Results tagged ‘ Joe Gordon ’

Yankees get over the three-game series sweep hump


The Yankees found a way to sweep a three-game series — just make sure the other team does not score. Wednesday night marked the eighth time this season that the Yankees went into the finale of a three-game series after having won the first two games and the first time they completed a sweep.

They have had two sweeps of four games and one of two games this season, but it took me them until their 34th three-game series of the season to sweep an opponent, and not just any opponent but the team that came to town Monday night in first place in the American League East.

The Yankees cost the Blue Jays sole possession of the top spot earlier in the series as the Red Sox moved into a first-place tie. A possible Boston victory later Wednesday night at San Diego could have shoved Toronto into second place.

Meanwhile, up, up, up go the Yankees in the AL East standings and the wild card race. Should the Red Sox have also lost, the Yanks would have been only 3 1/2 games out of first place. As for the wild card scenario, the Orioles, Tigers and Astros all lost, so the Yankees trail Baltimore by 2 1/2 games, Detroit by 1 1/2 and Houston by 1/2. Tight, tight, tight.

The Yankees have won 10 of their past 14 games, 17 of their past 26 and are 29-21 since the All-Star break. Not bad for a club that dealt its three best players before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trading deadline and bid three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez farewell Aug. 12. The Yankees are 14-9 in the post-A-Rod era.

The vacancies have been filled by energetic pitchers and hitters up from the organization-wide success in the minor leagues. Two of the youth corps, Bryan Mitchell and Luis Severino, combined for eight scoreless innings in Wednesday night’s 2-0 victory.

The Yankees got both runs after two were out in the third off Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. Starlin Castro slammed his 20th home run of the season. Didi Gregorius doubled into the left field corner and scored following a walk to Mark Teixeira on a single by Brian McCann. Castro’s homer was hits 20th, a career high. He is the fourth Yankees second baseman with a 20-homer season. Robinson Cano did it five times, Hall of Famer Joe Gordon four and Alfonso Soriano two.

Mitchell probably would have broken camp with the Yankees in April, but a left toe tear kept him on the disabled list until last month when he worked his way back with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The righthander pitched one batter into the sixth and allowed four hits and two walks with two strikeouts before turning matters over to Severino.

Yankees officials still consider Severino a starter, but he has been far more effective as a reliever this year. The numbers do not lie. With three more scoreless, one-hit, one-walk, three-strikeout innings, Severino is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 14 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. As a starter, Severino was 0-8 with an 8.58 ERA in 43 innings.

Manager Joe Girardi’s plan was to have Severino available to support Mitchell (1-0), and it worked perfectly. Tyler Clippard worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his second save.

More AL East competition is coming up with the last-place Rays coming to Yankee Stadium for a four-game set starting Thursday night. And just when the Yanks were getting a hand of this three-game series stuff.

Hall to honor 11 Yanks legends among WWII vets

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will salute the ballplayers who served during World War II and honor the contributions of a modern baseball pioneer’s legacy with two special recognitions during the annual Awards Presentation at Hall of Fame Weekend Saturday, July 25, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The Hall will recognize all the players who served in World War II, with United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus speaking on behalf of all military branches as America marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. More than 500 major leaguers joined the military during World War II, including Hall of Famers such as Bob Feller, who enlisted in the Navy just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941; and Hank Greenberg, who re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 after being drafted and serving in the Army in 1941 before being honorably discharged Dec. 5, 1941.

Thirty-six Hall of Famers – more than 11 percent of all Hall of Fame members – served during World War II, including eight players with the Yankees: Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing and Enos Slaughter. Other Hall of Famers with Yankees connections who served during WWII were executives Larry MacPhail and Lee MacPhail and manager Bob Lemon.

The rest of the Hall of Fame roster of World War II veterans were Feller, Greenberg, Luke Appling, Al Barlick, Willard Brown, Nestor Chylak, Mickey Cochrane, Leon Day, Larry Doby, Bobby Doerr, Charlie Gehringer, Billy Herman, Monte Irvin, Ralph Kiner, Ted Lyons, Stan Musial, Pee Wee Reese, Robin Roberts, Jackie Robinson, Red Schoendienst, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Bill Veeck, Ted Williams and Early Wynn.

The Museum will also pay tribute to the legacy and contributions of former Reds, Cardinals and Senators outfielder Curt Flood, whose test of the reserve clause via the United States Supreme Court in 1970 laid the groundwork for the advent of free agency several years later. Major League Players Association executive director Tony Clark will speak on behalf of Flood’s challenge of the system and contributions to the Supreme Court case that led to free agency.

A three-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Flood petitioned the Court to allow him to choose his employer instead of being subject to a trade. Flood sat out the 1970 season. That year the Court ruled against Flood in a 5-to-3 decision. His efforts inspired pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to pick up the fight five years later when they challenged the reserve clause through the players’ right to binding arbitration in 1975. Flood passed away in 1997.

These two special recognitions will join the Museum’s annual presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Dick Enberg, the television voice of the Padres, will receive the Frick Award. Tom Gage, who covered the Tigers for the Detroit News for 36 seasons, has been selected the Spink Award winner by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Now in its fifth year, the Awards Presentation takes place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at historic Doubleday Field, the day before the 2015 Induction Ceremony.

Admission for the Awards Presentation is free. The one-hour ceremony precedes the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, featuring Hall of Fame members in a Main Street parade through Cooperstown.

The Class of 2015 at the Hall of Fame features Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and John Smoltz, who were all elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in January. More than 50 Hall of Famers are scheduled to be in Cooperstown to honor the Class of 2015 at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26, at the Clark Sports Center, which is one mile south of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

For more information on Hall of Fame Weekend, please visit

Yankees deep-6 number for Joe Torre

At the latest number retired in Monument Park (left to right) Joe Torre’s sisters, Sister Marguerite and Rae; his son, Michael; his daughters Andrea and Lauren; his wife, Ali; Joe; Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and his wife, Christina; and Yankees general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.

At the latest number retired in Monument Park (left to right) Joe Torre’s sisters, Sister Marguerite and Rae; his son, Michael; his daughters Andrea and Lauren; his wife, Ali; Joe; Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and his wife, Christina; and Yankees general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.

And then there was one, which is actually two.


The discussion is about uniform numbers. The Yankees retired No. 6 for Joe Torre Saturday. It occurred to the popular former manager that the shortstop he brought to the major leagues and nurtured through his early career has another distinction besides being the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played and hits.

Looking into the dugout where Derek Jeter was leaning against the railing from the top step, Torre said to the sellout crowd of 47,594 in the pregame ceremony, “There’s one single digit left out there.”

That would be Jeter’s No. 2, the only single digit not yet retired by the Yankees but definitely will be at some point, perhaps as early as next year following his retirement. Yogi Berra, one of the two No. 8’s retired (fellow catcher Bill Dickey is the other) took part in the ceremony, along with several former players, including two others who have had their uniform numbers retired, Reggie Jackson (44) and Ron Guidry (49).

Berra and Dickey are in that group of single-digit retired numbers that also features Billy Martin (1), Babe Ruth (3), Lou Gehrig (4), Joe DiMaggio (5), Mickey Mantle (7) and Roger Maris (9). So DJ now stands alone.

Torre, his wife Ali and other members of the family began the ceremony in Monument Park where he unveiled his number and plaque alongside Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal. They eventually made their way to the center of the field for the ceremony amid former players David Cone, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte; former coaches Guidry, Willie Randolph, Jose Cardenal and Lee Mazzilli; longtime managers Tony La Russa (who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year with Torre) and Jim Leyland; former trainer Gene Monahan and Jackson.

An especially nice touch was Jeter escorting Jean Zimmer from the dugout to the field. Known by her nickname, “Soot,” she is the widow of the late Don Zimmer, Joe’s longtime bench coach. There was also a touching video message from former Yankees pitcher and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who was unable to travel to the event.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who served for Torre both as a catcher and a bench coach, presented his old boss with a framed version of his Monument Park plaque. Hal Steinbrenner and his wife, Christina, presented a framed version of No. 6. Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal on behalf of the organization gave Torre a diamond ring with No. 6 embossed in the center.

Observing all this from the visitor’s dugout was another of Torre’s former players, White Sox manager Robinb Ventura.

“It feels like the World Series all over again,” Torre told the crowd. “To have a number retired for any team is something special, but when you’re talking about the history and tradition of the New York Yankees, it is a feeling you can’t describe. There wouldn’t have been a Cooperstown without Yankee Stadium. I want to thank Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and Brian Cashman and the woman behind the scenes, Debbie Tymon, who does so much for this organization. Arthur Richman mentioned my name to George, but it was Stick Michael who recommended me for the job.”

And what a job Torre did. The Yankees reached postseason play in all 12 of his managerial seasons and won six pennants and four World Series, including three in a row from 1998-2000.

Torre acknowledged his gratitude to the late owner George Steinbrenner for taking Gene Michael’s advice and hiring him despite a resume that included mediocre results as a manager with the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, the same three clubs for whom he had played during a 16-season career. The kid from Brooklyn who grew up a New York Giants fan clearly fell in love with the pinstripes.

“George gave me the greatest opportunity in my professional life,” Torre said, “I played in the majors for 16 years, but they could never match my 12 years in Yankees pinstripes. I will be forever grateful to the Steinbrenner family for trusting me with this team.

“One thing you never forget or lose feeling for are you people, all of you people, and it continues. I walk around and people thank me. They don’t realize what a good time i had. New York fans make this city a small town. When you get to this ballpark you feel the heartbeat, and it’s something that does not go away.

“It’s a short distance from the old Stadium to here but a long, long way from the field to Monument Park. I was blessed to make that journey on the shoulders of some very special players.”

In his previous managerial stops, Torre had worn No. 9, but he could not get that with the Yankees because it had been retired for Maris. Early in his playing career with the Braves, Torre wore No. 15 (his brother, Frank, had No. 14), but that was also not available with the Yankees since it was retired in honor of the late Thurman Munson.

Actually, Torre is one of four Hall of Famers who have worn No. 6 for the Yankees. Some fans may not know that Mickey Mantle wore No. 6 as a rookie in 1951 before switching to 7 the next year. Tony Lazzeri was the Yankees’ first No. 6, followed by his successor at second base, Joe Gordon.

Perhaps some karma was in the air because the Yankees second baseman Saturday, Martin Prado, was a huge factor in their 5-3 victory over the White Sox that was a fitting accompaniment to the afternoon.

Prado, who won Friday night’s game with a walk-off single in the ninth inning, had a part in four of the Yankees’ runs Saturday. His bunt single in the second helped build a run that subsequently scored on a double play. He drove in two runs in the fourth with the first of his two doubles in the game. He also doubled in the sixth and scored on a fly ball by Stephen Drew. Carlos Beltran drove in the other Yanks’ run in the sixth with his 15th home run.

Perhaps the only thing more appropriate would have been if the Yankees had scored six runs. What is definitely appropriate is that the number was retired for the person who wore it the longest, one more year than the player who had it for 11 seasons, Roy White (1969-79).

Now all that awaits is the day when Jeter, who got a rare day off Saturday, completes the single-digit retirement.

Starters making up for losses of CC and Andy

A sense of panic might have set in with the Yankees this week when CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte ended up on the disabled list on the same day. They represent the heart and soul of the rotation. Yankees manager Joe Girardi was quick to point out that the other three starting pitchers need not believe they have to do more than they are capable of to make up for the loss of the two lefthanders.

The skipper got exactly what he wanted from Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes in the series against the White Sox, which the Yankees split. The trio combined to go 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 22 1/3 innings during which they allowed 15 hits and five walks with 24 strikeouts. The bullpen blew Nova’s game Thursday night, and the White Sox hammered the Yanks Friday night only to have Kuroda Saturday and Hughes Sunday limit them to two runs over 15 innings.

Hughes overcame a shaky start when he gave up two first-inning runs to pitch through the eighth on an uncomfortably scorching afternoon. Then again, if a collection of former Yankees could play three innings in the Old Timers’ Game in Sunday’s sauna, then why not a 26-year-old?

“He made some mistakes with location early on,” Girardi said of Hughes. “But the more they go out there the more they make adjustments. That was what Hughes did for us. He has been going it for the past 10 or 12 starts.”

True enough. Hughes (9-6) won for the sixth time in his past eight starts and improved his record against American League Central clubs to 6-0 this season and 17-6 in his career. Over his past 11 starts, Hughes is 8-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 72 2/3 innings to lower his season ERA from 7.48 to 4.29. The Yankees have three pitchers with at least nine victories this year while the rest of the AL has five.

Two-run home runs by Eric Chavez in the second inning and Robinson Cano in the third off Gavin Floyd provided all the support Hughes would need. After a two-out double by Alex Rios in the third inning, Hughes retired 16 of the next 17 batters.

“The big adjustment,” he said, “was that I changed the angle of my breaking ball.”

Cano started July with the same firepower he had throughout June. Small wonder that he made the leap over the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler for the starting berth at second base for the AL in the All-Star Game along with teammates Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Sabathia. CC cannot play in the July 10 game at Kansas City but plans to attend as an observer.

Cano became the first Yankee second baseman to earn three consecutive fan-elected starts. He and Jeter are only the second pair of teammates up the middle to earn fan-elected starts three years in a row, joining the Reds’ Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion for the National League in 1975, ’76 and ’77.

Cano, who raised his average to a team-leading .310, has homered in nine of his past 14 games. His 17 home runs since May 18 are the most by any player over the stretch. Cano has 10 home runs in his past 18 home games. He has reached the 20-homer plateau for the fourth straight year, joining Hall of Famer Joe Gordon (1938-41) as the only Yankees second basemen to accomplish the feat.

Jeter, who was 1-for-5 Sunday and had his average fall below .300 (.299) for the first time since after the third game of the season April 8, became the third shortstop to be elected to start seven consecutive All-Star Games. The others were Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith (10 straight, 1983-92) and Cal Ripken Jr. (eight straight, 1989-96).

It marked the 13th time in Jeter’s career that the fans elected him to start in the All-Star Game. He is the fifth AL infielder to earn at least seven straight fan-elected start at one position, along with Ripken and three other Hall of Famers, first baseman Rod Carew (nine straight, 1976-84) and third basemen George Brett (11 straight, 1976-86) and Wade Boggs (10 straight, 1987-96).

Granderson will make his third All-Star Game appearance and is the first Yankees outfielder to make two straight fan-elected starts since Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield in 1987-88.

Yanks continue to coast out west

It is becoming clear by now that the Yankees hit rock bottom with that embarrassing, 6-0 loss to the Royals in the rain Monday night at Yankee Stadium following a series when they lost two of three games to the Reds. The Yankees’ failure with runners in scoring position was an issue that simply would not go away.

That sure seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it? The Yankees haven’t lost since, stringing together four victories for only the second time this year. The other time was the first week of the season when they swept a three-game set at Baltimore and won the home opener against the Angels.

Several hitters that Yankees fans were worried about have broken out during the winning streak, none more so than Mark Teixeira, who may finally be over the bronchial condition that lingered for a month and appeared to sap much of his strength. Tex wasn’t kidding when he told reporters earlier this week that he is going to start swinging for the fences. He has three home runs and seven RBI over the past four games while going 7-for-15 (.467) to get his batting average to a respectable .248 and out of the dreary .220s. Saturday’s 4-for-5 performance in the Yankees’ 9-2 victory over the Athletics included two homers and five RBI.

Robinson Cano didn’t sit around and gloat after becoming the third Yankees second baseman to reach the 150-homer plateau Friday night, joining Tony Lazzeri (169) and Joe Gordon (153), a couple of Hall of Famers. Nice company that, but Cano wasted no time getting to No. 151 with a solo shot leading off the second inning Saturday to begin the Yankees’ assault on ex-teammate Bartolo Colon. Cano has 5-for-15 (.333) with three homers and four RBI in the winning streak.

Alex Rodriguez, who contributed a sacrifice fly Saturday, has 5-for-16 (.313) with two homers, four RBI and two stolen bases over the past four games. Nick Swisher has also shown signs of working out of a May-long slump during the winning streak with 4-for-14 (.286), two doubles, one homer and two RBI.

The Yanks made it a long afternoon for Colon, who did such a splendid job for them last year, by knocking him around for six earned runs and nine hits in six innings. Two of the hits were by Derek Jeter, who tied George Brett for 14th place on the career list with 3,154. DJ is 30 hits shy of 13th place where sits one of his idols, Cal Ripken Jr. In fact, if the Captain can get another 130 hits this year, which is not out of the question, he might move into the all-time top 10 by passing Willie Mays (3,283). How rarified would that air be?

Saturday’s offensive explosion by the Yankees was more than enough support for CC Sabathia, who evened his career record against the A’s to 8-8. That was important to CC. He grew up in nearby Vallejo, Calif., where the local high school named its baseball facility after him this past off-season. Despite the reputation of Oakland’s Coliseum (I wish they’d stop changing the name of that place) as a pitcher’s yard, Sabathia has struggled there but with Saturday’s victory is within a game of .500 for his career there at 4-5.

CC has a reputation as well; that of a staff ace that can be counted on to end losing streaks and extending winning streaks. He was touched for a first-inning run on a two-out single by Jonny Gomes and a solo homer by Josh Reddick leading off the third. Sabathia allowed only two hits and a walk after that through the seventh and watched his teammates keep piling on.

The Coliseum poses few problems to most of the current Yankees. They have won eight in a row there, 12 of their past 13 games and 23 of 32 since the start of 2004. They might never want to leave.

Good & bad about All-Star selections

The good news is that the Yankees will have six players on the American League roster, four in the starting lineup, for the All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. The bad news is that several deserving players from the Yankees will not be making the trip next week to Arizona.

Let’s start with the positive. The Yankees will make up three-quarters of the AL starting infield for the third time in franchise history with second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter.

The only other time the Yankees had three infielders elected to the starting unit was for the 2004 game at Minute Maid Park in Houston with Rodriguez, Jeter and first baseman Jason Giambi.

The Yankees also had three starting infielders in 1980 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, but only one – shortstop Bucky Dent – had been elected by the fans. Graig Nettles started at third base as a replacement for injured George Brett of the Royals. The Brewers’ Paul Molitor was voted the starter at second base but had to be replaced due to injury as well. The Angels’ Bobby Grich was added to the roster, but the Yankees’ Willie Randolph started the game at the position.

This will mark the 10th time that the Yankees have had at least three infielders on the All-Star roster. First baseman Mark Teixeira’s failure to make the squad this year cost the Yankees the chance to have four infielders overall for the third time. The Yankees had four infield All-Stars in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee (Jeter, Giambi, 2B Alfonoso Soriano, 3B Robin Ventura) and in 1939 at Yankee Stadium (1B Lou Gehrig, 2B Joe Gordon, 3B Red Rolfe, SS Frankie Crosetti). Giambi and Soriano were starters in 2004 and Gordon in 1939.

Other years in which the Yankees had three All-Star infielders were 1950 at Comiskey Park in Chicago (1B Tommy Henrich, 2B Jerry Coleman, SS Phil Rizzuto), 1957 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (1B Moose Skowron, 2B Bobby Richardson, SS Gil McDougald), Game 1 in 1959 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (Skowron, Richardson, SS Tony Kubek), Game 2 in 1959 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles (Skowron, Kubek, McDougald) and 2006 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez).

Yankees catcher Russell Martin had led in the voting until the last week when he was passed by the Tigers’ Alex Avila. At least Martin made the team as an alternate. His handling of the Yanks’ pitching staff has been superb.

Mariano Rivera was an obvious choice for the staff despite his blown save Sunday, which ended a 26-save streak against National League clubs in inter-league play.

Now for the head-scratching stuff – why no Teixeira or CC Sabathia? And has anyone other than Yankees fans been paying attention to the season David Robertson is having?

Tex fell out of the balloting lead at first base last month behind the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez, an admitted Most Valuable Player Award candidate, but still ran a strong second in the voting. The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera cannot compare with Teixeira defensively and trails him in homers, 25-17, and RBI, 65-56, but his .328 batting average is 80 points higher than Tex’s.

Now, here’s the rub. Teixeira has been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby. Nice. He can’t be on the team but he can fly all the way to Phoenix and take part in an exercise that could ruin his swing. Ask Bobby Abreu or David Wright about that? Say no, Tex.

All Sabathia has done is lead the AL in victories with 11 and posted a 3.05 ERA. Oh, that’s right. Pitching victories do not count anymore. I guess that’s why there was room for Felix Hernandez on the staff. The word is that CC pitching Sunday before the Tuesday night All-Star Game hurt his chances of making the team. Dumb reason.

To his credit, AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers said nice things about Robertson when Texas was in town and that he was given him strong consideration. With so many other Yankees on the team, Robertson didn’t stand much of a chance, particularly since every team needs to be represented. When you see the Royals’ Aaron Crow in the pre-game announcements, think of Robertson. Crow, also a set-up reliever, is Kansas City’ lone representative.

It is a tough break for Robertson, but he is no more deserving than Sabathia, so it is hard to say he was snubbed. A lot of people don’t like the baseball rule about All-Star Games having to have players from each team, but I think it is a good thing. The 2012 game is supposed to be in Kansas City. It would be a shame if someone from the Royals was not on the team.

Each club no matter where it is in the standings has someone who deserves All-Star recognition. That the Yankees have so many is a testament to the terrific season the team is having.

Series rematch? Not quite

No Hideki Matsui. No Johnny Damon. No Cliff Lee. No Pedro Martinez. No Jimmy Rollins.

You couldn’t write an account of the 2009 World Series without mentioning all of those guys prominently. So what’s all this stuff about the inter-league series between the Yankees and the Phillies at the Stadium the next three nights being a World Series rematch? The Phillies aren’t even in first place in the National League East while the Yankees are tied with the Rays for first in the American League East.

Rollins is still with the Phillies but is on the disabled list due to a strained right calf and won’t play in the series. Matsui, Damon and Lee are all wearing different uniforms, and Martinez is probably waiting to get one of those mid-season calls like he did last year from Philadelphia.

There is a sense of dj vu with the Yankees because their starting pitchers for the series are CC Sabathia Tuesday night, A.J. Burnett Wednesday night and Andy Pettitte Thursday night, the three starters they used exclusively throughout last year’s post-season. The Yanks’ lineup Tuesday night will not include Alex Rodriguez, who had a home run and six RBI in the World Series as part of a 2009 post-season in which he batted .365 with six homers and 18 RBI in 15 games. A-Rod has tendinitis in his right hip flexor. He is available as a pinch hitter Tuesday night and may return to third base Wednesday night.

Replacing Rodriguez in the cleanup spot has been Robinson Cano, who hit his 100th career home run Sunday against the Astros. Robbie is only the third second baseman in club history to reach that plateau. The others (minimum 50 percent of games played at the position) are Hall of Famers Tony Lazzeri (169) and Joe Gordon (153).

The Phils and Yanks also have the top two pitching tandems with the most combined career pitching victories. The Phillies’ Roy Halladay and Jamie Moyer have 420; the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez are next with 383. Pettitte and Moyer will oppose each other in the series finale Thursday night.

There was talk last week that a Phillies rainout made it possible for Halladay, 18-6 in his career against the Yankees, to pitch in this series. Not so. While it is true that last Wednesday night’s rainout at Citizens Bank Park against the Marlins pushed “Doc” back to Thursday, he would have started Tuesday night against the Yankees anyway because Monday was an open date for the Phillies.