<
>

Game 70: Phillies (24-47) @ Yankees (38-31)

NEW YORK -- What appears, on paper anyway, to be a soft spot in the New York Yankees schedule begins tonight when they open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, by the numbers the worst team in baseball, at Yankee Stadium.

But there are no gimmes for this Yankees team -- remember the two games in Miami last week? -- and there are interesting sidelights to the next three games, beginning with a look at Michael Pineda (8-3. 3.54) tonight. Pineda pitched excellently against the Marlins here last Wednesday (6 2/3 IP, just one hit, a solo home run, in a 2-1 Yankees victory) but he had lost three of his previous five starts and had an ERA of 5.40 in that stretch.

Also, no Mark Teixeira tonight; the Yankees home run and RBI leader (18 and 49) is out with a persistent stiff neck, an injury that forced him to leave a game early last Tuesday and kept him on the bench Wednesday. In Teixeira's place, Garrett Jones will play first base.

Here's the lineup:

Brett Gardner CF

Chase Headley 3B

Alex Rodriguez DH

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran RF

Jones 1B

Didi Gregorius SS

Chris Young LF

Stephen Drew 2B

Pineda RHP

Pineda won his only career start against the Phillies, allowing one run on two hits over six innings on June 17, 2011 while a rookie with the Seattle Mariners. ... Phillies starter RHP Kevin Correia (0-1, 1.69) has faced the Yankees twice (one start), allowing one run and nine hits over a total of 6 2/3 innings, but has never gotten a decision against them. Stephen Drew (16-for-56, .286) and Chris Young (12-for-46, four HRs, .261) have the most experience facing him.