Tex in lineup; Grandy leads off; Martin catches CC
After convincing manager Joe Girardi with a good batting practice session that his left wrist was sufficiently healed, Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankees’ lineup Friday night after missing two games. Girardi inserted the switch-hitting first baseman into the cleanup spot.
The surprise in the batting order was that Curtis Granderson was batting leadoff and Derek Jeter second, instead of the other way around, which has been the case most of the season. Girardi made the move to try and separate his left-handed hitters somewhat. Since Alex Rodriguez went on the disabled list because of a broken bone in his left hand, the Yankees’ lineup has become much more left-handed.
Batters three through eight in Friday night’s lineup were all left-handed, including Teixeira and Nick Swisher, switch hitters who batted from the left side against Seattle starter Kevin Millwood, a righthander.
This marked the fourth time this season that Granderson has led off for the Yankees but the first time he did so with Jeter in the starting lineup. Granderson also batted first May 16 at Toronto, June 27 at Yankee Stadium against the Indians and July 22 at Oakland. In those games, he batted .154 with three runs, two walks, one home run, one RBI and a .267 on-base average in 15 plate appearances.
Another wrinkle in the Yankees’ lineup was the appearance of Russell Martin behind the plate in a game started by CC Sabathia. Martin was catching the staff ace for the first time since April 11. Martin caught CC in his first two starts. The lefthander had a 6.75 ERA in those games. In the 16 starts in which backup catcher Chris Stewart handled Sabathia, CC was 10-3 with a 3.24 ERA.
“I knew I had to do it sooner or later,” Girardi said, “and felt like this was the night to do it.”