10/20/10 10:20 PM ET
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Mantle, Sheppard remembered in Bronx
NEW YORK -- Mickey Mantle and Bob Sheppard were forever linked on April 17, 1951, the day a rookie slugger from Oklahoma heard his name spoken at Yankee Stadium by an announcer working his first day on the job.
Mantle and Sheppard may have broken in together that day against the Red Sox, but they shared a connection long before getting to the Bronx. Both were born on Oct. 20 and would have celebrated birthdays during the Yankees' 7-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.
Sheppard, who passed away on July 12, was born in 1910 and would have turned 100 on Wednesday. His memory was acknowledged with a moment of reflection before the first pitch of Game 5. Mantle, who died in 1995, was born in 1931.
Nunez replaces Teixeira on Yanks' roster
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have removed injured first baseman Mark Teixeira from their roster for the American League Championship Series, replacing him with infielder Eduardo Nunez.
Teixeira suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring in New York's 10-3 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday, an injury that typically forecasts a recovery time of six to eight weeks. Teixeira would be ineligible to play in the World Series, should the Yankees advance.
"It's extremely disappointing for him and for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's so tough. This is something he can't play through. I know how much he wants to be out there."
Girardi said that Nunez, 23, was selected because he was available and still active playing in Tampa, Fla., where the Yankees had been running a minicamp at their Spring Training complex.
"He was the one guy that we had playing down there," Girardi said. "[Nunez offers] versatility anywhere in the infield if needed and as a pinch-runner."
Nunez hit .280 (14-for-50) with a home run and seven RBIs in 30 games with the Yankees this year. Without Teixeira available, Girardi put Lance Berkman in the lineup at first base for Wednesday's ALCS Game 5 and moved Robinson Cano to the No. 3 spot in the batting order.
"With Robbie, no matter where we've hit him, he's hit and he's produced," Girardi said. "We'll get Robbie more at-bats this way."
Yanks miss scoring on tight pitch to Swisher
NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher's pinstriped pants appeared to be brushed by an eighth-inning offering in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, but a hit-by-pitch was not called, costing the Yankees a run.
The play occurred while Swisher was batting with the bases loaded and one out against Rangers left-hander Darren Oliver, with New York trailing, 7-3. An 0-1 slider darted inside and spilled Swisher, who immediately tried to plead his case to home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
"Swish didn't really make a huge stink out of it, and you go by the reaction of the player," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who said he couldn't tell from his vantage point in the dugout.
Hernandez ruled the pitch a ball and Swisher quickly resumed his at-bat. Replays from some angles appeared to show the ball brushing Swisher's pants leg, which would make it a hit-by-pitch and force in a run.
"We looked at it," said umpiring crew chief Gerry Davis. "Obviously in Angel's judgment, the ball had not hit him. We looked at the replay, and even from different angles, it's inconclusive."
Swisher finished the at-bat by flying out to center field, and the Yankees did not score in the inning. Swisher did not speak to reporters before leaving Yankee Stadium.
All hands on deck in Game 5
NEW YORK -- The Yankees' bags are packed and a plane is waiting on a runway to ferry them off to Texas, but the team reported to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday knowing that a loss scraps all of those plans.
Because of the win-or-stay-home atmosphere for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he will likely have a quick hook for CC Sabathia if it appears the left-hander does not have his best stuff against the Rangers.
"I don't think that you can necessarily hesitate to make a move," Girardi said.
It is now all hands on deck for the Yankees, as Girardi said he could even use Phil Hughes -- the scheduled Game 6 starter, if necessary -- in relief for Game 5 if needed, bringing him back to make that scheduled start or perhaps bumping Andy Pettitte up to pitch Game 6. The only pitcher Girardi said he absolutely wouldn't use in Game 5 is Pettitte.
"I think you can only focus on the game today. You can't think about tomorrow and the next day," Girardi said.
Girardi also said that he can now use late-inning relievers Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera in unorthodox fashion, perhaps bringing them in earlier or pitching them longer than usual. Girardi floated the idea that he might need to use Rivera for six outs against the Texas lineup, something he has steadfastly tried to avoid.
"I mean, we have to do whatever we have to do to win this game," Rivera said. "There's no tomorrow. We need to win today. Hopefully, I can do whatever they ask me to do, God willing."
Yanks hold team meeting after Game 4
NEW YORK -- Presented with the franchise's first 3-1 postseason series deficit in 52 seasons, the Yankees held a team meeting following Tuesday's Game 4 loss to the Rangers.
Manager Joe Girardi was the only individual to speak, reminding his team that the series was far from over.
"You worry about your guys trying to do too much. You continue talking about just doing what you can do," Girardi said. "You can only focus on the game today. You can't think about tomorrow and the next day."
Even with their veteran core, these Yankees haven't been in this exact situation before. The closest analogue may be the 2001 American League Division Series, when they were down 0-2 in a best-of-five series to Oakland before rallying.
"It's obviously win or go home," said Girardi. "But you play in so many games of magnitude when you play for the Yankees, and you've seen guys that have been able to relax in their careers. You hope they can do it today."
The New York players are all taking an approach of "one game at a time" in chipping away at the deficit.
"Well, I mean, we are 3-1 down, yes, but still, we haven't lost yet," Mariano Rivera said. "So with that in mind, we just have to play one game at a time. We cannot win three games in one shot.
"So the message is that we just play hard today and forget about tomorrow. Let's focus on what we have to do today. And if we do that, I think the team that we have is enough to win today."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Associate reporter Tim Britton contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.