Okay, the bad news first. Randy Johnson has a herniated disk in his back and it is not certain whether or not he’ll be able to start Game 3 of the ALDS or any other game in the playoffs. The Yankees won’t have any real answers for a few days, but, naturally, losing Johnson would be a blow.
Johnson received an epidural yesterday at Beth Israel Hospital in hopes that the treatment would relieve the discomfort in his back to the point where he would be able to pitch next Friday. An epidural is an injection in the back that is usually a combination of a cortisone-type medication and a local anesthetic that reduces inflammation.
Johnson, 43, was expected to play catch at Yankee Stadium today and was scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. [Yankee General Manager, Brian] Cashman said no decision would be made concerning Johnson’s postseason status until after he threw tomorrow.
“He’ll tell us,” Cashman said. “It’s not something we can see. He’ll tell us how much more comfortable he is.”
Hold your breath everybody and hope that the bats and bullpen can carry the team.
Now, for the good news. The Yanks beat the Jays 7-2 last night. Combined with the Tigers stunning loss to the Royals, the Bombers have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Gary Sheffield hit a three-run bomb, Jorge Posada added a two-run shot of his own, and Alex Rodriguez had three hits as Mike Mussina pitched a nice game and notched his 15th victory of the year.
4:05 start today. It’s sunny but brisk and chilly in the Bronx. Gametime temp: 64 degrees. We’ll see some terrific shadows on the field this evening.
Let’s Go Yan-kees.
UPDATE Actually, the sun isn’t anywhere to be found. It is cold and breezy at the Stadium. There is a lot buzzing around the park today with the playoffs just a few days away. Pete Abraham has the latest. Also, the Twins lost this afternoon. Unless the Tigers lose today and tomorrow and the Twinkies can pull out a win in the final game of the season, the Yanks will face Minnie in the ALCS. Scary match-up as the Twins have Santana, a great bullpen, the Metrodome, and some unfinished business with the Yanks in the playoffs. They’d love some payback. We already know that Twins’ owner wants to face the Yankees. Look like his wish is going to come true.