Here are the lineups:
Pregame chatter: So much for the idea of using Giambi. Torre said he gave no thought to taking Matsui out of the lineup. “It’s a different pitcher,” he said. “These are the guys who have done it for us.” … If Mientkiewicz’s ankle wasn’t OK, Giambi would have started at first base. … Torre still won’t say who he plans to start in Game 4. He is considering using Wang on short rest because of how well he pitches at the Stadium. Then Pettitte would come back for a possible Game 5. The Game 4 options are Mussina, Wang or Hughes. “All are viable,” Torre said. … One way or another, Joba Chamberlain will get in the game tonight.
UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.: The A-Rod postseason slump has so many weird angles. He’s 0 for 15, 3 for 31 or 4 for 46 (.087) if you back to his last three at-bats of Game 4 in the 2004 ALCS. His last RBI in the postseason was in 2004. On, and he’s also 0 for his last 24 in postseason road games. It’s truly hard to believe.
(Surgeon General’s warning. These Alex Rodriguez stats are printed without any opinion intended. These are simple statistics taken off Page 95 of the Yankees Postseason Media Guide. In the opinion of this writer, he’s a great player and a fine American. Or Dominican.)
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: Phil Hughes is the youngest Yankee to appear in a postseason game since Bill Stafford (who?) in 1960.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * BREAKING NEWS * * * * * * * * * * * *
Got this release from the Yankees:
BOB SHEPPARD TO MISS DIVISION SERIES GAMES AT YANKEE STADIUM; WILL SNAP STREAK OF ANNOUNCING 121 CONSECUTIVE POSTSEASON GAMES
The New York Yankees announced today that public address announcer Bob Sheppard will be unable to attend 2007 Division Series games at Yankee Stadium due to a bronchial infection. He will be replaced by longtime backup Jim Hall.
Sheppard is in his 57th season as public address announcer at Yankee Stadium. His forthcoming absence will snap a streak of working 121 consecutive postseason games at Yankee Stadium, including 62 games in 22 World Series. His postseason streak began on October 4, 1951, in Game 1 of the World Series vs. the New York Giants. The lineups that day included Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra and rookies Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
“Doctors are monitoring my progress,â€? Sheppard said. â€œAnd I am hoping to get back to Yankee Stadium to watchâ€”and announceâ€”Yankees playoff games long into October.â€?
Sheppardâ€™s first game as Yankees public address announcer was on Opening Day, April 17, 1951, as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 5-0.
Get well soon, Mr. Sheppard.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Queen Latifah threw 15 warm-up pitches next to the Yankees dugout before she threw out the first pitch. Derek Jeter came out to give her a hug.
UPDATE, 5:44 p.m.: That is why you stick with Melky Cabrera. What a throw. He even had the presence of mind to pause for a split second and set himself before he gunned down Peralta. Huge play. Now we’ll see if the Yankees can use the momentum.
UPDATE, 5:53 p.m.: Throw a guy out at the plate, crush a home run nearly into the second deck. It’s a good day to be the Melkman.
Andy Pettitte has four innings to go. Then it’s Joba for two and Mo for one. Torre will cling to this lead like a life raft.
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: So much for passing the baton. Cleveland was clearly pitching around A-Rod there as he swung at ball three on 2-0. Terrible at-bat. That’s 4 for 48 and 0 for 17.
Jeters starts with a single and it’s wasted.
UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Andy Pettitte really has been a bulldog today. The Indians have four hits in four innings and he’s kept them off the board with the help of Melky.
The Yankees need a run or two to help him out. But Carmona has made only one mistake.
UPDATE, 7:06 p.m.: This has so far been a performance for the ages by Andy Pettitte. The big lefty has not dominated the Indians but he has been tough all day, to steal the slogan of a certain Texan.
UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.: Wow, what can you say about A-Rod at this point? Just that Fausto Carmona has been terrific, I guess.
UPDATE, 7:22 p.m.: There is no action in the Yankee bullpen. I think you go Pettitte at least the seventh if not the eighth. He has put the team on his back.
UPDATE, 7:27 p.m.: Joba is up now. Pettitte is probably batter to batter I would guess.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: It’s Joba time. Gutierrez will pinch hit for Cleveland. Huge spot for the kid. What a job by Pettitte. But 6.1 is still a touch short.
UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: Five pitches, inning over. The kid is amazing. But he still needs to get the ball to Mo. What a tension convention this is.
The Indians are 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
UPDATE, 7:38 p.m.: People, understand something. One of the Joba Rules is once he gets up, he comes in or that’s it. Multiple warm-ups are what take a lot out of the arms of relievers. So Torre could not have him up to start that inning. Plus, given how Andy was pitching, he deserved to go back out there.
Once a runner on base, Guidry went to the mound and almost certainly told Pettitte to pitch around Lofton to give Joba a chance to warm up. He needs at least 10-12 pitches before he gets to the mound. They handled the situation perfectly.
What a game. Meanwhile, Carmona has been a stud. Do you realize the Yankees have one run on three hits in the last 11 innings? Amazing.
UPDATE, 7:48 p.m.: This is weird. There are some sort of bugs on the field and the players are all getting bug spray put on them. That’s why Mientkiewicz was having problems during his at-bat.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: Is this really happening because of gnats? Joba is clearly unnerved by the swarm of bugs on the field and has lost his control. He’s overthrowing everything, which has led to the wild pitches, walks and hit batter. What a mess.
UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: Well, here’s another chance for A-Rod. He can end all the questions right here.
UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: So much for that. He hasn’t got a ball out of the infield all series. Three pop-ups and three strikeouts. That was a tough at-bat but the postseason woes continue for A-Rod. One single and he’s a hero. Instead he’s still a headcase.
UPDATE, 8:26 p.m.: Now it’s up to Mo. I really can’t see how the Yankees win this game unless Mo goes two innings and they score in the 10th. Cleveland’s bullpen is better now that Joba has been used.
UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: The great Mariano Rivera has done it again. In 114.2 postseason innings, he has allowed 10 earned runs. That’s an ERA of 0.78. His line: 114.2 70 10 ER 16 BB, 90 K.
Now is only the offense would do something to help the great pitching the Yankees have received.
Now Shelley gets a shot.
UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Mo is done as the Viz is warming up. This is where it gets dicey.