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Game 137: Yankees at Tigers

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YANKEES (72-64)
Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A. Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2C
I. Rodriguez C
Ponson RHP

TIGERS (66-70)
Granderson CF
Polanco 2B
Ordonez RF
Cabrera 1B
Joyce LF
Sheffield DH
Larish 3B
Inge C
Santiago SS
Verlander RHP

Sidney Ponson (7-5, 4.80) vs. the Detroit hitters. [2]

Justin Verlander (10-14, 4.53) vs. the New York hitters. [3]

Notes: Happy Labor Day. … The Yankees today start a 10-game, 10-day road trip. The game today is the makeup of a rainout from May 11. They go from here to Tampa Bay, Seattle and Los Angeles. … Today’s matchup is one of two of the most disappointing teams in baseball. The Yankees are 12.5 games out first, the Tigers 11.

SIR SIDNEY ON THE SKIDS: Sidney Ponson has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs in his last 6.2 innings.

BIG G ON A ROLL: Jason Giambi is a modest 7 of his last 26. But he has four homers and 11 RBI. His 84 RBI lead the team. Oddly, Giambi does not have a double since July 2.

CLOSING IN: Alex Rodriguez has 547 home runs. He needs one more to catch Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for 12th place in history.

STRUGGLE CITY: The Yankees scored 19 runs on the six-game homestand and were 9 of 48 (.188) with RISP.

PETTITTE PROBLEM: As the Yankees try to decide what to do next season, what about Andy Pettitte? He’s 1-4, 7.01 in his last seven starts. In 42.1 innings he has allowed 58 hits.

HELLO PAL: The Yankees could get a look at old friend Kyle Farnsworth, who was traded for Pudge Rodriguez at the deadline. Krazy Kyle has appeared in 11 games for Detroit, giving up 17 hits and six earned runs in 11.3 innings.

UPDATE, 12:17 p.m.: OK, lots of news:

40-MAN ROSTER MOVES: Jorge Posada was placed on the 60-day DL and Billy Traber was DFA’d.

JOBA UPDATE: He will be activated tomorrrow. Joe Girardi said they planned to use him out of the bullpen for the rest of the season because it’s too late to build him back up to start.

Brian Cashman (who is on the trip) said the intent is to have Joba return to starting next season. But he said it was something they had to further discuss.

MINOR MATTERS: Humberto Sanchez has been assigned to Trenton for the playoffs. … Jeremy Bleich will start one of Staten Island’s playoff games.

CALL-UPS: Unlike last season, when the Yankees called up most everybody on the 40-man, the Yankees are only going to call up those players who will actually play. It does not sound like Phil Hughes is coming back. He’ll pitch for Scranton, keep working in Florida then report to the Arizona Fall League. Girardi and Cashman also indicated little interest in having Melky Cabrera return. Ian Kennedy may have a chance.

CASH ON THE ROAD: It’s fairly unusual when Brian Cashman travels. He said he’s evaluating players both in terms of this season and next. He also said he is not going to Tampa to discuss his own contract situation or necessarily to meet with the Steinbrenners. “This is where I feel I need to be,” he said.

UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Nice moment here in Detroit as Pudge Rodriguez got a standing ovation from the fans and stepped out of the box to tip his helmet.

Then he struck out and they cheered again, this time for Justin Verlander.

UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: Wow, Justin Verlander stinks.

UPDATE, 2:06 p.m.: Wow, Sidney Ponson stinks, too.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: The Yankees have eight runs on 10 hits and haven’t made an out in the third inning. They scored 19 runs on the six-game homestand.

UPDATE, 2:28 p.m.: Humberto Sanchez tossed an inning for Trenton today, his first appearance at that level this season. He whiffed two Connecticut Defenders but also gave up a run on two doubles.

Mike Ashmore has all the details – and photos and video – over on Thunder Thoughts. [4]

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Another smooth Robbie Alomar-type play for Robbie Cano and that’s it for Sir Sidney in the fourth inning.

Just a brutal day for Sir Sid. Three innings plus five batters, nine hits and a walk and five runs so far.

UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: Ponson’s last three games: 9.2 innings, 24 hits, 18 runs, 17 earned runs, six walks, four strikeouts. That’s a 15.83 ERA. What compelling reason is there to continue starting him every five days?

Meanwhile, Edwar Ramirez continues to do his Clay Council impersonation.

UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.: My apologies to Mr. Council. Ramirez gives up far more hard-hit balls.

Can you expand the roster in the fifth inning? Call up Hughes, Kennedy and Igawa.

UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: My scorebook looks like my 3-year-old nephew drew on it. The first three hitters have scored eight runs for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Something is wrong with Bruney, at least it looks that way. His mechanics are all messed up.

UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: Welcome to the majors, Phil Coke. He fanned Curtis Granderson to get his career started, good for him.

UPDATE, 4:17 p.m.: And Coke gets through the inning, leaving a runner on second. That makes him today’s ace.

UPDATE, 4:52 p.m.: The Yankees allow nine runs on 13 hits and six walks and win! There’s something you don’t see every day. Fine work by Brian Bruney, Phil Coke, Damaso Marte and Chris Britton to clean up up the mess left by Sidney Ponson and Edwar Ramirez.