Best Twins Coverage: Twins vs. Yankees, ALDS!

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gardy and joe girardi Best Twins Coverage: Twins vs. Yankees, ALDS!

(Photo: CBS Sports)

The Twins and Yankees open the ALDS Wednesday night at Target Field.  It’s Liriano and Sabathia as the Twins try to win a postseason series against the Yankees for the first time.

AUDIO:

Steve Thomson and Eric Nelson with TBS Baseball Analyst and former Atlanta Braves star John Smoltz

Steve Thomson and Eric Nelson with TBS Reporter Craig Sager

Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer Press Conference

Game 1 Starter Francisco Liriano’s Press Conference

Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire’s Press Conference

Steve Thomson with Twins General Manager Ron Gardenhire

Minnesota vs. New York (Best-of-5)
Date Site Time
Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Minnesota 8:37 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 7 at Minnesota 6:07 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9 at New York 8:37 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 10 at New York-* TBA
Tuesday, Oct. 12 at Minnesota-* TBA
All games on TBS; All times ET; *-if necessary
Complete playoff scheduleALDS history

Minnesota Twins
MIN Best Twins Coverage: Twins vs. Yankees, ALDS! The lineup: “It’s a very balanced lineup, and a very dangerous lineup. It’s hard to say that they’re better without [Justin] Morneau, but if he plays, then you’ve got to move [Michael] Cuddyer off first base and then [Jason]Kubel or [Jim] Thome don’t get at-bats. I think [Denard]Span is a key guy. If you’re going to limit the damage from the guys in the middle, then Span and [Orlando] Hudsonare real key guys. They’re not what you call a speed team. [Ron] Gardenhire will start runners, but not to steal bases. [Delmon] Young is a totally different guy this year. He’s in much better shape, and has a much better approach at the plate. But his defense might hurt them in the playoffs.”

The rotation: “[Francisco] Liriano is really borderline as a No. 1. He needs to be more consistent, and he needs to throw more strikes. He needs to get ahead in the count so he can use that electric slider. [Brian] Duensing should have been in the rotation when the season started. He might have won 17 or 18 games. He’s a command guy who is not going to beat himself. You’ve got to be real patient against him. And [Carl] Pavano has been very solid for them.”

The bullpen: “[Matt] Matt Capps throws it over the plate. You’re going to get something to hit, but he’s not going to walk his way into trouble or nibble his way into trouble. Then they’ve got [Brian] Fuentes, who has experience. For me, [Jesse] Crain is the key guy. He’s been as good as anyone in baseball in the seventh and eighth innings.”

The intangibles: “They catch the ball, and they don’t beat themselves. Look for Gardy not to sit back and wait. He’ll do some things in strange counts, almost like [Rays manager Joe] Maddon, but maybe not as extreme. They haven’t really lost anything moving out of the Metrodome. They’ve done a good job of feeding off the crowd [at Target Field]. I think they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs.” — Knobler

New York Yankees
NYY Best Twins Coverage: Twins vs. Yankees, ALDS! The lineup: “First and foremost, if they keep the game close, they’re going to win, because they know how to do it. Look at the experience they have at third base, shortstop, second base, first base, catcher when [Jorge]Posada plays. That’s huge compared to any other team. They’ve got speed, power, instincts. They go first to third. They’ve got guys who can run that nobody knows about. You might think they’re not very athletic, but they are. And one through nine, there’s just not an automatic out. All of those guys are tough outs. One thing an opposing pitcher has got to do is if you get ahead, keep throwing fastballs, because they’ll sit breaking ball. The best thing that can happen to the opposing team is [Derek] Jeter not getting hot.”

The rotation:CC [Sabathia] on top is going to be absolutely great, and then you’re going to have to ride [Phil]Hughes and [Andy] Pettitte. The rotation’s a question mark, but if they get Hughes through six innings, they’ll be all right. I don’t’ think it’s as bad as everyone wants to say. You want to pick at a weakness. But if it’s such a weakness, why do they have the second-best record in baseball. The one thing about [A.J.] Burnett, sometimes it looks like he’s not even trying. He throws it over the middle and expects it to break, and it doesn’t.”

The bullpen: “Once you have Mariano Rivera coming into a game, every person going against him is at a mental disadvantage. It’s Mariano Rivera. Mariano Rivera will be fine. I think Joba [Chamberlain] will be fine, too. You’ll see, he’ll be throwing 96 in the playoffs. Kerry Wood has totally stabilized things for them. He’s pitched beyond expectations. And [David] Robertson is getting better.”

The intangibles: “The environment is huge. They’re playing in front of 40,000, or 50,000, every night, even on the road. Other teams might tighten up, but for the Yankees, it’s nothing new.” — Knobler

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