Having taken the opener of their three-game set at Phone Field, the Yanks hope to clinch just their third series win of the season (in eight tries) tonight. Taking the hill for New York will be Mikey Moose, who will be happy not to have to face Manny Ramirez. Moose faced a far weaker White Sox offense at the Cell twice last year, one good, one bad. The third time he faced the Chisox, back in the Bronx, he pretty much split the difference with a solid quality start.
The Sox have moved ex-Yank Javy Vazquez up a day to keep him on normal rest after Monday’s off-day. He has faced his old team twice since being traded to Arizona for Randy Johnson. In 2006 he survived six walks and a Jason Giambi homer by striking out eight and holding the Yanks to two runs (both scored on that dinger) over five innings in a slim 5-4 Chicago win. Last year, he struck out seven Yanks in six innings, walked just three, and kept the ball in the park, but gave up four runs and took the loss as his punchless offense conjured up just one run against Chien-Ming Wang, who pitched a complete game. Thus far this season, he’s picked up where he left off with his comeback 2007 season, striking out 27 in 25 1/3 innings against just 6 walks and holding his competition homerless.
Joe Girardi has posted the same lineup he ran out there yesterday, which marks the first time all season that he’s repeated a lineup exactly. That means Posada’s back behind the plate, and Morgan Ensberg’s still at third base in place of Alex Rodriguez, who is conveniently resting his sore quad while basking in the arrival of his second daughter. The Sox attempted no steals against Posada last night, in part because they just don’t steal. They have three stolen bases in five tries on the season, both marks dead last in the majors. All three successful steals are by Orlando Cabrera. Cabrera singled twice last night with no one on base ahead of him, but did not attempt a steal.