Here we are. The Yankees. The Twins have looked good so far, but looking good is what the Yankees start doing well before they even step on the field. Most teams in baseball struggle to sustain success. The Yankees, with all their resources, find it hard to avoid. I suppose they struggle to sustain failure - they're gonna end up good, without even trying.
Yes, the Yankees have had injuries. No, this isn't the absolute best lineup or pitching staff that NY could have fielded. But it's still darn scary. And it's especially scary because there's a, let's say, "excruciatingly painful", history of when the Twins and Yankees play in May.
But maybe this iteration of the Twins will be something different. Maybe Nelson Cruz and whoever is playing catcher tonight will each hit 3 bombs, because that's what they seem to do. Maybe we'll get Good Gibson showing up to embarrass James Paxton. Maybe Aaron Boone will be dared by his bench coach into having every player only sacrifice bunt, no matter the circumstance. And maybe he'll actually take that dare. I sure hope so.
Or maybe it'll just be some good baseball, either way. I sure hope for that too.
Why Star Wars? Hell if I know.
Yohan Pino tries to keep the imperial troops from entering the base as the evil empire counters with David Phelps.
Here's hoping that this one deviates from the script. After this one and tomorrow's tilt, we don't get any more chances at these guys, and a season series win would sure be awesome.
There is a game at noon
Samuel 'Ace' Deduno vs. Phil Hughes
Baby steps now, fellas... let's try for a run, then we can get to the details of how to keep Robinson Cano from bolstering his MVP case.
First Pitch - 6:05 p.m. CDT
Television - FSN, ESPN
Oy. Considering the season start we're having, heading to New York City for a four-game series against the Evil Empire just seems sadistic. What, the brain trust that is MLB scheduling couldn't wait a few weeks to add insult to injury? They couldn't wait until May or June to have the Twins demonstrate their futility in the Bronx?
ON THE HILL
Few things tickle me as much as the fact that the Yankees paid Carl Pavano 40 million dollars for less than 150 innings of work over 4 years, and the Twins have wrung 220+ innings out of the guy each of the past two seasons. So at least in the coveted IPP metric (Innings Pitched per Pavano), the Twins continue to outperform the Yankees. While Pavano has been adequate as expected in his first two starts, he's giving up more hits and more runs that any of us would like and would do well to pitch a bit less to contact and a bit more to the catcher's glove.
On the other side of the street, the Yankees send longtime lefty Twins nemesis Freddy Garcia to the mound. The last time I saw Garcia pitch, Jim Lehland was trotting him out against Ozzie Guillens' White Sox in a rainout makeup game that would send the Sox to a game 163 versus the Twins. The last actual time Garcia pitched, just last week, he threw five wild pitches, the first MLB pitcher to pull that off since 1989.
In a universe where karma moves faster than a rebate check from Menards, the Twins would win this game by ten or twelve runs and Pavano would throw a 130-pitch complete game shutout (come on, you just know that a-hole A-Rod would break up the no-hitter with a two-out Texas league dink in the 9th inning). But I'm going on the record as predicting that won't happen today, or any other day for that matter. All I'm asking for out of this series is a split and I'd settle for just one measly win. With Sabathia pitching tomorrow and former Dodger Kuroda on the hill Wednesday, today may be as good a chance as we get this series.