Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BASEBALL

Minnesota vs. New York preview

A capsule look at the Twins-Yankees division series.

October 07, 2009|Bill Shaikin

Game 1: Today, 3 p.m.

Minnesota (Nick Blackburn, 11-11, 4.03)

at New York (CC Sabathia, 19-8, 3.37)

Game 2: Friday, 3 p.m.

Minnesota (Carl Pavano, 14-12, 5.10)

at New York (A.J. Burnett: 13-9, 4.04)

Game 3: Sunday, TBA

New York (Andy Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16)

at Minnesota (Scott Baker, 15-9, 4.36)

Game 4: Monday, TBA*

New York (Sabathia) at Minnesota (TBA)

Game 5: Oct. 14, TBA*

Minnesota (TBA) at New York (Burnett)

Projected lineup

*--* P YANKEES AVG HR RBI SS Derek Jeter 334 18 66 LF Johnny Damon 282 24 82 1B Mark Teixeira 292 39 122 3B Alex Rodriguez 286 30 100 DH Hideki Matsui 274 28 90 C Jorge Posada 285 22 81 2B Robinson Cano 320 25 85 RF Nick Swisher 249 29 82 CF Melky Cabrera 274 13 68 *--*

*--* P TWINS AVG HR RBI CF Denard Span 311 8 68 SS Orlando Cabrera 284 9 77 C Joe Mauer 365 28 96 RF Jason Kubel 300 28 103 1B Michael Cuddyer 276 32 94 LF Delmon Young 284 12 60 DH Brendan Harris 261 6 37 3B Matt Tolbert 232 2 19 2B Nick Punto 228 1 38 *--*

Keys to the series

The Twins have the momentum, winning their last five games and 17 of their last 21. The Minnesota offense has held up surprisingly well after the season-ending injury to cleanup batter Justin Morneau, but MVP-in-waiting Joe Mauer and the unheralded Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer are just as dangerous as the Yankees' highly heralded trio of Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui. But wealth and depth pay, with Nick Swisher and his 29 home runs batting eighth for a New York offense that led the majors in runs and home runs. The Yankees have aligned their rotation just the way they like it, with CC Sabathia (7.92 postseason ERA) rested for Game 1, while the Twins scramble for fresh arms after Tuesday night's 12-inning AL Central tiebreaker. This series features perhaps the two best closers in baseball, Minnesota's Joe Nathan and the Yankees' Mariano Rivera. The Twins have a legendary dome-field advantage, but they have lost seven consecutive postseason games there and have not gotten out of the first round since 2002. The Yankees have not gotten out of the first round since 2004.

-- Bill Shaikin

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|