David Robertson, who has been used in back-to-back games, will be unavailable tonight. With Shawn Kelley also being unavailable due to a triceps injury, it is now a mystery as to who will be closing. The highest ranking member of the bullpen might now be Boone Logan, but that also leaves Preston Claiborne, Adam Warren, Brett Marshall, Cesar Cabral, Dellin Betances, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes to pick up some late innings if needed. We could end up seeing Hughes in a save situation.
I understand Girardi wants to rest his bullpen, which is probably the one thing he is good at doing, but the Yankees are up against the Red Sox in September in the middle of a fight for the playoffs, you can't suddenly take essential players out of the equation. Girardi already sacrificed one game in this series due to poor bullpen management, so it would be nice if it doesn't happen again.