Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (8-5, 4.39).
Griffey Jr. DH
Pitching: RHP Ian Snell (4-2, 4.86).
TIME/TV: 4:10, YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees start the day six games ahead of Boston in the division. The Red Sox now have the second-best record in the AL as well. The Yankees will clinch a playoff spot today if they win and Texas loses. … The Yankees have won two of three, 8 of 12, 17 of 24 and 44 of 61.
MONSTER MASH: Hideki Matsui is 17 of 40 with 12 RBI and is up to .280 on the season. He is second on the team with 86 RBI but eighth in plate appearances.
DAMONIC: Johnny Damon is 6 of 8 in this series with three doubles.
TORRID TEX: Mark Teixeira leads the AL with 118 RBI and is second with 37 homers. His batting average is up to .289.
FALL BALL: Robinson Cano is 25 of 68 (.368) this month and is a career .351 hitter in September and October. That is best among active players.
JOBAMANIA: Chamberlain is 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA in his last seven starts, allowing 38 hits and 11 walks over 28 innings. The Yankees have limited Chamberlain to 13 innings in his last four starts. His last two starts — 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts — have been better.
MO IN THE SHOW: Mariano Rivera has appeared in at least 60 games 12 times in his career. The record is 13 by Mike Stanton.
PHIL FRANCHISE: Yankees relievers have a 3.47 ERA since Phil Hughes joined the bullpen. It was 4.88 prior to that. Opposing hitters are 1 for 16 with RISP against Hughes since he became a reliever.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Masters of War by Pearl Jam.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 2:23 p.m.: A few pre-game notes for you:
• Jorge Posada is back but is still dealing with that stiff neck he came out of the brawl with.
• Chad Gaudin is your new No. 5 starter. Sergio Mitre has been banished to the bullpen.
• Joba will be going at least five innings today.
• Nick Swisher is getting a day off to deal with assorted bumps and bruises, mainly with his legs.
• Dave Robertson really let it go when he played catch before the game and looked good. He’ll get off the mound on Tuesday in Anaheim. He’ll be back quick.
• It’s distressing the Patriots are up 9-3 and it could easily be 17-3. But that’s OK.
Back with more later on.
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: Despite the utter failure of the once-mighty Patriots, I shall press on and cover the game. … We are underway in Seattle on a beautiful day here.
UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.: Hey, Jeter got a hit the other way. I’m fairly sure that is how the Yankees have started the game 137 times this season. At least it seems that way.
UPDATE, 4:24 p.m.: Poor start there for the Yankees. After Jeter and Damon get on, Tex, A-Rod and Matsui go down meekly. They let Snell off the hook.
UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: If the Yankees just left Joba off the playoff roster for the first round and sent him to Tampa to try and get himself fixed, could you blame them?
They should make it clear to him during the winter that he does not have the team made in 2010. This is disgraceful, giving up seven runs in two innings to a poor offensive team.
UPDATE, 5:26 p.m.: So who do you like for Game 4 in the ALCS? The choices are Chad Gaudin, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves or Nick Swisher.
It sure can’t be Joba.
UPDATE, 5:28 p.m.: Another three-inning gem for Joba.
His last 8 starts: 31 innings, 44 hits, 29 earned runs, 14 walks. That’s an 8.42 ERA.
UPDATE, 5:31 p.m.: Joba threw two more pitches than his last outing. What exactly is the point of all this? He had thrown 67 in his last game. Why not just leave him out there to throw 85 and get stretched out?
UPDATE, 6:00 p.m.: Yankees are down 7-0 and getting three-hit by Ian Snell. Barring them coming back to life, this will be five losses in the last nine games and a lead of five games against the Red Sox with the next six games against the Angels and Sox.
The only good news is that with Texas losing, the Yankees have clinched a tie for a postseason berth.
UPDATE, 6:11 p.m.: In a stunning development, Cano unable to get a hit with runners in scoring position. There may be no more confounding statistic in baseball than how he hits with RISP and without.
UPDATE, 7:01 p.m.: Yankees lose 7-1. Back later with a brief recap as I need to make a flight to Orange County.