A. Rodriguez 3B
I. Rodriguez C
WHITE SOX (84-66)
Griffey Jr. CF
Clayton Richard (2-4, 6.94) has never faced any of the Yankees.
Notes: The Yankees have won three of their last four. They are 3-2 against Chicago this season and 19-19 against the AL Central. … The Yankees start the day nine games out in the division and wild card with 10 games to play. … Chicago is 2.5 games up on the Twins in the AL Central. The four-game series concludes tomorrow night with Mike Mussina facing Javier Vazquez.
BACK FROM THE GRAVE: This is the first start for Melky since Aug. 13. He has not had an AB since he was recalled on Sept. 5.
HE’S A HOMEBODY: Derek Jeter is 32 of 68 at the Stadium in the last 17 games.
ROBBIE CANO, DON’T YOU KNOW: Robinson Cano has driven in one run in the last 16 games. Oh, and if you’re running a pool at home he has gone 93 plate appearances since drawing a walk.
THEY’RE DOOMED: The Chicago starter is a 24-year-old rookie lefty from Indiana who is working on seven days’ rest. So figure on 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.
DON’T GIVE UP YET: The Yankees are 9 of 44 with RISP in the last five games.
THE LATE SHOW: The Yankees are 1-62 when trailing after eight innings. They were 3-58 last season. I know, this stat doesn’t mean a darn thing. I’m just filling space.
WHY CAN’T THE YANKEES GET PITCHERS LIKE THESE? LaTroy Hawkins with the Astros: 14 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 20 strikeouts. Scott Patterson with the Padres: 1.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts.
I WANT IT ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL: Wilson Betemit has had 25 at-bats as a pinch hitter. He has seven hits and 10 strikeouts.
YANKEE RBI LEADERS
The Big G 93
WHAT I LISTENED TO IN THE CAR ON THE WAY TO THE STADIUM: The Clash’s On Broadway box set. … I want to download the new Steve Earle when I get around to it. Steve is playing Tarrytown, N.Y., in January and I’m hoping to catch that show.
OK, back later with updates. Is there anybody alive out there?
UPDATE, 5:56 p.m.: Phil Hughes is wearing No. 65. … There seems to be a chance Ian Kennedy will return if they shut Andy Pettitte down after Sunday. … Esteemed member of the Tampa brain trust Felix Lopez was on the field for batting practice. … Baltimore’s starters for the weekend: Daniel Cabrera, Radhames Liz and Chris Waters.
UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: Cabrera has been shut down. Now it’s Liz, TBA and Waters.
UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Nice job by Hughes to pitch around the double. But, man, lots of pitches.
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: The advance scouts the Yankees use must see a lot of movies. Why is it that every time the Yanks face a rookie pitcher they look mystified? I’m going to invent a new stat, the BBURP. It will stand for Beaten By Unknown Rookie Pitcher. I guarantee you the Yankees would lead the league in BBURPS.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Hughes has pitched fairly well (4 4 1 1 2 4) but the pitch count has probably ended his evening. The foul balls what what did him in. He was throwing strikes, just not getting enough out of them. Given his previous appearances in the majors, it was better.
It looks like we’re going to get a nice serving of Phil Coke next inning.
UPDATE, 8:29 p.m.: I’ve seen enough. Phil Coke is the greatest Yankee ever. OK, maybe not. But he has thrown nine scoreless innings.
UPDATE, 8:31 p.m.: A few days ago I wrote that it was stupid for people to be booing A-Rod. Yeah, well I take that back. He has been brutal. His last 13 plate appearances: 2 for 11, seven strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Clayton Richard is throwing a one-hit shutout through five innings and has retired eight straight.
UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: OK, I officially give up. The person pulling the countdown lever tonight was some vice president from Met Life. Apparently everybody who has ever played, managed or coached for the Yankees was busy. Maybe they all went to the same movie.
I understand that Met Life sponsored the countdown. I get that. If they wanted somebody to pull the lever in June or July, that would have been fine. But this guy was the sixth company executive to do the honors.
THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK OF GAMES AT THE STADIUM!
It’s a disgrace. How can a team like the Yankees ignore their history?
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: Nice return by Melky. GIDP and popped up a bunt to the catcher.
UPDATE, 8:50 p.m.: At 3:38 p.m today, I (somewhat kiddingly) wrote this at the start of the game post:
The Chicago starter is a 24-year-old rookie lefty from Indiana who is working on seven days’ rest. So figure on 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.
Here is what he has actually done: 6 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts.
UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: Great job by Bruney to work out of that jam. Meanwhile, in theory, the Yankees can still win this game. It would involve scoring two runs. That seems like a lot.
UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Joba warming up. … Here is their chance. The Big G pops one out then Joba and Mo.
UPDATE, 9:13 p.m.: Ozzie Guillen screwed that up. He came to the mound before Nady came up and it looked like Richard talked him into staying out there.
UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: Big spot here for the Artist Formerly Known As Pudge Rodriguez.
UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: OK, a wild pitch. The Yankees will certainly take it. Now they’re up 2-1 and have six outs to get. Joba for three and Mo for three. A Jorge Posada Special.
UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Man, this would be a bad, bad loss for the White Sox if the Yankees hold on. Meanwhile, it’s almost like Girardi let them suddenly eat candy bars again in the seventh inning. The Yankees were sleepwalking and all of a sudden started playing again.
This would be a typical spot for a crushed A-Rod homer. Just watch.
UPDATE, 9:38 p.m.: See?
UPDATE, 9:39 p.m.: That’s 35 homers for Mr. Clutch. He has hit 35 or more home runs in 12 separate seasons, tying the record held by Babe Ruth.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: That rotten A-Rod denied Mo the save opportunity. Now Edwar Ramirez is on.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: Not bad, the Yankees continue to stave off elimination and assure themselves of a .500 record.
All kidding aside, it’s pretty amazing that A-Rod has hit 35+ homers in 12 seasons, 11 in a row.