Joe Torre and Ron Guidry are engaged in the old American dance called the pitching rotation shuffle. Good thing for the Yanks they have pitching depth.
Shortly before tonight’s game — which I’ve decided to chalk up to the “Yanks shouldn’t have won anyway” column — we learned that Ian Patrick Kennedy would be missing his start due to what the AP is calling a strained muscle in his upper back. For what it’s worth, the guys on My9 were saying that Kennedy was, by and large, all right, but the Yanks are being cautious with their young arms. Some sources are calling what Kennedy experienced simply tightness.
But now comes the news that Roger Clemens, he of the $20 million and two September starts, will be pushed back until at least Monday because his left hamstring is giving him some issues. In his stead, Mike Mussina will start on Sunday, and Phil Hughes will toss the game that begins at 1:05 p.m. today. (That means I get to witness yet another Mike Mussina start this year. Save me.)
As the season winds down, the Yanks will try to line up their rotation for their opening playoff series. I think we’ll see Wang, Pettitte, and Clemens, if healthy. The last spot will go to whomever is more effective: Hughes or Mussina. Right now, Mussina is winning the battle. But for now, the Yanks can afford to rest their aching pitchers.
Meanwhile, let’s do some quick notes on tonight’s disappointing game: