–MLB.com’s video recap of last night’s 4-1 win over the Red Sox. Highlights include Ichiro’s curtain call and Josh Beckett’s body language.
–Ichiro had his first multi-homer game as a Yankee and earned his first curtain call at the Stadium. Since he was acquired by the Yankees on July 23, Ichiro has played in all 26 games, hitting .322/.344/.506 with three HRs and 21 runs produced. Despite Ichiro’s breakout stretch with the Yanks, the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff is not impressed
Time will tell. Ichiro has enjoyed a nice stretch of about 13 games after registering over a season and a half with thoroughly underwhelming production. Maybe Ichiro will rise again as did Jeter, who faked us all out with an ultra-human 2010 and first half of 2011 before becoming elite again. Or maybe this is just a nice little peak among miles and miles of valley.
OR, Ken, Ichiro has been rejuvenated by his move to a World Series contender and the lefty-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium.
–On the injury front, X-rays on Andy Pettitte’s fractured left fibula and Alex Rodriguez’s fractured metacarpal in his left hand show both bones are healing on schedule. That said, Pettitte still hasn’t been cleared to throw off a mound. I’d put the odds of A-Rod returning before the postseason at 85-90%, and the odds of Pettitte returning at all at 50%.
As for day-to-day players, Mark Teixeira may play tonight after sitting out the last three games with left wrist inflammation. Unfortunately, Teixeira’s injury seems to be chronic and exacerbated by swinging a bat multiple days in a row. Joe Girardi basically admitted as much when he said the injury is something the Yankee first baseman “will have to deal with” for the remainder of the season. If Teix does join Eric Chavez as corner infielders who can’t play every day, the Bombers will have to execute some creative lineup juggling for the rest of the regular season. Get used to a steady stream of Nick Swisher at first, Casey McGehee/Jayson Nix at third, and a different Yankee batting order every night.
–In happier news, Derek Jeter is sitting on 3,251 hits for his career, one hit behind turn-of-the-century offensive dynamo Napoleon (Nap) Lajoie for 12th all-time. Other than being one of the most famous Napoleons in modern American sports (shout-out to Northwestern grad and former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris!), Lajoie is a shining example of a dead-ball era batting average machine. He hit 82 homers in a 21-year career but is 20th all-time with a .338 average. His 1901 Triple Crown season (.426/.463/.643, 14 HRs, 270 runs produced) remains among the greatest statistical years in MLB history.
After Lajoie comes Eddie Murray at 3,255. If Jeter has a good series in Chicago, he could pass both men by Tuesday or Wednesday to sit at 11th all-time.
–Tonight’s Yankee game is against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in the Windy City. First pitch is 8:10 ET, with Freddy Garcia opposing Chicago’s Gavin Floyd.
–Link of the day: Jose Canseco thinks deep thoughts (warning, some may find this, or him, slightly offensive). Jose takes a important topic (religion), offers a reasonable if provocative take (“religion is a form of brainwashing”) and then goes completely off the rails (the rest of the column). If after reading this you actually desire more Canseco, check out his Twitter feed.