RED SOX (94-66)
Notes: The teams are supposed to play two games. However it’s raining. … The Yankees have won eight of nine and 11 of 3 while Boston has won four of six. … The Yankees are 8-8 against the Red Sox.
MOOSE ON THE LOOSE: Mike Mussina, 39, is trying to become the oldest player to win 20 games for the first time. … He is 1-2, 4.57 against the Sox in four starts this season. He is 20-17, 3.71 in his career against Boston (56 starts) and 10-8, 3.82 at Fenway Park (26 starts).
GO GO GARDNER: The scraptastic Brett Gardner is 13 of 40 with eight runs scored, four extra-base hits, seven RBI and four walks.
ASSORTED STATISTICAL NONSENSE: The Yankees are 33-22 in day games. … The Yankees are 40-39 on the road. … The Yankees are 76-0 when leading after eight innings, 72-2 when leading after seven and 67-4 when leading after six.
Before you get too excited about that, the Giants are 59-0 when leading after eight innings.
OTHER MILESTONES IN REACH: Jason Giambi has 96 RBI. … Bobby Abreu has scored 99 runs and has 39 doubles.
SUNDAY MORNING SONGS ON iPOD SHUFFLE MODE: In Someone Else’s Mind (The Soundtrack Of Our Lives), C’Mon, C’Mon (The Von Bondies), Tempted (Squeeze), Can’t Let It Go (The Goo Goo Dolls), Just The Other Side of Nowhere (Johnny Cash), One More Road to Cross (DMX), Johnny Strikes Up The Band (Warren Zevon), Walk Away Renee (Southside Johnny), 1977 (The Clash), Thru and Thru (The Rolling Stones)
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 12:41 p.m.: Mariano Rivera said he hadn’t decided whether he would have surgery yet. “Soon,” he said. “Today or tomorrow.” … Joe Girardi hinted strongly that Joba Chamberlain would be a starter next season with an attempt made to control his innings. … Chien-Ming Wang heads to Tampa on Wednesday, Phil Hughes to Arizona around the same time. Wang expects to spend 2-3 weeks throwing.
They’re getting the field ready. Looks like we’ll have at least one game.
UPDATE, 1:44 p.m.: OK, the game is being delayed but they’re pulling the tarp.
Meanwhile the Red Sox just had a nice ceremony to retire the number of Johnny Pesky. Nomar Garciaparra of the playoff-bound Los Angeles Dodgers appeared via videotape to congratulate Pesky and received a huge hand from the crowd.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: OK, now it’s raining again and the tarp is back on the field.
UPDATE, 2:08 p.m.: They’re starting to pull the tarp again. 2:30 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
Meanwhile, by now you’ve heard how Girardi has banned ice cream, candy and fast food from the clubhouse. It even applies on the road as he instructs the clubhouse workers to provide only healthy snacks. It drives the players crazy.
The clubhouse entrance at Fenway is right in the third-base concourse, only a few steps from an ice cream stand. So far this weekend I’ve seen Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez and other players standing in line with fans to get an ice cream.
UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: OK, we’re about to get underway.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Talked to Jose Molina for a while this morning. He has caught 728 innings this season, the most in his career by a long shot (his previous high was 603 in 2006). He said his knees are bothering him and he’s beat up but he was excited about catching Moose one more time.
“If he’s going to start the game, I’m going to catch him,” Molina said. “That’s all there is to it.”
UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Both guys are pitching gems so far. Moose: 3 1 0 0 1 1. Dice-K: 3 1 0 0 0 4.
Moose has thrown first-pitch strikes to eight of the 10 batters he has faced. It’s amazing what working ahead, staying ahead, changing speeds and working at a good tempo will do for a starter. The Moose is a craftsman at this stage in his career.
UPDATE, 3:33 p.m.: Short of hitting the Pesky Pole, that’s about the cheapest home run in the AL. But Xavier Nady will take and so will the Moose. Nancy Drew and his bad back wanted nothing to do with that wall.
OK, now the mission is to get the ball to Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning.
I always say I don’t root for teams, I root for stories. Well Moose winning his 20th would be a good story and that is what I am rooting for.
UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: The Moose squelches the threat by getting Drew to ground into the double play. Now all we need are three more outs without rain, which could be a lot to ask the way this weekend has gone.
By the way, isn’t it interesting how Robbie Cano turned back Robbie Cano once he got the smack laid down on him? You really do have to wonder what would have happened to the Yankees if that had happened in June instead of September.
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: That’s five innings and Moose has been masterful. Three hits, one on a bad hop. He has thrown only 62 pitches through five innings, 52 of them strikes.
Three runs aren’t many at this park, however. The Yankees need to throw a few more up there.
UPDATE, 4:31 p.m.: The Moose is at 73 pitches. I would think he would stay in the game given how well he is pitching. His line so far: 6 3 0 0 2 3.
UPDATE, 4:37 p.m.: Wow, Moose is out. Phil Coke is on the mound.
Girardi said before the game that Moose would decide when he was coming out. If that is true, then I guess Moose decided he had enough after only 73 pitches. Seems strange to me to leave so much to chance. The only pitcher he should turn the ball over to is Mo.
Well, regardless, nine outs to get for No. 20.
UPDATE, 4:44 p.m.: It’s Phil Coke’s world and we’re all just living in it. Six outs to go.
Meanwhile, you can make a heck of a case for CC Sabathia for NL MVP. Who has been more valuable to a team than that guy?
UPDATE, 4:58 p.m.: Not much love there for Joba. But they can’t mess around. Tough spot for Bruney here but he could overmatch Lowie and Kottaras with his cheese.
UPDATE, 5:03 p.m.: 96 heater on the outside corner for one out. They would do well here just to allow one.
UPDATE, 5:12 p.m.: Oh boy. Now it’s 3-2 as Damaso Marte likely throws his last pitch as a Yankee. Now the Yankees turn a 3-2 lead to a sore-shouldered and rusty Mariano Rivera. He has not pitched since Tuesday in Toronto.
Quite a test for Mo.
Meanwhile, it’s starting to rain again.
UPDATE, 5:17 p.m.: That is why the man is the greatest ever. Fans the Little Leaguer on three pitches.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Big run there for the Yankees. Now it’s 4-2 with Mo on the mound. Moose is never going to get a better shot than this.
UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: What is it about closers and non-save situations?
UPDATE, 5:37 p.m.: I think it’s safe to say Mariano can hold a four-run lead. … Meanwhile, can you believe the dopey Mets are having their ceremony for Shea Stadium after that game they just played?
UPDATE, 5:40 p.m.: That’s a shame about Papelbon. He seems like such a nice guy, too.