The Yankees hope the third time is a charm for Javier Vazquez as they kick off their first West Coast swing in Oakland. In fact, Vazquez’ Yankee struggles extend back much farther than the start of this season. Javy’s ERA in his last three starts (not including playoffs) of 2004 was 6.50, so he is looking to get a pretty big monkey off his back. According to the LoHud Yankees Blog, Vazquez has been battling both a dead arm and poor mechanics. The days of the Moneyball A’s are long gone, so perhaps Vazquez can use his change up to effectively take advantage of a less than patient and potent lineup (.252/.321/.362).
The 9-5 Athletics, who sit atop the AL West, counter with left hander Gio Gonzalez. In his only start against the Yankees (July 25, 2009), Gonzalez pitched 6 2/3 innings of 2-hit, 1-run ball in a 6-4 victory. Interestingly, the Yankees are not making any concessions to the lefty. Both Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner remain in the lineup, while Marcus Thames sits on the bench. The large outfield at McAfee Coliseum likely played a role in that decision, but Girardi has also been known to ride the hot hand. Gardner and Gonzalez could be an interesting matchup all game…not at the plate, however, but on the bases. Gonzalez’ pick off move is among the game’s best, so some cat and mouse could ensue if Gardner reaches base.
|vs. Gio Gonzalez||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Derek Jeter SS||3||0.000||0.333||0.000||0||0|
|Nick Johnson DH||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Mark Teixeira 1B||5||0.250||0.400||0.500||0||0|
|Alex Rodriguez 3B||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Robinson Cano 2B||0||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Jorge Posada C||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Nick Swisher RF||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Curtis Granderson CF||5||0.250||0.400||0.250||0||0|
|Brett Gardner LF||3||0.500||0.667||1.500||0||1|
|vs. Javier Vazquez||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Rajai Davis CF||1||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Daric Barton 1B||6||0.400||0.500||0.400||0||1|
|Ryan Sweeney RF||4||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B||6||0.167||0.167||0.333||0||0|
|Kurt Suzuki C||10||0.111||0.200||0.111||0||1|
|Eric Chavez DH||12||0.100||0.250||0.400||1||3|
|Mark Ellis 2B||17||0.188||0.235||0.188||0||0|
|Travis Buck LF||3||0.000||0.000||0.000||0||0|
|Cliff Pennington SS||1||1.000||1.000||2.000||0||0|
- Before the game, the Yankees presented Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez with their World Series rings. The entire team congregated around both players in pre-game warm-ups before handing out the jewelry.
- Derek Jeter returns to the lineup after missing a game because of a head cold. Jeter looks to resume his season long streak of consecutive hits.
- Nick Swisher looks to rebound on the road. In line with last season’s split disparity, Swisher is batting .333/.440/.571 on the road, but only .053/.250/.158 at home.