It's a nice Saturday afternoon and we'll see our second New York - New York match-up of 2009. Today's game can't be any sloppier than yesterday's can it?
Fernando Nieve will start for the Mets in place of the recently DL'd John Maine. After a respectable rookie season for the Astros in 2006, Nieve has only pitched 12.2 MLB innings since, beset by both injuries and ineffectiveness. It would be awfully nice if the Yanks would hang a crooked number on him this afternoon.
And they may well need it. In 18 career regular season starts against the Mets, Andy Pettitte is 8-4 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. But, Pettitte has not been particularly sharp of late. He's been battling a balky back, and has been allowing base runners at an uncomfortble rate. His WHIP currently sits at 1.53 and in his last five starts he's given up 35 H and 16 BB in just 29.2 IP. Still the team has gone 4 and 1 in those games, with Pettitte registering three of the victories. As Joe Girardi likes to say, Andy has a way of bending but not breaking. Hopefully he'll have a little extra room to bend today in opposing a replacement level pitcher.
Two updates courtesy of Pete Abe: Bruney tossed a perfect inning in AA earlier this afternoon. He threw 8 of his 12 pitches for stirkes and hit 94 MPH. Secondly, Damon returns to the line-up today, but it's Nick Swisher, not Brett Gardner, who takes a seat on the bench.
Regarding Swisher, perhaps it's a delayed benching for his numerous boneheaded plays earlier this week. But if Girardi wouldn't sit him in May when he was slumping horribly, I find it odd that he chooses to now. As for the pinch hitting situation last night, Abe also relays that Girardi's rational was indeed that Swisher has poor numbers against K-Rod, and that he hoped Gardner would get on and steal second. I still say that Swisher's 11 at bats mean very little and that Damon was more likely to reach base and steal second than Gardner. But I digress.
With Johan Santana going for the Mets in Sunday's finale, it'd be nice to put the series away today and be playing with house money tomorrow.
Today's game is on FOX, so it's pick your poison time: Buck, McCarver, and that little weasel Rosenthal on the tube or Sterling and Waldman on the dial. Jeez. I think maybe I'll listen to Howie Rose on the FAN.
The particularly poignant video I wanted to use today can't be embedded. You can view that one here, or view the Letterman performance of the same song below. Or view both. One way or another, enjoy the game.
Love don't play any games with me
anymore like she did before
The world won't wait, so I better shake
that thing right out there through the door
Hell I still love you New York
8 minutes ago