Here are some notes:
- Andy Pettitte will start the first game and A.J. Burnett will start the second.
- The Red Sox will use Dice-K in the first game and Tim Wakefield in the second. Clay Buchholz was scheduled to make the start in the second game, but was scratched due to a stiff lower back.
- Jorge Posada will catch for Pettitte. That leaves Francisco Cervelli to catch Burnett. Last week Posada was upset that he didn’t get a chance to catch Burnett before the playoffs started. This is a pretty big indicator that Joe Girardi won’t start Posada in the playoffs in games Burnett starts.
- Sunday’s starter could either be Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova. If it is Hughes he will likely be limited to 2 innings or so.
- It’s rookie hazing day today. The theme: Saturday Night Fever starring Kevin Russo as John Travolta.
- Mariano Rivera is available all weekend.
- Girardi hinted that Royce Ring could be on the roster if the Yankees face the Minnesota Twins, but probably not if they face the Texas Rangers because the Twins have more lefties.
- Burnett’s start could a playoff audition.
At this point I hope Burnett doesn’t pitch well. If he does it could provide Girardi with a false sense of hope. In reality, he’s been too bad for too long to be trusted.
That said, the Yankees do have a decent shot to take this division. The Rays have two more games, if they lose one more of them the Yankees only need to take two of three to win the division.
Technically the Yankees are currently half a game up in first place, but the Rays have more head-to-head wins this season. That means that the Yankees would have to have sole possession of first place to win the division.