Previewing Game 3 of the ALDS, Yankees @ Twins, 7:07pm…Minnesota facing elimination…
“Are the Twins on crack starting Pavano over Baker on full rest?” –Text message from White Sox buddy
It’s a fair question. I’m not really sure what the reasoning is behind this, but the only thing I can come up with is that Gardenhire assessed his team’s overfeated record against the Yanks, threw up his hands and thought to himself, “Well, I’m out of ideas. I just can’t figure out how to hurt this team…WAIT ONE SECOND…BINGO!”
The Carl Pavano Saga (which actually sounds like a cool name for a garage band) is like a tumultuous relationship with a guy who can’t get his shit together. So you break up, and then he goes off and cleans up his act, gets a great job, and finds another chick who he’s a wonderful boyfriend to, and the ex-girlfriend is just like, “Are you kidding me with this? Where the hell were you when we were dating?”
But here’s the rub. No matter how much it looks like the dude has transcended his former self, when he sees his ex, he’s reduced to the inferior mess that caused her to break up with him in the first place. We are who we are. People don’t change.
Today the Yankees send Andy Pettitte (14-8, 4.16) to face our old tumor Carl Pavano (14-12, 5.10), whose impact on his former team may be broken down as follows:
9 WINS OVER 4 YEARS. I think a groundskeeper could bank a better record just by accidentally walking over the mound and throwing the ball The best part? Pavano calls this time in New York as “a black period.”
Seriously, CP? Well, it wasn’t exactly all blue skies and sail boats and noodle salad for us either.
I remember seeing this this douche at a bar right after he pitched against the Red Sox in May 2005, and it’s really splitting hairs which game was worse. The one where he let up 8 hits in 2 innings, or this one:
“Do you wanna get out of here?”
“No thank you.”
“What. You don’t like the Yankees?”
I think he’s probably the first guy that managed to make his professional athlete status work AGAINST him
Yeah, this is what we’re up against today.
The guy actually had 2 decent starts against the Yankees while playing for the Indians, but not good enough to call upon him in a must-win (an actual must-win) situation for the Twins. In 13 IP, he gave up 11 hits, 4 runs, and struck out 8. His change-up will be the biggest threat to neutralizing our lefties, because his fastball is nothing to write home about.
He’s also got a decent slider and sinkerball, and paradoxically, he’s actually no slouch when it comes to control. You’d think it’d be the opposite since he’s been somewhat, uh, erratic in terms of effectivness over the course of his career.
It’s either the smartest move Gardenhire’s ever made or the dumbest, but either way, the Twins are putting their season in the hands of a guy who may as well have a cartoon bulls-eye painted on his chest.
According to Pettitte, Pavano is still considered a “good friend,” but I think you gotta take with a grain of salt anything that comes out of the mouth of a guy who hugged the guy who busted up his perfect game, saying “I didn’t want to go 9 innings anyway.” Class above all else. It’s totally understandable why haters make a living out of slinging insidious contempt at this club.
Say what you will, but at least they’re not freaking walking rheumatisms. I think he single-handedly kept Big Pharma Companies in business during the recession (at least he’s valuable to one Evil Empire, buh da dum!) During his pinstriped tenure, Pavano had problems with his
During rehab for all this, “American Idle” broke 2 ribs in a car accident but kept it from the team.
I’m wary of this game, because it’s almost like a trick. I would love to see us sweep the Twinks, close out the series in the Dome, and do it all against this payroll hemorrhager. But remember the last time we faced an ex-Yankee-pitcher degenerate? We got worked.
I would also love to see this series close out so I don’t have to read gripping sports analysis like the following:
Down 2-0 in the best-of-five division series after a devastating 11-inning defeat at Yankee Stadium on Friday, the Twins are in yet another must-win situation after spending the stretch drive in that pressurized mode.
Another “must-win” situation, eh. I’d argue that losing the first “must-win” situation and still living to see another day, suggests that “must-win” is now officially the most gratuitously phrase since “step up to the plate.” Neither expression makes a whole lot of sense as they’re currently applied.
We don’t “step up to the plate” because we’re brave and taking initiative. We do so because we’re next up in the order.
Now, go kick ass and take names, Yanks.
Read 2009 Baseball Throwdown coverage for Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Anaheim Angels.