Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Lance Berkman DH
Brett Gardner LF
LHP Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.28)
Pettitte vs. Twins
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer C
Delmon Young RF
Jim Thome DH
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Jason Kubel RF
Danny Valencia 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
RHP Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.75)
Pavano vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 6:07 p.m. / TBS
UMPIRES: HP Hunter Wendelstedt, 1B Greg Gibson, 2B Brian O’Nora, 3B Gary Darling, LF Chris Guccione, RF Jerry Crawford
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 70s and upper 60s through most of the game.
GOOD AND BAD: For the Yankees, there is good news and bad news about pitching Andy Pettitte tonight. In his career, Pettitte has held Jim Thome to a .214 average with no home runs. He’s held J.J. Hardy to one hit in 15 at-bats. On the other hand, Delmon Young has hit Pettitte to the tune of a .579 batting average and .737 slugging percentage in 19 at-bats. Michael Cuddyer has hit .389 with a home run and two doubles off Pettitte.
FAMILIAR FACE: Counting tonight, Carl Pavano’s past four playoff outings have been against the Yankees. He pitched out of the Marlins bullpen in Game 2 of the 2003 World Series, started Game 4 of the 2003 World Series and he lost the decisive Game 3 of last year’s Division Series. Between the 2003 World Series and 2009 Division Series, he spent four years with the Yankees but never once pitched for them in the playoffs.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Last night was the third straight Yankees postseason game vs. the Twins in which the Yankees hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later.
IT’S THE RUNS THAT MATTER: Mark Teixeira has scored a run in six consecutive playoff games, tied for the fifth-longest streak in franchise history behind Babe Ruth (9), Elston Howard (8), Reggie Jackson (7) and Lou Gehrig (7). Last night he hit his second postseason go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later, becoming the fourth Yankee with more than one such homer (Bernie Williams had three, Mickey Mantle and Alfonso Soriano each had two). That’s all according to Elias.
ALREADY ON TOP: Pettitte is already baseball’s all-time leader with 18 career postseason victories.
UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Andy Pettitte was clearly trying to get Derek Jeter killed, but Jeter made the nice turn at the bag to get a double play here in the first inning. Pettitte pumped his fist then quickly turned to look at the Captain. Ummm, my bad.
UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: Could have been worse. Pettitte had the bases loaded with one out and got out of it with only one run scoring. It’s a 1-0 Twins lead. The Yankees are going to have to come from behind again.
UPDATE, 7:06 p.m.: The Yankees are finally hitting the ball hard off Carl Pavano. Three hits and a sac fly in the fourth inning have tied the game at 1 and put runners at the corners for Nick Swisher.
UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: Home run by Lance Berkman, who had just one homer for the Yankees in the regular season. Amazing how quiet this place got when the ball landed in the bullpens. They called it 423 feet. He got a lot of it.
UPDATE, 7:55 p.m.: Orlando Hudson’s home run has tied the game at 2, but I think the Yankees would have signed up for six innings and two runs out of Pettitte. He gave them what they needed, now the offense need another run.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Had a chance to break the game open, but the Yankees will have to settle for two runs in that seventh inning. Also, I’d say Lance Berkman finally has his defining moment as a Yankee.