As expected, Mark Teixeira has been removed from the playoff roster after suffering a strained hamstring in Game 4 of the ALCS, Joe Girardi said on Wednesday morning.
Lance Berkman will replace Teixeira at first base for Game 5 of the ALCS.
Girardi chose Berkman at first over Nick Swisher because Swisher had only played first base a few times this season in emergency situations.
Berkman played first base for 12 seasons with the Astros before the July 31 trade that sent him to the Yankees.
“I feel good about Berky the way he’s been swinging the bat,” Girardi said.
Berkman had platooned at DH with Marcus Thames throughout the playoffs, with Thames facing left-handers. Teixeira's injury means Berkman will face lefty C.J. Wilson in Game 5. Berkman has hit left-handers well this season, batting just .171 in 82 at-bats.
"He's swung the bat good this series," Girardi said of Berkman. "I feel good about Berky the way he's swinging the bat."
Girardi was asked if he considered played reserve outfielder Austin Kearns in Game 5. The Yankees manager said he chose to stick with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in the outfield, because he liked how both outfielders hit against Wilson. Both Granderson and Gardner went 1-for-3 against Wilson in Game 1.
Robinson Cano will hit third today and designated hitter Marcus Thames will bat fifth.
As expected, Eduardo Nunez has been added to the playoff roster, taking the place of the injured Teixeira, who will miss the rest of the postseason with a grade two strain of his hamstring.
He suffered the injury while running to first in the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 10-3 Game 4 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night. Teixeira said he was told the injury would take six to eight weeks to heal.
MOSTLY EMPTY CLUBHOUSE IS ‘UPBEAT’:Girardi was asked about the mood in his clubhouse on Wednesday morning. The manager reported that there weren’t many players in the clubhouse, but the clubhouse, nonetheless, was “upbeat” prior to Game 5.
“That comes with experience and understanding what you have to do,” Girardi said. “… Our guys love to have fun and they love to play hard and they love the competition, and they are business as usual.”
Only 11 teams in major-league history have come back from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series. And just five have won the final two games on the road.
ALL HANDS ON DECK IN THE ‘PEN: Girardi said that Mariano Rivera and Kerry Wood would be pitching “more than you would normally stretch them” in Game 5 if the situation presented itself.