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Game #157 -- New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Devil Rays

New York Yankees

Johnny Damon,  LF
Derek Jeter,  SS
Bobby Abreu,  RF
Alex Rodriguez,  3B
Hideki Matsui,  DH
Jorge Posada,  C
Robinson Cano,  2B
Doug Mientkiewicz,  1B
Melky Cabrera,  CF

Kei Igawa,  LHP  (2-3,  6.75)

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Akinori Iwamura,  3B
Jorge Velandia,  2B
Carlos Pena,  1B
B.J. Upton,  CF
Delmon Young,  RF
Dioner Navarro,  C
Jonny Gomes,  LF
Joel Guzmán,  DH
Josh Wilson,  SS

Jason Hammel,  RHP  (2-5,  5.88)

Sadly, the Yanks hold just a slim 8-7 edge in the season series against the D-Rays in 2007.

As most of you know by now, Roger Clemens has been scratched once again from tonight's scheduled start and will not pitch in this series.  He has been replaced by Kei Igawa -- who makes his first start since July 26th.  For joy.

Yankee fans really have to wonder if Clemens is going to be ready to pitch in the post-season.  Suddenly, Ian Kennedy's recurring back trouble and subsequent shutdown for the remainder of the season looms large.  So much for that depth in the rotation.

Igawa has been atrocious against the D-Rays this season (0-1, 8.68 ERA in 2 starts).  Forgive me for my lack of confidence in his ability to get TB hitters out like Carlos Pena -- who has murdered Yankee pitching all season (.333, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 14 R).

Hammel has pitched well against the Yanks this season (1-0, 2.70 in 4 games) and has been outstanding in September (1-1, 2.35 ERA in 4 starts).

Yankees' career numbers vs. Hammel can be viewed here.  Rays' career numbers vs. Igawa can be viewed here.  

The featured graphic for tonight's game is the brand new cap logo for the Tampa Bay Rays beginning in 2008.  Yes, the franchise has decided to drop the "Devil" and will be the plain old Tampa Bay Rays starting next year.  You can view the new uniforms at DRaysBay.

Personally, I like the current digs and colors a lot better.  But that's me.