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Game 119: Yankees @ Twins

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Pregame

The Moose, another Twin Killer, the Ageless One, the 8th Wonder of the World Mike Mussina takes the mound tonight. He's having one of his best years as a Yankee, and at age 39, this may be his last opportunity to finally notch a 20-win season. He's reached 19 twice, 18 three times and 17 twice more, but never 20. His strikeout rate has rebounded a bit from last year, his walk rates are the lowest of his illustrious 18-year career, and even his ground-ball rates are up which has helped him minimize the damage in his rougher outings...of which there haven't been many. Mussina's racked up 15 quality starts, 10 of which have come in his last 12 outings. If the Yanks are going to knock back the Twins, tonight would be the night.

On the other hand Nick Blackburn is 2-0 in his last three starts, spanning 20 innings, 19 hits, six strikeouts, three walks and just five runs. In fact, his ERA since July 2nd is just 2.55. On the whole, his peripherals aren't really that much better or worse than Mussina's, even though you could give a slight advantage to each pitcher in different areas. The Twins still have significantly less firepower on paper, however, so Blackburn will need to come up with another gem tonight. Hopefully he's a bit better off than he's been in his first two starts versus New York this season, where he's totaled just six innings (including the 1.2 inning affair on July 21st, the shortest outing of his career).

The (elderly) star-studded Yankee lineup will likely look something like this: Damon (DH), Jeter (SS), Abreu (RF), Rodriguez (3B), Giambi (1B), Nady (LF), Cano (2B), Rodriguez (C), Cabrera (CF)

For the Twins against Mussina The Right-Hander: Span (RF), Punto (2B), Redmond (C), Morneau (1B), Kubel (DH), Young (LF), Buscher (3B), Everett (SS), Gomez (CF)


Lineup

New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins

08/12/08 8:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees Minnesota Twins
Johnny Damon - CF Denard Span - RF
Derek Jeter - SS Nick Punto - 2B
Bobby Abreu - RF Mike Redmond - C
Alex Rodriguez - 3B Justin Morneau - 1B
Jason Giambi - DH Jason Kubel - DH
Xavier Nady - LF Delmon Young - LF
Robinson Cano - 2B Brian Buscher - 3B
Wilson Betemit - 1B Adam Everett - SS
Jose Molina - C Carlos Gomez - CF


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Nick Blackburn 9-6 23 23 0 0 0 0 140.0 158 67 56 13 21 71 3.60 1.28


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Mike Mussina 15-7 24 24 0 0 0 0 140.1 149 61 51 14 20 96 3.27 1.20