The dreaded Yankees; ruiners of Twin’s fan dreams throughout the ‘00’s, host your favorite team in a three game series with huge playoff implications. The Twins currently hold a two-game lead over the Angels for the second wild-card. With Cleveland’s insane, historic winning streak, the Twins can no longer win the division, so this is their path to the playoffs. The Yankees are ahead of the Twins by four games, so this series won’t allow the Twins to overtake the first spot, but will allow them to potentially make it a lot closer. Or to fall out of the playoffs. Your guess is as good as mine.
On the bright side, the Twins have the right guys on the mound for this series. Ervin Santana will start game one. He has somehow avoided facing the Yankees this season. Historically, their batters are .265/.315/.485 against our ace. Greg Bird, Todd Frazier, and Matt Holliday each have two home runs against Santana, and Jacoby Ellsbury has also stroked a dong. Matching up against Ervin is a guy you may have heard of, Jaime Garcia. Garcia, if you remember, was a Twin for about 15 minutes right before the trade deadline, and we are currently paying him a bunch of money to pitch for the Yankees. He won the one game he pitched for the Twins, but since then, hasn’t pitched all that well. He’s now thrown 29.1 innings for the Yankees, giving up 33 hits and 19 runs. Most of our hitters haven’t seen much of Garcia, with the lone exception, Jason Castro at 2-for-8 with a home run. No one else has faced him more than three times, or registered more than one hit. Hopefully his brief stint with the Twins gave them some insight into what they are facing.
Game Two brings a battle of young versus old; past versus future. Jose Berrios faces C.C. Sabathia. In his one outing against the Yankees this season, Berrios was money. He pitched 6.2 innings and allowed only one run, while striking out five. He’s never given up a long-ball to the Yankees, and lets hope that continues. Remember when Sabathia was good and played for the Indians? Well he’s actually been pretty good again this year. He has a 3.85 ERA. Chris Gimenez is the only Twin to truly hit well against him, at .417/.533/.500, while red-hot Joe Mauer has hit very poorly, at .163/.245/.209 in 43 at-bats. Might not be a bad day to give Castro and Mauer a game off.
The third game of the series is also a battle of old and less-old. Bartolo Colon brings his 44 year old, soft-tossing, Big Sexiness back to the Big Apple. This season he has pitched four innings against the Yanks, giving up four runs on eight hits. Please do better Bartolo. His opponent is Masahiro Tanaka, who isn’t the guy from Major League Two. The Twins have not seen Tanaka yet this season. He comes into the game with a 4.73 ERA, and winning five of his last six outings. Brian Dozier (.357/.357/.429) and Eduardo Escobar (.462/.462/.538) have both hit very well against Tanaka. Mauer (.100/.182/.100,) much less so. No Twins have hit home runs off Tanaka (yet.) Please change that!
Game 1: Monday, September 18; 6:05 PM CT — Ervin Santana RHP vs Jaime Garcia LHP
Game 2: Tuesday, September 19; 6:00 PM CT — Jose Berrios RHP vs C.C. Sabathia LHP
Game 3: Wednesday, September 20; 12 Noon CT — Bartolo Colon RHP vs Masahiro Tanaka RHP
- All three games will be Nationally Televised. Monday’s game will be on MLB Network, and Tuesday and Wednesday will be on ESPN.
How many games do the Twins win against the Yankees?
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