Monday April 01, 2013 | 11:47 AM

NEW YORK — Good day from Yankee Stadium. A few notes before today’s game.

Today’s pre-game ceremony will be a somber one, as the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting will be remembered. Hopefully the ceremony will be shown on TV.

C.C. Sabathia vs. Jon Lester. Few batters are pleased to see these pitchers on the mound. But some Yankees have enjoyed success against Lester. Ichiro Suzuki is batting .306 against him (11 for 36). And Lyle Overbay, picked up by New York after the Red Sox released him, is 9 for 25 (.360) against Lester, with two home runs. Jayson Nix (.333) is 7 of 21.

Kevin Youkilis is 1 of 2 with a home run, when he was wearing a White Sox uniform.

Will Middlebrooks is 1 of 2 vs. Sabathia. Shane Victorino is 3 of 11 (.273). But Jacoby Ellsbury (.214), Dustin Pedroia (.243), Mike Napoli (.222), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.214) and Jonny Gomes (.208) have struggled.

Middlebrooks, by the way, is sick, Feverish, head stuffed and and he sounds terrible. But he’s playing.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is getting a lot of attention. Nothing like making your major league debut on opening day in Yankee Stadium. Bradley is batting eighth. he can’t remember the last time he batted that low; maybe never.

Asked about it, Bradley smiled. “I’ll wait my turn.”

The Yankees lineup is missing Rodriguez, Teixeira, Jeter and Granderson.

“We expect to win,” NY manager Joe Girardi said. “There may be different faces in the clubhouse, but the expectation is to win.”

The lineups:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Jonny Gomes DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. LF
Jose Iglesias SS
(Jon Lester P)

Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Vernon Wells LF
Ben Francisco DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
(C.C. Sabathia P)

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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