Last night's Yankees-Red Sox game was a mess, as three players - Nick Johnson, then Robinson Cano, then Jason Varitek - departed with injuries. So I wrote about how the Yankees' depth is being challenged, even as they've won five straight.

What intrigues me about the Yankees' 20-8 start, as I wrote in the column, is that they've done so despite dramatically slow starts to the season from five major players: Curtis Granderson, Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Javier Vazquez. if you throw in David Robertson, that's six important players who have really underachieved.

Which is a testament to the rest of the roster, particularly the other four starting pitchers. Wow, did Phil Hughes look good last night.

But now Cano will be out for at least today, and Johnson will be joining Granderson on the disabled list. It's time for guys like A-Rod and Teixeira to step up. They probably will.

As I mentioned in the end of the column, Johnson's visit to the disabled list will prompt discussion, once again, of whether Brian Cashman should've either worked harder to bring back Johnny Damon or expressed more of interest in bringing back Hideki Matsui rather than going with Johnson at the DH spot.

It's a fair question. If Cashman knew he could've signed Damon to the one-year, $8-million deal that Damon signed with Detroit, then Damon would be a Yankee right now. So, as always we'll wait until the end of the decision's impact - the end of this season, in other words - before rendering final judgment. But Damon, whom the Yankees will see Monday in Detroit, is off to an early lead, with a 130 OPS+.

Matsui? An 88 OPS+, as we sit here this morning. If he had those numbers with the Yankees, we'd be wondering if the Yankees stuck with him a year too long.

--The Yankees appeared extremely upset with Josh Beckett during the crazy, six-run sixth, when Beckett put Cano out of the game and hit Derek Jeter in the back. Afterwards, though, they acknowledged that there's no way Beckett would've been purposely hitting guys, given the game's context.

--CC Sabathia, who's from "the 209" just like Dallas Braden, had some words for the increasingly disrespected A's pitcher, in this Bob Klapisch column. Klap also reports that A's GM Billy Beane, on a scouting trip in Mississippi, called Braden and told him to shut up, already.

--Just followed it on the computer, yet it sure sounded like a thrilling night for the Mets, and how fitting that the game's best performers were Rod Barajas, Ike Davis and Mike Pelfrey. Barajas and Davis have become huge upgrades over last year's catcher and first baseman, while Pelfrey is a huge upgrade over his 2009 self.

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I did see the highlights late last night. What a catch by Davis in the ninth inning.

--Johan Santana will start today against the Giants at home, after really strugging Sunday night in Philadelphia.

--The Mets honored four people who helped thwart the Times Square bombing attempt.

--Shaky weather up here today, but it looks like there's a good chance it'll clear up in time for the game to be played. Have a great day.

 

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