Wacky Lineup Night Works Out for Yankees

Weird lineup does nothing to quiet bats in 12-4 Yankees win

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Nunez makes the most of his moment.

    Joe Girardi's briefings on the health of the Yankees roster have started sounding like something you might have heard from doctors in the days after Gettysburg, so it's no surprise they are running out some iffy lineups.

    We never really imagined anything quite like the one we saw at the Stadium on Wednesday night, however. Nick Swisher was hitting leadoff and he was the appetizer for a main course that included Francisco Cervelli, Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena.

    When the lineup hit the wire, apoplectic Yankees fans almost melted down with rancor about having to watch such a group try and win an actual Major League Baseball game.

    The thought of explaining the virtues of patience to such a group have been proven folly countless times over the years, but perhaps we've finally found the right way to get it done.

    Girardi's makeshift warriors battered the Rangers mercilessly and won 12-4 for the second straight night. Mark Teixeira tied a record by homering from both sides of the plate for 11th time and Robinson Cano drove in three runs, but it was two of the guys who made everyone turn up their noses that made the biggest impression.

    Pena has returned from the minors looking a bit bulkier than he did in his past runs with the big club and his mass paid off when he drove a ball into the stands during the sixth inning. We'll find out if he was just fired up by not having to carry his own bags now that he's back in the Show, but it was quite the return for Pena. 

    Nunez hit a home run as well and he added two steals to make it quite the festive 24th birthday celebration. His big night reinforced a narrative that caught fire with Derek Jeter's trip to the disabled list.

    There are some who believe that the next two weeks are a blessing in disguise for the Yankees because they get to take an extended look at Nunez as a starting shortstop. Portions of that group even see the start of a time share between the two players because Nunez will prove to be the better player.

    It's not hard to see him posting results that make you think that's the case. Merely average results would be an uptick on Jeter's year to date, a point driven home by the fact that Nunez and Pena combined for as many home runs Wednesday as the Captain has hit all season.

    Side note: All four of those home runs have come against the Rangers. Nolan Ryan hasn't quite fixed everything with that pitching staff.

    It all feels a bit premature, especially with Nunez butchering another ball in the field an inning after he hit a home run. There's nothing bad about Nunez getting a chance to impress, but let's not make more of it than it is.

    It's a guy filling in for an injured/ineffective starter and making the best of it. Nunez had a lot of help in that department Wednesday and that should be more than enough for the Yankees and everybody else.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.