Here are the lineups:
Pettitte LHP (8-7, 4.00)
Westbrook RHP (3-6, 5.00)
Pregame chatter: Jorge Posada was originally in the lineup but was scratched when the trainers told Joe Torre he wasn’t quite right. Posada did take BP, however. … Jim Brower remains in Minnesota with his family. … Torre said Jeff Karstens would start Tuesday unless he is needed today. … Asked who his third catcher was, Torre laughed and said he imagined Shelley Duncan would volunteer. “He would do it without equipment,” Torre said. … Melky Cabrera has been told to stop sliding headfirst into first base. Not only is it dangerous, it slows you down. … The grind-it-out Yankees took BP this morning. The Indians did not.
UPDATE, 1:25 p.m.: A reader sent me this story that details what a creep Barry Bonds is.
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Here is Joe Torre’s pregame interview. Listen for the part early on when he talks about Shelley Duncan being the emergency catcher. It’s funny.
UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: Give Don Mattingly a nod for that homer by Jason Giambi. He suggested to Torre that Giambi pinch hit last night. Giambi homered and that quite likely led to the bomb he just hit. Giambi is one of those hitters who can build from one at-bat to the next. Nice use of the roster by Torre in the last week to get the most of these guys.
UPDATE, 2;12 p.m.: The Yankees have allowed three runs in 22 innings in this series. … Meanwhile, Jose Molina is proving to be a nice pickup. … Bunting up two runs in the fifth inning with the top of the order up makes no sense to me whatsoever. Melky has hit in 16 straight, let him swing the bat.
UPDATE, 2:52 p.m.: See? Let the Melkman swing. That’s a 17-game hitting streak.
UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: Cleveland came in with a 65-52 record, so they can’t be that bad of a team. But how in the world does Jhonny Peralta get picked off there?
Meanwhile, if the Yankees win today, they would have to 29-16 the rest of the way to win 95 games. That seems pretty reasonable. If 95 wins don’t merit a playoff spot, I’d be surprised.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: I’m on the record as saying nobody beats the Viz. But I sense trouble here. Two on, one out with their 2-3-4 hitters coming up. The Indians can’t be this lame all weekend can they?
UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Torre’s not messing around, it seems. Good move, bringing Mo in. He has been getting a lot of rest lately.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: Ron Guidry was tossed after the seventh inning by Tim McClelland. I suspect he was yapping about the walk of Peralta.
UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: I’m certainly down with the idea of protecting Rivera. But he had worked once since Monday and thrown 13 pitches. This was the perfect situation and it has so far paid off. Sweeping Cleveland, a potential wild-card contender, would be huge for the Yankees. You have to secure wins when you can.
UPDATE, 4:11 p.m.: I can’t tell if Andy Pettitte is watching this game from the clubhouse or the dugout but it has to be excruciating for him.
This is either a huge win or a terrible loss. No middle ground here.
UPDATE, 4:14 p.m.: It’s a huge win. That’s 15 games over .500 and Mo’s the man. Back later with some notes.