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Torre to keep reins tighter on Rivera
By MARC TOPKIN and Times wires
Published October 3, 2006
NEW YORK - The Yankees go into the postseason tonight with relief ace Mariano Rivera available to get the final three outs.
But only the final three outs.
To make sure Rivera has no recurrence of the arm problems that sidelined him last month, manager Joe Torre said Rivera will be limited to ninth-inning work and will not be used, as he has throughout past postseasons, to get four-, five- and six-out saves.
"We're going into the postseason with Mariano being a ninth-inning pitcher," Torre said. "We feel we have enough support leading up with him to be able to do this."
The setup role will fall primarily on Kyle Farnsworth, but Torre said the Yankees are prepared to try other options if necessary.
Torre also said Randy Johnson (back problems) was on track to pitch in Game 3 on Friday in Detroit, and that Gary Sheffield would hit fourth tonight with Alex Rodriguez dropping to sixth.
A GOOD YEAR: Last year at this time, Chuck Hernandez was leaving his job as pitching coach of the Rays, who had the second-worst ERA in the majors. Now he's in the playoffs as pitching coach of the Tigers, who had the best ERA in the majors.
As for the change?
"It's cool," said Hernandez, a Tampa native. "We had a real good year."
GREEN OUT: Infielder Nick Green filled in well after being dumped by the Devil Rays and picked up by the Yankees in a minor trade, but not well enough to be on the division series roster.
Green lost out on the backup infield spot to another former Ray, Miguel Cairo. But Green will continue to work out with the Yankees and could be added to the roster if they advance to the next round. "I've got to keep myself ready," he said.
fit and ready: A year ago, the Cardinals swept the Padres out of the playoffs and benefited from an injury to San Diego ace Jake Peavy, who broke two ribs celebrating the division title several days earlier.
Peavy, who has been prone to freak injuries the past two seasons, said he's healthy: "This time out I feel as good as I've felt all year."
Or so the Padres hope.
"With Jake, we always wait until right before the game to make sure he's okay," manager Bruce Bochy said.
FLY WRIGHT: Delta Air Lines named a plane after Mets All-Star third baseman David Wright at LaGuardia Airport. The plane, an MD-88, is called the Wright Flight and shuttles among New York, Boston and Washington. Wright, 23, and his brothers Daniel, Matthew and Stephen often joked while growing up in the suburbs of Norfolk, Va., that they were related to the other Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, who pioneered flight.