Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Marcus Thames DH
Lance Berkman 1B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Brett Gardner LF
LHP CC Sabathia (1-0, 7.20)
Sabathia vs. Rangers
Elvis Andrus SS
Michael Young 3B
Josh Hamilton CF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Nelson Cruz LF
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Matt Treanor C
Mitch Moreland 1B
LHP C.J. Wilson (1-0, 2.03)
Wilson vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 4:07 p.m. ET / TBS
UMPIRES: HP Fieldin Culbreth, 1B Brian Gorman, 2B Gerry Davis, 3B Tony Randazzo, LF Jim Reynolds, RF Angel Hernandez
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 60s, dipping into the 50s. It’s cloudy with a some wind blowing out to left field.
ONE AWAY: If the Rangers win tonight, they will advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. This is the 50th season of that franchise (the Senators debuted in 1961 and moved to Texas in 1972). No franchise has taken longer to advance to its first World Series.
AVOID THREE STRAIGHT: The Yankees have lost three consecutive home games in a postseason series since the 1942 World Series against St. Louis. The Yankees have never lost an ALCS Game 5 at home. The Rangers have played in only once Game 5 — in any round — in franchise history. That was the division series clincher against the Rays.
TWO FOR THREE: Robinson Cano and Josh Hamilton have each hit at least three homers in this series. It’s the fourth time two different players have hit three home runs in the same ALCS. The Yankees have been involved in three of the four: In 1996, Darryl Strawberry and the Orioles Todd Zeile hit three homers apiece. In 2003, Jason Giambi and the Red Sox Trot Nixon had three homers. In 2008, Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton, Dustin Pedroia and Carlos Pena all have three home runs.
BIRTHDAY’S REMEMBERED: Today is the birthday of both Mickey Mantle (1931) and Bob Sheppard (1910).
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Very classy move by the Yankees, a moment of silence for Sheppard on what would have been his 100th birthday. Also, is everyone aware that this is an afternoon game? This place is empty.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: The Yankees said they wanted this game to feel like just another game. Mission accomplished. As Sam just said, this feels like mid-June getaway day against the Blue Jays. What little crowd is here just doesn’t seem into it.
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: My bad on the early Rangers lineup. Forgot to update with Treanor instead of Molina.
UPDATE, 4:11 p.m.: If Josh Hamilton goes 4-for-4 with four singles, the Yankees will be OK with that.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: RBI single by Jorge Posada has given the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the second. Wilson has already walked two in this inning.
UPDATE, 4:46 p.m.: Make that 3-0 Yankees on an RBI single by Curtis Granderson and two defensive mistakes by the Rangers. Posada pushed the issue by trying to score on that throw that got past Young, and it became a run when Wilson rushed the throw home.
UPDATE, 5:08 p.m.: The offense is showing some life today, and the now that the stadium has filled, the fans are showing some life as well. It’s 5-0 on back-to-back homers by Swisher and Cano.
UPDATE, 5:25 p.m.: Attention Yankees first basemen: Be careful out there!
UPDATE, 5:55 p.m.: Huge at-bat right there. Hamilton has been a beast, and Sabathia got the double play that ended the inning, not the three-run home run that would have pulled the Rangers within one.
UPDATE, 5:56 p.m.: Nelson Cruz is out of the game. Not sure why.
UPDATE, 5:59 p.m.: Cruz is day-to-day with tightness in his left hamstring.
UPDATE, 6:08 p.m.: Couple of walks, a double and a sac fly. The offense is finally having a nice game. It’s 6-1 after five innings.
UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: The old setup outside, throw inside. It’s a trick that doesn’t work very often, but it got the Yankees out of the sixth with only one run scoring. That’s probably it for Sabathia, with Kerry Wood loose in the bullpen. This was kind of a Pettitte start for Sabathia: Plenty of base runners, but also plenty of huge pitches and double plays. He did what he needed to do, and it’s a 6-2 Yankees lead.