DETROIT -- Brett Gardner reported improvement in his right ankle Tuesday night, but by the time he got to the ballpark Joe Girardi had already made the decision not to start him in the opener of the pivotal three-game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Girardi said he was concerned that Gardner had still not run on the injury -- he fouled a ball off the ankle on Saturday -- and decided to give him one more day regardless of how his pregame workout went. When a rainstorm washed out batting practice and any on-field activities, it just cemented in Girardi's mind the belief that his left fielder, who had appeared in 124 of the team's first 128 games, was not quite ready to return.
New York Yankees
"Gardy’s pretty tough, and Gardy’s played through a lot, which made me believe that it’s probably not 100 percent, which it might not be for a while," Girardi said. "This extra day will probably do us some good. My concern is that he favors it, or that he gets out there and he can’t run, and then I’ve got to make a change. It can just really mess things up.”
Girardi said it was possible Gardner could be available to pinch-hit sometime tonight.
Tex back, but will be watched: Mark Teixeira sat out Monday's game with a sore hamstring, but he's back in the lineup tonight, although Girardi said he will be keeping an eye on the oft-injured first baseman the rest of the way.
"I think you’re always going to watch it a little bit," said Girardi of Teixeira, who has missed 33 games this season with various ailments. "I think the day off probably helped, and we just tell him to play smart. I mean, he did play smart the couple of days that he had it, so he’'s just going to have to continue to do that.”
Tanaka back on the hill: Masahiro Tanaka was scheduled to throw a bullpen today, although with the rain that throwing session was likely moved indoors. In any event, assuming he comes out of it OK, Tanaka is scheduled to throw a simulated game on the field at Comerica before Thursday afternoon's series finale. The Yankees are still hopeful that Tanaka, who suffered a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in July, will be able to make a few starts in late September.
McCarthy on a roll: Aside from his strong showing in seven of the eight starts he has made as a Yankee, Brandon McCarthy, tonight's starter, has been quite effective against the Tigers lately, having won his last three starts against them after going 0-3 in his first seven. Most recently, McCarthy beat defending AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer on august 4 at Yankee Stadium, turning in 5 2/3 innings of five-hit, one-run (no earned runs) ball in a 2-1 Yankees victory. Overall, he is 4-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 17 career appearances against Detroit.
Rick rolled: Rick Porcello, tonight's Tigers starter, pitched a whale of a ballgame on August 7 at Yankee Stadium, allowing just one run on nine hits over seven innings. But Porcello ran into a gem by Shane Greene, who threw a complete game shutout in the Yankees 1-0 victory. Porcello is 3-3 with a 4.18 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees.