Berkman goes yard, Yankees lead Twins in Game 2

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The Yankees and Twins are five innings deep into Game 2 of their ALDS matchup Thursday at Minnesota’s Target Field.  So far, things are looking good for the away team.

Andy Pettitte had a rough second inning that saw him load the bases and then allow a run-scoring sacrifice fly to the Twins’ Danny Valencia.  But he has since settled in and retired 12 straight batters.

Meanwhile Lance Berkman has improved his reputation among Yankees fans with a solo bomb to deep left-center field that put the away team up 2-1.  Berkman batted just .255/.358/.349 over 106 at-bats after arriving in New York at this year’s trade deadline.  A productive showing this postseason, of course, will make everyone forget about those struggles. 

Twins starter Carl Pavano has pitched well, but the Yanks tend to take advantage of mistakes and the mustached right-hander has made one or two of those against his former team.

It was 73 degrees at game time in Minneapolis, yet another gorgeous night for baseball.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.