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Yankees vs. Phillies: New faces

The Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies meet up again at the Stadium for the start of a three-game series.

The Yankees are somewhat different than when the teams met in the World Series last season.

Johnny Damon, who batted second behind Derek Jeter in Game 6 of the World Series, is now in Detroit playing for the Tigers. Hideki Matsui was the designated hitter that night, going 3 for 4 with 6 RBI on his way to being named World Series MVP. Matsui is now in Los Angeles playing for the Angels. And Melky Cabrera, who didn't play in Game 6 but was in the outfield rotation last season, is in Atlanta. Jorge Posada, the starting catcher that night, has been injured and doing a fair amount of DHing since his return from the disabled list. Francisco Cervelli (.282 this season) has been catching more games this season. Posada, however, caught Sunday's series finale against the Astros.

So, what's new?

-- The starting rotation appears to be deeper than last season. CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett each have six wins. But Andy Pettitte is 8-1 with a 2.46 ERA and Phil Hughes has blossomed into the starter the Yankees thought they had (9-1, 3.11 ERA). And despite all of his problems, Javier Vazquez is 6-5 (with a 5.43 ERA).

-- There's no doubt that Matsui provided the Yankees with a real threat at DH last season. Nick Johnson, signed to replace Matsui as the DH, has appeared in just 24 games and is out with a wrist injury. He was hitting .167 this season. But Marcus Thames, Posada and others have filled in at DH.

-- The big concern for the Yankees was replacing Damon in the outfield. Last year's outfield was Damon in left, a Brett Gardner/Cabrera platoon in center, and Nick Swisher in right. The Yankees essentially replaced Damon with Curtis Granderson. But the outfield has been fairly solid this season. Granderson was hurt for a stretch and is just now starting to come around (.241, four homes runs, 17 RBI). Swisher has been a big bat this season (.299, 10 HR, 40 RBI). And Gardner has also blossomed into a steady player (.317, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 22 SB).

For the Phillies .......

The two big offseason acquisitions were Roy Halladay, who replaced Cliff Lee as staff ace, and Placido Polanco at third base, in place of Pedro Feliz.

Halladay has been sensational, throwing a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29. Halladay is 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA.

Polanco is hitting .319 with five home runs and 23 RBI.

Ryan Howard (.286, 10, 43) and Jayson Werth (.280, 10, 38) are having pretty solid years. Chase Utley has 10 home runs, but is hitting just .256 with 26 RBI. Shane Victorino also has 10 home runs (with 36 RBI) and is hitting .255. Raul Ibanez is hitting just .247 with four home runs. Jimmy Rollins has played in just 12 games this season due to injuries.


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