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Game 36: Twins @ Yankees

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  • First Pitch: 6:05 CST
  • TV: FSN North, MLB.tv
  • RADIO: Twins Radio Network

At 18-17, the tied-for-first Twins are headed to New York for 3 with the 17-17 Yankees.

Starting Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Francisco Liriano 2-4 7 7 0 0 0 0 40.2 38 27 26 5 16 33 5.75 1.33


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Phil Hughes 1-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 11.2 17 12 11 2 8 8 8.49 2.14

It's an intriguing pitching matchup tonight between two highly talented but struggling young pitches. Both of these guys are expected to be aces for their team for many years to come, but it's been a rough 2009 so far.

Phil Hughes started the year in AAA but was called up to replace the "injured" Chien-Ming Wang. He excelled in his first start against the Tigers, blanking the Tigers through six full while striking out 6, but has been blasted his last two starts, totaling only 5.2 innings with 11 ER allowed. Hughes has given up a lot of fly balls in those starts, and that may give him problems against the Twins lefties aiming at that ridiculously short porch in right at the new stadium.

Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano still has yet to get in stride following Tommy John surgery. Liriano is easy as pie to read though. In the first 3 innings, what is his pitch selection like? If he's throwing lots of fastballs and hitting his spots with them, he's in for a good day. If his fastball is missing and he has to start relying on his slider and changeup very heavily before the fifth inning, watch out when the Yankees come up through the order the third time. His slider is still very good, but it isn't good enough that he can throw it all day without the fastball and not have guys figure it out eventually.


Lineup

Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees

05/15/09 7:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins New York Yankees
Denard Span - LF Derek Jeter - SS
Matt Tolbert - 2B Johnny Damon - LF
Joe Mauer - C Mark Teixeira - 1B
Justin Morneau - 1B Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Jason Kubel - DH Hideki Matsui - DH
Michael Cuddyer - RF Nick Swisher - RF
Joe Crede - 3B Robinson Cano - 2B
Carlos Gomez - CF Melky Cabrera - CF
Nick Punto - SS Kevin Cash - C

Carlos Gomez will be out in center field for a few days with Delmon Young on the inactive list due to family emergency (Jose Morales was called back up to replace Young). Hopefully Gomez will make some nice plays in the field and Gardy will remember how much he loves that Span-Gomez defense. One key to impressing Gardy for Gomez will be keeping his emotions in check. We're going to see Gomez fail plenty for quite awhile, but will he lose his cool or take it calmly and go grab his glove?

Another nice thing for the Twins in this series might be the HR happy nature of the park. According to ESPN, the new stadium is the third most HR inducing in the game, and reports have said lefties have a particularly easy time whacking dingers out to right. Short dimensions plus something funny about the way the ball is flying out in right should leave an enticing target for the lefty-heavy heart of the Twins' batting order.