May has become Teixeira's time to heat up
Slugger hopes to move on after another rough April
NEW YORK -- April is now complete, and for the second straight year, Mark Teixeira struggled mightily throughout the month.
Teixeira finished April batting .136 with just two home runs, after hitting .200 with three homers last April.
As soon as last year's calendar flipped, however, Teixeira reversed course to hit .330 with 13 home runs in May. The Yankees are hoping for something similar this season.
"He's hit some balls hard," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's definitely starting to impact the baseball better. He's not where he's going to end up, I can tell you that. He's going to get better and better as time goes on here. But he's one of those guys that's fighting through a tough start."
Though Teixeira is still producing to an extent, walking 17 times -- including twice Friday -- and playing strong defense, the Yankees need him to hit. And hit for power.
"He's lined out some," Girardi said. "He's hit some really hard ground balls. To me, he's starting to impact the baseball, and that means we're going in the right direction."Teixeira singled in his first two at-bats, driving in a run, and finished 2-for-4 on Saturday.
Robertson falling behind hitters
NEW YORK -- Although Javier Vazquez drew the vitriol of the crowd on Saturday, it was reliever David Robertson who ended up with the loss.
After the Yankees had come all the way back from a 5-1 deficit to take the lead on Nick Swisher's two-run homer in the sixth, Robertson helped give the lead right back to the White Sox in the seventh, allowing two runs while recording only two outs. He surrendered a one-out double to the red-hot Paul Konerko before intentionally walking Carlos Quentin (after falling behind 2-0) and giving way to Damaso Marte, who promptly yielded A.J. Pierzynski's go-ahead two-run double.
The tough outing continued an unimpressive start to the 2010 campaign for one of the Yankees' breakout stars last postseason. Robertson has given up eight earned runs in 5 2/3 innings this season, good for an ERA of 12.71.
"I'm falling behind every hitter," Robertson said. "I've got to get ahead with fastballs and get strike one. When you're ahead in the count, it's a lot easier to pitch."
It's a far cry from where Robertson was last October, when he was arguably the Bombers' most reliable reliever not named Mariano. He didn't allow a run in 5 1/3 postseason innings, picking up two victories along the way.
"[Robertson] is not where he was at the end of last year, but he's a lot further ahead than he was at the beginning of last year," manager Joe Girardi said. "His location has not been as sharp. He'll get it going. He's not a real big concern of mine. We've all seen what he can do, and he has not been quite at that level."
Posada back in the lineup
NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi waited until the last possible moment to submit his lineup for Saturday's game, wanting to be certain of Jorge Posada's health.
Posada, it turns out, was fine.
After staying out of the starting lineup for two straight games with a swollen right knee, Posada returned against the White Sox on Saturday, batting sixth and catching.
Posada, who was hit by a Jeremy Guthrie pitch in Wednesday's game against the Orioles, struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat Friday, after telling Girardi that he could have started the game. Girardi kept him out of the lineup as a precaution.
"He still had some swelling, and that's somewhat of a concern of mine," Girardi said.
Posada entered the game batting .310 with five home runs in 58 at-bats. He went 0-for-4 in the 7-6 loss.
Girardi shows confidence in Gardner
NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi could have benched Brett Gardner against White Sox lefty John Danks on Saturday, just as he could have pinch-hit for Gardner in the seventh inning Friday.
Both times, Girardi stuck with Gardner, who came through on Friday with a key single off lefty reliever Matt Thornton.
"I feel confident against lefties as well as righties," said Gardner, who was 6-for-17 against southpaws this season. "That was important for me to get a hit."
His reward? Saturday, Gardner was back in the lineup against Danks, another left-hander.
"I feel comfortable against anybody," Gardner said. "It doesn't really matter, lefty, righty. I feel like my main job is to get on base, and whoever's out there, I feel like I've got a good chance of getting on base."Gardner singled in his first at-bat and went 1-for-2 against Danks, 2-for-4 in the loss.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.