Last night they faced left-hander CC Sabathia and tonight they’re facing fellow southpaw Andy Pettitte, so the Twins are sticking with the same lineup as Game 1 of the ALDS.
However, the Yankees have switched things up with right-hander Carl Pavano on the mound, changing things a bit from the lineup they sent out against lefty Francisco Liriano in Game 1.
GAME 1 GAME 2
Derek Jeter, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B Robinson Cano, 2B
Marcus Thames, DH Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, C Jorge Posada, C
Curtis Granderson, CF Lance Berkman, DH
Brett Gardner, LF Brett Gardner, LF
Marcus Thames and Lance Berkman are basically in a platoon at designated hitter, so Berkman gets the nod against a righty. And while you wouldn’t know it based on his two-run triple off Liriano last night Curtis Granderson is significantly better versus righties, so he moves up from eighth to second in the lineup while Nick Swisher slides down from second to sixth.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.