Garcia Matchups to Watch
Joe Mauer is 13-for-31 against Freddy Garcia with five doubles and two home runs. The home runs came in Mauer’s first at-bat against Garcia (June 30, 2004) and his most recent at-bat against Garcia (Aug. 10, 2010).
Garcia has only struck out Mauer once in the 35 times they’ve gone head-to-head (he’s walked him four times).
Mauer has found the new Yankee Stadium to be a comfortable place to hit. He has three home runs in 10 games there. He has two home runs in 118 games in his home ballpark, Target Field.
Pavano Matchups to Watch
Curtis Granderson is 8-for-24 against Carl Pavano (including the postseason), and though he doesn’t have any home runs against Pavano yet, he might be knocking at the door.
Of the 17 times Granderson has hit the ball against Pavano, he’s hit the ball in the air 14 times, resulting in six singles and one double.
That’s aberrational for Pavano, who typically gets ground balls on about half the balls hit against him.
The Yankees will want to be ready early in the count against Pavano. His first-pitch strike rate is 66 percent this season, same as it was last season, which ranked among the best in baseball.
The Yankees are 63-20 against the Twins (including the postseason) since Ron Gardenhire took over as Twins manager in 2002. Gardenhire is 854-720 (.543 winning percentage) against every other team in that span.
The Yankees have outscored the Twins 451-297 in those games, meaning they’ve outscored the Twins by an average of nearly two runs per game.
The player who has created the most stress for Gardenhire, at least recently, is Mark Teixeira, who is hitting .371 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs in 27 regular-season/playoff games in the Yankees-Twins rivalry.
Derek Jeter is a .324 career hitter in regular-season games against the Twins. He’s hit .300 or better against them in each of the past six seasons, and is hitting .341 with nine home runs in 73 games (combining regular season and playoffs) against Gardenhire-managed teams.
Quirky Stat of the Day
Yankees catcher Russell Martin is hitting just .182, but leads the Yankees with a .455 on-base percentage. Martin has nine walks, including two in Sunday night’s win.
Martin has only swung at 27 percent of pitches thrown to him, the second-lowest rate in the majors behind Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (24 percent). Martin’s swing rate over the past three seasons was 41 percent.