I was going to break down the pitching matchups for game 3, but John Flaherty does a brilliant job on the lohud blog, here, that I couldn’t possibly hope to match. To sum up: Pettitte’s done a great job of pitching to both sides of the plate, but needs to hit spots and can’t afford to make many mistakes at this point in his career. There’s also some concern over having a week between starts which may cause some rust. Pavano (The American Idle) has a good, sinking 2-seamer. When that pitch is really going well, he’s tough, but Flaherty thinks his baggage may cause him to be overwhelmed by the moment.
My take on Flaherty’s assessment is that, if Flaherty’s correct, this should make for a good matchup for Andy. The Twins will grind out hits, but they are not a team with a ton of power that will punish mistakes with long, elegantly curling home runs. Therefore, Andy should be able to work through any rust without putting himself in a huge hole. If he gives the Yankess three runs through 6+, they should have a good chance of sweeping the pesky Twins. I’d like to also add that Pettitte, as a lefty, has an added edge against the overly left handed Twins
I’m somewhat in disagreement over John’s take on Pavano. As lazy, annoying, and frustrating as he is, Carl Pavano has actually generally rose to the occasion in big spots. His problems have often been based in conditioning and mindset over the long haul of a season, not in short series and big games. He has a 2.70 ERA against the Yanks this year and a stellar 1.40 ERA in 8 postseason games (some as a reliever). I think we might be in for a solid, if hard-to-swallow, pitching performance by the Idler tonight.
What do you guys think? Will Carl blow up tonight or will he reach back for something extra and give the Yanks a hard time at the plate?
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