- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Joe Maddon went to bed thinking CC Sabathia would start the opener of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader against the New York Yankees because of Phil Hughes‘ back spasm.

When the Tampa Bay Rays manager woke up, he learned Hector Noesi was going in the first game and Sabathia was pitching the nightcap.

Gamesmanship by Yankees skipper Joe Girardi?

“It had an odor of that,” Maddon said. “I don’t know if that’s exactly what was going on. I’m OK with gamesmanship. I’m into gamesmanship. It’s part of the dance, and I’m good with all that stuff.”

Maddon had lined up his pitchers the way he wanted. Figuring Sabathia (19-8) would start the opener, he slotted James Shields (15-11) for the first game and Jeremy Hellickson (13-10) for the second. He sent both starters home early Tuesday night, then after the end of the game texted them which end of the twinbill they would start.

Once the Yankees announced Noesi (2-1) as their first-game starter, Maddon decided not to switch.

“I don’t want to keep throwing different thoughts into my pitchers’ heads,” he said.

Hughes felt sore after Friday’s bullpen session in Toronto, and the Yankees had pushed back his next start from Monday.

Girardi said that while Hughes‘ condition has been improving, he has not been able to throw. It was possible Hughes would attempt another bullpen session between games Wednesday.

“It’s kind of lingered on,” Girardi said. “We’re going to have to see how he physically does and if he’s able to make another start for us. I would think that that would be possible.”

Just 5-5 with a 6.00 ERA, Hughes was sidelined from April 15 to July 6 because of an inflamed right shoulder.

Noesi threw 18 pitches in relief Saturday, and Girardi expected he would be available for 50-60 pitches.

NOTES: Tampa RF Ben Zobrist missed Tuesday night’s game, a day after the birth of his daughter, Kruse. He was expected back sometime during the day game.

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