Southpaws Andy Pettitte and Francisco Liriano faced off in the middle game of that three game series, with Pettitte coming out on the long end of a 7-1 final. It was the final Yankee victory before this recent cold spell started. Entering play today, the Yanks have gone just 2-6 since that game.
Both of tonight's pitchers have made a start since their last meeting. Pettitte had a rough outing and took the loss in the series finale against Tampa Bay. That same night Liriano started in Fenway and got knocked around by the Red Sox.
Most recent outings notwithstanding, both pitchers have begun 2010 in impressive fashion. Pettitte enters this game at 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA, though his FIP (4.00) and xFIP (4.33) suggest he hasn't been quite as outstanding as his ERA indicates. Meanwhile Liriano comes in at 4-3 with a 3.25 ERA, backed by an impressive 2.65 FIP and 3.65 xFIP. He's helped by an incredibly low 4.3% HR/FB rate. That's bound to increase over time, but if Target Field continues to play large and the Yankee bats continue to play dead, it's not likely to go up tonight.
But it takes two when it used to take one[Song Notes: So really, it takes one and four ninths when it used to take only one, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it. This one won't exactly fire you up for the game, but it's the best song I could think up that plays on today's unexpected one and a half header. Plus it's Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, who were one of the best bands going until Adams decided to marry Mandy Moore, break up the band, move from NYC to California and start an ill-advised metal project. Still, when he's on, there are few better. 2005's Cold Roses remains my favorite album of the aughts (one of three Adams released that year, plus a stint with Phil Lesh and Friends). "Two" is from the 2007 follow up Easy Tiger, which is also excellent. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get something like this from Adams again someday.]
It takes two when it used to take only one
Because of the fractured nature of today's proceedings, we don't know the lineups quite yet. Francisco Cervelli has caught every inning since the last Twins series wrapped. Will he make it nine starts in a row tonight? What roster moves will be made to accommodate the Chad Gaudin signing? [Update: Boone Logan has been optioned to Scranton to make room for Gaudin and as Matt guessed earlier, Shane Lindsay has been DFA'd.]
Yankees: Jay here with the lineups. Swisher (who has been quite hot as of late) slides into the #2 slot as Brett Gardner (who is going through a bit of a slump but did pick up a hit yesterday's portion of the game) will bat last. As expected, Teixeira is back at first base after getting a break from the field in the series opener. Marcus Thames gets the start at DH against the lefty Liriano and bats 6th.
Jeter SSSwisher RF
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Justin Morneau 1B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Delmon Young LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Brandan Harris 3B
Drew Butera C