Here is the lineup:
Wang RHP (18-7, 3.75)
Pregame chatter: Yankees are facing LHP J.P. Howell (1-5, 6.80). … Jeter has hit safely in 12 straight games at 21 of 57. He has scored nine runs and driven in seven runs during that stretch. … Wilson Betemit is 6 of his last 33 with 12 strikeouts. … The Yankees are 15-16 against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. How can that be? … Edwar Ramirez in September: 10 games, 8 innings, 13 hits, 11 earned runs, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .351/.443/.676 against him.
UPDATE, 6:17 p.m.: Lots going on with the Yankees this afternoon … Roger Clemens worked out today the team’s minor-league complex and will stay in Tampa when the team goes to Baltimore. It’s easier for him to rehab and get his work in here than at Camden Yards. The Yankees remain hopeful that he will start a game in the ALDS. … Joe Torre and Brian Cashman met at Legends Field with George Steinbrenner, Hal Steinbrenner, Hank Steinbrenner and son-in-law Felix Lopez. Torre’s contract did not come up but the manager said he was very “comfortable” with the tenor of the meeting. … The players who have been on the roster all season met for 36 minutes before the game to vote on playoff shares. … Torre said Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Veras are in the mix as far as the playoff roster goes. You get the definite sense that Edwar Ramirez has gone from having a spot to being on the fence. … Talked to Phil Hughes for a while. He said he’s quite comfortable with the idea of pitching in relief in the playoffs. “Pitching is pitching,” he said. “It’s not like I’d be throwing with my left hand. Whatever they want me to do is fine with me.” … With Anaheim losing again today, it’s looking more and more like the Yankees will open up the playoffs at Cleveland.
UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: George Steinbrenner at the Trop watching the game.
UPDATE, 8:19 p.m.: Good stat in the Yankees’ pregame media notes: Rivera and Chamberlain have a combined ERA of 0.90 over the last 32 games. … That’s now a 13-game hit streak for Jeter.
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Sometimes this job is silly. Just now I walked to the far left side of the press box and leaned over the railing so I could get a clear look into luxury suite 205. That’s where George Steinbrenner supposedly was and I wanted to be able to see him myself before reporting in the paper that he was here.
I can say without a doubt that GMS is here. He was wearing sunglasses and talking on his cell phone. He looked OK to me. I tried to take a cell phone photo but he was too far away.
There is no chance, I was told, that Big Stein would visit the clubhouse if the Yankees win. It will be interesting to see if his sons or son-in-law make a visit.
UPDATE, 8:47 p.m.: Put the plastic on the lockers and ice down the champagne. There is no way Chien-Ming Wang will mess this up.
Robinson Cano has 19 homers and 94 RBI. Wow.
This is exactly what the Yankees need, an easy win and now four days to rest up and get ready for Cleveland.
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Not the greatest night for Chien-Ming Wang. But two runs over six innings did the job tonight. He’ll finish the regular season 19-7 after going 19-6 last season. Pretty impressive.
Joba is warming up. I suspect this will be the first game of seeing him go back-to-back days.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: I understand what they’re doing with Joba. But why the Viz is pitching isn’t clear. I guess it’s because he hasn’t pitched since Sunday.