TORONTO -- The Yankees are coming off a disastrous road trip, and as they return to the Bronx for a 10-game homestand, they are staring into the abyss of an October without baseball.
And unless something changes over the next couple of days, their starting second baseman on Friday night will be Mark Reynolds.
In and of itself, this isn't terrible. Reynolds played well at second in Wednesday night's 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays, and had more hits -- three -- than the rest of the Yankees combined.
But it also means that Robinson Cano isn't quite ready -- his left hand was still swollen and sore in the Yankees clubhouse after the game, and he said he will not know until after batting practice on Friday afternoon whether he will be able to play that night -- and it means that the Yankees got bad news out of the MRI tube Eduardo Nunez will be riding in Thursday morning.
Nunez was laughing before the game when some of teammates put a wheelchair in front of his locker and Vernon Wells and Joba Chamberlain laid a chalk outline of his body on the infield where he fell after catching a spike in the artificial turf in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's win.
But Nunez was not laughing after the game. He was originally in the starting lineup, but was scratched when he found he still could not run on the right knee that had buckled under him. Now, after three hours of treatment, it was still sore, stiff and unstable, and he was admittedly worried about what Thursday's test would reveal.
Asked what he thought it was, Nunez said, "Something bad. I may have to miss a couple, two weeks. There's only five weeks and the season's over. If I miss two or three more weeks, that would be almost the whole year."
Nunez placed the soreness as alongside the inner and outer edges of his knee.
"He just couldn’t run full speed, and he felt compromised that his knee was not stable, so I scratched him," Joe Girardi said. "Now we'll have to wait and see what the MRI says."
-- The passed ball that cost the Yankees two runs in the first inning was the result, Chris Stewart said, of Hiroki Kuroda throwing a fastball after Stewart had called for a slider. "I expected it to break down and away, but it kept straight and hit off my glove," said Stewart, who has eight passed balls this season. "I tried to force the issue after that, I probably should have just eaten the ball, and gone on to the next hitter. Unfortunately I hit him in the back and two runs come around to score. It’s a big blow, especially the way Hiro’s been throwing. He hasn’t been really catching the breaks, and for me to do something like that and add on to the misery, it sucks."
-- Girardi said he had "no problem" with third base coach Rob Thomson sending Alex Rodriguez home on Reynolds' fourth-inning RBI double, resulting in A-Rod getting thrown out easily at the plate and shortening what could have been a big inning. "Well, it didn't help us, that's for sure," Girardi said. "But it's a read and unfortunately it didn't work out."