Notes: The Yankees are 5-7 against the last-placed Orioles this season, getting outscored 69-58. … The Yankees start the day 10.5 games back in the division and six games behind in the wild card.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: The Yankees are 24-24 against teams in their division.
MILESTONE ON DECK: Derek Jeter has 2,499 hits. He is one shy of becoming the 88th player in history with 2,500. Only five active players have more hits: Ken Griffey Jr. (2,657), Omar Vizquel (2,634), Gary Sheffield (2,594), Pudge Rodriguez (2,593) and Luis Gonzalez (2,577).
MOOSE MANIA: Mike Mussina (16-7) has not won 17 games since 2003. … He has 266 wins in his career. He is tied with Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey for 35th place in history. Jim Palmer is in 34th place with 268 wins.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 5:47 p.m.: OK, here is what we have in terms of baseball. Carl Pavano feels good and can throw around 100 pitches tomorrow. … Joe Girardi said the Yankees would have “to be creative” in how they build up Joba’s arm strength. That’s secret code for he probably will be used out of the bullpen for a while. … Dan Giese is here and threw for the first time since being placed on the DL on Aug. 15.
Here’s the important stuff. I want to tell you about four really good guys.
Johnny Damon, Billy Traber and Dave Robertson: The team got to its hotel in Baltimore around 2:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., those three guys were in a car headed to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington to spend time with wounded vets.
Johnny, as many of you know, is a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project.
I only wish that I could report that all 25 players made that trip. But good for Johnny, Billy and Dave for doing so.
Bobby Abreu: The Venezuelan Little League team lost in the Little League World Series in Williamsport yesterday. Bobby arranged for their entire travel party to attend the game tonight. He rented a bus to bring them here, paid for their tickets and dinner, the whole deal. The kids were on the field for batting practice and Bobby is bringing over all the guys to meet them.
Bobby is one of the most popular players ever from Venezuela and the kids were wide-eyed to meet him. What a cool thing for him to have done, it has to be a thrill of a lifetime for those kids.
UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.: There you have it, 2,500 hits for Derek Jeter. Then A-Rod and Giambi combined to bring a potentially big inning to a grinding halt for what seems like the 2,500th time this season.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Why do the Yankees insist on trying to have Bobby Abreu steal bases? He’s 14 of 24. That’s not good. This isn’t that hard. Tell him not to run.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: More base-running blunders as Giambi tries to take second on an outfielder (Nick Markakis) with 13 assists. He now leads the league with 14.
Somebody needs to figure out how many outs the Yankees have run into on the bases. I bet it’s at least 40 more than last season.
UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Wow, Cano hit a bomb there. 425 feet onto Eutaw Street. Then Molina snuck one over the wall in left. That’s eight times this season the Yankees have gone back-to-back.
3-3 and the Moose is back in it.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: The Moose has settled down a bit and retired five straight. He’s usually pretty good at managing those nights when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
Of course he needs his teammates to score a run or two, which is a tricky proposition.
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Hey, A-Rod got a double. 2nd and 3rd and nobody out down by a run. They can’t screw this up, can they?
UPDATE, 9:42 p.m.: And Cornholio throws a wild pitch, the game is tied. Are you threatening me?
UPDATE, 9:43 p.m.: A single by Nady off Cornholio gives the Yankees the lead. What a game. Moose is off the hook. Meanwhile Mo hasn’t pitched in five days.
UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: OK, Mariano Rivera in for a four-out save. Hopefully somebody told him that this is in fact a save situation.
Man, Damaso Marte is shaky. Mora hit a rocket to third and then he hits Huff.