The Yankees' window to gain ground in the American League Wild Card chase is quickly shrinking, along with their postseason hopes. Even with a dramatic late-inning win on Friday, New York has still lost five of its last seven games, and there are only eight remaining.
"Every day is a new day," manager Joe Girardi said of shaking off his team's rough series in Toronto. "You have to learn how to do that in this business. That's just how you were trained, because you do it day after day after day, year after year after year.
"Obviously, we have made the battle tougher, because we did not finish the road trip like we started and we need help from other teams. The only thing we can do is control what we do. For us to reach the playoffs, we're going to have to play better."
On Saturday the Yankees will look to make up for their recent struggles in the second game against the Giants, whose chance to defend their 2012 title was extinguished earlier this month.
The contest features right-handers Ryan Vogelsong and Ivan Nova. Nova has shown improvement in the season's second half. He has a 3.15 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break but has faltered in his back-to-back losses, surrendering four earned runs in each.
"It hurts," Nova said after Monday's 9-2 loss to the Red Sox, which mathematically eliminated his club from the division race. "It's bad, especially when you see the teams ahead of you lose and you want to get a win for the team. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it today. That's the worst part."
Through 24 career Interleague appearances (13 starts), Vogelsong has a 4-4 record and 4.14 ERA. He recovered from a pair of poor outings to hold the Dodgers to three runs over six innings his last time out. All three runs came in the fifth inning, which has been a trend for the 36-year-old righty, who surrendered four runs to Arizona on Sept. 5 and another five to Colorado on Sept. 10.
Yankees: Pettitte to make final home start of regular season on Sunday
Veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte, 41, announced on Friday that the 2013 season will be his last. He will say goodbye to the home fans on Sunday, which will coincide with the retirement ceremony for Mariano Rivera.
"They have been absolutely great to me, and it's been wonderful playing here for the years that I've played here," Pettitte said. "I really wanted to have an opportunity to do that."
Giants: Slumping Posey expected back on Saturday
Catcher Buster Posey is expected to start on Saturday and Sunday. The All-Star, who is playing with a small fracture in the tip of his right ring finger, has been struggling at the plate lately, batting .048 with one RBI in his last six games. He was given the night off on Friday.
"With Buster, the bar is set so high," manager Bruce Bochy said on Thursday. "When he does make an out, because of who he is, you go, 'What's going on with Buster?' But he feels good."
• Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez set the Major League record with his 24th career grand slam in the seventh inning of Friday's 5-1 win.
• The Giants need a win on Saturday to keep their streak of series victories alive. They have won three in a row -- against the Rockies, Dodgers and Mets -- marking their longest stretch of the season.
• This weekend's three-game set is just the third between the Giants and the Yankees since Interleague Play began in 1997.
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.