Here is the lineup:
Kennedy RHP (1-0, 1.29)
Pregame chatter: Yanks are facing RHP Gil Meche (7-12, 3.85). Meche is 0-2 with an 8.74 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season. … LHP Ron Villone has been activated off the disabled list. … The Royals are coming off a 3-4 road trip. … This is the first game of a 9-game, 10-day road trip for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 7:01 p.m.: Lots going on here in KC. Harlan Chamberlain and half of Nebraska is at Kauffman Stadium. Joba’s dad is a live wire, I’ll say that. We had spoke on the phone last month for a feature story I did and when I introduced myself he have me a firm handshake and asked me a few questions himself. He plans to attend a series at Yankee Stadium later this month and said he is looking forward to seeing Monument Park.
The Yankees have lined up their rotation for the rest of the road trip.
Tuesday in Toronto: Hughes
Wednesday in Toronto: Mussina
Thursday in Toronto: Kennedy
Friday in Boston: Pettitte
Saturday in Boston: Wang
Sunday in Boston: Clemens
The Rocket will rejoin the Yankees in Toronto and will need to throw in the bullpen before he’s cleared for that start.
UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: Here is some audio from Harlan Chamberlain:
UPDATE, 8:58 p.m.: The Ian Kennedy Era has suddenly hit a speed bump. Don’t be surprised to see Mike Mussina come out of the bullpen. Kennedy is not going to get a lot of rope here. With the Tigers playing the Mariners, the Yankees know that any loss also means they lose a game off their lead in the wild card.
UPDATE, 9:14 p.m.: When you cover the Yankees, you never lose sight of the idea that millions are at stake and this is professional sports in every way, shape and form. But every once in a while, you see something that reminds you why you got into writing about sports in the first place.
That was the case with Harlan Chamberlain today. Here’s a guy who contracted polio as a youngster, lived in a series of foster homes and eventually worked in a prison as a social worker while raising two children on his own.
Somehow his son is gifted with the ability to throw a baseball 100 mph and becomes a sensation with the Yankees.
There was Mr. Chamberlain today, driving his scooter onto the field to watch batting practice and having one Yankee after another come over to say hello. Jeter, A-Rod, Damon, Mo, Jorge, pretty much the whole team. Joe Torre came over and congratulated him on how well he raised his son.
“Thanks Mr. Torre,” he said.
“Call me Joe,” the skipper said.
Trust me when I tell you, you’ve never seen anybody look happier.
UPDATE, 9:58 p.m.: Happy birthday to the two first ladies of Yankee baseball, Suzyn Waldman and Kim Jones. I have no idea how old either of them are and I’m not about to ask.
UPDATE, 10:26 p.m.: Joba warming up. 101 coming up?
UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: Matsui is 4 of his last 33 with one RBI. That ends here. Godzilla will deliver.
UPDATE, 10:43 p.m.: Wow, did you see Joba’s dad crying when he saw his son take the mound? If that doesn’t make you feel something, you have no heart. I hope the kid pitches well.
UPDATE, 11:12 p.m.: Joba will come back out for the 8th inning to try and get the ball to Mo. I would guess this blows him out for the rest of the series.
UPDATE, 11:20 p.m.: One of the original “Joba Rules” was that he wouldn’t throw more than 35 pitches in an outing. He tossed 29 tonight. That probably puts him out until Tuesday.
You have to give Torre credit, he has gotten the most out of the kid. If the Yankees win tonight, they will be 10-1 in games Joba has pitched in.