In the end, this afternoon’s game didn’t matter. The Rays came back to beat the Royals, which meant the Yankees could not have won the division no matter what they today. Given the way the Rays finished, the Yankees would have needed a win today and in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. Instead, they finished 95-67, the second-best record in the American League.
“In our division, that gets you the wild card,” Joe Girardi said.
I mentioned it earlier, but as I’m going back through my notes from the clubhouse I’m realizing just how much the theme of the day seemed to be moving forward. The Yankees know they didn’t play well down the stretch. They know they coughed up any chance at the division. They’ve also played long enough to know that doesn’t mean a thing on Wednesday.
“It would be stupid to sit here and say you don’t care about how you finish,” Andy Pettitte said. “But does it matter when you’re in the postseason? No.”
Whether those words bring any solace probably depends on whether you believe this team is talented enough for a five-game or seven-game series. It’s obvious things start over in the postseason. On Wednesday, there will be quite literally no win-loss record and the only advantage for the Twins will be one extra game at home. Otherwise, it’s all about which team can get hot, then stay hot for a month.
“It has absolutely no bearing on how you play in the playoffs,” Derek Jeter said. “You have to play well obviously but the regular season means nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
• There was no news from Girardi about the postseason roster or rotation. We might learn something tomorrow, but it seems more likely we’ll learn something at the workout on Tuesday.
• CC Sabathia has not been told whether he’s starting Game 4, but he’s told the Yankees that he’s up for it. “We haven’t talked about it yet but I told Joe and Dave that I am prepared to do it if they need me to do it,” Sabathia said.
• In his final at-bat, Robinson Cano got his 200th hit of the season. “Sometimes it’s not what you are or how many hits you get,” Cano said. “It’s just about doing the job to help the team to win that game. That’s what I did this year and we played as a team together. This organization is all about winning and going to the playoffs. I’m just happy that I helped the team to win the games.”
• By the way, Cano said it did feel good to have today as a DH day after 20 innings in the field last night. He didn’t mind the break.
• Dustin Moseley was upset about three things: The first home run, the second home run and the two-out walk in the fifth inning. “Through four (innings) they told me it was enough,” Moseley said. “I talked them into, if I get a runner on then come and get me but give me a chance here to get through five and they did. They gave me a chance.”
• How much did the late notice affect Moseley? “Maybe the sleep deprivation was more than anything,” he said. “But as far as getting here today and being ready to go, I felt like mentally I was there.”
• Moseley said that when Dave Eiland came to the mound in the fifth inning it was only to tell Moseley that his arm was dragging a little bit, not too unusual deep into the game.
• Nick Swisher is OK after slamming into the wall in right field. He had a hit in all eight starts at Fenway this season. He matched last year’s total with 29 home runs and hit a career-high .288.
• The Yankees have absolutely nothing planned for tomorrow. The team won’t get together again until they catch the flight to Minnesota on Tuesday. “I think tomorrow completely off is really going to help our club,” Girardi said. “We’ve just played three games in 24 hours and that’s physically a grind.”
• As I understand it, the plan was to dress the rookies in their Saturday Night Fever gear on Saturday, but when the game became a doubleheader, the Yankees had to adjust. I’m still waiting for pictures. If/when I get some, I’ll post them.
• Girardi on the Twins: “We haven’t seen him since May and they’re a little bit different of a club, but we’ve seen them enough to know what they’re capable of doing. We’ll go over reports tomorrow. We’ll get a plan and try to formulate a roster, and here we go.”
Associated Press photos of Moseley and Rodriguez