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Game 91: Tigers at Yankees

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YANKEES (53-37)
Jeter SS
Gardner CF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera LF

Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (4-2, 4.25).

TIGERS (48-41)
Granderson CF
Polanco 2B
Cabrera 1B
Thames DH
Thomas RF
Inge 3B
Anderson LF
Laird C
Santiago SS

Pitching: RHP Edwin Jackson (7-4, 2.52).

TIME/TV: 2:05 p.m., YES, TBS.

STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won the first two games of the series and are two games behind Boston in the AL East to start the day.

CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL: The Yankees are 4-1 against the Tigers this season and have won four straight.

CENTRAL CASTING: The Yankees are 18-5 against the AL Central this season.

JOBAMANIA: Joba Chamberlain is 1-1 with a 5.05 ERA in his last seven starts. He has allowed 47 hits (including five homers) and 15 walks over 35.2 innings. Opponents are have hit .311 against him. One of his best starts this season, however, came against the Tigers on April 29 at Comerica Park. He allowed one run on three over seven innings and struck out six.

PHIL FRANCHISE: Phil Hughes has not allowed a run in his last 12 appearances, a stretch of 15.2 innings. He has allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out 19 in those games. He has an 0.89 ERA in 14 relief appearances.

MOTOWN: Mariano Rivera has allowed one run over his last 15 appearances. He has recorded saves in eight of the last 11 victories and has converted 21 straight save opportunities.

DEREK’S DOMINATION: Check out Derek Jeter’s last 12 games: 22 of 51 (.431) with nine runs scored, five RBI, eight walks and only four strikeouts. That’s a .508 OPB.

THE CANO COUNT: Robbie Cano has a 10-game hitting streak. He is 16 of 41 (.390) in the streak.

BRUNEY’S BATTLE: Brian Bruney, who has not pitched since July 10, has allowed six runs on nine hits and eight walks in his last 6.1 innings.

THE A-ROD REPORT: Alex Rodriguez has 571 home runs. He needs three more to pass Harmon Killebrew and take over sole possession of ninth place all-time.

Back with more later.

UPDATE, 10:41 a.m.: Just spoke to Mike Mussina. He looks great, is coaching his kids and has no regrets whatsoever. He’ll be starting the Old Timers Game.

Meanwhile Nick Swisher is running around with a ball getting autographs.

UPDATE, 11:44 p.m.: Here are some Old Timer photos. Zim, Moose and Andy and Cone.




UPDATE, 11:54 p.m.: Damon is out with assorted aches and pains. “Just needed a day,” Girardi said.

UPDATE, 12:15 p.m.: No team does Old Timer introductions like the Yankees. There’s not going to be much time left for a game.

UPDATE, 12:21 p.m.: Huge ovation for the Moose.

UPDATE, 12:49 p.m.: The Old Timers’ Game is a rout. The Clippers scored five runs in the top off the first as the Moose was a victim of have a bunch of old guys playing defense. Chad Curtis had a two-run triple.

Girardi caught him and is now going to catch Jeff Nelson.

The great Bob Wolff is calling the game within the Stadium along with Keith Olbermann. It’s great to see Mr. Wolff. I got to know him a few years ago because he was involved in a recognition program for high school athletes in Westchester. What a nice man and obviously a terrific announcer in his day.

UPDATE, 12:56 p.m.: Ron Guidry pitching now. The Gator looks good.

UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: Several of the Tigers, including Justin Verlander, are watching the Old Timers’ Game from the top step of the dugout. Many of the Yankees are watching, too. A.J. Burnett is having a good time with it.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Picture-perfect baseball weather today 80 degrees and white puffy clouds. We’re underway with the team game as the Yankees go for the sweep. Hope you’re enjoying the game wherever you are, I’m glad to be back in the press box after some time off.

UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: Atta boy. Gets ahead of Polanco 1-2 and walks him after an eight-pitch at-bat.

UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: Joba wiggles out of trouble, but a 23-pitch first inning has him on pace to be out of the game in the fifth or sixth inning as usual. Girardi said before the game that he wanted six innings out of Joba. We shall see.

UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Forgot to mention this before. There is a dark hallway outside of the offices used by Joe Girardi and clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza. The only adornment on the blue wall is a large Yankees logo. It’s right in front of the entrance that the players use.

Rob came up with the great idea to have the current players — along with the Old Timers — sign the wall with a silver marker. The rule is that only Hall of Famers can sign within the logo.

Rob and his staff had all the former players sign today. It’s a tradition thy hope will last for years. “It’ll be famous after a while,” he said.

UPDATE, 2:36 p.m.: Joba is a mystery. He throws over twice to keep Josh Anderson close and balks on the second try. How about going after the the No. 9 hitter instead? He makes things more difficult on himself.

But the Tigers are scoreless after two innings.

UPDATE, 2:52 p.m.: Hey, look at that, Joba threw a 95-mph heater to Cabrera and he swung and missed. What a concept.

UPDATE, 2:59 p.m: Joba’s line so far: 3 1 0 0 3 2 with a balk. 52 pitches / 29 strikes.

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Alex ties it with a blast to center. No. 19 on the season and 572 for his career, one behind Killebrew. With the Blue Jays (and Halladay) beating the Red Sox 3-1 in the 9th inning, this would be a big one for the Yankees to get.

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.: Joba with 97-mph to end the top of the fifth inning and a fist pump. Is the real Joba — or at least the old Joba — making an appearance today. So far he is.

UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: Well, Joe Girardi wanted a solid six out of Joba. He got it. Joba has retired five straight, three by strikeout, 8-9-1 coming up in the seventh and he’s at 98 pitches. Leave him in, I say.

UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.: Nobody warming up. Joba against the Tigers this season: 13 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 12 Ks.

UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Nothing cheap about that jack to right field as Teixeira goes yard. No. 23 of the season. Yankees 2-1 with nine outs to get. Joba + Phil + Mo = victory?

UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: Joba struck out the first two batters of the inning and Girardi got booed when he came to get him.

Phil Coke on for Granderson. Joba finished at 107 pitches.

Joba at Detroit on April 29: 7 3 1 1 3 6

Joba against Detroit today: 6.2 3 1 1 3 8


UPDATE, 4:21 p.m.: Phil Hughes warming up.

UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Hughes in for Polanco, Cabrera and Thames. Good test for him.

UPDATE, 4:41 p.m.: Phil Franchise has now thrown 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings of relief and fanned 21. Yankees have retired 11 of the last 12 Tigers. Mo to face Inge, Anderson and Laird unless Leyland pinch hits.

UPDATE, 4:50 p.m.: On Old Timers’ Day, here come Mo Rivera. He’s older than Old Timers Aaron Small and Homer Bush.

Yankees looking for a second straight 2-1 win. It would leave them one game out in the East.

Magglio Ordonez to hit for Anderson.

UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: Mo takes care of business and the Yankees win again. That’s a sweep of the Tigers and one game out. They retired 14 of the last 16 Detroit hitters. They have a killer bullpen with Hughes and Coke setting up Mo.

Back later with clubhouse reaction.