Notes: The Yankees have five straight and eight of their last nine. They are coming off an 8-2 homestand. … The Yankees lead the Jays by two games in the exciting battle for third place in the AL East. … The Yankees are 7-8 against Toronto this season.
IT’S LIKE IT’S A FOREIGN COUNTRY: The Yankees are 2-6 at the Rogers Centre this season, getting outscored 30-19.
OH, WHAT A RELIEF: The Yankee bullpen over the last 12 games: 4-0, 1.03 ERA. 43.2 innings, 28 hits, 5 earned runs, 12 walks, 43 strikeouts.
THE MOOSE IS LOOSE: Mike Mussina is 1-1, 3.09 against the Jays this season and 24-12, 3.31 in 43 career starts against Toronto. He has not won 19 games since 1996.
GOOD CHAT, JOE: Robbie Cano is 8 of his last 16 with three RBI and four runs scored.
JOBAMANIA: Joba Chamberlain has appeared in 8 games since coming off the DL. His line: 9.2 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts.
THEY COULD HAVE FIT SOME MORE IN: The crowd on Sunday was announced as 54,610. The biggest crowd this season was 55,130 on July 2 against Boston. Were there 468 empty seats?
HE’S THE REAL THING: Phil Coke, the greatest of all the Yankees, has pitched in nine games. His line: 11.1 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts.
HE’S NOT: Jose Veras has allowed 20 hits and walked 12 in his last 17 innings.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: Not much in the way of baseball news, baseball fans. … The rotation in Boston will be Aceves, Pettitte and Moose. … Matsui’s knee surgery went well and the expectation is he will be ready for the start of spring training, not several weeks in as was the case last season. … Juan Miranda and Francisco Cervelli were delayed getting here because they had to obtain their work visas.
BREAKING NEWS, 6:13 p.m.: Jeter is out of the lineup because of a sore left hand. He tried to take BP and did not swing the bat well.
UPDATE, 6:21 p.m.: THE NEW LINEUP:
UPDATE, 6:37 p.m.: The game starts in 30 minutes and there are literally no more than 1,000 people in the stands.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Here is a quote from Derek Jeter, as told to media relations director Jason Zillo:
“There’s some soreness in there when I swing. It’s frustrating but if I can’t swing the way I know I can, I can’t help the team. And these games are still extremely important. We’ll see where I’m at tomorrow and go from there.”
UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: This slipped my mind before. But Happy Birthday today to two great Americans. Joba Chamberlain is 23 and Bruce Springsteen is 59. Joba is from Nebraska; Bruce wrote Nebraska. Joba plays for the Yankees; Bruce is a fan of the Yankees. It all fits.
UPDATE, 7:55 p.m.: Now this would be sad, if Moose has to leave the game.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Mussina got through the inning. The ball appeared to hit him in the right triceps. The question now will be whether it stiffens up on him between innings.
Moose has been brilliant so far, striking out five of the 10 batters he has faced.
UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: Just as Mussina recorded his sixth strikeout, the Red Sox took a lead on Cleveland and an ineffective Cliff Lee.
UPDATE, 8:44 p.m.: Mussina’s arm must have tightened up. But he certainly pitched a great game for five innings. Now we’ll see if the Yankees can hold the lead for him.
It must be a helpless feeling for him in the clubhouse.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: How nasty has Brian Bruney been lately? Meanwhile, it’s good that Girardi is pulling out all the stops to help Moose. Mussina deserves nothing less.