Tagged: Twins

Mauer nearly perfect in MVP votes

Mauer MVP.pngOf the 28 overall votes for American League MVP, Twins catcher, Joe Mauer stole 27 of them to wrap up the first award of his career. Mauer also added his third batting title of his career after batting .365 this season.

Mauer was up against a duel of Yankees this season. 1B Mark Teixiera and SS Derek Jeter came in at second and third respectively, with Detroits Miguel Cabrera, Anaheims Kendry Morales and Bostons Kevin Youkilis to follow.

Mauer also lead the league in OBP and SLG and recorded career highes in home runs, batting average, hits and runs batted in.

This was a well deserved award for Mauer who has had the award stolen from him nearly every year. Teixiera and Jeter made it a difficult case, but Mauer has finally run away with one of the most deserved and most overdue awards in major league history.


Poll of the Day:
Who do you think is the 2009 AL MVP?(opinion)

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ALDS Game 3 Preview

Thumbnail image for Yankees Logo Special.jpg2009 ALDS.gifThumbnail image for Twins Logo Special.jpg
NYY Leads ALDS 2-0
Yankees Probable Pitcher:

Andy Pettitte.jpg
Andy Pettitte
#46 LHP
(14-8) 4.16 ERA 194.2 IP 1.95 SO/BB
Postseason Career: (14-9) 3.96 ERA 2.32 SO/BB
Away (Season): (8-4) 3.71 ERA 2.00 SO/BB
Vs. Twins (Season): (1-0) 5.40 ERA 3.00 SO/BB
Opposing Hitters (Twins):
Most PA: Brenden Harris (17)
Best BA: Mike Redmond (.667, 2 for 3)
Most H: Delmon Young (9)
Most HR: Orlando Cabrera, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer (1)
Twins Probable Pitcher:

Carl Pavano.jpg
Carl Pavano
#48 RHP
(14-10) 5.10 ERA 199.1 IP 3.77 SO/BB
Postseason Career: (2-0) 1.40 ERA 5.00 SO/BB
Home (Season): (5-5) 4.97 ERA 4.29 SO/BB
Vs. Yankees (Season): (0-0) 2.70 ERA 8.00 SO/BB
Opposing Hitters:
Most PA: Johnny Damon (13)
Best BA: Johnny Damon (.417, 5 for 12)
Most H: Johnny Damon (5)
Most HR: Mark Teixeira (1)
Notable Stat: Career w/ Yankees: 26 GS, 5.00 ERA
Keys to the Game:
  1. Swing Early: In the regular season, opposing hitters hit .370 on the first pitch from Pavano.
  2. Get the Leadoff Man On: Leading off an inning, opposing batters are hitting .297 off Pavano.
  3. Get ’em In: Opposing batters are hitting .311 off Pavano with RISP.
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Stats provided by Baseball-Reference.com

CC and Yanks Power Into ALDS

Twins Logo Special.jpg 2009 ALDS.gifYankees Logo Special.jpg
Game 1: NYY Leads 1-0

10:7 Box.png

Sabathia 10:7.jpg

The absence last year didn’t last to long. The Yankees finished this season with the best record in MLB. The expected postseason drought was non-existant in game one. The big offseason gem — C.C. Sabathia — made the start for the Yankees, and he was dominant. He went 6.2 innings, giving up 8 hits, 1 earned run, struck out 8 and walked none. He gave up another run which was unearned. C.C. certainly answered any questions about his sluggish postseason history.
The other question, of course, was Alex Rodriguez. He, too, had many many questions surrounding him, and he, too, answered them. He went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s. When was the last time Alex Rodriguez had 2 RBI’s in a postseason game? 2004 against the Red Sox! I think we may see a different Alex Rodriguez this postseason.

Swisher 10:7.jpg

Jeter also had 2 RBI’s. He was 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 3 runs scored. He also added a big home run two-run home run in the 3rd inning with the Yankees down 2-0.
Swisher got the Yankees ahead for the first and final time in the 4th inning, with an RBI double down the left field line. 
Hughes, Coke, Chamberlain and Rivera all bridged together the final 2.1 innings, with Rivera pitching the ninth. It seemed as though Girardi wanted to just get everyones feet wet in the playoffs, and really wanted to win the game.
Twins starter Duensing was great the first time through the order, but the Yankees got to him and limited him to just 4.2 innings pitched, and knocked him around for 5 runs.
Player of the Game: C.C. Sabathia: W, 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, ER, 0 BB, 8 SO
The Wrap-Up: This was a big game for the Yankees. For the last couple of years, the Yankees have just gotten knocked out in the first round. Last night, the Yankees gave themselves a great chance to win this series. A-Rod and C.C. both proved that they will have no troubles in the postseason. That was the only question that needed to be answered, all they need to do now is just play!
Coming Up Next:
Game 2 in New York. It will be Burnett vs Blackburn. New York leads the series 1-0. After this game, the series moves to Minnesota. 
Poll of the Day:
Who should catch A.J. Burnett in Game 2?(online surveys)

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Some Thoughts: DET vs MIN, Mauer

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Both teams lead in their final games of the season. If the scores hold up, the Twins will be involved in their second straight tiebreaker game. Last year, the White Sox won and went on to lose in the ALDS. The tiebreaker would be on Tuesday in Minnesota. If your a Yankee fan, you want that game. Both teams would be forced to use their best players and their bullpen and starters would not be well rested for game 1, which would likely be the next day at Yankee Stadium. Either way, Verlander cannot pitch either the tiebreaker game or game 1 of the playoffs. Advantage Yankees.
At the end of next year, Mauer will be a free agent and Jorge Posada;s career will be near the end. Mauer has said that he just wants to be sure that “wherever [he] ends up, [he] wants to be sure he can win every year.” Normally when a player says that, they end up on the Yankees. I’m not saying it WILL happen, but I feel there is certainly a possibility. Another thought on Mauer is the MVP award. I’ve said that I think Teixeira should win it. But, seeing the run that the Twins have put together and recognizing that Mauer had been out for the first month of the season, I think it’s time to Mauer his long deserved MVP award.
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All is Well

Joe Nathan Fist Pump.pngThere’s one final decision to be made in the American League. At the beginning of the day, the Tigers led the Twins by just 1 game in the AL Central. The winner of this division will play the Yankees in the ALDS. Heres what happened today:

DET 1 CWS 5 Final
KCR 4 MIN 5 Final
That means they are all tied up in the AL Central with just one game to go. Tomorrow, the Twins play the Royals, and the Tigers play the White Sox. Heres the good news: Verlander is forced to pitch tomorrow. That means that even if the Tigers win the Central, Verlander will not be able to pitch until game 2, rather than game 1. Obviously the Twins have a better chance to win tomorrow (they are playing the Royals.) But even if it ends up tied, they will have to play a tiebreaker, and Verlander would not be able to pitch for the Tigers, which would increase the Twins chances of winning. But, no matter which team wins, the Yankees will be well rested while either the Twins or Tigers will be worn out going into the ALDS. It all worked out. Now lets just see what happens.

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ALDS: A Look at The Playoffs

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2009 ALDS.gifNLDS.gif
Yankees Logo Big.gifVSTigers Logo.giforTwins Logo.gif
The Rangers lost yesterday and the Red Sox clinched the American League Wild Card which means that the only possible teams that can play the Yankees in the first round are the Tigers or the Twins. It looks as though the Yankees will be playing the Tigers in the first round. With a Tigers win last night, in a great game by the way, the standings are as follows.

Detroit Tigers –
Minnesota Twins 2.0

The Twins have two remaining games in this series, and that will be it for the year against the Tigers. Either way, I don’t think that the Twins can overcome the Tigers. But, what we can 
realistically hope for, is a race until the end. If the Twins continue to stay on the Tigers tails, Verlander will be forced to pitch on the final day of the season and most likely won’t be able to pitch the first game of the playoffs. That would be a huge lift for the Yankees and would exponentially increase their chances of winning the first game, which also exponentially increases their chances to win the series. If he makes the start on the last day of the season,  and the Tigers still decide to pitch him in the first game of the ALDS, Verlander would be going on 2 or 3 games rest, which he has never done in his career before. 
Also, if Verlander makes that start on the last day of the season, it would also affect the Yankees decision for which format they would want. If they picked the format with the 2 off days, the playoffs would start one day earlier, and the Verlander would be starting on just 2 days rest as opposed to three. That adds an advantage to that format. So here are the updated advantages to each format.
3 Days Rest Format:
1. You only need two starters and can skip Joba Chamberlain.
2. The bullpen will be well rested for each game
3. A-Rod can get the extra rest that his hip needs
2 Days Rest Format:
1. You don’t have to (potentially) face Verlander and Jackson twice
2. You expose their weak fourth starter
3. If Verlander pitches the final day of the season, he would only be able to start the first game on 2 days rest and would likely start the second game.
They both have their perks, but I would still pick the first format. 
Heres a look at all of the series:
2009 ALDS.gif
Tigers Logo.gifTwins Logo.gifvsYankees Logo Big.gif 
Red Sox Logo.pngvsAngles Logo.png
Rockies Logo.gif Braves Logo.gif vsCardinals Logo.gif
Phillies Logo.gifvsDodgers Logo.gif
Poll of the Day:
Who should start game 2 for the Yankees?(polls)

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Information provided by MLB.com