Five things from the clubhouse

Here are five things (other than our Raul Ibanez coverage) that you need to know from the Yankees clubhouse.

1. For the record, Mariano Rivera predicted that Ibanez was going to tie the game with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth. The injured closer said he told Alex Rodriguez (of all people) that Ibanez was going to go deep.

"I did, I did, yeah I did," Rivera said. "It's part of the game. I told Alex. (But) we won and that's the most important part."

Rivera also threw out the first pitch before Game 3 and said he will be attending all Yankee home playoff games.

2. Rodriguez said he never expected to get moved down in the lineup before Game 3. Joe Girardi had contemplated it before the game because Rodriguez had struggled so mightily in the first two games. He went 0-for-3 in Game 3 with two strikeouts in Game 3 and is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts in the series.

Girardi said after the Yankees' 12-inning win that he would have to get a night's sleep before deciding on a Game 4 lineup.

Said A-Rod: "Tomorrow's another day and I'm coming right back at it and I'm going to be swinging out of my a--."

3. Both Girardi and A-Rod said that the manager's decision to pinch-hit for Rodriguez in the ninth would not affect their player-manager relationship.

"I'm Joe's biggest fan. Joe's always respected me to the utmost and I give it right back to him," Rodriguez said.

Added Girardi: "Sometimes you've got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move. I still have the utmost respect for Al and I still think he's a great player, he's just going through a little tough time right now."

4. Derek Jeter admitted that he was in pain after the Yanks' win on Wednesday. "Have you ever fouled a ball off of your foot?" he asked a reporter.

But, in the surprise of the century (we kid, we kid), Jeter said that he plans to be in the lineup on Thursday. He was taken out in the ninth inning after playing through pain in his foot.

"I will play (in Game 4)," the shortstop said.

Girardi, however, wasn't so sure.

"I'll have to make a decision on what I try to do with him," the manager said. "You know, is the DH maybe for me? Does his foot feel good enough to play shortstop? Does his foot feel good enough to play at all? I'm going to have to wait until (Thursday)."

5. Lost amid the A-Rod/Raul Ibanez drama on Wednesday night was another strong outing from a Yankee starter.

Actually, that's an understatement.

Hiroki Kuroda was masterful in Game 3, tossing 8 1/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball against the O's.

Kuroda made just two mistakes all night -- surrendering solo homers to Manny Machado and Ryan Flaherty.

Said Girardi: "He was outstanding, and the extra rest must have helped him (Kuroda was pitching on seven days' rest). The one slider that was up to Machado, really that was the only mistake he made all night. That's pretty amazing to see that he threw over 100 pitches (105)."