With a big four-game set against the third-place Blue Jays on deck, the Yankees have picked a good time to get hot. This afternoon they go for their second straight sweep in an attempt to avoid their first second half loss.
The man for the job is former Mariner Randy Johnson, who pitched one of his best games as a Yankee last year against his former team and their future ace, Felix Hernandez. That game was a thrilling pitchers' duel in which Johnson held the M's hitless through five innings and the Yankees emerged with a 2-0 victory. That was an emotional game for the big man, as it was the first time he had pitched in Seattle in six years and he was facing a phenom who many believe will challenge Randy's position as the greatest Mariner hurler of all time.
The stakes are far lower today, with the Yanks playing a house money game at home against Gil Meche little more than 12 hours after one of their most improbable wins of the year, but Johnson seems to be back on track, turning in quality starts in five of his last six outings. Here's hoping that trend continues today.
Kelly Stinnett gets his second straight start due to Jorge Posada playing the late innings of last night's game. Melky moves up to the two-spot. Alex Rodriguez returns to third base. Guiel starts in right and bats seventh behind Phillips followed by that man Nick Green (5 for 12 with two doubles, a homer, three walks and a stolen base as a Yankee) at second base. Randy's old nemesis Eduardo Perez starts at DH for the M's.