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Yankees go with Swisher over Matsui in right field

October 31, 2009 |  2:11 pm


The Yankees decided not to start Hideki Matsui in right field for Game 3 of the World Series tonight, even with incumbent Nick Swisher batting .114 in postseason play. Matsui is batting .278, with nine walks in 11 games and a .422 on-base percentage.

However, Matsui has not played the outfield since June 15, 2008. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has said Matsui would be available for pinch-hitting and could play the outfield as part of a double switch.

Girardi said it is "probably out of the question" that closer Mariano Rivera could work two innings tonight. Rivera worked two innings in Game 2, directly following starter A.J. Burnett, keeping the Yankees from using their none-too-impressive middle relievers.

Girardi also said CC Sabathia would start Game 4 tomorrow, on short rest, and stopped just short of confirming that Burnett and Andy Pettitte also would start on short rest, enabling the Yankees to use just three starters.

"This is the World Series," Girardi said. "There will be no baseball after the World Series for four or five months. There will be plenty of time to rest."

-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher shows his frustration after flying out in Game 1 of the World Series. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images