NEW YORK — Jaime Garcia was a Twin for six days and a Yankee for six weeks, but he’s still got more wins with Minnesota than New York. The Twins would like to keep that record intact tonight in Yankee Stadium.
Garcia limited the A’s to three runs over 8 1/3 innings in Oakland in his lone start for the Twins after being acquired from Atlanta on July 24, but he hasn’t completed six innings since that day. In six starts since the Twins moved him the day before the trade deadline, Garcia has given up 19 runs (15 earned) in 29 1/3 innings, a 4.60 ERA. The Yankees are 3-3 in Garcia’s starts, though Garcia himself hasn’t been credited with one.
The Garcia Era feels like a long time ago now, doesn’t it? “I didn’t get to know Jaime all that well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of something that was so short-lived.”
The Twins, losers of six of their last eight games in the Bronx, are four games behind New York, so anything short of a sweep won’t do much to their chances of catching the Yankees for the first wild card spot. Should the Twins hold on — they’re two games up on the Angels, but play 10 of their final 13 on the road, including six games against the Yankees and Indians — they would be back here two weeks from Tuesday for the wild-card game.
Molitor believes playing this series so close to that potential game might be beneficial. And he’s eager to see how his young team plays under a little extra pressure. These games, he said, will “be a little emotionally charged.”
“I want to see how some of these guys respond. It’s always a little different here,” Molitor said. “You try to keep it as normal as you can, you try to be the same, but I’ve played here in October. It’s just got a different feel.”
The Twins will send their ace, Ervin Santana, to the mound, just as they will if there is a playoff game on Oct. 3. My colleagues covering the Yankees say there seems to be no particular emphasis on this series for the home team, but the Twins definitely feel it.
Here are the lineups for Game 1, both of which feature a young shortstop with surprising power batting cleanup:
J. Castro C
S. Castro 2B