When the Yanks depart Minneapolis this afternoon, I’ll feel a twinge of sadness. I’m really going to miss the Twins. From walk-offs to blow-outs, the Yanks have just dominated the Twins this year, and similar to why the Yanks’ 0-8 showing against the Red Sox has prevented the Yanks from running away with the AL East, the Twins’ 0-6 record against the Yanks is why the Twins are 3.5 games out of AL Central.
Today, we get a guest start. Alfredo Aceves, yesterday’s man of the hour, gets the ball in place of the injured Chien-Ming Wang. Aceves is on something of a pitch count, but based on his recent track record, he should be a-OK.
On the season, Ace is 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA over 21 appearances. He has issued just seven free passes while striking out 34, and opponents are hitting .208/.252/.354 against him. Ahead of today’s start, Tyler Kepman profiled the quirky Aceves. Check that one out.
The Twins counter with the once-great Francisco Liriano. Seemingly stolen from the Giants a few years ago, Liriano was the third-place runner up in the 2006 Rookie of the Year voting. He missed all of 2007 and hasn’t been the same since his arm surgery. On the season, he is 4-8 with a 5.49 ERA. When he faced the Yanks on May 15, he gave up six walks and four hits, but the Yanks plated just one run.
Offensively, the Yanks are resting a sore Johnny Damon. Posada catches a day game after a night game, and A-Rod will DH. On the injury front, word out of Yankee camp is that Damaso Marte is set to throw batting practice in Tampa this weekend. Remember him?
And pitching, wearing number 91 in honor of Dennis Rodman, the Mexicano Gangster himself Alfredo Aceves.