Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jesus Montero DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Chris Dickerson RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01)
Sabathia vs. Rays
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Sean Rodriguez SS
Casey Kotchman 1B
Brandon Guyer RF
Kelly Shoppach C
RHP Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91)
Hellickson vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 8:05., YES Network/ESPN
WEATHER: The rain has subsided a bit, but it’s chilly and wet. The delayed start looks like a good call right now, but the forecast calls for thunder storms later.
UMPIRES: HP Brian Knight, 1B Fieldin Culbreth, 2B John Hirschbeck, 3B Wally Bell
CLINCH TWICE IN ONE DAY?: After clinching a postseason berth with their 4-2 win earlier today, the Yankees can lock up the AL East with a win and a Boston loss.
EIGHT IN NINE: Even with the expanded rosters, the Yankees bullpen will be short-handed in the second game of a doubleheader tonight. For just the second time in franchise history, the Yankees used eight pitchers in a nine-inning game. The only other time was in a 17-9 loss to Baltimore on 09/27/05.
WINS KEEP COMING: The Yanks are in the midst of a brutal stretch of 33 games over the final 32 days of the season. Still, they’ve managed to continue their winning ways. They have a 16-9 record in those games up to this point.
UPDATE, 8:07PM: First pitch. We have baseball. Delay of one hour and two minutes.
UPDATE, 8:11PM: Cano and Nunez pull off the nifty 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
UPDATE, 8:34PM: CC is up to his usual tricks, working in and out of trouble early and often. After a bizarre error from Cano and a single from Sean Rodriguez, the big man gets Guyer swinging to strand runners on 2nd and 3rd. 0-0 after 1 1/2.
UPDATE, 8:39PM: MVP? Cano crushes his 27th homer into the right field field bleachers on a 2-1 offering from Hellickson. It’s 1-0 Yanks.
UPDATE, 8:52PM: Boston has a 4-2 lead on the Orioles in the top of the 6th.
UPDATE, 9:10PM: I’ve got to say, Nunez has looked pretty clean in the field today. Some of his teammates talked about the extra work he’s been putting in between games. CC is at 67 pitches after four innings. That puts him on pace to get through the seventh, where hypothetically Girardi could go then go to Rafael Soriano and Dave Robertson to close it out.
UPDATE, 9:15PM: A Mark Reynolds HR ties the Orioles with the Red Sox at 4-4 in the top of the seventh. Interesting…
UPDATE, 9:18PM: An intentional walk to Cano with runners on the corners proves to be a wise move. Montero comes up with the bases loaded and no outs, and grounds into a double play. Granderson scores, but I’m sure Joe Maddon will take one run after what looked like a potential messy situation. It’s 2-0 Yanks.
UPDATE, 9:29PM: Shoppach’s solo shot brings Rays within one, 2-1.
UPDATE, 9:39PM: Baltimore takes a 6-4 lead over Boston in the eighth on a two-run single from Vladimir Guerrero. It’s looking more and more likely that the Yanks will clinch the division tonight.
UPDATE, 9:46PM: CC gets through six on 87 pitches. Looks like he should give the Yanks at least seven innings, making Girardi’s job that much easier.
UPDATE, 10:00PM: Sean Rodriguez takes a 2-1 pitch from Sabathia and crushes it off the top of the left field foul pole to tie the game at 2-2 in the seventh. Hold off on that champagne for now…
UPDATE, 10:10PM: The Red Sox game just went final, a 6-4 loss. That means a Yankee win clinches the AL East.
UPDATE, 10:12PM: CC back out for the eighth, with Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances warming in the pen. Not the arms you expected to see up at this point.
UPDATE, 10:20PM: Hard hit ball back up the middle from Upton is deflected by CC, but Chavez’s throw to first isn’t on time. Runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. CC is at 119 pitches, but Girardi is leaving him in there to face Longoria. Big moment here.
UPDATE, 10:25PM: After CC walks Longoria, Dave Robertson comes in with the bases loaded and one out. Houdini gets it done again, inducing the 4-6-3 double play from Zobrist to end the inning unscathed. It’s still 2-2 after the biggest two outs of the game.
UPDATE, 10:34PM: Swisher pinch-hitting for Gardner with one out in the eighth.
UPDATE, 10:37PM: And Swisher gets it done with a double in the left-center field gap. Here comes the Grandy man.
UPDATE, 10:43PM: After Granderson flies out to RF, Maddon is bringing in RHP Juan Cruz to face Teixeira, which is the move he had to make to move Tex over to the left side. He’s hitting just .222 as a lefty this season.
UPDATE, 10:49PM: Tex walks, and Maddon goes to another lefty to face Cano. This time it’s Cesar Ramos.
UPDATE, 10:54PM: A lot going on here. After they go to a 3-2 count on Cano, Maddon decides to put him on. He brings in Brandon Gomes to face Montero, and Girardi counters by pinch-hitting Posada. I have to admit, I didn’t like the move at first, but it paid off. Posada comes through with the two-out, two-run single. It’s 4-2 Yanks.
UPDATE, 10:58PM: Interesting decision by Girardi to go to Soriano in the 9th after Robertson threw just one pitch.