Monday, September 24, 2012
Pregame notes: Mystery Pitchers & more
By Wallace Matthews
• Derek Jeter is back to playing shortstop for just the fourth time in the 12 games since he aggravated the bone bruise in his left ankle trying to beat out a double play ball on Sept. 12 against the Red Sox. Although Joe Girardi tried to downplay the effect of Eduardo Nunez's erratic play at shortstop as a factor in his decision --"I don’t think we ever really worry about when the other guys are out there," he said -- the manager admitted, "There's something to having (Jeter) out there, for sure."
Girardi said he was concerned for Jeter more running the bases than playing the field. "I cringe every time he hits a ball in the hole," Girardi said. "You know, you hope the guy doesn’t get to it because it’s that one time the guy’s going to kill himself (trying to get to first base)."
Girardi said he has spoken to Jeter about controlling how he runs to first, but admitted, "It's really hard for him. I remind him every day."
• In his second start after missing 11 weeks with a fractured left ankle, the Yankees are hoping to get 85-90 pitches out of Andy Pettitte tonight. Girardi said he expected Pettitte to be up to the task, but just in case, he has a relatively full bullpen tonight, although he did want to check on his left-handers, Boone Logan and Clay Rapada, both of whom pitched yesterday. In Pettitte's favor? He's 9-0 with a 2.74 ERA in his past 11 starts vs. the Twins, regular season and postseason, and hasn't lost to them since May 2001.
• Neither Liam Hendriks, tonight's Minnesota starter, nor Samuel Deduno, who goes in Wednesday afternoon's finale, has a very imposing record. Hendriks is 1-7 with a 5.88 ERA and Deduno is 6-5, 4.54. But the Yankees have never faced either of them, which sometimes gives them a problem. According to Elias, the Yankees are 29-14 over the past two seasons against starters they were seeing for the first time, but only 12-9 this season.