10/4 – Yankees at Rays

YANKEES (102-59)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Molina C

Pitching:RHP A.J. Burnett (12-9, 4.10)

RAYS (84-77)

Upton CF
Brignac SS
Longoria 3B
Zobrist 2B
Aybar 1B
Burrell DH
Zaun C
Gross RF
Kapler LF

Pitching: RHP Wade Davis (2-1, 3.45)

Pre-game notes: End of the line at Tropicana Field. If Jorge Posada is serving as the Yankees’ player manager today, he wasn’t informed of it by 11:30 a.m. ET. Apparently Joe Girardi’s thoughts are elsewhere as the Yankees get ready for Game No. 162 … A.J. Burnett is going to throw 85-90 pitches in his final tuneup today, and then get ready for a long afternoon of “Guess That Reliever.” Girardi wants to see not only Joba Chamberlain, but also Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Dave Robertson and Damaso Marte. If Burnett goes seven innings, that’ll make the bullpen arrangement pretty interesting. … The Yankees will be scoreboard watching on the Tigers and Twins today. They’d love to know who they’re playing. What they do know is that there will be a 2 p.m. workout on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. … The Yankees are leaving some players behind to take part in a mini-camp in Tampa, creating a ‘taxi squad’ for the American League Division Series just in case of injury.

Selections from the Yankees game notes:

Homer happy: The Yankees have hit a Major League-leading 242 home runs, tying their franchise record set in 2004…have homered in 126 of their 161G (78.8%), including 73 of their 81G at home…according to Elias, the Yankees have not finished a season with the most HR in the Majors outright since 1961…have reached the 200HR plateau for the ninth time this decade (also 2000-07).

Running away: The Yankees lead the Majors with 905 runs scored, marking the 16th time in franchise history the team has surpassed 900 runs in a campaign and third time this decade (also 2006 and 2007)…have scored 116 runs more than all of 2008 (789R).

Series speak: The Yankees today will look to avoid being swept in a series of at least three games for the fourth time this season and first since 7/10-12 at Los Angeles-AL…have not been swept in a series of any length since the All-Star break…were not swept at home in a series of three-or-more games in 2009…are 36-14-3 in series in 2009 after winning 24 series in all of 2008…marks the most series wins in the Majors this season…have not been swept in a three-game series at Tropicana Field since 9/26-28/00.

Role reversal: The Yankees are a combined 26-15 this season against their prospective AL postseason opponents…own a 15-2 record vs. the Red Sox, Angels, Tigers and Twins since the All-Star break after posting an 11-13 mark prior to the All-Star break vs. those teams…did not lose a season series against any of the four opponents (9-9 vs. BOS, 5-5 vs. LAA, 5-1 vs. DET, 7-0 vs. MIN).

The other cola: LHP Phil Coke (71G) has made the most relief appearances ever by a Yankees rookie…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Yankees rookie to lead the staff in appearances was Ron Davis in 1979 (44G).

Follow along during the game on Twitter: @BryanHoch


Not for this game of course, which is a dead rubber annd a blowout anyway, but Joba’s good solid inning may prove very significant, when it comes to postseason bullpen plans.


Cool, my post says 4.23pm. I could have sworn it has just turned 4 eastern time, very Back to the Future.

Anyway, looks like Joba is about to replace Robertson. Moment of truth here.


If it keeps Verlander and Jackson away from Yankee Stadium I’m all for rooting on Pavano.

Always nice to see a double figure inning. A Rod clearly came in to keep his 30HR 100RBI streak going, impressive stuff.


One heck-of-a-time for the Yanks to begin an offensive slump. We all know they happen a couple of times during a 162 schedule. But now ain’t the time !
Break out the Alka-Seltzer. It could a long (or short) October.


The Twins turn their eyes to Carl Pavano on 3 days rest today to keep their dream season alive. Who’d have bet on that?


Imagine having your season on the shoulders of Carl P.——–now that is living life dangerously!


Time to turn on the big engine and finish on a high note. With ARod and Jeter back in lineup, I think this team will come out strong in the first few innings. Losing less than 60 games is notable and Yanks need to win today to make that happen. Losing a few at the end reminds everyone about the things that have to happen every game to be successful. In as much as I’ve been impatient with Joe Girardi at times this season, the results indicate he took the right path more often than most give him credit for. The team has the fire power and they are hungry. However the playoffs in baseball are a bit of a crap shoot so good luck to the boys as they try to bring home 12 more victories!


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