Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yankees vs. Rays-Jeters Quest for 3000

The New York Yankees will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first of four games tonight at the Stadium.  Derek Jeter enters the game three hits away from 3000.  The Yankees are ready for him to do it at home, the quicker the better.  If he does it, it will be a huge thing and I am sure there will be a celebration but they can't delay the game for too long.  I am sure the Yankees will honor him further at some point in the season when they have a chance to figure out how to do it.  He of course will want to just focus on the team winning but it is hard to ignore that he will be the first Yankee to ever accomplish this and the 28th player of all-time. 

The Yankees are currently in first place in the AL East by half a game over the Boston Red Sox.  The Tampa Bay Rays are four games behind the Yankees so this is a big series.  The Yankees can really put some distance between them and the Rays and the Rays can make some noise and make this a three team race.  Here are some notes and the lineup.

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Russell  Martin, Brett Gardner. 

Bartolo Colon will make the start against Jeff Niemann.  Jeter is 5-9 against him with two doubles a walk and a strikeout.  Niemann has had a tough year.  He has been hurt with a lower back strain and only made nine starts this year. 

Hughes last night didn't pitch great but he didn't pitch poorly either.  The Yankees think he has room to improve but that it was his location that was the problem not his stuff.  Hughes will continue to pitch and see if he can get better.  If he does and no one else gets hurt then the Yankees will be in good shape.  Ivan Nova starts in Scranton tonight and is essentially the sixth starter but working in AAA.  If someone gets hurt or Hughes doesn't improve he will be back up and put back in the rotation. 

The Yankees fans will be showering Jeter with love tonight and these next four games.  The All Star Break is after these four games so now is the time to get to 3000.  It should be a great atmosphere for these games and besides it is a division rival where there is something at stake.  I expect this to be a lot of fun and look forward to seeing how they celebrate hit 3000. 

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