Virus knocks Yankee for a loop

Originally Published: June 28, 2004
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi looked so bad when he got to Yankee Stadium on Sunday that manager Joe Torre sent him to a hospital.

Giambi, battling the aftereffects of a stomach virus, took two bottles of intravenous fluids during the opener of the Yankees' day-night doubleheader sweep of the New York Mets.

"I was miserable for two weeks," said Giambi, who thinks he originally caught the virus from teammate Gary Sheffield. "My eyes were glazed over and I was kind of not feeling right. I was just in la-la land the whole time."

Giambi has one hit in his last 14 at-bats and is in a 13-for-65 skid. His average has dropped from .271 on June 7 to .237.

With the antibiotics he received Sunday, Giambi felt much better and believes he'd be able to play in Tuesday's opener of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, who won six of seven games against New York in April.

Kevin Brown, however, won't be ready to pitch against Boston on Thursday, and his spot in the rotation will be filled by rookie Brad Halsey.

Recovering from a back spasm that forced him out of a start June 9, Brown threw his second bullpen session of his rehabilitation Sunday night.

"He just didn't have the life he had last time out," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "The physical part of it is fine. He's just not there, yet."

Javier Vazquez (8-5) is to pitch Tuesday against Derek Lowe (6-6), followed by Jon Lieber (5-5) on Wednesday against Tim Wakefield (4-5). Halsey (1-1), who beat Los Angeles in his major league debut and was hit hard by the Mets in Saturday's 9-3 loss, has no easy task. He will be opposed by three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez (8-3).

Also, Gary Sheffield, fighting bursitis in his right shoulder, returned to the outfield in Sunday night's game but might have a second cortisone shot -- he had one last Monday. He was 2-for-6 with two RBIs in the doubleheader until he was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire Bill Hohn for arguing a checked swing on a strikeout.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press