Having taken the first two games of their four game set against the Blue Jays, the Yankees need only split the remaining two to stay on target and win the series. With Roger Clemens and Chien-Ming Wang set to pitch, that’s a pretty good spot for them to be in. Clemens, of course, had the one dud start in Tampa, but that came after two outstanding eight-inning gems, so one can expect some bounce back tonight. He’ll face 25-year-old Shaun Marcum who is 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA since joining the Jays’ rotation in mid-May. Marcum’s one bugaboo is that he’s a bit homer prone, having surrendered 12 dingers in his 12 starts.
In other news, down in Trenton earlier today, Phil Hughes struck out five in four innings while allowing one run on a pair of hits and a pair of walks. He’ll make one more rehab start for Scranton on Monday and could rejoin major league club after that. The Yankees also think that Jason Giambi, who is working out in Tampa, could rejoin the team in early August, which, combined with Andy Phillips’ solid play at first base, could fill the hole in the Yankee lineup, provided that Joe Torre recognizes that the hole is currently being created by Johnny Damon (.238/.339/.330 and .207/.312/.281 since June 1) not Melky Cabrera (.282/.335/.384 and .333/.382/.453 since June 1) or Phillips (.300/.354/.433 and .375/.419/.500 in July). Of course, if Torre realized that he might have stopped batting Damon leadoff by now seeing as even Robinson Cano has gotten on base more often than Damon since June 1 (Cano since June 1: .288/.333/.474).