By Mark Rosen

NEW YORK (WCCO) — There was never a doubt in manager Paul Molitor’s mind that Ervin Santana would be his starting pitcher in Tuesday’s one-game, winner-take-all wild card matchup against the New York Yankees.

He has a 16-8 record, a 3.28 earned run average and five complete games, which led the majors. He has long accepted that the ball flies out of Yankee Stadium in a hurry, and has to keep that powerful lineup chasing his pitch.

His catcher, Jason Castro, knows what Santana is capable of.

“He has the experience,” Castro said. “He’s been around a long time and he’s had some postseason experience in his career. He’s a very even keeled kind of guy. He’s been the guy we’ve relied on in all our big games throughout the season, and he kind of thrives in this situation. So for us to give him the ball — we’re supremely confident in him and in his abilities.”

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