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Yankee Mania

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Derek Jeter
Hey! My name is Zachary and this is my site, Yankee Mania, where I explore the games, players, and transactions of the greatest team in baseball. Hated by some but loved by others, the New York Yankees have dominated the world of sports for over a century. This year I follow their noble quest to win yet another World Series Championship. Click here to send me an email!

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Who is most deserving of a spot on the Opening Day roster?
Morgan Ensberg
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Billy Traber
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Ross Ohlendorf
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Monday March, 24 2008.
Yankees 2008 Roster
By mvyb, 14:10

It'll soon be time for Mr. Girardi to make a decision regarding his 25-man roster. He'll probably announce the roster on Saturday, giving us only two days to worry, doubt, and question his choices before the regular season opens. Here's how I'd layout the Opening Day roster:
.
First check out the current 40-Man Roster and, of course, the Non-Roster Invitees.
.
Here's a list of players certain to be on the Opening Day roster:
Joba Chamberlain, Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Chien-Ming Wang, Jose Molina, Jorge Posada, Wilson Betemit, Robinson Cano, Shelley Duncan, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Melky Cabrera.
.
That's 21 players in, and 4 spots open.
.
Available spots:
.
Backup Infielder/ Bench
.
The battle for utility player "rages" between Nick Green, Chris Woodward, and Morgan Ensberg. Green is a drifter who has played for Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New York (remember his home run against the Mets on July 2, 2006?), and Seattle. His career stats are borderline embarrassing, even for a utility guy. Woodward has also drifted around from team to team, playing for the Blue Jays, Braves, and Mets over the last 8 years. He hit a whopping 13 home runs backing 2002, but hasn't really swung the bat well since leaving Toronto. Morgan Ensberg has had the most impressive career of all three of our candidates. He hit 25 home runs in 2003, 36 home runs in 2005, and 23 home runs in 2006. His highest career batting average is .291 (back in 2003), but he only hit .224 and drove in a pitiful 4 home runs last year. The Yankees picked up Ensberg during the offseason and hitting coach Dave Eiland has helped Ensberg reform his swing. Ensberg is healthy and has been hitting beautifully in spring training so far this year (.318 BA). The Yankees have already placed Ensberg on the 40-man roster, an almost sure sign that he has made the team. And, yes, he's my choice too.
.
Winner: Morgan Ensberg
.
Lefty Reliever
.
I am of the firm belief that every successful team should have at least one lefty reliever. I hope Girardi agrees with me. Unfortunately, the Yankees have slim pickings when it comes to a lefty reliever, here are the nominees: Kei Igawa, Billy Traber, and Heath Phillips. I'd love to tell you Igawa has miraculously repaired his mechanics and is pitching beautifully, and that the Yankees did not waste their 30+ million dollars. But that would be a lie. I thought I had seen the worst of Igawa in 2007, but here in Spring Training, he's outdone himself. Igawa started the spring by giving up a grand slam to some unknown college player and then, in his second outing, walked the bases loaded. Since then, he's been giving away runs faster then I can count them! Billy Traber, meanwhile, has come out of nowhere and out pitched the two leading candidates for the job. Traber (former Indian and National) has a gorgeous 0.00 and has struck out a boatload of lefties. Heath Phillips is probably the most talented of the three pitchers in this contest, but has looked awful this spring. Not only has he given up a ton of hits (and has a bloated ERA), but he has also been ineffective against lefties. Now, what's the good of a lefty reliever is he can't get lefties out? Remember Mike Myers?
.
Winner: Billy Traber
.
Long Man/ Spot Starter
.
Yet another exciting battle between Yankee players, lies in the race for the long man position. The competitors are: Heath Phillips, Kei Igawa, Darrell Rasner, and Jeff Karstens. The first two I ruled out earlier. One's not ready for the majors yet, the other will never be. So the battle has been whittled down to Rasner v. Karstens. Jeff Karstens is 1-3 this spring with a 9.64 ERA. Opponents bat a whopping .452 against him, and he's only struck out 5 men. Darrell Rasner, meanwhile, is 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA (and a 2-1, strikout to walk ratio). Hmmm... Neither has been very good, so let's check out some career stats. Karstens made his major league debut in 2006 with the Yankees and since then has made 9 starts. He's 3-5 with a 5.65 ERA. I still remember his contribution to the '06 season (stepping up and pitching well, saving the team from utter collapse), so I'd like to see him on the team. Darrell Rasner made his major league debut in 2005 for Washington and was traded to the Yankees in 2006. He's made 10 career starts and is 4-5 with a 5.13 ERA. The numbers slightly point to Rasner, but for some reason I'd prefer Karstens on the team. Maybe it's his '06 starts or the fact that the Red Sox broke his leg, but I like Karstens. He's actually got decent stuff and is a bit more dominant then Rasner is. I think if he stays healthy, he'll be able to contribute this year.
.
Winner: Jeff Karstens
.
Righty Reliever/ Final Spot in the Bullpen
.
This final spot is the most tightly contested spot on the Yankees roster. Meet the candidates: Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Ross Ohlendorf, and Scott Patterson. Here we go. Brian Bruney is a big (and I mean BIG) righty hurler that often has trouble finding the strike zone. Bruney made his major league debut in 2004 for Arizona, and came over to New York in 2006. His career numbers aren't pretty: 8-10, 4.93 ERA, 114 BB, and 149 K. That's waaaay too many walks. If Girardi likes seeing strikes, he won't like seeing Bruney on the mound. Chris Britton pitched for the Orioles in 2006 and the Yankees in 2007. His career numbers are decent: 0-3, 3.39 ERA, 21 BB, and 46 K. Ross Ohlendorf pitched in 6 games in Spetmember for the Yankees. In those 6 games, he pitched 6.1 innings and had a 2.84 ERA with 9 strikouts and only 2 walks. Very nice. Scott Patterson is a 29-year old righty with a career minor league record of 32-13 with a 3.08 ERA. He's the oldest of our nominations, but also the only one without major league experience. The career numbers really don't tell us enough, so let's check out their spring stats. Bruney has pitched in 7 games and holds a 2.84 ERA with 8 K's and 2 BB's. He's come into camp in great shape (lost a lot of weight), is throwing hard (97-100 mph), and is throwing strikes. Chris Britton has pitched 5 games and has a beautiful ERA of 1.80 with 3 K's and 0 BB's. Ross Ohlendorf is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA. He has struck out 8 while walking only 1! And finally, Scott Patterson has 1 save, a 0.00 ERA, 6 strikouts, and 0 walks. Wow, each player has performed very well this spring. This is gonna be a very, very difficult choice for Girardi. Scott Patterson has been the most dominant of all the candidates, but he's only pitched 6 innings and has no major league experience. Ok, time to make a decision. He's thrown 80% of his pitches for strikes, has really good stuff, and may finally give us something in return for Gary Sheffield.
.
Winner: Ross Ohlendorf
.
Ok, here's my 2008 Opening Day 25-Man Roster.
.
Everyday
C- Jorge Posada
1B- Shelley Duncan
2B- Robinson Cano
3B- Alex Rodriguez
SS- Derek Jeter
OF- Hideki Matsui
OF- Bobby Abreu
OF- Johnny Damon
DH- Jason Giambi
.
Bench
U- Wilson Betemit
U- Morgan Ensberg
C- Jose Molina
OF- Melky Cabrera
.
Rotation
RHP- Chien-Ming Wang
LHP- Andy Pettitte
RHP- Phil Hughes
RHP- Mike Mussina
RHP- Ian Kennedy
.
Bullpen
RHP- Mariano Rivera
RHP- Kyle Farnsworth
RHP- Joba Chamberlain
RHP- LaTroy Hawkins
LHP- Billy Traber
RHP- Jeff Karstens
RHP- Ross Ohlendorf
.
Alright, what do you think?

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Saturday March, 22 2008.
Been Gone
By mvyb, 11:01

I love baseball. I really do. And I love blogging. But last year I embarked on a year-long hiatus from my blogging life. I got a new job and I entered college, and, so for a while, I didn't have anytime to blog about my beloved team. I missed blogging, but I didn't have enough time to cover the Yankees faithfully. I never could work up enough courage to resume blogging, until now.
.
It's a new year and a new exciting season. The Yankees look great with their pitching phenom-trio of Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy. The New York offense, led by the three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez, will be as potent as ever. Our bullpen, while as shaky as it always is, will be guided by the pitching god that is Mariano Rivera. Our rotation will include most of the youngsters previously mentioned along with Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, and my personal favorite, Chien-Ming Wang.
.
I'm going to take up my hand once again, and try to maintain this blog throughout the season. It'll be a challenge and an adventure at the same time for me! Hopefully, there are still a few people out there who'll stop by and take a look at my site. Go Yankees!

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Wednesday May, 30 2007.
Yank's 5th Consecutive Loss, Sinks Them to Last Place in the AL East
By mvyb, 09:56

              Yankees 2, Blue Jays 3
W- Accardo (1-0)
L- Pettitte (3-4)
.
New York:
Giambi: 2-4, HR (7)
Posada: 1-4, RBI
.
Toronto:
Hill: 2-3, R, SB
Rios: 1-3, RBI, sac fly
.
Man, when was the last time we got to watch an enjoyable Yankee game? Sheesh... I've almost forgotten what it's like to win.
.
Anyway, nothing new happened last night... Pettitte pitched brilliantly (seven innings, one earned run), but the Yankee bats were quiet, their defense was atrocious, and their mindset was awful.
.
The Yankees came into this game expecting to lose.
.
Goat of the Game:
Bobby Abreu
- 0-4, K
- 3 LOB
- grounded out with two runners on in the 8th
 

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Thursday April, 26 2007.
Game 20: Blue Jays v. Yankees
By mvyb, 18:21

7:05PM
CH9
.
New York:
..
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter
RF, Abreu
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi
LF, Matsui
C, Posada
2B, Cano  
1B, Mientkiewicz
..
P, Hughes
.
Toronto:
.
RF, Rios
LF, Lind
CF, Wells
DH, Thomas
1B, Overbay
2B, Hill
3B, Smith
C, Phillips
SS, McDonald
.
P, Burnett
.
Quick Notes: Phil Hughes makes his long-awaited major league debut tonight as the Yanks try to snap their five-game losing streak. Hughes has quality stuff, but is he ready for the big leagues?
.
Burnett is dominating when he has his best stuff... when he's off, he's very hittable. A-Rod has two homers in eight career at-bats against the Toronto righty. Go Yankees!

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Monday April, 23 2007.
How Good Has A-Rod Really Been?
By mvyb, 15:34

Pretty darn good...
.
Stats Number MLB Rank
 Home Run  12      1st
 RBI  31      1st
 Runs Scored  22     1st
 Total Bases  69     1st
 X-tra Base Hits  19     1st
 SLP  .986     1st
 OPS  1.418     1st

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Friday April, 20 2007.
Game 15: Yankees @ Red Sox
By mvyb, 16:54

7:05PM
YES
ESPN
.
New York:
.
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter
RF, Abreu
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi
C, Posada
2B, Cano
LF, Cabrera 
1B, Mientkiewicz
.
P, Pettitte
.
Boston:
.
SS, Lugo
1B, Youkilis
DH, Ortiz
LF, Ramirez
RF, Drew
3B, Lowell
C, Varitek
CF, Crisp
2B, Pedroia
.
P, Schilling
.
Quick Notes: Interesting to see Mientkiewicz in the Yankee lineup instead of Phelps. Josh Phelps has great numbers lifetime against Schilling, but I guess Torre went with defense over offense from the #9 hole. Andy Pettitte is 13-5 (3.08 ERA) career against Boston. He's 5-2 at Fenway. But the Yankee lefty hasn't faced the BoSox since Game 6 of the 2003 ALCS.
.
The Red Sox bring their A lineup to face Pettitte tonight. Manny has ridiculous numbers lifetime against Andy, so we could see some long balls.
.
This game does't mean all that much, in fact, I'd trade a Yankee win via 8 long innings from our bullpen for a Red Sox win via 8 innings from Pettitte.
.
But I do think that if the Yanks jump on Schilling early and get into that weak Boston pen, we'll probably see a nice Bronx victory. Go Yankees! Go A-Rod!

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Time to Vote!
By mvyb, 12:10

The ballot for the 2007 MLB All-Star game came out yesterday (a few moments before A-Rod's homer), so head over and vote for the Yankee players... err.... I mean, the most deserving and talented players from each position.

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Thursday April, 19 2007.
A-Rod's Heroics Lead New York to Another Improbable Win!
By mvyb, 23:25

               Indians 6, Yankees 8
.
W- Henn (1-0)
L- Borowski (0-1)
.
Cleveland
Dellucci: 1-5, HR (1), 2RBI
Martinez: 2-3, HR (1), 3RBI
.
New York
Abreu: 4-5, 2RBI, R
Rodriguez: 1-5, HR (10), 3RBI
.
.
Talk about saving the best for last.... With two outs and no one on base, the New York Yankees launched one of the most awesome comebacks I've ever seen, as they beat up on Cleveland closer, Joe Borowski. And yes, it was Alex Rodriguez who delivered the death blow.
.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
.
But first, a quick recap of the previous eight innings of the ballgame.... Darrell Rasner pitched 4.1 innings (81 pitches), allowing one run on 4 hits. Mike Myers and Brian Bruney survived (by the skin of their teeth) the next two innings. The Yanks took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a monstrous Giambi home run, but Luis Vizcaino served up a juicy one to Victor Martinez and the Injuns were up 5-2. Farnsworth and Henn handled the eighth and ninth innings respectively, allowing only one (unearned) run.
.
Joe Borowski came out and retired Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera on a total of ten pitches. Then the fun began...
.
Indians 6, Yankees 2..... 2 outs.... no one on base....
.
- Josh Phelps hits a solo homer to left
- Posada singles to center on a 2-2 pitch
- Johnny Damon walked on a 3-2 pitch upstairs
- Jeter singles to left, Posada scores
- Abreu singles to left, Damon scores
- A-Rod hits a walkoff, three-run bomb
.
Let me tell you, I thought this ballgame was over back in the eighth... And with two outs in the ninth, I was not very confident in our chances of winning. But.... it ain't over, till it's over.
.
Now Alex was a hero tonight, no doubt, but we shouldn't forget the tremendous at-bats by Phelps, Posada, Damon (especially), Jeter, and Abreu. If one of these guys had failed, A-Rod would never have come up to hit.
.
The Yanks head to Fenway on a high note. Back on Monday, I had some big fears for this six-game stretch, but the Yanks are off to a fine start. If A-Rod continues to hit like he has been, the Yanks will take at least one or two from the BoSox.
.
Player of the Game:
Alex Rodriguez
.
- walkoff, 3-run homer

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Wednesday April, 18 2007.
Game 13: Indians v. Yankees
By mvyb, 17:40

7:05PM
YES
.
Cleveland:
..
CF, Sizemore
LF, Michaels
DH, Hafner
1B, Garko
3B, Blake
SS, Peralta
LF, Dellucchi
2B, Barfield
C, Shoppach
.
P, Sowers
.
New York
.
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter
RF, Abreu
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi
C, Posada
2B, Cano
1B, Phelps
LF, Cabrera 
.
P, Igawa
.
Quick Notes: Kei Igawa will be making his 3rd major league start tonight, and will be facing his toughest opponents yet. Igawa pitched well in his last outing (in Oakland), but has yet to start a game without allowing at least one long home run.
.
Jeremy Sowers won his only career start against the Bombers, pitching seven innings and allowing only two runs on six hits. Jason Giambi took him deep in that game.
.
Might be a rough night, but here's hoping for the best.... Go Yankees!

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Wright Solid in Debut, A-Rod Hits Home Run #8
By mvyb, 11:13

               Indians 3, Yankees 10
.
W- Wright (1-0)
L- Westbrook (0-2)
.
Cleveland
Hafner: 2-4, HR (2)
Blake: 2-4, 2B, R
.
New York
Rodriguez: 2-5, HR (8), 3RBI
Posada: 1-3, HR (2), sac fly, 3RBI
.
Chase Wright battled the weather and his own jitters all night, but managed to pitch five effective innings against the Cleveland Indians. Wright allowed only three earned runs, but threw 104 pitches in five innings. The Yanks had to be pleased with what they saw from Wright, and I'm pretty sure he'll make a few more starts for the team before heading back to AA.
.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
.
Meanwhile, the Yankee bats crushed Jake Westbrook as they roughed him up for eight earned runs. Alex Rodriguez hit his league-leading 8th home run and drove in 3 RBIs. Jorge Posada (who is off to a fabulous start this season) also homered and drove in 3 runs. Posada is on pace for 150+ RBI and 25+ homers. Doug Mientkiewicz also hit one out (gasp!), his first homer as a Yankee.
.
The 10-3 win was a great way to start off this rough 6-game stretch. New York hopes to win the series against Cleveland tonight in an Igawa v. Sowers matchup.
.
The Yanks better bring their bats.  
.
Player of the Game:
Alex Rodriguez
.
- 2-5, RBI single, 2-run HR (8)

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Tuesday April, 17 2007.
Game 12: Indians v. Yankees
By mvyb, 17:23

7:05PM
MY9
.
New York
..
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter
RF, Abreu
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi
C, Posada
2B, Cano
LF, Cabrera 
1B, Mientkiewicz
 .
P, Wright   ( No, not Jaret....)
.
Cleveland:
.
CF, Sizemore
LF, Michaels
DH, Hafner
C, Martinez
1B, Garko
RF, Blake
SS, Peralta
2B, Barfield
3B, Marte
P, Westbrook
.
Quick Notes: Chase Wright will make his first major league start tonight, weather permitting. Wright was impressive in spring training, and was called up from AA when Mussina and Pavano hit the DL. Wright is a lefty who relies on a curve and a sinking fastball to get hitters out. The Indians have a terrifying lineup (featuring Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Casey Blake, and Josh Barfield), so Wright will have to be on top of his game in order to survive.
.
Jake Westbrook is 2-2 (in 5 starts) with a 3.69 ERA career against the Yankees. Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada are the only players in tonight's lineup who have taken Westbrook deep. The Cleveland righty is a ground-ball/contact pitcher so prepare for half a dozen double plays.
.
This is gonna be a rough week (with Mussina, Pavano, Wang, Karstens, and Matsui on the DL), but maybe we'll find hidden magic in Chase Wright. Go Yankees!

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Saturday April, 14 2007.
Game 10: Yankees @ Athletics
By mvyb, 18:54

9:10PM
YES
.
New York
.
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter
RF, Abreu
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi
2B, Cano
1B, Phelps
LF, Cabrera
C, Nieves
.
P, Rasner
.
Oakland
.
LF, Stewart
CF, Swisher
DH, Piazza
3B, Chavez
1B, Walker
SS, Crosby
RF, Burke
C, Kendall
2B, Scutaro
.
R, Blanton
.
Quick Notes:  Ok, Rasner takes the hill for New York in his second start of the year. Let's hope this performance is nothing like his last one. The A's lineup is probably the weakest in the American League, so even Rasner has a shot at brilliance tonight.
.
Man, the bottom third of the Yankee lineup is really, really weak. Matsui's out, Posada has the day off, and because of his terrible production of late (0-21), Mientkiewicz is sitting on the bench.
.
Joe Blanton has only faced the Yankees twice in his career and is 0-2 with an inflated 13.50 ERA. Jeter and A-Rod have each taken him deep, and Phelps has driven in three runs in two at-bats against the Oakland pitcher.
.
It was raining earlier, but things have brightened up and the forcast is clear. 
.
With a win tonight, the Yanks will be back at .500 (which is exactly where they were one year ago). Go Yankees!  

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Wednesday April, 11 2007.
Goin' For the Sweep
By mvyb, 16:58

Tonight the Yanks go for the sweep in Minnesota, and the only man standing in their way is Ramon Ortiz. Let's see how well Ortiz has stood up to the Yankees in the past.
.
Player BA 2B HR RBI BB
Bobby Abreu 1.000 0 1 2 1
Robinson Cano 1.000 1 0 0 1
Johnny Damon .241 3 1 4 1
Jason Giambi .286 3 1 4 4
Derek Jeter .417 2 0 4 5
Jorge Posada .348 0 1 1 2
Josh Pehlps .273 0 3 0 0
Alex Rodriguez .333 0 8 13 11
.
This could be another great game for Alex... or perhaps, Ramon will find new luck in Minesota.

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Yanks Shell Twins, Pettitte Strong through Six
By mvyb, 10:10

             Yankees 10, Twins 1
.
W- Pettitte (1-0)
L- Bonser (0-1)
.
Minnesota:
Kubel, 1-1, RBI
Cuddyer: 1-4, 2B
.
New York:
Damon: 1-5, HR (1), 3RBI, 2R
Rodriguez: 1-3, HR (6), 2RBI, 2BB
Cabrera: 3-4, RBI, R
.
.
A-Rod continued his mutilation of pitches over the plate last night, and, after launching his sixth homer of the season, he was intentionally walked for the first time this year. If Alex keeps hitting the way he has lately, we're gonna see a lot more of that.
.
Johnny D also had a homer, his first of the year, and with it came his first few RBI. Melky Cabrera finally snapped out of his slump and went 3-4 with a 2-out, RBI-single in the second.
.
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
.
But obviously, the story of the night was Andy Pettitte, who delivered six innings (96 pitches) of scoreless baseball. The Yankee lefty allowed only four hits, one walk, and 3 K's in his second start of the season.
.
The Yanks face Ramon Ortiz tonight as they go for the sweep... Mussina is on the hill for the Yanks and is hoping to make it three consecutive stellar starts for the New York rotation.
.
Player of the Game:
Andy  Pettitte
.
- pitched 6 shutout innings
- allowed no runs
- picked up the win

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Tuesday April, 10 2007.
Game 7: Yankees @ Twins
By mvyb, 18:01

8:10PM
YES
.
Minnesota:
.
2B, Castillo
3B, Punto
C, Mauer
RF, Cuddyer
1B, Morneau
CF, Hunter
LF, Rabe
DH, Redmond
SS, Bartlett
.
P, Bonser
.
New York
.
CF, Damon
SS, Jeter 
RF, Abreu 
3B, Rodriguez
DH, Giambi 
C, Posada 
2B, Cano 
1B, Mientkiewicz 
LF, Cabrera
.
P, Pettitte
.
Boof Bonser has never faced the Yankees, so I have no idea whether New York's sluggers will light him up or bow down before him. In his first start of the season, Bonser went 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs (one homer), 3 hits, and 3 walks against the Baltimore Orioles.
.
The only player in the Yankee lineup that Bonser has faced is Doug Mientkiewicz (while he was with Kansas City), who is 1-2 with a single and a strikeout against the Minnesota pitcher.
.
Andy Pettitte pitched poorly in his first start, but has said that he feels much better now then he did on Thursday. Pettitte has pitched 16 games against the Twins and has a career record of 7-5 with a 3.71 ERA against the team. But the Yankee lefty has very little history against the current Twins players: Rondell White ( 2-6 with a double), Torii Hunter (.250 BA in 20 at-bats), Michael Cuddyer (1-5), Luis Castillo ( 1-6), and Mike Redmond ( single in only at-bat). Pettitte has never faced Mauer, Morneau, Rabe, Bartlett, or Punto.
.
Let's hope the Yanks play like they did last night. Go Yankees!

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