Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (18-7, 3.31).
RED SOX (91-62)
Pitching: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-5, 6.80).
TIME/TV: 4:10, FOX.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees lead the Red Sox by 6.5 games with eight games left. The magic number is three. The Yankees have won three straight.
STATE OF THE SOX: Boston’s magic number to clinch the AL wild card is three. They lead Texas by seven games.
RIVALRY RENEWAL: After losing the first eight games of the season against Boston, the Yankees are 7-1 against their old rivals, outscoring them 63-42. The season series stands at 9-7 Boston with the Red Sox having scored 97 runs and the Yankees 94.
HISTORIC SUCCESS: The Yankees are 42 games over .500 for the first time since they finished the 2002 season 103-58.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE: The Yankees are 27-7 at home since the All-Star break and 53-23 overall.
CC’S STREAK: Sabathia is undefeated in his last 10 starts, going 8-0 with a 2.24 ERA. He has allowed only 55 hits over 72.1 innings and struck out 77 with 17 walks. The Yankees have won each of his last 10 starts. He is 2-1, 2.95 in three starts against Boston this season and 4-5, 3.62 in his career. He beat Boston at Fenway on Aug. 23, allowing four runs (three earned) in eight innings and striking out eight.
HERE COMES THE JUDGE: New Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Yankees fan from the Bronx, will throw out the first pitch. Judge Sotomayor was instrumental in ending the 1994 baseball strike.
WELL-DESERVED: Dave Miley, the wildly successful manager of Triple-A Scranton, has been added to the coaching staff through the end of the regular season.
SECOND TO NONE: Robinson Cano needs two hits to become the fifth Yankees second baseman in history to collect 200 hits in a season. He now has 47 doubles, the most by a Yankee since Alfonso Soriano had 51 in 2002.
Cano also has scored 99 runs. The only two second basemen in team history with 200 hits/100 runs scored are Soriano in 2002 and Snuffy Stirnweiss in 1944.
“That Snuffy was a heck of a player. Man, the times we had,” Angel Berroa said.
IF AT FIRST: Derek Jeter has led off the first inning with a hit in seven of the last 12 games and a Major League-most 49 times this season according to Baseball Reference.com. He has reached 30 stolen bases for the fourth time in his career.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
GOOD DEAL: Victor Martinez has a 24-game hit streak for Boston, the longest of his career. It’s the longest streak for a Boston player since Manny Ramirez injected himself into the record books by hitting in 27 straight in 2006.
In the last 50 years, only John Flaherty — the pride of Rockland County — has had a longer hit streak after changing teams at mid-season. Flash hit in 27 straight games for the Padres in 1996 after coming over from the Tigers.
POWER PAPI: David Ortiz has hit home runs in three straight games. Of his 27 home runs, 26 have come since June 6, the most in the majors in that span. Ortiz has hit 25 homers six times for the Red Sox. Only Smilin’ Jim Rice (seven) and Ted Williams (14) have done that more times.
SECOND SPEED:Dustin Pedroia’s has matched his career high with 20 stolen bases.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: High Fidelity by Elvis Costello.
It’s a beautiful day for baseball in the Bronx. Back later with much more.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Girardi flipped the rotation. Gaudin pitches on Monday and Burnett on Tuesday.
Sure looks like they’re lining up Andy for Game 2.
UPDATE, 1:26 p.m.: Dave Robertson just threw to Shelley Duncan and Juan Miranda. He looked good and his elbow felt fine.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Dave Eiland said Robertson will be available on Monday.
UPDATE, 1:58 p.m.: The reason the Yankees flipped the rotation is that Burnett’s father is having heart surgery on Monday. He’ll leave the team tomorrow.
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Sam here with the audio from Girardi’s pre-game press conference. Don’t worry – audio is something we’ll absolutely continue to do here on the blog.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Posada scratched with a stiff neck.
UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.: Looking for something to read before the game starts? Mike Ashmore has a good interview with Phil Hughes.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: Escorted by Jorge Posada, new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor just threw out the first pitch to Jorge Posada. Judge Sotomayor was wearing a Yankees jersey. She is a Bronx native and a big Yankees fan. Great moment for her, I’m sure.
UPDATE, 4:11 p.m.: We are underway in the Bronx. 63 degrees at first pitch.
UPDATE, 4:22 p.m.: Strong first inning for CC. … Jeter came out to Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. New one for him. … Look for the Yankees to try and wear down Matsuzaka.
UPDATE, 4:39 p.m.: Carsten Charles is a bad man. Six up, six down, four strikeouts.
UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: Nine up and nine down by CC thanks to a nice catch by Melky in center. Then Melky watched his catch on the scoreboard.
UPDATE, 5:07 p.m.: Alex strikes out looking then interferes with the catcher, causing a double play because Teixeira was running. Inning over.
UPDATE, 5:14 p.m.: Sabathia walks his old pal Victor Martinez to give Boston its first base runner here in the fourth inning.
UPDATE, 5:17 p.m.: Captain Intangibles with a nice little leaping catch there to end the inning. … Yankees 0-5 with RISP against Dice-K. Matsui to lead off the bottom of the inning.
UPDATE, 5:33 p.m.: There goes the no-hitter as Mike Lowell singles up the middle. CC is pitching a gem so far and it’s 0-0 as his teammates are 0-8 with RISP and have left six runners on base in four innings, four of them in scoring position.
UPDATE, 5:42 p.m.: Giving up that hit seemed to make the big fella upset, didn’t it? Holy smoke.
This is the CC they want on the hill in Game 1.
UPDATE, 5:49 p.m.: Well, here are are again as Matsuzaka puts two more runners on. Yankees again with RISP, this time with nobody out and the AL’s leading RBI man up. If not now, when?
UPDATE, 5:52 p.m.: Alex, so good last night, has been so bad today. Nice play by Martinez to get Jeter.
A-Rod 0 for 3 and has left six men on base. He is 1 for 15 against Matsuzaka.
UPDATE, 5:55 p.m.: Heck of a catch by Mike Lowell to end the inning. The Yankees are a staggering 0 for 11 with RISP in five innings. That is hard to do.
Matsuzaka has put 10 runners on base in five innings and has a shutout going. Meanwhile only the Red Sox and Yankees can take an hour and 44 minutes to play five scoreless innings.
UPDATE, 6:11 p.m.: Cano, with nobody on base, is one of the greatest hitters going. His strange-yet-great season continues as he gives the Yankees a 1-0 lead with a home run.
Cano now has 199 hits and 100 runs scored along with 24 homers and 80 RBI.
UPDATE, 6:14 p.m.: People booed when Matsuzka’s 3-2 pitch to Jeter was up and in. What makes you think he has any idea where it’s going?
UPDATE, 6:33 p.m.: CC is done after seven innings and 97 pitches. Sure, he could have gone more. But the idea is to win on Oct. 7, not an essentially meaningless game on Sept. 26. You want CC rested and ready.
This is the recipe anyway. CC + Hughes + Mo.
UPDATE, 6:41 p.m.: Huuuuuuuuuughes. Great pitching from both teams today.
UPDATE, 6:52 p.m.: He’s letting Molina hit? It’s only 1-0. This has GIDP written all over it.
UPDATE, 6:54 p.m.: Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner is so fast the Red Sox couldn’t get him in a rundown. Meanwhile Molina tried to bunt the first pitch and Wagner cant throw a strike.
UPDATE, 7:03 p.m.: Johnny Damon haunts his old teammates with a two-run single as the Yankees take a 3-0 lead and that’s it for Wagner. Johnny is seven RBI shy of 1,000 in his career.