Game 157: No mercy (UPDATE: Rained out)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user notladj via Creative Commons license)

Already clinched the division? Big deal. Joe Girardi is running his A+ lineup out there tonight, showing no mercy against a team he has every reason to want out of the postseason. Unfortunately Mother Nature is much more kind, as the rain could force the Yankees skipper to change his lineup plans. Here’s the starting nine, which is subject to change…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Jesus Montero, DH
Russell Martin, C

Freddy Garcia, SP

It’s raining in New York, and has been all day. Supposed to rain all night too, though word out of the Bronx is that they’re going to try to play. So settle in for a long night, this might be another late one. Whenever the game does start, you can watch on YES locally or MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Update: The game has been postponed, and they’re going to play a doubleheader on Sunday. So yeah, go ahead and use this as your open thread for the night. Talk about whatever you like.

Weather no big deal for Yanks, huge for Boston

Are the Yankees at home? Then there is roughly a 50 percent chance that it will rain, if we’re to use this season as a guide. It’s coming down consistently hard as I write this, and the forecast shows it continuing into the evening. Even if the rain stops, it could take hours to get the field back into playable condition. In other words, there is a good chance that tonight’s game gets rained out. Normally that would create an unfavorable situation, but since the Yankees have already clinched the division they have little left to play for. Of course, their opponents have plenty at stake in the final six games, and a rainout today could mangle their plans.

If all went according to plan, the Red Sox would throw Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, and Erik Bedard against the Yankees this weekend, and then have Josh Beckett, John Lackey, an then Lester again to finish out the season against Baltimore. That last start from Lester could be of great importance, since this season could very well go down to the final day. To experience a rainout tonight would create an unfavorable situation for the Sox.

A doubleheader tomorrow is tricky, since Fox has the game at 4:10 p.m. Since the Yankees will not play a single-admission doubleheader, especially against the Sox, maneuvering for one might be tough. They might have to play two on Sunday, though that doesn’t really matter. It still means postponing tonight’s game and then using two pitchers on either Saturday or Sunday. Where it impacts the Sox, and to a lesser extent the Yankees, is in the final series of the season.

If Lester starts tomorrow instead of tonight, he no longer lines up to pitch the final game of the season. The Red Sox would have none of their main five starters ready to pitch that day, meaning they’d have to use Andrew Miller or Kyle Weiland, or else start Lester on three days’ rest. If they need a win to clinch a playoff berth on that final day, it’s fairly certain that they’ll start Lester then. If they play the doubleheader Saturday they could then throw Wakefield in a potential Game 163, but if they play the doubleheader Sunday they’d again have no starter on normal rest. Erik Bedard would be the likely candidate to take the ball in that case. And then comes Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday, in which they’d either have to pitch Beckett on three days’ rest, or else go with Wakefield. It’s a mess any way you work it out.

The Yankees, on the other hand, would only be slightly inconvenienced with a rainout tonight. They can simply move Garcia back to Saturday and then go with Burnett and Nova in the Sunday doubleheader. Noesi could then go Monday, and then the final two games can go pretty much any way. Maybe they throw Colon, or maybe they give him a nice long rest before his potential playoff start. Maybe they get Hughes in for a game. Ideally, Garcia would have lined up to pitch Wednesday as a tune-up for a potential Game 3 start, but that’s not a huge deal.

This isn’t to say that the Yankees should root for a rainout tonight. Obviously it’s best to get in the games one at a time, line up Freddy for Wednesday, and generally finish the season with as few kinks as possible. But if the game were to get rained out, it wouldn’t be any big deal. The Sox might find themselves reeling, though, as their rotation currently lines up about as well as they could ask, considering the situation they’re in. One little rainout could change that. It could add yet another dimension to a wildly interesting Wild Card race.

The RAB Radio Show: September 23, 2011

We’re running a shorter than usual show today, because we’re all talked out about the 2011 Yankees. We’ve been doing this all season, and it’s been a blast. Next time we’re on the air, it’ll be time for Game 1 of the ALDS. So, without getting into any playoff previews:

  • Lots of stuff about the Rays and Sox and their race to the AL Wild Card.
  • A few things to look for in the final few days, including the Bartolo Colon situation.
  • The quick road ahead before they get to the playoffs.

Podcast run time 30:59

Here’s how you can listen to podcast:

  • Download the RAB Radio Show by right clicking on that link and choosing Save As.
  • Listen in your browser by left clicking the above link or using the embedded player below.
  • Subscribe in iTunes. If you want to rate us that would be great. If you leave a nice review I’ll buy you a beer at a meet-up.

Intro music: “Die Hard” courtesy of reader Alex Kresovich. Thanks to Tyler Wilkinson for the graphic.

RAB and FanGraphs, together again

Just bumping this up top as a reminder. You can still attend the event if you’re under 21, you just have to check in when you get there. They’ll give you a bracelet so they know not to serve you alcohol, but that’s better than not attending.

Last July, we got together with the crew from FanGraphs (and various Mets bloggers) for the first ever FanGraphs Live Discussion. There were a total of four panels and ours basically discussed the state of the team and what not (recap here), and the only complaint seemed to be that it ended too early. We had to be out of Florence Gould Hall by I think noon, otherwise we could have talked for hours. A great time was had by all.

FanGraphs has done a number of Live Discussions since then, and they’ll be coming back to New York this Sunday. This one will be much more informal, no panels or anything. It’ll just be a bunch of us baseball nerds talking about baseball. All the details can be found here, but here’s the nuts and bolts…

Time: 1pm ET (until whenever)
Date: Sunday, Sept. 25th
Location: Amity Hall

Ben, Joe, and I will be there, as will a few FanGraphers, Mets bloggers, etc. Best of all? It’s free! The last event was something like $10 a person, right? No worries this time though, just show up (the entire downstairs is reserved) and enjoy the happy hour prices and baseball talk (and watching, of course the game will be on). Don’t worry, we’ll post a reminder later in the week, but I just wanted to get this on your radar.

Kei Igawa on his future

Kei Igawa’s career with the Yankees is effectively over, the lefty was placed on the minor league disabled list about a week before the season ended and a month or so before his contract was set to expire. Patrick at NPB Tracker passed along a recent interview with Igawa from the Japanese version of the Wall Street Journal, in which he says he wants to sign with an MLB club that will give him a legit chance at a big league job this offseason. I, and I think several of you, assumed that he’d go back to Japan after the season, but the dude still wants to chase the dream. More power to him.

Interestingly enough, Igawa said in the interview that Brian Cashman and then-manager Joe Torre had to ask him what his best pitch was in a meeting during his first season in New York. Pretty good sign that the team may not have done enough homework before acquiring him.