NEW YORK - We’ve got a 2:05 p.m. starting time today because it’s Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees’ infield will occupy the middle of the lineup.
(I kid, I kid.)
The guest list includes outfielder Jesse Barfield. Because, when I think of Yankee legends, I immediately think of Jesse Barfield.
It won’t include Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who declined an invitation to participate. Don’t think he wanted to put on the pinstripes and wave to the crowd.
Not unless he could choose which finger.
(Again, I kid.)
I’ll have the joy of asking Bud Norris about his groin. One of the perks of being a sportswriter. And Monday? Another question about his groin.
Remember when the Orioles had a six-man rotation?
Chris Tillman is making his 10th road start today. He’s 5-0 with a 6.33 ERA over 48 1/3 innings.
A 6.33 ERA? Talk about playing with fire. And speaking of fire, I’m pretty sure at least one of the Yankees’ old timers will take credit for discovering it.
In 10 career starts against the Yankees, Tillman is 4-4 with a 6.70 ERA over 47 innings, including a 2-3 record and 9.62 ERA in the Bronx. He’s allowed 26 earned runs in 24 1/3 innings.
Tillman took the loss in his last start at Yankee Stadium on July 6, 2013, allowing five earned runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. But his groin was fine.
We assume it still is, though he’s been asked about it plenty this season.
Ichiro Suzuki is 2-for-18 lifetime against Tillman. He struck out twice yesterday for only the ninth time in 133 games against the Orioles.
Derek Jeter is 6-for-13 against Tillman.
The Orioles will face Masahiro Tanaka, who’s 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 14 starts. He’s walked 16 and struck out 113 in 99 2/3 innings.
Pretty good, right?
Tanaka hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season. The Orioles scored three in seven innings on April 9. Tanaka walked one and struck out 10 that day.
Delmon Young went 2-for-4 with a double.
The Orioles can win the series with a victory today. They’re 11-12 in series finales this year.
“It’s important. Every game is important,” said shortstop J.J. Hardy. “To be honest, I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention to where we stand and everything. I know we’re close. I know there’s quite a few teams close. Every game’s important.”
Hardy doesn’t normally check the standings this early in the season.
“I usually don’t pay attention until September,” he said. “I know we’re close and I hear about it, but I don’t pay much attention until September.”