Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 1.80) has never faced any of the Baltimore hitters.
Notes: The Yankees have won three straight and six of their last seven. … The Yankees are 6-2 on their current homestand, which has two games left. … Baltimore is 67-85. The once-proud Orioles have averaged 90.75 losses over the last eight seasons.
TRAGIC NUMBER = 2: A loss and a Red Sox victory would eliminate the Yankees from the postseason for the first time since 1993.
PITCHING IN: Yankee pitchers in the last three games: 27 innings, 21 hits, 5 runs, 8 walks, 24 strikeouts.
BUILDING A RESUME: Aceves has thrown 20 innings for the Yankees, allowing 4 runs on 15 hits. He has walked three and fanned 12. Alfredo told me yesterday that he was getting married in November and he’s looking forward to the offseason. So congratulations to him.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE: Friday night marked the 66th time in 154 games that the Yankees were held to three or fewer runs. They are on a pace to score 781 runs. That would be 187 fewer than last season.
TEAM RBI LEADERS: A-Rod 101, Abreu 95, Giambi 93.
THE LITTLE G: Brett Gardner has stolen 10 bases. Only four Yankees have more. Damon has 29, Abreu 19, A-Rod 17 and Jeter 11.
JUST A REMINDER: I’ll be doing a live video chat on LoHud.com on Monday at 1 p.m. to talk about the final game at the Stadium and whatever other subjects you come up with.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.: Andy Pettitte spoke to reporters this morning about his start tomorrow. Near the end of his interview he revealed an interesting nugget of information. Joe Girardi, he said, has asked him to return to the team next season. “He made his feelings clear,” Pettitte said.
That decision will ultimately belong to Brian Cashman or whoever the GM is. But it’s interesting that Girardi has made up his mind already. Here’s my question: Do you want Pettitte and Moose back or just one of them?
UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: The Yankees just presented Derek Jeter with a sterling silver tray in recognition of his passing Babe Ruth for second place on the franchise career hits list. The Bambino’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, presented the tray to the Captain.
UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: Nice crisp 65-degree day here in the Bronx. Not a cloud in the sky and a lot of empty seats for first pitch. If you’re watching at home, enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 1:33 p.m.: Today is the 108th game Giambi has played at first base. That’s most he has ever played for the Yankees. You have to go back to 2001, when he played 136 games at first base for Oakland, to find a season when Giambi played more in the field.
UPDATE, 2:14 p.m.: The Yankees say that “somebody special” is going to pull the countdown lever.
UPDATE, 2:29 p.m.: The countdown lever was pulled by … Bob Sheppard via video. That was cool.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Funny item in the Post today about A-Rod getting his hair frosted. Now that he’s single again, Alex needs to keep his game sharp.
UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: OK, enough is enough. Alfedo Aceves is pitching great and the Yankees need to score a couple of runs off Brian Burres. Yankees should make sure that tomorrow is not a meaningless game.
UPDATE, 2:48 p.m.: Thats it for Alfredo Aceves. The Monterrey Magician went six scoreless, scattering five hits. He has allowed four earned runs in 26 innings with the Yankees. Pretty impressive. Aceves pitches to contact, holds runners, changes speeds and fields his position. The dude knows how to pitch and should at least be in the mix for some sort of gig next season.
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: The PA announcer, Jim Hall, just introduced the hitter as “Alex Nady.”
UPDATE, 3:33 p.m.: Mariano Rivera just blew the O’s away in the ninth. Jeter, Abreu and A-Rod due up. Somebody jack one out of here and send everybody home. Give the Sandman a win.
UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.: Jeter was hit by a pitch in the left arm and left the game. We’ll pass along word on his status after the game. Hopefully he can play tomorrow. It would have to be a severe injury to keep him out, I’m sure.
Pinch runner The Little G just stole second. No outs.
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: At least Alex didn’t ground into a double play. Now all the Yankees need is a fly ball from The Big G to score The Little G.
UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: Cano wins it. Nice crisp game on a nice crisp day. Tomorrow counts.