By Jon Lane
The bad news: The wind is blowing so hard it was a heavy workout for me to walk from the subway to Gate 4, so expect it to wreak some havoc after first pitch.
The good news: It’s neither cold nor wet. The sun’s been out and it’ll be a crisp October night. Here are tonight’s lineups.
This morning, the Yankees released their ALDS roster, which includes Francisco Cervelli as a third catcher and Damaso Marte as a second left-handed reliever, but no Brian Bruney or Freddy Guzman. Joe Girardi met the media this afternoon and explained that having a third catcher provides the option to pinch-hit for Jose Molina or pinch-run for Jorge Posada in close-and-late situations. The exclusion of Guzman, however, leaves Brett Gardner as the primary pinch-runner. Another option is Cervelli, who runs pretty well for a backstop.
“As far as adding the lefty [Marte] with the lineup that Minnesota has, we thought it was beneficial to have a second left-hander,” Girardi said. “We went around and around about the guys we were going to carry and we felt that this was the best way to do our roster.”
? Last night in Minneapolis, the Twins outplayed and outlasted the Tigers in an epic 12-inning affair. It got to where Girardi and his staff got to thinking, “Do we start playing Detroit now?” Once the Twins provided the final answer, Girardi and Co. immediately broke down Ron Gardenhire’s roster and got home at rougly 11:45 p.m.
“When there was extra innings or late and we just waited until the game was over,” Girardi said. “But there were a lot of interesting moments when Magglio Ordoņez hit into the double play. You thought that this is the inning they’re going to score. And they didn’t score. Great game.”
“I was so proud of both teams last night for the way both teams never quit and kept getting after it,” Gardenhire said. “I told [Tigers manager] Jim Leyland after the game that was one of the best games I’ve ever been involved in. Just watching two teams butting heads and going after it and never giving up and all the ups and downs, it was just fantastic baseball.”
? The fact that the Yankees went 7-0 against the Twins during the regular season means absolutely nothing. On the ride to work I was reminded about the 1988 NLCS, where a Mets that went 10-1 against the Dodgers dropped the series in seven games The Twins also arrive to the Bronx winners of 17 out of 21.
“Minnesota is a hot team now,” Girardi said. “They played us very tough then and we expect the same thing now.”
? The Twins will throw Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.03) against A.J. Burnett (13-9, 4.04) in Game 2 Friday night. Game 3 will be either Carl Pavano (yes, him) or ace Scott Baker.
“I originally thought maybe Pavano for 3. But [piching coach Rick Anderson] wants to go TBA and we’ll see where we’re at,” Gardenhire said. “We have Baker and Pavano for Game 3, and see would feels the best.”
? Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera is enhancing his reputation as a money player. His hitting streak is 16 games after Tuesday’s two-run homer in the seventh inning that put the Twins ahead 4-3. During the streak Cabrera batting .392 (29-for-74) with 20 runs, two homers and 16 RBIs. Yankees fans will remember the summer of 2004 three-team trade that jettisoned Nomar Garciaparra out of Boston and imported O.C., who batted .294 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 58 games and was a key contributor to the Red Sox winning the World Series.
“He’s been here,” Gardenhire said. “He’s been in the playoffs. He’s not afraid. We’ve got some young players that I want him to be able to help out too. And he’s done that. He’s been leading by example, actually, with his bat. He’s been swinging really good. Playing really good baseball. But he’s really positive influence on our baseball team. He’s been really, really good for our baseball team.”