A pair of rookies face off in Anaheim this afternoon as the Yankees try to salvage the final game of their final west coast swing of the year and avoid being swept by those raggm fraggm Angels.
In his first major league start in Seattle earlier this week, 23-year-old Jeffrey Karstens, who looks like an uglier cross between Gilbert Godfried and Humphrey Bogart (or maybe the old Warner Bros. cartoon characature of Bogey), stayed in the strike zone (66 percent strikes, just two walks) and got 12 of his 15 outs in the air. He also surrendered a pair of home runs, including a moon shot by Richie Sexson. That fly ball tendency could spell disaster against the free-swinging Angels, who had nine extra base hits in yesterday’s game.
Opposing Karstens will be 25-year-old lefty Joe Saunders, who has done well in five of his six starts this year including holding the Yankees to three runs on a six hits and a pair of walks over six innings when last these two teams met.
One things’ for sure, tomorrow’s off day couldn’t come soon enough, and whether the Yankees are up by ten or down by twenty, Mariano Rivera should finally see some action today, if for no other reason than he’s the most rested man in an exhausted bullpen that finally collapsed in yesterday’s ugly loss.
Speaking of exhausted, Jason Giambi, who left yesterday’s game due to “body-wide cramps” and dehydration, and Melky Cabrera, who has played every game since late May (!), get the day off, and Robinson Cano gets a day at DH. Nick Green and Bernie Williams, the good one that hits lefties, play the field. Bernie starts in left field for just the fifth time this season. Alex Rodriguez is back in the clean-up spot and Craig Wilson starts at first base against the lefty. Just win this one, boys, and you can go home and rest.