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Game 134: Hey, ya never know

There are a few certainties in sports: that the tickets you pass on end up being for the game of the year, that games 4-7 of the NBA finals will be billed as "must-wins," and that someone’s kid wins your office’s Super Bowl box pool. The Yankees are sending their equivalent of our coworkers’ son to the mound tonight—they’ve seen a number of "ooh so close!" no-no/perfectos this year, and based on the laws of sports improbabilites, Chad Gaudin (1-0, 3.21) may be the unlikely hero to pitch the gem of the season? Maybe?

He faces the Blue Jays’ child prodigy Ricky Romero (11-6, 3.95), whose biggest impact may be his utility in "rookies start slow" debate.

After last night’s indulgent 10-2 win to complete the sweep of the Orioles, Johnny Damon astutely noted "This is how a team is made. Top to bottom and on our bench we have a solid team." The slumps scattered within the lineup have been gradually charred, and at a good time: Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera are hitting .400 in the last 6 games. Nick Swisher’s back to early season form. And Jorge Posada has decided to finally throw his strikeout rates in bulk pickup.

Conversely, Toronto’s game-in-preview soundbyte comes to us from pitcher Scott Richmond: "We’re trying to be spoilers. We’re trying to stir the pot a little." That’s the spirit, Jays! Nothing like spending a month of games aspiring to be mediocre. Btw, how’s that working out for you, Doc?

The moderately alarming news of Mariano Rivera’s sore groin means Phil Hughes steps into the closer role. Girardi’s been made to look like a strategic genius on more than one occasion this year (as well as the opposite, to be sure), and who’s the say tonight doesn’t make Chad a hero, Girardi a Nostradamus, and the Yankees crescendoing season even hotter?


Lineup

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays

09/03/09 7:07 PM EDT

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
Derek Jeter - SS Marco Scutaro - SS
Johnny Damon - LF Aaron Hill - 2B
Mark Teixeira - 1B Adam Lind - LF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B Lyle Overbay - 1B
Hideki Matsui - DH Vernon Wells - CF
Jorge Posada - C Randy Ruiz - DH
Robinson Cano - 2B Travis Snider - RF
Nick Swisher - RF Jose Bautista - 3B
Melky Cabrera - CF Raul Chavez - C