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Game 61 Preview: Yankees vs. Indians, 7:05 p.m.

Today's preview post serves two equally important purposes.

It will let the readers of Pinstripe Alley know a) the specifics of the opener of a four-game series between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians and b) that, through the unstoppable progress of time, life goes on in the Bronx despite the public floggings of the past three nights.

The Yankees have opened their homestand with a trio of defeats, and I'd love to say Andy Pettitte, or David Wells, or Mike Mussina, or hell, Shawn Chacon was heading to the mound to stop the bleeding, but instead we have Ivan Nova. The 24-year-old right-hander has essentially been exactly what you expect from a fifth starter of a .550 team, mixing in moments of effectiveness amid dollops of crap.

Luckily for the Yankees, the Indians counter with Fausto Carmona, a man who was once characterized as a very good young pitcher but for now really only the pitcher part applies. He hasn't won a game since May 3, the Tribe going down in five of those six starts spanning that drought.

The Indians as a team have mirrored the struggles of Carmona, having lost six of eight games this month. Since their 18-8 April, they are just 16-18 since, which seems like an acceptable market correction given the roster makeup.

Current Series

4 game series vs Indians @ Yankee Stadium

Cleveland Indians
@ New York Yankees

Friday, Jun 10, 2011, 7:05 PM EDT
Yankee Stadium

Fausto Carmona vs Ivan Nova

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing in from left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 06/11 1:05 PM EDT
Sun 06/12 1:05 PM EDT
Mon 06/13 7:05 PM EDT

Lineups, DJ3K and more after the jump ...

Of course, nothing you see above matters compared to El Capitan's pursuit of 3,000 hits. The Yankees Steiner Sports aren't changing the bases every inning just for fun, you know. Derek Jeter currently sits at 2,990 hits, needing 10 in his next seven games to achieve the milestone at Yankee Stadium. It's a game within a game, folks, like how I would see how long I could go without looking at the clock in church as a kid.

Tonight's lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C

Notes: Obviously, Russell Martin's back isn't well enough to allow a return to the lineup. You can be sure Cleveland will test Cervelli behind the plate after last night. ... Meanwhile, recently promoted right-hander Kevin Whelan is not listed as an available reliever, according to LoHud. ... And while this isn't much of a surprise, there are now multiple reports saying Joba Chamberlain will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery next week, performed by Dr. James Andrews. Bummer.