On Friday Joe Girardi avoided getting too specific about his plans for the Yankees' teetering starting rotation beyond the Sox series: "nothing is etched in stone beyond this weekend". Of course, when he said that, "this weekend" included a planned start by Dustin Moseley on Sunday night. Turns out nothing was etched in stone beyond the mammoth Steinbrenner memorial in Monument Park.
Yesterday Girardi was in full defensive mode: "I never stated during the course of this that we weren't trying to win our division…I never said we were in the playoffs…I never made any guarantees." You've got to wonder at moments like this whether Joe fantasizes about that job in Chicago – which will almost certainly pay more and take fewer years off his life.
In other news, according to the YES Network's Jack Curry (a great addition to the YES team incidentally), Dustin Pedroia endorsed Robinson Cano for this year's AL MVP, saying that Josh Hamilton's injury and Cano's steady play this year would lead him – if he had a vote – to give it to Cano. Sorry Miguel Cabrera.
Buster Olney points out that since Mariano pitched two innings on September 10, his numbers have been thoroughly un-Mo-like: 5.2 IP, 9 hits, 6 ER, three blown saves.
And finally, A-Rod's clutch go-ahead 2-run HR in the 7th inning last night came on an 0-2 pitch off the guy (Dice-K) against whom A-Rod had his worst career numbers of all pitchers – both active and retired – against whom he has accumulated at least 15 PA's. When A-Rod came up the ESPN announcers cited a stat that Matsuzaka had held A-Rod to his second worst career BA among active pitchers, but in fact, if you include the two previous AB's in last night's game, in which A-Rod struck out and grounded into a double play, A-Rod was 1-for-18 career vs. Matsuzaka for a .056 BA, the same worst-ever average as he compiled against the now-retired Darrell May, but with one more strikeout, one less walk, and one fewer RBI than he compiled vs. May.