NEW YORK -- It is raining in the Bronx, the infield is covered at Yankee Stadium, and the forecast calls for a chance of showers through 9 p.m. ET tonight.
Still, the New York Yankees and the league will try their hardest to play tonight's game against the Oakland A's, because neither team wants to play a doubleheader tomorrow on getaway day.
Assuming we will play at some time tonight, the Yankees will send CC Sabathia out in Game 2 of this three-game series hoping that the nine-day layoff between starts will rejuvenate the 34-year-old Sabathia after a rocky beginning to the season.
Sabathia has won just once in the past two months, a good six-inning, two-run outing against the L.A. Angels at Yankee Stadium on June 7. Over his last eight starts, Sabathia is 1-3 with a 6.70 ERA; overall, he is 3-8 with a 5.59.
And he has not been historically great against Oakland; 8-1, 4.75 in 28 career starts, but 5-4, 3.50 since becoming a Yankee in 2009. On May 28, he took the loss in a game at O.Co Coliseum, allowing five earned runs on eight hits, two of them home runs, in six innings.
On a brighter note, Jacoby Ellsbury was reinstated after a seven-week stint n the DL with a right knee sprain, and is back where he belongs, in center field and at the top of the Yankees lineup, and so is Andrew Miller, who is back after missing a month with a forearm strain and will be the closer tonight.
Here's the Yankees lineup vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (5-5, 2.56)
Chris Young RF
Jose Pirela 2B
Girardi said Chase Headley is "a little sore" from an "upper calf injury," but did not know which calf Headley had injured or precisely when it had happened. Headley was not in the pregame clubhouse so no further information was immediately available. ... No explanation given for Brian McCann's absence from the lineup, despite his 1-for-3 career numbers against Kazmir as opposed to Murphy's 0-for-4. ... Many of the Yankees appeared in the clubhouse wearing bald head caps with #VoteGardy written on them in support of Brett Gardner's bid to become the final player on the AL All-Star roster. ... Girardi said Brendan Ryan (upper back strain) was "closer" to beginning a rehab assignment and that Slade Heathcott (on the 60-day DL with a quad strain) was "progressing." The news was not as good on OF Mason Williams (right shoulder inflammation), who Girardi said "is probably not progressing as well as we thought he would." Asked if surgery might be in Williams' future, Girardi said, “No, no, no. Not yet. His throwing, he was a little sore from throwing, so we’re taking a few days off and will get back to it." ... No roster moves were immediately announced to clear space on the 25 for Ellsbury and Miller, but the likelihood is OF Ramon Flores and one of the relief pitchers, either Nick Rumbelow, or less likely, Bryan Mitchell, will be sent down before the game.