Yankees, PawSox bracing for Hanna

Hughes expected to face Colon in intriguing Game 4 matchup

Phil Hughes faced Pawtucket twice this season, posting a 2.70 ERA over 10 innings. (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees)

By Kevin T. Czerwinski / MLB.com | September 5, 2008 3:19 PM ET

MOOSIC, Pa. -- Tropical Storm Hanna is expected to wreak havoc in Northeast Pennsylvania for much of Saturday, which almost assuredly means that Game 4 of the Governors' Cup semifinal series between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket will be pushed back to late Sunday afternoon.

The likely postponement, however, isn't expected to impact the sexy pitching matchup between rising star Phil Hughes and former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon. The duo is still scheduled to pitch, though the listed starters for Game 5, which would be played Monday in the event of a rainout, probably will change.

"That's something," Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson said of the Game 4 pitching matchup. "I tell you what, I never saw Hughes in person until he threw here against us [on Aug. 7]. Now I know what all the hype is about. I never realized how big he is, and to see that stuff come out of his hand is incredible."

Hughes started twice against the PawSox during the regular season and didn't earn a decision, pitching to a 2.70 ERA over 10 innings. He struck out six, walked three and allowed six hits.

Colon made nine starts with Pawtucket this season, six of which came during his latest rehab outing. Boston placed him on the disabled list on June 17 after he strained his back the previous day while swinging a bat in Philadelphia. He went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA overall in the International League and was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA during rehab, with the only loss coming against the Yanks on Aug. 5 at PNC Park.

The Red Sox activated him from the disabled list following Thursday's game and will option him to Pawtucket prior to Game 4. The PawSox will have to take a player off their roster to accommodate the right-hander.

As for a potential Game 5, the listed starters are Edgar Martinez (8-3, 3.89) for Pawtucket and Victor Zambrano (0-1, 18.00), but that will change. Johnson wouldn't make a 100 percent commitment on Friday but all but admitted he would go back to Game 1 starter Charlie Zink.

"It would probably be Zink," Johnson said. "He's the league's Pitcher of the Year. I think it would be a slap in the face to not give him the ball."

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley wouldn't say if he would go back to his Game 1 starter, Chase Wright. But if it comes down to a choice between the youngster and the worn-out Zambrano, Wright would likely get the nod.

"We haven't looked that far ahead yet," Miley said. "It depends on a lot of things, and going with Wright isn't my decision. We'll talk internally and I'm sure it will be brought up."

The Louisville Bats had Game 3 of their semifinal series at Durham postponed Friday due to Hanna.

No Melky, no problem: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre may have lost its starting center fielder when the Yankees recalled Melky Cabrera following Thursday's loss at Pawtucket, but Miley didn't seem all too concerned. That's because he still has Matt Carson, who stepped back into the lineup and hit sixth Friday night.

Carson, who batted .289 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs in 84 games, appeared in 38 games in center for the Yankees prior to Cabrera's mid-August arrival in Moosic. However, Carson was only 6-for-38 (.158) against Pawtucket this season. He appeared in 12 games during Cabrera's stay with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 10-for-36.

Of those 12 games, four were as a pinch-runner, pinch-hitter or defensive replacement. Carson also had 10 assists and no errors in 186 total chances at all three outfield positions this year.

"Matt's ready to go," Miley said. "We've kept him fresh. You lose people. It happens. The only difference is that Melky has been in the big leagues this year, but Matty plays well for us."

Cabrera was 1-for-8 with an RBI and a strikeout through two playoff games. The Yankees called up outfielder Tim Battle from Class A Advanced Tampa to take his spot on the roster. Battle hit .254 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in the Florida State League.

Kevin Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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