Sean Henn drew the short straw for today’s game, and as Yankee fans, who cares? Sure, it would be nice for Robinson Cano to drive in 3 runs on Sunday and for Bobby Abreu to get that elusive 100th RBI, but in the grand scheme of baseball, the Yanks’ next meaningful game isn’t until Thursday.
That day, the Yanks will play their first postseason game in Cleveland since the 1998 ALCS. From those two teams, only Kenny Lofton, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera remain (or have returned to) the same teams they were on then. Unbeknownst to me, Ron Villone threw a few innings on the 1998 Indians but wasn’t on the playoff roster. (Hear that, Joe? He was not on the playoff roster. Take a lesson.)
The Yanks got a bit lucky with the playoff schedule as Boston picked the long series. While this may limit Joba Chamberlain’s availability and otherwise tax a weak Yankee bullpen, by playing the short series, they won’t have to face C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona twice each. Sabathia would go twice only if the series runs to five games.
The schedule and pitching match-ups follow with game times to be determined:
Thursday: Cleveland – Wang vs. Sabathia
Friday: Cleveland – Pettitte vs. Carmona
Sunday: New York – Clemens vs. Westbrook
Monday: New York (if necessary) – Mussina/Hughes vs. Byrd
Tuesday: Cleveland (if necessary) – Wang vs. Sabathia
Let the fun begin, and feel free to discuss today’s game here once 1:35 p.m. rolls around.