After a less than promising beginning to last night's game, the Yankees (56-37) eventually battled their way back and snatched a win from a depleted Tampa Bay Rays team (50-44). Currently, New York holds a 6.5 game lead over Tampa Bay for the Wild Card spot (seven in the loss column).
Tonight, Bartolo Colon and Jeremy Hellickson will square off. Hopefully Bartolo remembers how to play baseball this time around pitching against Tampa. On July 7, Colon went 5.2 innings at Yankee Stadium, allowing five runs on ten hits while handing out walks to four batters. He also surrendered home runs to Ben Zobrist and B.J. Upton. I'm quite aware that I'm about to point out a small sample size, but Colon's last two starts have been fairly hideous: 6.0 innings, 16 hits, 13 runs (only eight earned), six walks and one strikeout. A quality start tonight could quiet all the trade talk for a starter. Please, Bartolo. Please.
Jeremy Hellickson's official rookie season has been relatively successful. The 24-year-old is yet to pitch against New York this season (he was supposed to pitch in the Friday rainout on July 8). While his K/9 of 5.90 and BB/9 of 3.39 aren't exactly impressive, he's kept the ball inside the park and been the beneficiary of spectacular defense (3.21 ERA but 4.48 xFIP).
BREAKING: For those that have yet to hear, left-handed pitcher Steve Garrison has been called up and will take over for Sergio Mitre. Apparently the Yankees' most popular player is quite ill and has been placed on the disabled list. While I wish Mitre good health, I still wish he were back in Milwaukee. Or anywhere other than New York, for that matter.
Yankees lineup: Derek Jeter SS, Curtis Granderson CF, Mark Teixeira 1B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Russell Martin C, Brett Gardner LF, Eduardo Nunez 3B
Rays lineup: Johnny Damon DH, Ben Zobrist RF, Evan Longoria 3B, Casey Kotchman 1B, B.J. Upton CF, Robinson Chirinos C, Sean Rodriguez 2B, Sam Fuld LF, Reid Brignac SS