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With the Yankees actually in desperate need of two or three wins in their last series of the season, they've got some good news: first baseman Mark Teixeira, who hasn't played since the 8th of September, is in Monday night's lineup for a home game against the Red Sox.
Well, it's good news if Teixeira actually is healthy enough to play well. Against right-handed pitchers, the Yankees don't actually lose much with Teixeira out of the lineup, as that allows them to stack up a bunch of solid left-handed hitters who, this season at least, have been just as good as Teixeira. Still, the manager would rather have his every-day first baseman available than not.
Speaking of the manager, he's yanked Iván Nova from the rotation; Tuesday night rookie David Phelps will start against the Red Sox. Nova ranks third on the staff in games started, but in his last eight outings he's just 2-4 with a 7.87 ERA. Granted, he's probably pitched in some tough luck. But failures in the midst of a pennant race tend to be exaggerated, and Phelps ... well, Phelps hasn't pitched all that well as a starter this season. You just have to figure that Joe Girardi knows his guys better than we do.