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:
Derek Jeter SS
Martin Prado 2B
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.