Javy Vazquez goes to the hill for the Yankees this afternoon. His three starts in 2010 have gone from poor to mediocre to satisfactory. Today he'll try to continue his upward trend and turn in his first quality start of 2010 after recording 22 quality starts in 32 outings last year. Vazquez faced these Angels eleven days ago, getting booed off the mound at Yankee Stadium after allowing four earned runs over five and a third innings. I'd tell you what his career numbers are against the Angels, but b-r.com is having all sorts of server problems today, and the splits pages have disappeared. He's made only one other start against the Angels since 2005, getting a no decision with two earned runs over six and two thirds in 2008.
Scott Kazmir gets the ball for the Halos. The lefty made his 2010 debut in the series finale against the Yanks just over a week ago, and they abused him to the tune of eleven baserunners, six runs, and three homers over four innings of work. He rebounded to pick up the win against the Tigers on Tuesday, going five and two thirds of shutout ball, giving up six hits and no walks against seven Ks. While with Tampa Bay, Kazmir had a great deal of success against the Yankees, but has lost both his starts against them since moving out West. He also had an ugly go of it in last year's ALCS, surrendering five runs, four of them earned, over four innings in a start and two thirds of an inning of relief. Overall though, the Yankee hitters do not have good numbers against him.
So as the lights go out on both the west coast portion of the Yankees' road trip and their only visit to the Big A during the 2010 season, the Yankees will try to win yet another rubber game to take yet another series. As such, we'll turn to The Black Keys and the lead track from their album Rubber Factory.
You can be, oh so mean
I just can't see, no in between
You know what the sun's all about
When the lights go out
Nick Johnson's stiff back keeps him out of the lineup for the second consecutive day. Combined with tomorrow's off day, Johnson will have three days to rest. Nick Swisher moves up the two spot in the order, where he can further showcase his bunting skills. Jorge Posada takes Johnson's spot as the DH, giving the Cisco Kid his third start behind the plate in the last four days. Facing the lefty Kazmir, Marcus Thames is predictably in the lineup, playing left field. It's a bit of roll of the dice with flyball pitcher Vazquez on the mound for the Yanks, which says nothing of the hot bat Brett Gardner's been swinging this weekend.
Maicer Izturis SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Mike Napoli C
Brandon Wood 3B