With his back against the wall as his New York Yankees fight to stay out of the American LeagueEast cellar, manager Joe Girardi became defensive about their lineup Thursday before a makeup game at Detroit.
Speaking to reporters before the Yankees played a game originally set for April 10 that was called off for snow, Girardi shot back at media when pressed about lineup changes.
"Who do you want me to lead off? Tell me," Girardi asked, according to reports, before a 5-4 win over theTigers. "You guys have these questions, but you want me to lead Tex (Mark Teixeira) off? You want me to leadAlex [Rodriguez]off? Want me to lead Carlos [Beltran] off?"
After a three-game sweep by host Toronto, the Yankees (25-28) made up a game in the East standings Thursday night on the division-leading Red Sox, whom they trail by 6 games after Boston lost to theBaltimore Orioles.
Girardi mostly stuck to the script Thursday for a lineup that has ranked 27th in the majors and tied for last in the AL with theMinnesota Twinsin runs scored. Brian McCann was out of the lineup against Tigers left-hander Matt BoydwithAustin Rominestarting behind the plate.
"I mean, [Jacoby] Ellsbury's done a pretty good job, hasn't he? I have shaken up the lineup, haven't I?" an exasperated Girardi asked. "Carlos has hit second or third, or third or fourth, most of the year. It's one thing if you have one or two guys struggling and you shake the lineup up, but when you have five or six, there's not a whole lot of shaking you can do because our No. 1 hitter's doing really well when he's hitting first, our No. 3 hitter's been doing really well and he's hitting third."
The Yankees entered Thursday having scored five runs in four games, including Wednesday night's 7-0 loss to the Blue Jays.New York is scoring runs at its worst rate since 1972, when Bobby Murcer led the team in runs and batting average.
New York had also lost six of eight entering Thursday since winning six straight to reach the .500 mark at 22-22 on May 24.
"So, now what? I'm listening," Girardi said. "Everyone's got all these ideas. I'm listening, but when you've got six guys in your lineup struggling, maybe I can ask if we can just hit 1-2-3."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.