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Oh, and Red Sox fans, the loss column is on the right.
I hate to anoint any game a must-wing game, but tonight’s game is as close to a must-win as any the Yanks have played this season. In Minneapolis, the Tigers scored four early runs and held on late to sweep the Twins this weekend. So the Yanks find themselves up by just 2 in the Wild Card race and in need of a win.
Meanwhile, the Yanks are going with a different look tonight. Hideki Matsui, he of the hot July, has hit two home runs since August 1. During that span, he’s hitting a quiet .277/.358/.392 in 148 at bats. His September is worse: .125/.308/.200 in 40 at bats with just two extra base hits. He’s sitting tonight.
Jason Giambi, the victim of an HBP retaliation yesterday that angrily did not result in any ejections, is out of the lineup while Jorge Posada DHs after his jarring collusion with Eric Hinske. Giambi, who hadn’t looked great in the field this weekend, will be replaced by Doug Mientkiewicz. This game marks Mientkiewicz’s first start since June.
It’s a matchup for the ages — or at least six years ago — as Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling face off. This matchup was the main attraction for the heartbreaking game 7 of the 2001 World Series. On the plus side, this game could be a six-inning affair. Joba’s available for two tonight and Rivera is rested and ready as well. Here we go.
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Double-A Trenton (10-5 win over Akron)
Reegie Corona: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K – 2-run double in the 4th put Trenton ahead for good
Austin Jackson & Colin Curtis: both 0 for 4 – Ajax walked & K’ed…Curtis was hit by a pitch & scored a run
Juan Miranda: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K – finished the year with 97 RBI in 123 games
Matt Carson: 4 for 5, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K – went 15 for 37 with 8 RBI in 8 postseason games
Cody Ehlers: 4 for 5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
PJ Pilittere: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB – he’s going to be with Scranton next year, and before you know it, he’ll be an intriguing option at backup catcher
Marcos Vechionacci: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Dan McCutchen: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 5-0 GB/FB - last game of the year. and he finally got some groundballs with that sinker we heard so much about after the trade
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, zeroes – slamming the door, just like he did all year…I betcha he woulda done a better job than all those schleps Torre ran out there in the 7th today
Justin Pope: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Trenton wins the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series 3-1. It was Trenton’s first ever trip to the EL Finals, so this is obviously the franchise’s first ever title. The pitching staff was beyond phenomenal this year, with stalwarts Alan Horne & Jeff Marquez leading the way from start to finish.
A staggering 10 players played for both Trenton and the big league squad this year (Joba Chamberlain, Tyler Clippard, Alberto Gonzalez, Phil Hughes, Jeff Karstens, Ian Patrick Kennedy, Edwar Ramirez, Bronson Sardinha, Chase Wright & some dude named Roger), so manager Tony Franklin didn’t exactly have a sense of stability this year. Congrats guys, drink it in.
DotF will be on hiatus for the next week or two. The Hawaii Winter Baseball season starts on Sept. 29, and DotF will return with updates then. There’s still no official word on who the Yanks are sending, but right now it appears that the group will include Brad Suttle, Austin Jackson, and one Mr. Mark Melancon, who you may recall blew out his elbow in Hawaii last year, and is now on the road back from Tommy John surgery.
The Arizona Fall League starts up a couple of days later on October 9th (you can see who the Yanks are sending here), and we’ve got some special AzFL coverage lined up, bringin’ you a bit of local flavor from the desert.
Thanks for all the great comments this season, see you in a few weeks.
River Ave. Blues is now cell phone-compatible. If you’re on the road and miss us too much, just point your cell phone browser to RiverAveBlues.com, and you’ll land on our mobile-enabled home page. You can even leave comments too. Nifty.
After last night’s amazingly unbelievable win, Chien-Ming Wang and Josh Beckett square off with 19 wins or 7 losses on the line. I don’t have much else to say as I’m still feeling euphoric over last night’s victory. Thanks also for the 114 comments. That’s a River Ave. Blues high. But who’s counting?
If Melky slides into first one more time, I’m going to write about it with righteous outrage. So watch out, Melky. Meanwhile, despite nearly costing the Yanks the game last night, Jason Giambi is still playing first base today. Fingers are firmly crossed on that one. On to the lineups…
Wang P (18-6, 3.69)
Beckett P (18-6, 3.27)
I was pacing. In a bar. Surrounded by strangers. That’s all. Fantastic. Wow.
Double-A Trenton (8-2 loss to Akron)
Reegie Corona & Gabe Lopez: both 0 for 3 - Corona walked
Austin Jackson: 0 for 4, 3 K – not easy to win when your top 2 hitters get on base only once all game
Colin Curtis, Cody Ehlers, PJ Pilittere & Marcos Vechionacci: all 1 for 4 – Ehlers K’ed & drove in a run…PJ also drove one in…Vech GIDP’ed to end the game
Noah Hall: 1 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB
Matt Carson: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
Alan Horne: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2-6 GB/FB, 1 E (pickoff) – not easy when your SP gives up a 4 spot in the 1st inning…I’m sure this isn’t what he had in mind for his last start of the year
David Robertson: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K – this probably finishes him for the series, and season
Jason Jones: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – ditto Robertson’s comment, but he’s going to the AzFL
Trenton still leads the best-of-five series 2-1, and is sending out Danny McCutchen in Game 4. He’ll be opposed by former first round pick/Long Island Duck Bobby Brownlie. If necessary, Jeff Marquez is slated to go in Game 5, and Akron will likely bring Adam Miller back on regular rest.
After the jump is a great shot of Colin Curtis jumping into Matt Carson’s arms after scoring the winning run on Noah Hall’s walk-off single in Game 2. Great, great stuff. Be sure to check out the catcher’s reaction in the background.
Blah blah blah Red Sox. Blah blah blah rivalry. Blah blah blah too much media coverage. Blah blah blah AL East. Blah blah blah Yankees. Blah blah blah sweep. Blah blah blah first place.
That being said, here are the lineups.
6 World Championships
Julio Lugo SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Lowell 3B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
J.D. Drew RF
Jason Varitek C
Bobby Kielty LF
Coco Crisp CF
Daisuke Matsuzaka P
Against the Yankees this season, Matsuzaka is 2-1 with a 6.98. In 19 IP, have managed 19 hits and 15 ER against the Red Sox’s import. Let’s see how tonight goes.
Jeter, in a bad slump and hitting what must be the quietest .280 since the All Star break, is 4 for 9 off Dice-K with 2 HR. A good game from Derek would be excellent. Here we go.