Lineup crystal ball: A-Rod has owned Jason Hammel over the years

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Matthew made a good point about the Yankees linuep last night. And all things being equal, damn, I don’t know that I could go with Alex Rodriguez in Game 5. He just looks totally lost up there.

But even if Matthew is right and Joe Girardi shouldn’t go with A-Rod, I have this feeling he will.  Why? Let’s ask my friend J.R. O’Grady:

Girardi gets crap for playing it by the book — or the binder — sometimes, but it’s not some unique quirk of his to play matchups like that.  Obviously the A-Rod we’re seeing now is not the same guy who beat up on Jason Hammel in the past, but those numbers make me think that Joe has the kind of cover to allow him to give his star third baseman a shot at redemption.

But really, there are no good decisions here. We can all second guess tonight’s lineup before the game and, if the Yankees lose, we will all certainly pile on Girardi.  But if you think that there is one obvious correct course of action here, you’re crazy.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.