First Pitch: So there's a chance?

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
6:00
AM ET
The Yankees seem as if they are ending just as they started. With CC Sabathia's injury, the Yankees have now had injuries to these important players:

No. 1 starter: CC Sabathia
No. 3 starter: Andy Pettitte
No. 4 starter: Ivan Nova
First base: Mark Teixeira
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Third base: Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis
Right field: Curtis Granderson
Center field: Brett Gardner

Not only have these big names been injured, but a lot of little ones as well, which is why the Yankees have used more players this year than ever before. They have needed 56 guys so far to fill out their 25-man roster, so there is a small sense of accomplishment that they are still alive with just six games to go.

It could be over very soon for the Yankees, unless they can sweep Tampa in the Bronx, starting on Tuesday night. If they sweep, then the Yankees would go down to Houston this weekend with a chance to make the playoffs. While there's still some hope, the end seems near.

Every game is a must-win. If the Yankees lose to Tampa even once, then the Rays will finish ahead of them. As far as the Indians are concerned, the tragic number is 3, meaning any combination of Indians wins and Yankees losses that add up to three would result in elimination.

The Indians face the White Sox at home the next two nights before finishing up with the four in Minnesota.

UP NOW: CC is hurt. The president channels Yogi.

ON DECK:

Tonight: Hiroki Kuroda (11-12, 3.17) vs. Matt Moore (15-4, 3.34)

Wednesday: David Price (8-8, 3.43) vs. Phil Hughes* (4-13, 5.07)

Thursday, Ivan Nova (9-5, 3.13) vs. Alex Cobb (10-3, 2.90).

* Joe Girardi hasn't made any official decisions yet, but with Sabathia hurt, Hughes is expected to be the choice.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Considering all the injuries, do you give the Yankees a break for not making the playoffs?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.362 0 3 6
OTHER LEADERS
HRC. Beltran 3
RBIC. Beltran 8
RC. Beltran 7
OPSC. Beltran .969
WH. Kuroda 2
ERAM. Tanaka 3.21
SOC. Sabathia 21

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