Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Series Ahead: Yankees @ Twins

Yankees vs. Twins
Target Field
(3 Game Series)

It seems as if the Yankees are in a similar spot as the last time they were going to play the twins. This is what I wrote in the series preview then:

"For the first time this season the Yankees are hurting. They lost their second series of the year (a four game set) and are a lowly 1-4 in their last 5 games. However the outlook shouldn't be so gloomy. The Yankees did go 3-4 on a road trip against their arch rival followed by a solid team in the Tigers. This with a banged up line up and a few slumping stars. So the Yankees took their lumps on the road and are ready for their first extended home stay of the season."

So what has really changed? The Yankees are still hurting, they just lost back to back series for the first time. They are a lowly 1-4 in their last 5 games. They are now even further out of first place and struggling to stay ahead of the Blue Jays for second. The lineup is still a bit banged up with 1/3 of the opening day lineup on the DL. However the Yankees did simply not do enough to tread water the last few series and now need to win some games. It's time for the stars of this lineup to start performing.

The Minnesota Twins come in to this series struggling as well as they have managed only one series victory in their last four attempts. However they still lead the AL Central division and have avoided any significant injuries in season (obviously Joe Nathan is a loss). Minnesota remains a solid ball club led by the great Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau the Twins can no doubt hit the ball. As usual their average starting staff manages to make it through the season and always leaves the Twins in contention.

Everyone knows about the success the Yankees have had against the twins in the Bronx as well as in Minnesota, so seeing the Twins may be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Yankees. However the games will not be held in the Metrodome where the Yankees have played so well. This will be our first glimpse of the Twins new home Target Field. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can maintain that same advantage they had at the dome as well as seeing how the ballpark plays. Hopefully the Yanks will get a good feel for how the ball moves out there during warm ups so they can avoid any misplays during the game.

The Yankees desperately need to get on track they are losing ground to the Rays while the Blue Jays are nipping at their heels. It will all start with the starting pitching getting back on track followed by the Yankees breaking out of a funk with men on base. Let's hope this series in less frustrating than the last three.


Game 1: Tonight @ 8:10 p.m. | TV: MY9 | Radio: WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.86) vs. RHP Scott Baker (4-4, 4.88)

Game 2
: Wednesday @ 7:10 p.m. | TV: YES & ESPN2 | Radio: WCBS
LHP Andy Pettitte (5-1, 2.68) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 3.25)

Game 3: Thursday@ 8:10 p.m. | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
RHP Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.69) vs. RHP Nick Blackburn (5-1, 4.50)

Javier Vazquez
is the likely starter. However if his bullpen session does not go well. Sergio Mitre would likely get the start assuming he is not needed in relief.

Three Questions
  • With Gardner struggling will Girardi drop him down in the lineup?
  • Will Mark Teixeira break out of his funk?
  • Can the starting pitchers get back on track?

Injury Report

- C Jorge Posada was placed on the 15-day DL with a hairline fracture in his foot. He will be out 3-4 weeks.
- CF Curtis Granderson is on the 15-day DL with a grade 2 strain of his left groin and is expected to return at the end of this week
- DH/1B Nick Johnson is on the 60-day DL with an inflamed tendon in the wrist. Had Surgery on Tuesday out until Late July.
- RHP Alfredo Aceves is on the 15-day DL with lower back discomfort. Is in Tampa to begin rehab
- OF Marcus Thames is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. His field status is in question


- RHP Joe Nathan is out for the season. Tommy John Surgery
- SS JJ Hardy is on the 15-day DL with a strained left wrist.
- RHP Clay Condrey is on the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow.
- C Jose Morales went on the 15-day DL had right wrist surgery. Currently DHing in extended spring training.
- RHP Pat Neshek is on the 15-day DL with inflammation of right finger.
- 2B Alexi Casilla is day-to-day with a sore right elbow
- UTIL Nick Punto is day-to-day with a sore left ring finger
- LF Denard Span is day-to-day with a right shoulder bruise

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