With the loss of Derek Jeter and needing to avoid dropping the first two games at home in the ALCS, the New York Yankees' lineup is going to look different.
The below lineup is scheduled to face Detroit Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
ESPN's Wallace Matthews shared the new-look lineup in this tweet:
todays lineup: ichiro cano tex ibanez dh martin rodriguez granderson swisher nix kuroda— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) October 14, 2012
As expected, Jayson Nix will get the start for the injured Yankee captain at shortstop. He will be inserted into the relatively low-pressure ninth spot in the batting order.
And it certainly is no surprise to see Ichiro take over leadoff duties. The veteran has spent almost his entire career in the first spot, and he is catching fire. He went 4-for-6 in Game 1 of this series, which included his huge ninth-inning, two-run home run.
Ichiro also brings some speed to the top of the lineup. He is not likely to earn any walks, but as he's proven over the course of his career, when he is hitting like this, no one is going to complain about a lack of walks.
In fact, there are no surprises in the top four of the lineup. Everyone just moved up one spot from Saturday night. That works out well, as it will ease the added pressure of the three-hole from Robinson Cano, who hung a big 0-for last night in six at-bats.
After Raul Ibanez in the cleanup spot, things must have gotten a little interesting for manager Joe Girardi, because it was time to tackle the Alex Rodriguez issue with a right-handed pitcher on the hill. Girardi went with the hot hand, moving Russell Martin up to the fifth spot. Martin was one of three Yankees to collect more than one hit in Game 1, as he went 2-for-5.
This leaves the rest of the Yankees order with some name power, but diminishing results. A-Rod, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher are all scuffling along. That scuffling trio is followed by Nix, who is hitting .500 for the postseason, but in just four at-bats.
Girardi will need at least one of these guys to break out a bit, or Sanchez is going to have an easy go of it.