Yankees-Twins: The Road To World Series No. 28

October 6, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The calendar has turned to October, the weather has gotten chillier, and the regular season of the 2010 MLB season is finally over.

Playoff baseball has arrived!

The Yankees, who earned the Wild Card, finished 2010 at 95-67, just one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who won the A.L. East division over the defending champions.

This will be the third time the Yankees will enter the playoffs as the Wild Card team (1997, 2007) and both previous times they were eliminated in the division round by the Cleveland Indians.

But in the ALDS, the Yankees will be facing off against a familiar foe, the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota finished 94-68, winning their second straight A.L. Central division title. They will have the home field advantage in the brand new Target Field when they square off against the Yankees, starting Wednesday night.

The Yankees and Twins met a total of six times with three game series in both New York and Minnesota.

At Yankee Stadium, the first series finished with the Yankees winning the first game 8-4, the Yankees winning the second game 7-1 and the Twins winning the final game 6-3.

If not for a rare Mariano Rivera blown save, the Yankees probably would have swept the series as New York always dominates the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

At Target Field, the Yankees won the first game 1-0, the Yankees won the second game 3-2 and the Twins won the final game 8-2.

The Yankees again played great baseball and had to fight harder to win these games, but weren’t able to win the final one with Javier Vazquez giving up so many runs back in May.

As far as the projected lineups will go, they will look something like the following:



SS Derek Jeter, .270, 10 HR, 67 RBI

CF Curtis Granderson, .247, 24 HR, 67 RBI

1B Mark Teixeira, .256, 33 HR, 108 RBI

3B Alex Rodriguez, .270, 30 HR, 125 RBI

2B Robinson Cano, .319, 29 HR, 109 RBI

C Jorge Posada, .248, 18 HR, 57 RBI

RF Nick Swisher, .288, 29 HR, 88 RBI

DH Lance Berkman, .248, 14 HR, 58 RBI

LF Brett Gardner, .277, 5 HR, 47 RBI



CF Denard Span, .264, 3 HR, 58 RBI

2B Orlando Hudson, .268, 6 HR, 37 RBI

C Joe Mauer, .327, 9 HR, 75 RBI

RF Jason Kubel, .249, 21 HR, 92 RBI

1B Michael Cuddyer, .271, 14 HR, 81 RBI

DH Jim Thome, .283, 25 HR, 59 RBI

LF Delmon Young, .298, 21 HR, 112 RBI

SS J.J. Hardy, .268, 6 HR, 38 RBI

3B Danny Valencia, .311, 7 HR, 40 RBI

As far as the projected pitching rotations go, they look something like:


Yankees Starters

LHP CC Sabathia, 21-7, 3.18

LHP Andy Pettitte, 11-3, 3.28

RHP Phil Hughes, 18-8, 4.19


Yankees Bullpen

RHP A.J. Burnett, 10-15, 5.26

RHP Sergio Mitre, 0-3, 3.33

RHP Dustin Moseley, 4-4, 4.96

LHP Boone Logan, 2-0, 2.93

RHP David Robertson, 4-5, 3.82

RHP Joba Chamberlain, 3-4, 4.40

RHP Kerry Wood, 3-4, 3.13

RHP Mariano Rivera, 3-3, 1.80, 33 saves


Twins Starters

LHP Francisco Liriano, 14-10, 3.62

RHP Carl Pavano, 17-11, 3.75

RHP Scott Baker, 12-9, 4.49

LHP Brian Duensing, 10-3, 2.62


Twins Bullpen

RHP Kevin Slowey, 13-6, 4.45

RHP Nick Blackburn, 10-12, 5.42

RHP Matt Guerrier, 5-7, 3.17

LHP Randy Flores, 2-0, 3.19

RHP Jesse Crain, 1-1, 3.04

RHP Jon Rauch, 3-1, 3.12, 21 saves

LHP Brian Fuentes, 4-1, 2.81, 24 saves

RHP Matt Capps, 5-3, 2.47, 42 saves

On paper, it seems like the Yankees offense might be slightly better with the power hitters while the Twins might have the edge with more consistent pitching.

Aside from CC Sabathia having a Cy Young-like year, Andy Pettitte has returned to make three final starts off the DL and Phil Hughes was limited in between starts with the innings limit.

A.J. Burnett will not make a start in the ALDS and Javier Vazquez was left off the playoff roster (thankfully!)

On offense, the Twins are without 2006 A.L. MVP Justin Morneau (.345, 18 HR 56 RBI), who was declared inactive for the playoffs with a severe concussion and symptoms from the knee to the head back in July.

Not having a slugger like Morneau hurts any lineup. Also, Mauer, the 2009 A.L. MVP, has been bothered by a sore knee and is not 100 percent, but is expected to play.


The Final Prediction

Granted the Yankees stumbled to the finish line of the regular season, finishing 13-17 in September and the first week of October, while the Twins finished 18-12 and did not have to play a one-game playoff for the division, like they did in 2008 and 2009.

A lot of people feel like the Yankees could be ripe for the taking by this Twins team. I am not one of them.

For some reason, the Yankees always find a way to get it done in October when the lights are their brightest, the crowd is at its loudest, and the stage is its biggest. Plus, they are still the defending 2009 World Series Champions looking to repeat.

The Twins, on the other hand, haven’t had their best luck in October.

They were swept last season by the Yankees, lost the one-game playoff to the White Sox in 2008, were swept in the ALDS by the Oakland A’s in 2006, and lost in the ALDS to the Yankees in 2003 and 2004. The last playoff series the Twins won was in 2002, beating Oakland in the ALDS before being trounced 4-1 in the ALCS by the eventual World Series Champions Anaheim Angels.

It just seems like the Twins crumble in the postseason, while the Yankees seem to thrive.

I will take the Yankees over the Twins 3-1 in the series.

The road to 11 wins for the Yankees begins on Wednesday night.

The road to World Series number 28 for the Yankees begins now.

Yankees Universe, it’s time to defend the title.

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