DETROIT -- So here it is. The Yankees go into a pivotal Game Three tonight in Comerica Park and Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher are on the bench. And deservedly so. Wow.
Joe Girardi certainly followed along with voters in our poll from earlier today. Brett Gardner leads off and will make his first at-bats since April.
A left side of Chavez-Nunez with ARod out and Derek Jeter hurt. Crazy.
6:30 p.m update: Girardi on the moves -- ""You would think with the resumes these guys have and the type of play they've put up during the course of the season that you would have a pretty set lineup."
Girardi said he considered keeping A-Rod in against Justin Verlander but his brutal showing this month against right-handers (0-18, 12Ks) was the deciding factor. Gardner took at-bats yesterday in a simulated game in Yankee Stadium and is needed in the vast outfield here with Phil Hughes, a flyball pitcher, on the mound. He said A-Rod is out for performance, not because of the NY Post report he tried to get a female fan's phone number during Game One.
Said Girardi: ""When you have one or two guys struggling in a lineup, you're probably still scoring some runs so it doesn't become as noticeable and you're not talking about it as much and you may not be making some changes. When you have a lot of guys struggling and you're not scoring runs, it's something we're going to talk about."