Game 125: Yanks (63-61) vs. Astros (54-73)

August, 21, 2014
NEW YORK -- If anyone had told you before the season that on Aug. 21, the Yankees would be closer to getting swept by the lowly Houston Astros than to a playoff spot, you probably would not have believed it.

And yet, 125 games into the season, here we are. To bolster their short bench, the Yankees recalled Zelous Wheeler from Triple-A Scranton, and he is today's DH. Chase Whitley was sent down to make room.

Here's the lineup that will try to avert the ignominy of a sweep by the Astros and their left-handed starting pitcher, Dallas Keuchel:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Wheeler DH

Brandon McCarthy RHP

NOTES: Brian McCann gets the day game after a night game off, and also because Keuchel is a lefty. ... Joe Girardi said the "uncertainty" about Carlos Beltran's condition made the decision to call up Wheeler a necessity. Beltran had a third cortisone shot in his aching right elbow yesterday, and Girardi said the Yankees should know by Saturday whether it had any effect. ... MacCarthy has faced the Astros five times in his career (three starts) and has a 2-2 record and 2.63 ERA against them. None of the current Astros has a huge sample against him, but Chris Carter, who killed the Yankees with a monster home run Tuesday, is 2-for-3 against McCarthy, and both hits are home runs. ... Keuchel has never faced the Yankees, but has faced three of their hitters, Beltran, Ellsbury and Headley, who is 2-for-3 against him with a home run.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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Jacoby Ellsbury
.271 16 70 71
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146