Here is the lineup:
Hughes RHP (4-3, 4.75)
Pregame chatter: Yanks are facing RHP Shaun Marcum (12-6, 4.15). He lasted only five innings against the Yankees on Sept. 12, giving up four runs. … Jeter has hit in eight straight at 14 of 37. … Cabrera is 3 for his last 38 with one run scored. … Yanks have won 11 of 14. … Players didn’t have to report until 11:30 today and half the team isn’t here yet.
UPDATE, 12:00 p.m.: Roger Clemens expects to be able to start Monday despite a little “stinger” in his left hamstring. … The President of Panama, Martin Torrijos Espino, will throw out the first pitch. I suspect Mariano Rivera will catch it. … Kyle Farnsworth is probably not available because a tight shoulder.
Actor John Turturro was in the clubhouse before the game. He was good as Billy Martin in The Bronx Is Burning. But he was better in Quiz Show, Do The Right Thing and Miller’s Crossing if you ask me. Good actor any way you slice it.
UPDATE, 1:01 p.m.: The tarp is on the field but the rain seems to be letting up. I’ll let you know when they announce a starter time.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Here is some pre-game audio for you:
Roger Clemens talks about his hamstring:
Joe Torre on assorted subjects:
UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Well, the tarp is still on the field. They’re showing Andy Pettitte’s “Yankeeography” on the scoreboard and I’m listening to Jackson Browne on my iPod. Not much else to tell you at this point.
UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: They’re pulling the tarp off the field now. The start time is scheduled for 2:30.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: The president of Panama threw out the first pitch and Mo came out to catch it. As he got behind the plate, Posada offered him his mask. Mo declined. The prez tossed a 59-footer that bounced past Mo.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: First pitch, 2:37 after a delay of 1:12. Now we’ll see if the Franchise can have a good first inning for a change.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Good start for the kid. He needed to get over those first inning issues he had.
Still overcast here in the Bronx. But the rain is supposedly gone for good today. Huge crowd at the park.
UPDATE, 2:48 p.m.: Anybody checking out the blog from within the park today? Drop me an e-mail with your impressions and I’ll post them. There could be something in it for you. PAbraham@LoHud.com.
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: It’s fascinating to watch Hughes mature. Two weeks ago, that jam would have led to two runs. Instead he works his way out of it by getting a weak swing out Lind that leads to a double play. He has a lot of composure for 21-year-old.
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Alex Rodriguez, in addition to everything else, is a heck of a base runner. He goes first to third well not because he is especially fast, but because he always makes a good read on the ball. He doesn’t get himself thrown out very often. Jeter runs the bases the same way, with as much smarts as speeds. It’s the kind of thing guys like Melky need to learn.
UPDATE, 3:09 p.m.: That’s the kind of thing hitting coaches love, a hitter getting turned loose on a 3-0 pitch and hammering a line drive. So may hitters are OBP-conscious that they automatically take that pitch. But Posada is such an aggressive player offensively.
They have a chance to turn this into a big inning.
UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Tough to get three hits and walk in one inning and score once but the Yankees found a way. Can’t get a starter off the hook like that. Melky is now 3 for 40.
Meanwhile, for all the good things Robbie Cano does, he still mixes in a knucklehead move from time to time. That was clearly Mientkiewicz’s ball and he bumped into him for some reason. The scorer gave Cano an error for “inhibiting the catch.”
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: So much for my faith in Phil Hughes. A guy with his stuff has to be able to put away a “hitter” like Curtis Thigpen, who was 0 for 23 and was hitting .203.
If it wasn’t official before, it is now. Your postseason rotation will be Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. Argue all you’d like, but that’s what it will be be. Torre has been dropping hints left and right and this latest disappointment from Hughes will seal it.
UPDATE, 4:03 p.m.: Shaun Marcum left the game with a sore right knee. Yanks down 3-1 here in the bottom of the fourth. That scoring update is for loyal reader Kasey, who is in a bus somewhere with his band headed for a gig.
UPDATE, 4:47 p.m.: Bad day by Jason Giambi, who has the hat trick and has left three men on base, two in scoring position.
Meanwhile, it seems to me that Torre is trying Ron Villone in a variety of spots to determine his postseason worthiness. … You have to like what you see out of Ross Ohlendorf. He throws strikes
UPDATE, 5:06 p.m.: That’s 145 RBI for A-Rod, the most for a Yankee since Don Mattingly had 145 in 1985. Since 1938, the only Yankee with more was Joe DiMaggio, who drove in 155 in 1948.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: That’s 102 RBI on the season for Hideki Matsui. … A-Rod has scored 137 runs.
UPDATE, 5:34 p.m.: Anybody who believes that the Yankees are going gung-ho for the division title, please take note of Jose Veras being allowed to labor here in the seventh inning of a game they lead.
Torre told us before the game that he would rest the Viz and I guess he meant it. Krazy Kyle is unavailable as well. They obviously have no faith in Bruney and/or Britton.
But Rivera can pitch assuming they figure out a way to get to the ninth with a lead.
UPDATE, 5:43 p.m.: It’s all well and good that the Yankees plucked Edwar Ramirez out of an indy league and got a few good innings out of him this season. But I don’t see how he could survive an entire season as a set-up man with his one pitch being a change-up. You might trick guys once or twice but it’s never going to last.
UPDATE, 5:52 p.m.: Received this e-mail from Ashley, a blog reader sitting in section 301. She writes: “Just wanted to let you know how much I hate the wave.” We’re with you Ashley.
Meanwhile Melky Cabrera is 0 for 4 today and 3 for his last 42. Memo to the Melkman: This is not a good time to give Torre the idea of starting Damon in center and Giambi as the DH in Game 1.
UPDATE, 5:58 p.m.: That would be a huge hit for the Melkman.
UPDATE, 5:59 p.m.: Also, it would seem Joe Torre is a genius as he pinch ran for Mientkiewicz at second base right before a soft single to left.
Krazy Kyle now warming. Yikes.
UPDATE, 6:07 p.m.: 46 at-bats since Alex last homered. He’s about due, don’t you think?
UPDATE, 6:08 p.m.: Nah, just another huge RBI. So long Donnie Baseball, look out Joe D.
This is quite a game as each team’s bullpen tries to stink less.
UPDATE, 6:19 p.m.: I for one am shocked – shocked! – that Krazy Kyle is botching up this inning. They should keep him off the playoff roster just to assure Torre doesn’t use him.
UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: The fans here at the Stadium chant “MVP” whenever A-Rod comes to plate. They need to chant “DFA” whenever Farnsworth pitches so Brian Cashman gets the idea.
Now Kei Igawa is coming in and the fans are booing before he even gets to the mound.
Now I’m convinced the Yankees will win. The K-Man will get an out, the Yankees will score twice in the eighth then Mo will wrap it up. 11-10, piece of cake.
UPDATE, 6:33 p.m.: See, Igawa got an out. OK, so 12-11. They just need to get A-Rod up again.
UPDATE, 6:48 p.m.: This is either the best game of the season or the worst, I’m not sure.
Meanwhile, Melky was given a single on that last play.
Thank God, Mo is pitching. If Igawa stayed in I might have run out there and tackled him.
UPDATE, 7:04 p.m.: Hey, Toronto didn’t score. What a concept.
I’m supposed to be objective and I’d like to think I am. But, please, somebody win this game right now.
Meanwhile, seriously, you have to admire Toronto. They beat Boston three straight, beat the Yankees last night in 14 and they’re playing this game hard as heck. I give them a lot of credit.
UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: What a game by A-Rod, 4 for 5 with a walk and three RBI. Now somebody needs to drive him in.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Wow, what a throw by Robbie Cano and a nice play by Posada. After all that, now somebody has to figure out a way to win the game.