Yanks hobble into Subway Series

The Yankees came off a 3-3 trip to Anaheim and Milwaukee, during which they lost yet another starting pitcher to injury, for a week’s load of games in New York that begins with the home-and-away Subway Series in its 18th season.

For the second straight year, the series will be played in consecutive two-game sets Monday and Tuesday nights at Yankee Stadium and Wednesday and Thursday nights at Citi Field. The format did not work out so well for the Yankees last year as the Mets won all four games.

The Yankees have had the upper hand for the most part throughout the Subway Series, however, including the one that counted most, the 2000 World Series, which they won in five games over the Mets. The Yanks’ overall record against the Mets in regular-season play is 54-40, including 29-18 at Yankee Stadium (9-5 in the current Stadium). The Yankees have a 25-22 record in Queens (8-6 at Citi Field, 17-16 at Shea Stadium).

This week’s all-New York matchup marks the final one for a player who has been at the center of it from the beginning, Derek Jeter. The Captain is a .368 career hitter against the Mets with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in regular-season play. He was also the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 World Series in which he batted .409 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and two RBI in 22 at-bats.

Hiroki Kuroda was paired against former teammate Bartolo Colon in Monday night’s opener. The Yanks will have Vidal Nuno Tuesday night and Masahiro Tanaka Wednesday night as starters. No decision has yet been made about the Yankees’ starter Thursday night, which was to have been CC Sabathia before he was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to fluid buildup in his right knee. Alfredo Aceves could be in line as the Thursday night starter but only if he is not needed out of the bullpen in the first three games of the series.

With Sabathia’s disabling, the Yankees have lost 60 percent of their Opening Day rotation to injuries. Ivan Nova is gone for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Michael Pineda is still probably a month away while recovering from a right shoulder ailment.

“Our surplus is not a surplus anymore,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the rotation situation. “We have to fight our way through it.”

The Yankees were also without Mark Teixeira Monday night. Tex complained of what he called “cement legs,” but Girardi indicated that the first baseman has been bothered by a tweaky groin. Kelly Johnson started in Tex’s place.

Yogi Berra on his 89th birthday made an appearance at the Stadium and had a chat with Teixeira in the clubhouse runway before the game. Yogi was unaware of Tex’s groin situation and said, “You better stay healthy.”

Tuesday, the Stadium will be the first stop of a special tour by the National Baseball Hall of Fame showcasing Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame plaque. Following a pregame ceremony with the plaque and members of the Hall of Fame, the plaque will be on display in the Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America during that nights game from approximately 7:30 p.m. through the end of the eighth inning.

The Yankees will return to the Stadium Friday night to start another inter-league series against the Pirates that will continue at 4:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday’s game will be a Youth Game. All fans 14 and younger, when accompanied by an adult (18 and older), are eligible for half-price tickets in designated seating locations. Tickets may be purchased only the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.

Also on Saturday, the Yankees will host honorary bat girl Elizabeth Tague. A lifetime Yankees fan and native of Roselle Park, N.J., Tague was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2011. After undergoing surgery, 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation, she returned to work as a sixth-grade teacher in January 2012, just eight months after her initial diagnosis. Tague will watch batting practice, take part in a pregame ceremony at the plate and bring the lineup card out to the umpires prior to the game.

The stretch of home games this week will also feature the following promotional items and dates:

Friday, May 16 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m.

Yankees Reusable Tote Night, presented by MLB Network, to all Guests.

Saturday, May 17 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 4:05 p.m.

Yankees Keychain Day, presented by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, to first 18,000 guests.

Sunday, May 18 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 1:05 p.m.

Yankees Drawstring Backpack Day, presented by Kumon, to first 18,000 guests, 14 and younger.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at (877) 469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327 and at all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for Yankees fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call (212) YANKEES [926-5337] or email tickets@yankees.com.

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