Mike Mussina’s been mind-bottlingly awful in his last two starts. Justin Verlander was pretty awful himself last week against Cleveland (4 IP, 7 R). The weekend prior to that, Verlander worked 5 1/3 inefficient innings in the Bronx (119 pitches), but managed to pull out the win as he allowed only three runs and the pitcher he was facing was none other than Mike Mussina (5 IP, 7 R). The Yankees are hoping the rematch will tilt the other way, as they need this last game of the series to salvage a split and some dignity from this road trip before heading home to play three games against the suddenly out-of-reach Red Sox. Mussina, meanwhile, could very well be pitching for his job.
Damon in left, Matsui DH, Giambi at first for the second day in a row. Putting G’Bombi in the field scares me, as supposedly that’s how he hurt his foot in the first place, but this is undoubtedly the Yankees’ best offensive alignment.