Santana, a 34-year-old right-hander who won 16 games this season, last faced the Yankees on September 18 at the Stadium and absorbed a 2-1 loss after giving up two runs and seven hits in 5 ²/₃ innings.
Tuesday's starter, Luis Severino, has had a phenomenal season, posting a 2.98 ERA, 1.040 WHIP and 10.7 K/9, while pitching like a legitimate ace all season.
The Twins finished the regular season at 85-77 on the strength of their hitting. They are 9-21 in 30 regular-season games over nine seasons in this ballpark, including a three-game sweep by NY just last week. It's the Twins against the Yankees in the Bronx, with the right to play in the American League Divisional playoffs at stake.
The Yankees spoke confidently Monday on the eve of their showdown against the Twins in the American League wild-card game, and the pitcher they're sending out has a lot to do with why.
Twins' hitters have to be aggressive early against the Yankees and get the count in their favor to drive hittable pitches.
If Severino can pitch five good innings, Joe Girardi would be able to piece together the rest of the game with one dominant bullpen arm after another. "I think we're encouraged that he's going to be available tomorrow in some capacity".
The Twins have arguably the best defense in the league, and it's been a huge reason why they are where they are. In a seven-game series, Cleveland is so deep and so good, but the Yankees wouldn't have to worry about that. "It gives me more confidence to go out for my team".
This is Minnesota's first appearance in the wild-card game. "It means a lot", said Santana, who grew up in the Dominican Republic.
At CBS New York, Ernie Palladino writes that the Yankees couldn't have planned things much better: "Anything can happen".
"It was definitely interesting to think about the game in a little bit different way", Kinsler said.
Santana made one start against the Yanks this season, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. "We played well at home". Cleanup hitter Eddie Rosario batted.290 with 27 homers and an.836 OPS for the Twins. The Minnesota Twins are a young team full of players who don't know about the postseason and that might be just what they need.
Despite the fact that Tuesday will be his first career playoff game, Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) is confident, having had a bounce-back year after struggling in 2016, a season in which he was 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts.
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