Here are the lineups:
Pregame chatter: Interesting move by Eric Wedge to play Nixon, who is 13 of 35 against Clemens with four doubles, a triple and three homers. Lofton is 14 of 62. No other Indian in the lineup has faced the Rocket more than nine times.
Yankee lineup against Westbrook
The Yankees should hit Westbrook. But you to wonder if some Cleveland hitters (Lofton especially) will bunt the direction of Clemens and Giambi. That could be trouble.
Back later with comments from Torre.
UPDATE, 4:07 p.m. TORRE REACTION TO STEINBRENNER
Torre just met with the beat writers. He revealed that he held a little meeting with the team already today. As for what Steinbrenner said, Torre just smiled. “It’s that time of the year,” he said. “It’s what we do here.”
Torre didn’t know about the comments until he got to the Stadium.
I asked him whether he wanted to come back and he said his only thoughts were on winning Game 3.
Here is Torre in his office, minutes ago:
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Here is what Don Mattingly had to say about Joe Torre:
â€œItâ€™s obviously an uncomfortable situation for me. I donâ€™t want to be caught in the middle of this. On the back end of that, Joe knows how I feel about him. He knows I would never do anything behind the scenes or anything else to backstab anybody. Itâ€™s not my character; itâ€™s not part of me. Iâ€™m comfortable with that part of myself. Joe knows me, too, that I wouldnâ€™t be doing that. My loyalty to him is as long as it has to be, really forever. Heâ€™s treated me great, heâ€™s taught me tons.”
UPDATE, 6:03 p.m.: It’s 79 degrees in the Bronx. But there’s nothing to this global warming thing, right?
Meanwhile, the Red Sox are about to advance against the Angels, who are just helpless against them. If the Yankees somehow win this series, I am convinced they would beat the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Yankees drill their pitching and know how to play at Fenway Park better than any team.
UPDATE, 6:16 p.m.: A thunderous ovation from the fans here at the Stadium for Joe Torre. Joba Chamberlain got a loud cheer as did Don Mattingly, Ron Guidry and all of the starters. Yes, even A-Rod.
People booed Farnsworth. Hilarious.
UPDATE, 6:37 p.m.: First pitch, 6:37. Let’s get this going. Beautiful night in the Boogie Down Bronx, time for the Yankees to show up in this series.
UPDATE, 6:52 p.m.: Not a good start for Clemens, who threw 27 pitches. They will probably need 2 or 3 innings from Moose or the Franchise tonight. You can’t trust innings top anybody in the bullpen other than Joba or Mo.
UPDATE, 7:08 p.m.: Well, as was pointed out earlier in this post, Nixon had great numbers against Clemens. It could be time to get Hughes up. Clemens doesn’t seem to have much.
UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: Hey, it’s one of those base hit things for Alex. That breaks his 0-for-18 postseason skid.
Then Posada grounds into a double play. Two innings, two double plays.
UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: Hughes is warming up. Clemens may not be long for this game.
UPDATE, 7:27 p.m.: Clemens has nothing. This game is one swing away from being 4-0. They need to get him out.
UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: Hope you were paying attention, that was probably the last pitch Roger Clemens will ever throw. He’s 45, has an elbow that needs surgery and his legs can’t hold up to the strain of pitching. It was a hell of a career but he looks done.
UPDATE, 7:43 p.m.: If Cleveland wins this series, how desperate will MLB and Fox be to get the Red Sox in the World Series? The Indians against the Rockies or Diamondbacks for all the marbles will draw no ratings whatsoever outside of those cities.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Hughes looks pretty good, especially considering he’s making only the second relief appearance of his professional career.
The crowd is tremendous, by the way. They’re trying to will the Yankees to win. But those double plays are killer. Derek Jeter – yes, Derek Jeter – is killing them. He’s 1 for 10 in the series.
UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Second and third, one out. They need to do something here. The crowd is in a frenzy.
UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: The kids are showing up. Franchise, Cano, the Melkman. Time for the veterans to do something.
UPDATE, 8:39 p.m.: He may be an idiot. But that dude knows when it’s money time. 5-3 Yanks. Now they need to step on their necks.
UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: Your mission, Mr. Hughes, is to get three outs and give the lead to Joba Chamberlain, who is warming.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: Great move by Torre, getting Mientkiewicz in to bunt. Plus now you have his glove to protect the lead. Huge at-bat here for Cano. This can put the game away.
UPDATE, 9:12 p.m.: I do believe there is going to be a baseball game in the Bronx tomorrow night. Joe is not screwing around, here comes Joba.
I heard from some of you that TBS is not doing a good job with the crowd noise. I have to tell you, I haven’t heard the crowd like this in years. The press box was shaking when Cano got that hit.
Now we’ll see if Eric Wedge sticks with Byrd or goes to Sabathia. I think he’ll stick Byrd knowing he’d have Sabathia on full rest for Game 5.
UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Dr. Ronan Tynan is back for “God Bless America.” Derek Jeter shook his hand when he got done. Yep, it’s October.
UPDATE, 9:52 p.m.: Joba is probably burned out for tomorrow now. But Torre almost had no choice. Bringing in Farnsworth or Veras or Vizcaino is inviting disaster.
Now it’s Mo for the 9th and see you tomorrow.