News & Notes
YANKEES' LINEUP: Jason Giambi's struggles might have cost him a spot on the postseason roster.
Manager Joe Torre yesterday outlined some of his decisions heading into the division series against Minnesota.
Mike Mussina (12-9), below, will pitch the opener tomorrow night against Johan Santana (20-6) and Jon Lieber (14-8) will pitch Wednesday against Brad Radke (11-8).
Torre hinted he might keep 11 pitchers on his roster against the Twins, including Kevin Brown and Orlando Hernandez, both candidates to start Game 3 on Saturday at the Metrodome. El Duque has been bothered by a tired arm in his last two starts.
That decision could mean Giambi won't be included. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts yesterday -- fanning with the bases loaded and two outs in the first. Giambi dropped to 4 for 33 (.121) since being activated from the disabled list.
"He looked like he was more frustrated today than any other day," Torre said. "It's just not happening for him."
Torre said he'll announce a decision after today's workout. He's thought about using Giambi as a pinch hitter.
"I'm going to do whatever is best for this team. I've done my best," said Giambi, who has fought to overcome a benign tumor and a variety of other ailments. "It was pretty tough coming back, but I tried it."
ROTATION NOTATIONS: Roger Clemens (18-4), scratched from yesterday's crucial regular season finale because of a stomach virus, will pitch Game 1 of the Houston Astros' division series against the Braves in Atlanta.
"Roger was willing to go out there and do it" Sunday, Astros Manager Phil Garner said. "He was sick all night and didn't get any sleep. My feeling is that he would hit the wall early. I think it's just best not to put him out there." . . .
Clemens will face Jaret Wright on Wednesday in Atlanta. Mike Hampton is set to pitch for the Braves in Game 3, but their Game 2 starter is in doubt. John Thomson was scheduled to pitch but left Saturday's start after three innings with a pulled side muscle. Thomson, who had surgery five years ago to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, is determined to pitch on Thursday in Atlanta.
"I haven't missed a start since I came back from my shoulder surgery and I don't plan on missing any more," he said. . . .
Manager Jim Tracy said left-hander Odalis Perez will pitch for the Dodgers in Game 1 and right-hander Jeff Weaver the second.