Just when the Yankee offense appeared to have hit a low point, scoring a mere dozen runs in its last five games, with Matsui and Sheffield on the DL and Damon and Giambi slumping, things have gotten worse. Giambi, who left yesterday's game after tweaking his neck while making a nice diving play, will get the day off tonight, resulting in a line-up that looks like this:
L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Bernie Williams (RF)
R - Andy Phillips (DH)
R - Miguel Cairo (1B)
S - Melky Cabrera (LF)
Yeouch! That just may be the weekest line-up the Yankees will field all season prior to the eastern division and wild card being decided. If it's not, this team is in a whole hill of trouble.
Complicating things further, having just praised Andy Phillips defense at first over the weekend and having lost a game on a dropped ball by Miguel Cairo last week, Joe Torre has opted to put Cairo back in the field with Phillips mired at DH. Maybe having Cairo as your DH is embarassing, but the Yankees lost to the A's on Sunday while Oakland had Antonio Perez, who was 0 for 2006 entering that game, at DH. That's not to say that sort of thing is to be emulated, but if there's no one else available (Ken Macha was dealing with a similar laundry list of aches and pains), a manager should at least try to field his best possible defense.
Speaking of which Bubba is riding pine because the Yanks will be facing the left-handed John Koronka, which also means we get the old-school version of Bernie Williams tonight, making the above line-up a tad less pathetic. Koronka has indeed been absolute murder on lefties thus far this year (they're hitting .154/.244/.231 against him), and solid overall (4-1, 3.65 ERA, 5.08 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9). The Yankees avoided him in Texas last week.
Shawn Chacon goes for the Yanks following a brief, walk-addled start against the Red Sox last week (5 BB, 1 K in 4 2/3 IP). Save for his ugly walk rate, Chacon's numbers are very similar to Koronka's (4-1, 3.68, 5.89 K/9, 4.66 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9).