Matt Holliday was a late scratch against his former team Saturday with what the Yankees called back stiffness.
Holliday, who was slated to DH and bat third, was lifted for Chris Carter about an hour before the game. Joe Girardi said he’ll be evaluated further but likely will miss Sunday’s finale as well.
“I don’t think it’s a long-term thing,” Girardi said. “I can choose to give him one more day. He was just stiff today and it wasn’t like it was in his spine. It was to the left, I believe.”
Holliday played eight seasons with the Cardinals before signing with the Yankees during the offseason. In 10 games, he’s drawn 10 walks and is hitting .242. Carter went 1-for-5 with an RBI single and four strikeouts.
Ellsbury bats cleanup
Although Jacoby Ellsbury is not your typical power hitter, Girardi said injuries, as well as a few other factors, are making him a viable option as a cleanup hitter. He batted fourth Friday night and Saturday. “I think when you look at our lineup, it got kind of compromised when [Gary] Sanchez got hurt, the way we were doing things,” he said. “Part of it is breaking up the lefthanders. Lineups have changed dramatically since we’ve all started . . . Now, a lot of people are putting 35-home-run guys hitting first . . . I like spreading the speed out as well and separating our lefthanders.”
These have been Ellsbury’s only two career starts at cleanup. He was 2-for-4 and stole his fourth base.
Jackie Robinson Day
Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s major-league debut, meaning every MLB player wore his No. 42. Girardi said the day has particular importance to him.
“It [highlights] the importance of we’re all created equal and we’re supposed to love our fellow man in a time the world seems to be in an uproar,” he said. “I think we can learn a lot from Jackie and how he handled situations with grace and always took the high road.”
The Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Cardinals was their sixth straight victory, the longest current winning streak in the majors . . . The Yankees were the first team since the expansion era began in 1961 to have their first 12 batters either walk, strike out or be hit by a pitch, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.