Game 156: Division hopes and dreams


This is easy: If the Yankees are going to have a shot at winning the AL East, they have to win today.

If they win today, they’ll be one game out with six to play. To win the division, they would simply have to outplay Boston by one game. A tie goes to the Yanks. But if they lose, overcoming a two-game deficit in six games, while not impossible, is rather unlikely. But no matter; the playoff ticket wheel is already turning.

Meanwhile, in the Struggling Yankees Department, we have Melky Cabrera (6 for his last 48) and Hideki Matsui (.179/.325/.358 in September). Getting these two players started would do wonders for the Yankees’ upcoming October appearance.

Furthermore, if the Yanks make one more pitching change this season, they’ll break the AL record for pitching changes in a season. Take that piece of information for what you will, but it speaks volumes about both the quality of the Yankee bullpen and Joe Torre’s bullpen tendencies.

So as we ponder questionable stories about A-Rod and the Cubs, let’s sit back and enjoy the last day of regular season baseball at Yankee Stadium for the 2007 season. It’s a beautiful day in New York. Good day for a win, some might say. Let’s bring this one home.

Here is the lineup.

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui LF – Why is he hitting fifth? Why? I’d rather see Giambi hitting than Hideki right now.
Posada C
Cano 2B
Mientkiewicz 1B
Cabrera CF

Pettitte P

Update 11:58 a.m. A.J. Burnett was a late scratch from the game today. Jesse Litsch (6-9, 4.16) takes his place. Litsch shut down Boston last week, giving up 1 run on 2 hits in 6.2 innings. He faced the Yanks in August, and the Bombers hit him for 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings. So who knows what to expect? Any time A.J. Burnett misses a start against the Yanks, I’m happy.

Categories : Game Threads


  1. Brian says:

    anybody know how the postseason schedule works? i see that one alds starts next wednesday and the other starts on thursday. when or how is that determined?

    i have to believe the blue jays are more tired than us. after boston and coming at us equally hard, they have to be thinking, “let’s just get out of new york….”
    and as scary as halladay and burnett can be, now that pettitte’s lined up, no roger injury questions…time to smoke em.

  2. Brian says:

    wait, it’s litsch! eee heeee heee. i guess burnett really wanted out of ny

  3. Brian says:

    today’s a good fit for a win buster claims.
    that’s not entirely true. it’s a good day for mark cuban to make the news somehow, will leitch retorts.

  4. DKA says:

    You might want to put an asterisk next to that “Melky is struggling” line. If there’s ever an example of batting average not telling the whole story, this is it. He has downright saved our butts time and time again, both in the field, and by making those hits count.

    • Joseph P. says:

      I have more than a little to say about that, but I’m going to hold off. It seems we’re being chastised for not thinking that Melky is the next Bernie (BTW, if the “Next Bernie” exists, it’s Austin Jackson, not Melky).

      We’ll see how he ends the season. But just because the guy had a great game in the field and with the stick doesn’t mean he’s out of his funk.

      • Ben K. says:

        Ironically, Melky is the highlight on the pre-game show. Bobby Murcer is highlighting his 16 outfield assists, the most since 1990 when Jesse Barfield was the star of the team.

      • brxbmrs says:


        I said last season that Melk projects to be the next Roy White, albeit one with a better arm and not as much speed. I didn’t expect Damon to disintegrate defensively this year and although I like Melk in CF (and his defensive stats put him among the top 3 or 5 in mlb) I think he could anchor any spot in the of for years to come.

        As great as Bernie was, his big knock was he had terrible instincts and we all saw how fast he got old once he couldn’t use his legs and bat speed to overcome those instincts.

        With all due respect, I just think you guys here want your ofers to have huge offensive #’s – you have to remember that Cano, Wang, Melk got their chances out of sheer desperation but paved the way for this team becoming younger, better all -round and more exciting.

        For all your praise of Phil Hughes, he’s come up pretty short – I think he’s hurt and will be better next year, but for right now, Melk has contributed alot more than Hughes has, I guess I don’t understand how you guys could be so forgiving of Hughes and so demanding of Melk.

        Personally, if the Yanks could swing a deal for Santana (even though the Twins want a ml ready 3b and two top tier prospects), I’d send Hughes packing in a second.

  5. KW says:

    The saddest part is that in a matter of weeks, there’ll be no more major league baseball. Championship or not (and I’m hoping for one!), the thought of no baseball is really depressing.

    • Mike A. says:

      And the NCAA changed it’s rules too, so all the college teams start on a uniform date in late February. Before, teams on the west coast & in other warm weather areas started their seasons in late January.

      Don’t even have that to look forward to anymore.

  6. Brian says:

    arizona fall league. Yowzaaaaah! when he makes his debut with the yanks next season, we’ll remember how he kept us warm through the winter months.

  7. Brian says:

    whoa, i got too excited. i was talking about brett gardner. i really can’t believe i should have been that excited.

  8. mg says:

    The combination of a week day afternoon start and it being a rain makeup makes for an odd feeling in the park. It’s so empty you’d think it was the early 90′s. We may never see a ball game with fewer fans in this park ever again.

  9. Batty says:

    Anyone get the feeling that Mussina is on management’s shit list lately? With the comment of ‘Who are they going to replace me with” to Cashman’s reaction to Moose’s comments about Joba (hat tip to it seems like they are a bit frustrated with him shooting his mouth off even more than usual.

  10. Joseph P. says:

    Easy 1-2-3 for Pettitte. I could go for 8 more of those.

  11. Batty says:

    Anyone listen to Sterling blabber about how new ballparks have made people want to go because there’s less seats? Huh? And this will be better for Yankee fans who fill the current stadium while thousands won’t be able to attend in the new stadium how?

    • Ben K. says:

      Anyone listen to Sterling blabber about how new ballparks have made people want to go because there’s less seats? Huh? And this will be better for Yankee fans who fill the current stadium while thousands won’t be able to attend in the new stadium how?

      Two things here:

      1. No one here chooses to listen to Sterling and when I’m forced to listen to him, I tune him out when he’s not doing play-by-play. He’s a giant Yankee tool.

      2. “Thousands” is incorrect. The stadium will hold 54,000 people: 53,000 seats and 1000 standing room only tickets. That’s not terrible. CitiField on the other hand will fit over 10,000 fewer fans than can fill Shea Stadium.

      • Batty says:

        I agree about Sterling…but without cable I can’t watch any of the regular games. Would love to get the package but I’m blacked out. Another win for the fans….grr…..

        According to the new stadium will be 51,000 seats and wikipedia puts the current at 57,545, so that it about a 6k difference. Subtract 3,750 seats from the bleachers and add 1,00 standing room only and it’s eff the fans.

        Sorry, just a bit bitter. Will probably mean more trips down to Camden Yards for cheap seats.

        • Ben K. says:

          Where on does it say 51,000 seats? The most recent documents available on the website for the City of New York says 53K. And in fact, the Yanks’ official website says 53,000.

            • Ben K. says:

              That’s an old page. The one I linked to has more recent information. We’re looking at a 53K-seat stadium. That pretty much guarantees the Yanks a sell-out every day.

          • Batty says:

            I think 51,000 does not include the 1,000 standing room or luxury boxes. Wikipedia also has the number of seats at 51,000.

            • Ben K. says:

              You can choose not to believe me, but I’ve done a lot of research on this topic. The latest information on the Yankee website that I already linked to in this thread says 53,000. The documents on file with the Parks Department say 53,000 plus 1,000 standing room. That’s the final attendance. Originally, it was going to be 51,000 but they opted to include more seats since they are now averaging well over 51,000 per game.

              Also, wikipedia, a dubious news source at best, says 53,000. I didn’t edit it either to make it agree with me.

              • Batty says:

                Doh, I keep posting one too late. I’m glad they upped it a bit more but it still looks like the number of more affordable (family of four

          • Batty says:

            (Sorry, I was a little slow digging those links up). The page you linked to says 53,000 fans…not seats. We might be talking about the same base number though realistically 51,000 ‘normal’ seats.

  12. marc says:

    IPK is most likely done for the season for any of those interested… Sweeny mentioned it before the game, so if clemens cant go tomorrow itll eb either desalvo or igawa. yippie.

  13. Mike A. says:

    Mark Buerhle is out of the White Sox’s rotation because he won a bet with Ozzie. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

  14. NYFan50 says:

    Amazing, a 1-2-3 from Farnsworth. Someone check the temperature in Hell.

  15. Batty says:

    Is it me or has Matsui been a rally killer lately?

  16. mg says:

    Time to start resting the regulars. The division is gone and we gotta be fresh for Act.. I mean October.

    • Mike A. says:

      I say we clinch something first, before we start resting regulars. I know we have a nice size lead over Detroit, but nothing is guaranteed…yet.

      • mg says:

        Eh. With a 99.9% shot at the playoffs (according to Coolstandings) I think we can afford that risk. The reward of having a well rested team in October is worth the tiny risk.

      • Batty says:

        Resting the regulars doesn’t have to mean everyone at once. Oh wait, I forgot about Joe ‘House Money’ Torre.

        • mg says:

          With Jeter’s knees and Matsui’s… knees and the expected dings and bruises, I’m sure it would be nice if each starter could get a full day off extra at least. You’re right though, Torre will go all out and rest all the starters at once and then use 12 relief pitchers and bring in all the starters to try to salvage the game.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.