The Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 p.m. in the final game of their three game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have allowed an alarmingly high 22 runs in the first two games. Their starters, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, have combined to allow 14 runs in the previous two games, which is not a recipe for success.
Ivan Nova will make his first start of the season after missing the first two months of this campaign and the last five months of last season due to Tommy John surgery. He had a 4.02 ERA in three minor-league rehab starts but is feeling healthy and ready to rejoin the rotation. In 2013, Nova pitched much better than he did during his four starts in April of last season as he pitched in 23 games, including 20 starts, and had 3.10 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 44 walks in 139.1 innings.
Nova has been really looking forward to his return to the big league rotation. “This is like another dream,” the 28-year-old Nova said, comparing Wednesday’s start to his major league debut in 2010. “I can’t describe what is going through my mind.” His curveball (80mph) is has one of the best in the American League and his 93mph sinker is also effective.
Mark Teixeira, who missed the previous two games due to a sore neck, is back in the lineup today batting cleanup. He adds another power hitter that the Yankees missed the previous two games. Teixeira’s 18 homers are tied for fourth in the American League and his 49 RBIs are also fourth in the AL.
Jose Pirela is playing second base once again because Stephen Drew is on the paternity list. Brendan Ryan, who had only played in six games this season, was put on the 15-day DL with a right thoracic strain to make room on the roster for Nova.
The Yankees need to win this game to avoid being swept by the Phillies, who have the worst record in all of baseball. Nova and the relief pitchers will have to contain Maikel Franco because he has driven in 10 runs in the last two games and has a .519 average in the last seven days. This is the lineup for today’s game:
Brett Gardner CF
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chris Young LF
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS
Jose Pirela 2B