RED SOX (76-55)
Notes: The Yankees start the day 10.5 games out in the division and seven out in the wild card. … The Yankees are 6-8 against Boston this season. … According to Cool Standings, the Yankees have a 2.3 percent shot of making the playoffs. … The Yankees will not take BP today. The players did not have to report until 11:30 a.m.
MOOSE TRACKS: Mike Mussina is 1-2, 5.52 against the Red Sox this season but pitched well in his last start against them, throwing six shutout innings on July 5. This the first of seven possible starts remaining in the season for Mussina as he tries to win 20 games for the first time in his career.
LESTER’S LINE: Lester is 2-0 against the Yankees this season. In 16 innings he has allowed 14 hits, two earned runs, walked three and struck out 16. He is coming off his worst start of the season. Lester lasted 2.1 innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday, giving up seven runs on eight hits.
RUNDOWN: The Yankees are on a pace to score 738 runs. That would be 185 fewer than last season.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 10:27 a.m.: RHP Alfredo Aceves is in the clubhouse and has apparently been called up. No move has been announced. Presumably he will be in the rotation this weekend.
UPDATE, 11:53 a.m.: RHP Dave Robertson was optioned to AAA Scranton. He can return in 10 days or when their season is over. … Aceves is here to pitch in relief but Brian Cashman said they seem him as a starter and that he could start at some point this season.
* * * * * * JOBA CHAMBERLAIN UPDATE, 11:55 a.m. * * * * * *
Joba threw 45 pitches in the bullpen. His next step will be throwing batting practice on Saturday before the game against the Jays. At that point, he could be cleared to pitch in relief in a game.
So it’s posssible he could be in the big leagues sometime next week.
UPDATE, 12:33 p.m.: Here is a good portion of Brian Cashman’s session with the media today. He talked about the state of the team, Alfredo Aceves and some other matters.
UPDATE, 12:39 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game press conference.
UPDATE, 12:42 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves wanted No. 91 because he was a fan of the Chicago Bulls and Dennis Rodman. “But I’m not nuts,” he said.
Aceves seems like a very personable guy who was thrilled to be here. He has gone from the Mexican League to playing in the majors in less than a year. It’s a nice story.
The Yankees purchased five players from Monterey last winter. Aceves cost them $450,000, of which he received 25 percent.
Cashman also is excited about lefty Manuel Banuelos, who is 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in the Gulf Coast League.
UPDATE, 1:09 p.m.: It’s 80 degrees at first pitch, a picture-perfect day in the Boogie Down. The stands aren’t quite full yet, but they will be. The Moose going for No. 17.
Enjoy the game. We’ll keep you updated here from time to time.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: The Yankees waste singles by Jeter and Abreu. They are 2 for 17 with RISP in this series with 18 LOB in 19 innings. When you have a chance to get to a pitcher like Lester, you have to take advantage of it.
UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Cody Ransom up, pressure on. He’s 2 for 2 with two home runs.
UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: They hit him. Chickens.
UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: Moose and Lester are each pitching gems.
Moose: 4 1 0 0 2 3
Lester: 4 3 0 0 0 5
Jason Kidd in the house. No gold medal around his neck, however.
UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: That HBP of Cora (on a 1-2 pitch) opened up the inning for Boston and now the Yankees trail 2-0.
They could have gotten away with one run but Cano was a indecisive for a split-second on Ellsbury’s grounder and he avoided a double play.
UPDATE, 2:41 p.m.: The countdown lever was pulled by “four long-standing team employees” who were introduced without mention of their title or anything else. The crowd did not seem to notice. Another special moment here at the Stadium.
UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia just ran on the grass from second to third to avoid being tagged by A-Rod but wasn’t called out. The Yankees complained to no avail
Big spot for Moose to try and keep at 2-0. Two outs, runners at second and third.
UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: He strikes out Kotsay. Big out. Now the Yankees have to get something going with the top of the order.
UPDATE, 3:06 p.m.: Another big day for Clutch-Rod. 0 for 3, two Ks and a foul pop. He has left four runners on base, two in scoring position.
The crowd booed loud and long.
UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.: Great job by Mike Mussina this afternoon. Seven innings, five hits, two runs, two walks and six strikeouts. But he’s down 2-0.
UPDATE, 3:34 p.m.: Jeter is 3 for 3, Ransom is 1 for 2. The rest of the Yankees are 1 for 19 with seven strikeouts.
UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: Now hitting for Molina, The Big G. This would be a good spot to put one in the upper deck.
UPDATE, 3:38 p.m.: Out to center works, too. Damn, he crushed that pitch. 2-2 and the Moose is off the hook.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: Moose is done (I believe he was at 113 pitches) and Brian Bruney is on. Pudge is catching and The Big G at first.
UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Good job by Girardi in the 8th inning, using his rested relievers to get through the heart of Boston’s order.
Now Terry Francona will try rookie Justin Masterson against A-Rod again. He got Alex to GIDP with a slider on Tuesday night. He’ll be hammering him with sliders again. Masterson is sort of their Joba in that he’ll pitch out of the ‘pen the rest of the season and then start in 2009.
This would be vintage A-Rod, to climb back from a horrid day and hammer the game-winner.
UPDATE, 4:03 p.m.: A-Rod fans on a 3-2 pitch. The crowd is letting him have it.
He’s 2 for 13 in the series with 5 Ks, two GIDPs and one RBI.
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: To the bottom of the ninth tied 2-2. Nady, Cano and Matsui due up. Masterson remains on the mound. He’s pretty nasty but somebody could pop one here.
Let’s see … how about Godzilla? Matsui deserves some love for rehabbing and coming back.
UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: Cano can’t bunt. This could be a disaster.
UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: Like I said, Cano can’t bunt. Missed two then lined to third. It was a rocket but right into the glove of Lowrie.
Here’s Matsui. He’ll win it one way or another.
UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: Damn, foiled by Terry Francona as Matsui is intentionally walked.
Pudge Rodriguez? He’s due, that’s for sure. But if he doesn’t GIDP, Giambi will win it.
(You get the feeling I want this game over? I’d predict that A-Rod would win it at this point. Well, no. But anybody else.)
UPDATE, 4;25 p.m.: The bases are juiced (no pun intended, really) for Giambi. He will face the very popular Jonathan Papelbon. The Yankee fans are wishing their worthy competitor well.
UPDATE, 4:26 p.m.: OK, let’s look at this. Infield is back, a little shift but not the usual one. Giambi is 1 for 6 against Papelbon with 4 strikeouts.
I say The Big G finds a way.
UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: He sure did. Good W for the pinstripes. Had to win the last game here against Boston.