Here are the lineups:
Clemens RHP (5-5, 4.34)
Beckett RHP (16-5, 3.21)
Pregame chatter: Manny Ramirez (back) is out. … Giambi is 4 for 10 with two homers off Beckett, hence his inclusion. … The Yankees are 30-11 in their last 41 home games. … Clemens is 8-5 against Boston in his career, 6-5 as a Yankee but only 2-5 as a Yankee at the Stadium. … Shelley Duncan was named the Scranton player of the year. I may congratulate him but I’m afraid he’d tear my arm off.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 6:05 p.m.: Just got out of the clubhouse, where Brian Cashman was entertaining questions. Here’s an overview:
Why Kennedy: “He was pitching the best at the time.”
Innings cap for Kennedy: “No, he’s below it. He had a heavy workload with USC and USA Baseball.”
So Kennedy could pitch every five days through the end of the season? “Yes.”
On Mike Mussina: “I firmly believe that he will prove to everybody that he can still be Mike Mussina. Going forward he’s going to be a good pitcher for us again. I have no doubt of his abilities.”
40-man roster: “We’ll need to make a move.”
(Just an aside, it won’t be Brackman because then you get into service time issues. They’ll make another move, Cashman said.)
Did he ever expect to have Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain in the majors? “No. There’s a lot of things that had to happen to get us to this point.”
Audio coming from this shortly.
UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.: Here’s the audio from Brian Cashman. He was in the middle of the clubhouse just before 6 p.m., so he was talking a little softly:
UPDATE, 7:11 p.m.: Just did a little research into Ian Kennedy’s workload. You may find this interesting:
2005: 117 innings at USC, 28 innings with Team USA for a total of 145
2006: 101.1 innings at USC, 2.2 with Staten Island and 30.1 in the Hawaii Winter League for a total of 134.1
2007: 146.1 in the minors.
Cashman won’t say what his limit is. But based on how they’ve developed other players, it’s around 175 or 180. So the Yankees can use him as a starter for a month without any issues.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Johnny Damon is the king of the ugly hit that kills you. Just a little dribbler into left, two runs score and now Beckett is closing in on 50 pitches in the second inning.
The game is not over yet, far from it. But the offense is back to grinding it out.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: I haven’t had time to read any comments, but in case you missed it Manny Ramirez has a strained oblique and will be out tomorrow as well, if not for the next week.
UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: The Yankees have seven hits, a walk and Boston made an error. All that and they have three runs. That’s letting Josh Beckett off the hook. They needed to step on his neck a little there after Matsui tripled.
That said, you’d sign up for 3-0 after three innings any day with Roger Clemens on the mound.
By the way, did you catch him drilling Dustin Pedroia in the first inning. That would be the same Dustin Pedroia who called A-Rod “cheap” for a hard slide back in May.
Coincidence? I think not. The Rocket is nothing if not a good teammate.
UPDATE 9:00 p.m.: Well, if you have to lose a no-hitter, there’s no shame in losing it on an upper-deck home run by a hitter like David Ortiz. Better than on an infield hit by some scrub.
Now it gets tricky, as a walk means the tying run comes to the plate. Torre has Vizcaino and Farnsworth if he needs them to get to Mo.
Regardless of who wins the division, Boston wants nothing to do with the Yankees in a playoff series. The Yankees hit Beckett and Matsuzaka and Pettitte, Wang and Clemens would be a lot to handle for them.
UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: The Yankees have left eight runners on base, six in scoring position. They’ll be fortunate if it doesn’t come back to bite them. You have to give Beckett credit for keeping Boston in the game.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: Huge, clutch hit for A-Rod there as it changes the rest of the game. The 13 hits allowed are a career-worst for Beckett.
Since winning Game 6 in 2003, Beckett has an 7.49 ERA against the Yanks in seven starts.
UPDATE, 9:58 p.m.: That homer was No. 508 for A-Rod, tying Frank Thomas for 20th place in history.
Meanwhile, Steve Phillips has been named the winner of the “Most Crestfallen Look In The Ballpark” contest here at the Stadium.
UPDATE, 10:03 p.m.: Kyle Farnsworth is in the game. Hope that squirrel is hiding.
UPDATE, 10:07 p.m.: Ian Kennedy will be here Thursday, not on the roster until Saturday.
UPDATE, 10:10 p.m.: Quick, tear up the Joba Rules!
You can’t do that. The kid’s arm is perhaps the most valuable thing in the organization. Tough dilemma for Torre. You want Vizcaino with the game close then Farnsworth with a three-run lead. But Farnsworth ultimately can’t be trusted in any critical situation. That much is evident.
I suspect the Joba Rules will be amended come the playoffs and the extra days off for travel.
UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.: This is where one pitch changs so much. Farnsworth’s wildness forced Mo into the game for a four-out save. He threw only 14 pitches yesterday, but these extra pitches could mean he’s not available for the day game tomorrow.