Last night’s win was all about the Yankee youngsters and the outfield. Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner were instrumental in delivering the team one of its more thrilling wins of the season.
It is not surprising then that both of them are in the lineup today. Brett is going to man center field while Melky will try his hand in right. Nick Swisher is at first, and after a little incident with Carlos Gomez last night, Mark Teixeira will DH.
This is a move that makes a lot of sense. Melky, of course, has earned his playing time. Through 33 games and 104 plate appearances, he is hitting .330/.394/.511 and is showing more patience at the plate. Gardner has also seemingly turned a corner. After starting off the season at .220/.254/.271 and earning himself a spot on the bench, Gardner is 7 for 19 this month. His season numbers — .256/.330/.423 — are approachable respectability.
And then there is Nick Swisher. After a hot, hot start to the season, Swisher has stopped hitting. On the month, he is 4 for 36 with 17 strike outs. He now has eight more strike outs than hits. Ouch.
So now, Joe Girardi can start taking advantage of the depth that remains while the Yanks’ injured players work their ways back to the team. He should make sure the hot bats get into the lineup and can give Swisher a day off or two while deploying him as a potential pinch hitter late in the game. I’d prefer to see Cano hitting fifth and Swisher below him, but today, Girardi has flipped it for the 1:05 start.
And pitching, number 62, Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.89).