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Notes: Giambi receives cortisone shot

Notes: Giambi gets cortisone shot

DETROIT -- After playing first base on Friday for the first time since Sept. 19, Jason Giambi requested and received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder as a precautionary measure.

Giambi stressed that he felt fine, saying he was "100 percent able to play," though the team said Giambi received the shot to help some mild inflammation in his shoulder.

Joe Torre sat Giambi for Saturday's Game 4, citing his poor career numbers against Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman and the manager's desire to get Melky Cabrera and Gary Sheffield into the lineup.

"I'm fine," Giambi said. "I wanted to make sure it wasn't sore. It's an elimination game today, so I wanted to be sure it wasn't sore because I hadn't played first base in a long time."

"There's nothing physically wrong to keep him from playing," Torre said. "I wanted Sheff in there, that automatically put him as the odd man out."

Giambi is 1-for-8 with a walk and two hit-by-pitches in the first three games of the series, and he is 3-for-15 in his career against Bonderman. With that in mind, Torre inserted Sheffield at first base and Cabrera in left field, sending Giambi to the bench.

"[The injection] had nothing to do with his not playing today, that's all I can tell you," Torre said. "If I was going to try to find a physical issue for him, it would be his hand and not his shoulder."

"That's Joe's job, to manage," Giambi said of the decision. "I'm not here to manage. I'm here to play."

With the Yankees facing elimination on Saturday, Giambi, who hit 37 home runs and drove in 113 runs, may spend his last game of 2006 on the bench.

"It will be miserable, but I'm not going to let it take away from my teammates," Giambi said. "It's not about me. It's about winning games. It's about winning today so we can play tomorrow."

"I know what he's going through," said Sheffield, who was on the bench for Game 3. "He's going through what I went through."

Missing in action: The Yankees went an amazing 0-for-18 with men on base in Game 3, also going hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.

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According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 0-for-18 was the worst such performance by any team in any game in postseason history.

"I can't give you a reason for it," Torre said. "It happened, though."

The previous mark of futility came in 2002, when the Twins went 0-for-17 with runners on base in Game 2 of the ALDS against the A's.

Mo time: Despite the fact that the Yankees' season may come to an end on Saturday, Torre has no plans to use Mariano Rivera for more than one inning in Game 4, regardless of the situation.

Rivera, who missed three weeks in September with a muscle strain in his right forearm, hasn't pitched more than one inning since returning in late September.

"He's all right now, but I don't want to stir this up," Torre said. "There's no game that's more important than somebody's well-being. I don't know if it would jeopardize his health, but I can't do that."

All hands on deck: The Yankees will have all of their pitchers available for Game 4, including Game 2 starter Mike Mussina, who threw 93 pitches on Thursday.

Saturday is Mussina's scheduled bullpen day, so Torre said he would be held back from his throwing session in case the Yankees needed an inning or so out of him in Game 4.

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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