Here is the lineup:
Hughes RHP (2-3, 5.33)
Pregame chatter: Yanks are facing RHP Shaun Marcum (12-5, 3.74). … A-Rod is 13 of 23 with nine runs scored, 11 RBI and seven homers. … Giambi (2 for 27) and Matsui (5 of 41) are in serious slumps. … Kyle Farnsworth’s line since Aug. 8: 10.2 4 2 2 3 15. Opponents are hitting .115 against him. … It was here where Joba Chamberlain made his debut back on Aug. 7. They haven’t put a plaque up yet but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. … Luis Vizcaino remains shut down. He will throw a side tomorrow and could be available on Thursday or Friday. He says he feels fine. … I foolishly asked Jeter if his right knee was feeling any better. “I never had a problem in the first place,” he said. … RHPs Jeff Karstens and Matt DeSalvo were added to the roster today. The Yanks now have 35 players. The clubhouse is like a subway car at Union Square at 5:15.
UPDATE, 7:08 p.m.: Roger Clemens spoke to us outside the clubhouse after BP and said he is ready to face Boston on Sunday. He threw for about 15 minutes at 80 percent today and will get after it a little more on Thursday. He had two cortisone shots in his elbow last Wednesday in Houston. He also revealed that there was some ligament damage.
Clearly if this were one of the younger pitchers, he would be shut down. But Clemens will try and gut it out until the season is over and probably retire at that point.
UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Shelley Duncan has “discomfort in his lower abdominal wall” and is being sent back to New York to get checked out. That is fancy medical lingo for he may have a hernia.
UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Sorry for the lack of update. The wireless here at the Rogers Centers sucks. In other news, Rogers is a wireless communications company.
Phil Hughes seems to have settled down and is more or less giving the Yankees what they need. But the numbers of walks he has allowed is troubling. He has given up 20 in 42.1 innings since coming off the DL.
UPDATE, 9 p.m.: That grand slam broke 2-for-28 skid for Jason Giambi. It was his first homer since Aug. 26.
Meanwhile the Red Sox are losing to the newly plucky Devil Rays. If the Yankees get to Boston three or four games out, there is going to be panic in the streets of the Hub. The Yanks will be playing with house money at that point. All the pressure will be on Boston.
UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Strong start for Phil Hughes as he allowed one earned run on three hits over six innings. You would like to see him cut down on his walks and go an inning deeper into games. But he’s winning big games down the stretch in a pennant race at the age of 21.
UPDATE, 10:05 p.m.: I haven’t had a chance to flip through the comments. But I assume folks are upset with Tampa Bay’s bullpen giving it up against Boston. But the Yankees are going to play the Devil Rays three more times and they’ll get their chance. You can’t expect your rival to lose to a bad team like that. The Red Sox, like the Yankees, murder middle relievers.