So Phil Hughes took a no-hitter into the eighth inning last night. How can this afternoon’s starter match that? Well, CC Sabathia has already taken a no-no into the eighth this season, getting two outs further than Hughes did last night, so he’ll have to come up with a new trick. Completing the Yankees second straight sweep and extending their winning streak to seven games would be sufficient.
CC needed just 73 pitches to get through six innings while striking out nine Rangers (and walking none) his last time out, and over his last two starts he’s allowed just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out 14 in 13 2/3 innings. He’ll face crafty 26-year-old lefty Dallas Braden this afternoon. Braden has shown improvement in each of his last two big-league campaigns and has been sharp in the early going, starting 2010 with three quality starts, all leading to Oakland wins. He faced the Yankees just once last year and was torched in the Bronx (seven runs on ten hits and six walks in 5 2/3 IP). A week later, an infected rash on his foot ended his season.
Nick Swisher returns to the lineup this afternoon while Curtis Granderson yeilds to Marcus Thames against the lefty Braden. Brett Gardner is in center. Francisco Cervelli catches the day game after the night game. After Cano, the lineup is Swisher, Thames, Cervelli, Gardner.