WHITE SOX (83-66)
Griffey Jr. DH
Notes: The never-say-die Yankees have won three straight and four of their last six. They have not won four straight since that eight-game streak after the break when they fooled everybody into thinking they were any good. … The Yankees start the day nine games out in the division and wild card with 11 games to play. … Chicago is 1.5 games up on the Twins.
NOT MUCH HELP: Pudge Rodriguez has started only 25 of the 44 games since he became a Yankee.
BRUTALLY EFFICIENT: Mariano Rivera has pitched the last three days but thrown only 28 pitches (22 strikes) in his three innings.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Yankes are 4,128-2,429 at the Stadium. All but three of those losses were against A.J. Burnett.
COKE IS IT: Phil Coke has thrown eight scoreless innings in his six appearances.
MR. CLUTCH: Bobby Abreu is 20 of 52 with RISP and two outs, the best mark in the AL.
PEN MEN: Yankee relievers in the last three games: 12.1 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 4:36 p.m.: The Yankees haven’t decided whether Pavano or Ponson will start on Friday. Aceves goes Saturday and Pettitte on Sunday. … The plan is for Matsui to play Sunday then have the surgery. … Girardi had a talk with Cano today and put him back in the lineup.
UPDATE, 6:11 p.m.: Just met a nice man, 90-year-old Joe Mignogna of the Bronx. He attended the first game at Yankee Stadium in 1923. He was 5 years old and went with his grandfather, who knew Jacob Ruppert.
“We were all rooting for the Babe to hit a home run that day,” he said. “And you know what? He did.”
I asked him what he thought about Jeter breaking Gehrig’s record for hits at the Stadium.
“I think he’ll do it tonight,” Mignogna said. “Gehrig was a quiet guy and a great player. All class. Everybody respected him. I think it’s good if Jeter breaks his record. That would be right, don’t you think?”
Yep, sure do. Seems right.
Mark it down. Single over the shortstop’s head, good hard turn around first. Standing ovation from the crowd.
UPDATE, 6:21 p.m.: Several of the Yankees went over and took a tour of the new Stadium today. “It’s huge,” Darrell Rasner said. “That’s the first thing that strikes you.”
UPDATE, 7:08 p.m: Olympic swimmer Dara Torres threw out the first pitch. North Carolina hoops coach Roy Williams is in the house, too.
UPDATE, 7:16 p.m.: See? Told you. Good for Derek. He set the record in 3,928 at-bats. The Iron Horse has 3,861. It’s a record that will never be broken.
It should have been an E-5, however. A big leaguer needs to make that play. Here is photo I snapped just before the pitch was thrown by Floyd:
UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: Alex, of course, strikes out and gets booed. If Alex ever cured cancer, Jeter would negotiate world peace the next day. It’s just how it works with those guys.
UPDATE, 7:43 p.m.: Brett Gardner just came to the plate to Gimme Shelter by the Stones. I have no idea if he selected that or not. But if so, that is pretty cool.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Mark Feinsand of the News reported in early August that Pettitte was dealing with an injury. The Yankees denied it at the time. But Pettitte has not pitched well since then and has grudgingly admitted that his shoulder is not well. It appears he needs only rest but it’s obvious that something is wrong.
Meanwhile, it has become hard to watch him pitch. You can’t walk Juan Uribe with the bases loaded. It’s admirable that Pettitte wants to keep pitching. But it could be time to shut him down.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: That’s 31 dingers for The Big G and he’s now alone in 10th place in team history. 93 RBI this season.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Moose Skowron pulled the lever.
UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: What part of Jose Veras not being any good lately don’t the Yankees understand? He has now allowed 20 hits and 11 runs in his last 15 innings. He should not be pitching in close games.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Just a thought, but it’s time to retire Cotton Eye Joe. A guy in a straw hat dancing around to a lame song is not really entertaining. You’d like to think the Yankees would change things up at the new Stadium but it’ll probably be the same old song-and-dance.
Meanwhile, the Girardi Boys are mailing in another one. Brett Gardner has shown what he is capable of, at least. But other than that and Jeter’s hit, it has been a sleepy night at the ballpark.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: Humberto Sanchez warming up. Might as well see some of the kids at this point.
UPDATE, 10:08 p.m.: I know he has an ugly ERA. But Dave Robertson had struck out 32 in 26.2 innings. I think he has a real chance to develop into a late-inning guy.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: Jeter sets a record, Yankees lose. Not the script he wanted but a familiar tune this season.