“Important weekend” in the Bronx
Here we go, in the final Yankees vs. Red Sox showdown of 2009 … unless these two clubs have a date to fill in the American League Championship Series. And the way things are going, would you really want to bet against that?
You might think some of the buzz would be erased because the Yankees are already guaranteed to be in the postseason and the Red Sox are very close to it. But the Yankees still have important business to take care of, finishing off the division title, and the fact that they can do that against their fiercest rival adds to the party.
“I think it’s an important weekend because of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Joe Girardi said.
Joba Chamberlain has the ball tonight, and believe it or not, he’s about as close to a fully fledged starter as we’ve seen in a while. Chamberlain is going to be unleashed to throw about 90 pitches against Boston, as far as that gets him, and innings are no longer the concern.
In other updates, Jerry Hairston, Jr. said he was “scared half to death” feeling his left wrist pop on Wednesday in Anaheim, but said that now that he knows he can’t injure his severely sprained wrist any more, he’ll go all-out with it the rest of the season.
“Basically, the best medicine is to sit for four to six weeks, but that ain’t happening,” Hairston said. “I can’t make it any worse. This is my first opportunity to play in the postseason and I’m not going to let this hinder that.”
Dave Robertson came back well after throwing a more aggressive bullpen session on Thursday and is scheduled to face live hitters on Saturday at Yankee Stadium. If Robertson gets through that without setback, Girardi said that he would try to work him into games during the last week of the season as the Yankees attempt to narrow down their bullpen mix for the playoffs.
“I really believe that two [appearances] is a distinct possibility,” Girardi said. “I think it’s important to see him pitching in live conditions.”