Game 17: Yankees @ Angels

7:37: Live from the post-game clubhouse: Nick Johnson has got to be the only athlete in history who has gone into a whirlpool to feel better only to come out feeling worse. According to Joe Girardi, Johnson's lower back condition was downgraded from "stiffness'' to "soreness'' over the course of the game, during which he spent some time soaking in a hot tub to get loose,

"I think Nick didn't completely tell us how sore he was,'' Girardi said. "You know, backs are funny. Backs can hurt one day and be gone the next day.''

Johnson, who has made some nine trips to the disabled list over the course of his career, said this probem was not related to the back pain that troubled him in spring training. ""It's lower, all the way down, close to my rear,'' he said. "Like real close. I got some pills, feel a lot better right now.''

Johnson, who took some early batting practice before Friday night's game, said he felt this pain while taking swings during regular BP. "Just a little something,'' he said, Girardi said Johnson might be available to play again on Tuesday in Baltimore.

More coming soon on Andy Pettitte's latest brilliant outing and Brett Gardner's big day.

6:58: Time of game a neat 2:47, Pettitte now 3-0, 1.25 ERA, Yanks snap abbreviated losing streak, 7-1

6:57: In a season with two near-no-hitters, Pettitte, remarkably, has been the Yankees best overall starter

6:49: Cano dumps his fourth hit of the day into left, and if not for quick-handed snag on comebacker by Scot Shields in seventh, might well be 5-for-5

6:46: Diminishing Angels crowd barely has the heart to boo Teixeira as he leads off the ninth

6:44: Pettitte's through eight innings, one run, six hits, 8 ks and get this -- no walks

6:39: Pettitte's curveball is filthy today, gets Napoli looking for no. 8

6:37: Correction. Pettitte at 95 pitches to start the eighth

6:22: Pettitte through seven on 92 pitches, will work into the eighth inning for the second consecutive start. Not bad for a soon-to-be 38-year-old

6:21: Seven Ks for Pettitte now, gets Rivera looking at a sloooow curve

6:18: Yankees retire Morales for the first time in seven plate appearances on hot one-hopper to Jeter.

6:10: Teixeira adds to his stature as the most hated Yankee in Anaheim -- not an easy accomplishment on a team with Alex Rodriguez -- by singling home Gardner with the Yankees' seventh run of the game

6:02: And the Angels get a run on Hunter's sac fly to right. 6-1 Yankees

6:01: Abreu's long fly out to rightfield corner, moving Aybar to third, is the second

6:00: Aybar's leadoff double down 3B line is first hard hit ball off Pettitte since the third inning

5:55: Yanks down in order in the sixth, but this one has the feel of a fight that should be stopped in the corner

5:48: Pettitte getting stronger as the game goes on, strikes out the side in the fifth

5:40: announcement from Angels clubhouse -- x-rays of Bobby Wilson's ankle, injured in collision with Teixeira on Friday, "inconclusive'' due to swelling. Will be re-evaluated with MRI on Monday

5:39: Swisher singles up the middle, 6-0 Yankees. That's 11 hits now off Pinata, er, Pineiro

5:37: now, a passed ball sends Cano to 3d

5:35: Pineiro's not even close to the same pitcher he was 10 days ago, wild pitches Cano to second

5:33: Cano stings a hanging curve for his third hit of the game, drives in Gardner, 5-0 Yankees

5:29: "Slappy'' Gardner slaps a triple to right one pitch after being dusted by Pineiro leading off the fifth

5:24: Kendry Morales singles for the second time in the game, now 5-for-5 with a game-winning home run in these two games so far

5:19: Jeter singles to drive in Granderson, Cervelli erased trying to go to third, 4-0 Yankees through 3-1/2

5:16: Backup catcher comes through with sharp single under the glove of 3B Wood, two RBI, 3-0 Yankees

5:15: Pena punched out on check swing at curveball. All up to Cervelli

5:13: Angels walk Granderson to load the bases for Pena

5:12: Swish good sac bunt to advance the runners. Pay attention, Brett Gardner

5:11: Cano singles and it's first and second with none out

5:09: A-Rod's single leading off the fourth is the fifth Yankee hit off Pineiro

5:06: Pettitte comes up with a big pitch -- fastball on the inside corner -- to catch Hunter looking and escape without a run

5:02: Now Abreu singles hard to left. Four hard hit balls this innning, three hits, one huge baserunning mistake keeping Angels off the board.

5:01: Pettitte getting knocked around in the third, lucky Aybar's liner was flagged down by Cano

4:53: Mike Napoli rounded second like he thought Johnny Damon was still playing left for the Yankees. Gardner easily threw him out after Wood's single. Serious baserunning blunder for Angels

4:47: With Jeter's third-inning single, their fourth hit of the game, Yankees are one hit shy of their entire output against Pineiro 10 days ago in the Bronx

4:41: A guy in the crowd just shouted, "You're lucky, ARod,'' apparently unaware Pena is playing third today. Poor A-Rod. Even when he's on the bench, he's getting blamed for something

4:39: El Nino, Ramiro Pena, with a diving grab of Juan Rivera liner in the hole. Yankee infield looks sharp today

4:37: Jumping Jack Jeter makes another sparkler at short to erase matsui, who singled, as lead runner. angels have runner at first, one out in the second

4:30: Yankees "new approach'' to Pineiro paying off -- four balls hit in the air so far, including Swisher's RBI double in R-C gap. 1-0 Yankees middle 2d.

4:20: Strong first inning for Pettitte helped by patented Jeter slide-and-peg to nail Hunter on inning-ending groundout

4:13: Boos for Teixiera's firsr at-bat no louder than they were before last nights takeout of Angels' catcher Bobby Wilson. Cheers quite loud for perfect 3-6-3 double play ball to end the first.

Lineup Shuffle: Manager Joe Girardi sent out an unusual, to say the least, lineup for Saturday afternoon's game against the Angels. Despite breaking an 0-for21 slump with single Friday night, Nick Johnson did not play and was replaced at designated hitter by Alex Rodriguez, his first DH day of the season. Girardi said Johnson reported some stiffness in his lower back after taking extra batting practice on Friday. "A little stiff can become a lot of stiff,'' Girardi said. "Let's keep it a little stiff.'' . . . Ramiro Pena replaces A-Rod at 3B, his first start there this season, and Jorge Posada gets his cutomary day game off after a night game. Francisco Cervelli fills in at catcher . . . the discussion of Mark Teixeira's bowling over of Angels' catcher Bobby Wilson continued in both clubhouses before the game. Teixeira said he made two attempts to call Wilson in the Angels clubhouse last night but was unable to reach him. "I've sent over like five messages with people to let him know how sorry I am that he got hurt,'' Teixeira said . . . asked before the game by the YES Network's Kim Jones if Teixeira should have helped Wilson up after the collision, Girardi scoffed, "This isn't a family reunion softball game. I don't ever remember anyone helping me up.'' Girardi went on to document his own history of being flattened in home plate collisions, including one in which John Kruk's helmet came through the bars of his mask and broke his nose. "It was kind funyy because my nose was broken and all this blood was spurting out,'' Girardi said. "And the trainer said to me, 'How long you gonna milk this?' The game was different back then.'' . . . Girardi said the Yankees would try to adopt a different approach against Angels' starter Joel Pineiro, whose heavy sinker held the Yankees to five hits and one run in seven innings on April 14 at Yankee Stadium. "You gotta be patient with him,'' Girardi said. "If it's at the knees when it starts, it's not gonna be a strike and you gotta lay off. That's easier said than done when it's coming in at 90 MPH and it's sharp and late, but there's no other way to deal with him.''

Today's lineups:

Here are the lineups for today's Yankees-Angels game, first pitch scheduled for 4:10 p.m.


Jeter SS

Gardner LF

Teixeira 1B

Rodriguez DH

Cano 2B

Swisher RF

Granderson CF

Pena 3B

Cervelli C

Pettitte LHP


Aybar SS

Abreu RF

Hunter CF

Matsui DH

Morales 1B

Rivera LF

Kendrick 2B

Napoli C

Wood 3B