The weather may be the only thing that keeps Troy Tulowitzki on the bench again.
With thunderstorms in the forecast Wednesday night, Tulowitzki is hoping to be back in the lineup as the Colorado Rockies try to send the New York Yankees to a third consecutive shutout defeat on the road for the first time in 84 years.Colorado (19-13) opened this three-game series with Tuesday's 2-0 win, as Carlos Gonzalez's two-run homer proved to be enough.Tulowitzki, the NL's second-leading hitter with a .348 average, missed the game with lingering soreness in his left leg, but the Rockies are expecting him back Wednesday."It would have to be pretty severe weather to hold him out again," manager Walt Weiss said. "For the most part, it's just going to be based on how he feels."The weather could make the decision for Weiss and Tulowitzki, as the forecast calls for 50-60 percent chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms throughout the day after the Rockies overcame steady rain and lightning plus the Yankees on Tuesday.They've also dealt with snow, bitter cold and winds at Coors Field this season."Hopefully in two months we'll play in good weather here," said Gonzalez, also among the league leaders with a .322 average.The left fielder has been on a tear of late, batting .429 with three doubles, three homers and six RBIs in his last seven games."I always have a good feeling when CarGo's in the box," Weiss said. "He can change the game with one swing."Colorado, though, hasn't won two straight since a season-high eight-game winning streak April 12-20.Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.91) is expected to get a chance to change that.The right-hander has failed to complete five innings in two of his last three starts, and he was lifted after four in last Wednesday's 7-3 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed three runs and five hits with two walks while throwing 92 pitches.Nicasio didn't get a decision in his only meeting with the Yankees on June 26, 2011. He tossed four scoreless innings before giving up three runs and two homers while exiting after the fifth in a 6-4 loss at New York.The Yankees (18-13) will try to get to Nicasio again after losing their last two road games via shutouts. They haven't been blanked in three straight away from home since Aug. 22-24, 1929.New York, which was limited to four singles Tuesday, has dropped four of five on the road, batting .191 in those games."It's hard to win games when you get four hits and don't put any runs on the board," said Vernon Wells, who is 1 for 12 in his last three road games.Robinson Cano is 0 for 8 over the past two contests away from the Bronx, but is hitting .365 as a visitor on the season.Scoring may also be key with David Phelps (1-1, 5.56) scheduled to get a second turn in the rotation in place of Ivan Nova, who is on the disabled list with right triceps inflammation.Phelps' first start resulted in a 5-4 win over Houston last Wednesday, but he wasted a four-run lead by surrendering that many in the top of fourth before leaving two outs in the sixth and the score tied. He also surrendered eight hits while plunking two batters."I know he expected more of himself but I was pretty pleased," manager Joe Girardi said.Phelps has surrendered five runs -- three earned -- with five strikeouts in four innings of relief over two interleague appearances.
Joe Girardi had the Yankees' starting pitcher, David Phelps, bat 8th in Wednesday's interleague game at Colorado. Recently-called-up catcher Austin Romine was at the bottom of the order.
The last time the Yankees had their starting pitcher in a game bat in the 8-hole was August 28, 1957. Don Larsen batted above second baseman Bobby Richardson in a 5-4 win over the White Sox. (Larsen went 0-for-3.)