October 7, 2009

Twins-Yankees ALDS preview

This is it. Ladies and gentlemen, the playoffs are finally here. Tonight, at 6:07 p.m., CC Sabathia will throw out the first pitch to Jorge Posada on TBS for the first ever postseason game at Yankee Stadium III.

Before I even get into my preview, I’d like to link over to Marc Carig’s post filled with Joe Girardi quotes on playing the Twins. Check it out.

Now, let’s break it down.

Let’s just start by saying that these two squads met seven times this year, and the Yankees won all seven of those meetings. The first three games were won on walk-off hits by Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon. Mark Teixeira hit .483 in all seven games too, so watch him closely in the first inning tonight. Even Brett Gardner went 8-for-20 with seven RBIs against Minnesota.

CC Sabathia dominated in his one start against them, and A.J. Burnett tossed two strong efforts with Kevin Cash and Jorge Posada as catchers. Jose Molina will catch Burnett in Game 2.

  Hitting   Pitching
Twins Category Yankees   Twins Category Yankees
.773 OPS .840  


ERA 4.26
811 R 915   1044 SO 1260
170 HR 244   1.38 WHIP 1.35
85 SB 111   .331 OBA .327

Looks like a landslide doesn’t it? The Yankees are better in every statistical category, and haven’t lost in seven chances this season. Well, here’s a news flash for Yankees fans, the Twins have Carl “bleepin’” Pavano!

Pitching Matchups (regular season totals):
Date: Twins starters: Yankees starters:
Wed., 6:07 p.m. Brian Duensing (5-2, 3.64) Sabathia (19-8, 3.37)
Fri., 6:07 p.m. Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.03) Burnett (13-9, 4.04)
Sun., TBD Pavano (14-12, 5.10) Pettitte (14-8, 4.16)
It’s safe to say that the Yankees have the advantage of having their rotation set up, while the Twins used Scott Baker in yesterday’s tie-breaker game. It will hurt the Twins the most when they send out the rookie Duensing tonight against the Cy Young candidate Sabathia. It’s as sure a bet you will ever get in a Game 1 of the ALDS (not to jinx them or anything.)

Friday’s will clearly be the most even matchup, but Burnett has been pitching very well as of late. So has Blackburn, actually, but Burnett has never made a postseason start. So it should be interesting.

The Twins can say they have a chance to eliminate the Yankees with Pavano on the mound (but they have to beat Sabathia and Burnett first). If this does happen, I will need to stay away from sharp objects all offseason.

My Outlook:
It’s hard not to expect a win here. But anything can happen in just a short 5-game series. Also, as much as I’d like the postseason to count toward MVP candidates, it does not. And it would have really been helpful for this series, as the two leading candidates, Joe Mauer and Teixeira will duke it out. I’m just excited for the postseason, finally. Do you want to hear some great news? I will be in a sports studies class from 6:30 to 9:10 tonight…


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