10/05/2002 2:33 pm ET
MLBeat: Coomer to start at DH
Pettitte, Hernandez available in relief
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
With their backs up against the wall
heading into Saturday's Game 4, the New York Yankees know
they have to pull out all the stops to send the American
League Division Series back to the Bronx for a decisive Game
That said, Yankees manager Joe Torre has made a few
adjustments to his lineup and stocked his bullpen with arms
for Saturday's matinee at Edison Field.
Ron Coomer, who has not played in the series thus far, will
serve as New York's designated hitter, as rookie Nick
Johnson sits for the second time against Anaheim left-hander
Torre cited Coomer's success against Washburn -- Coomer is
4-for-10 with a home run and two RBIs against the southpaw
in his career -- as the main reason for inserting him in the
Rondell White, who homered off Washburn in Game 1, continues
to be bothered by a strained left hamstring, and will only
be available for pinch-hitting duties. Torre also dropped
third baseman Robin Ventura to No. 8 in the batting order.
Torre said that his entire pitching staff will be available
with the exception of Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina.
Mussina injured his right groin in Game 3, and Clemens
returned to New York on Friday in case he is needed to start
Game 5 on Sunday.
Andy Pettitte and Orlando Hernandez, who pitched three and
four innings, respectively, in Game 2, will both be
available. All of the Yankees' other relievers will also be
"Everybody will be jammed into that bullpen," Torre said.
Torre has been in this spot before, having been faced with
three straight elimination games in last year's Division
Series against the Oakland
"You have to put perspective on this whole thing," Torre
said. "You're dealing with negatives all the time -- they
only have to win one more game. But it's a matter of our
winning one game, too, and then we get to go home. You have
to just go out and play your own game."
New York won two games in Oakland last October to shift the
series back to New York, where they took the series finale
to move on to the American League Championship Series.
"Nobody feels good after they lose, regular season or
postseason. The postseason just gets magnified more," Torre
said. "We just have to remind ourselves that it's a baseball
game and we have to go out to win, just like every other
"Is that easy? No. But if you're a good team, you have to do
Moose mending: Mussina, who left his start in Game 3
with tightness in his right groin, may be able to pitch in
the next round of the playoffs should the Yankees win their
next two games.
"He was doing some light exercise today. It's sore, but not
a total blowout," Torre said. "We have a chance to have him
OK for the next round, but we'll make that decision after a
day or so."
Mussina allowed four runs in four innings, but got a
no-decision in New York's 9-6 loss to Anaheim.
Rookie ready: Juan Rivera has started all three games
in the ALDS in left field for the Yankees, and the rookie is
in the lineup once again in Game 4. Torre seemed impressed
with the play of his left fielder, who was thrust into a
full-time role when Rondell White injured his hamstring.
"Rivera's played well. He hasn't had any tentative at-bats
and he's gotten some hits for us," Torre said. "He's been
lost in all the excitement that's been going on. I'm sure
he's nervous, but he's doing well in spite of that."
Rivera is batting .375 (3-for-8) with three RBIs over the
first three games.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval
of Major League Baseball or its clubs.