Twins heading to the Bronx
What a game, huh? After 12 innings, it was Alexi Casilla delivering the American League Central title for the Twins, defeating the Tigers in a 6-5 victory that will put Minnesota on a quick charter flight to the Bronx in preparation for Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday.
Reached late Tuesday after the thrilling walk-off, here’s what Joe Girardi had to say now that the Yankees finally know who their first round opponent will be:
…on playing the Twins in the ALDS:
The Twins offensively have left-handed power in Kubel and Mauer, and everything really focuses around Mauer. He’s so dangerous in their lineup. One thing that has happened to this club is Kubel has really matured into a dangerous hitter behind Mauer, and Cuddyer has really stepped up in the months of September and October. Delmon Young has turned his season around as well. They also play small ball and you have to be ready for that.
….on the Twins having to use Nathan tonight:
The only advantage it gives you is that they probably wouldn’t ask him to get more than three outs on Wednesday.
…on how the Yankees bullpen matches up against the Twins:
The Twins have more lefthanders. A second lefthander would possibly get more work against them. The one thing we talk about, is we want to make sure that when we use our bullpen, we’re covered if the game goes extra innings.
… on how much confidence it gives the Yankees to face the Twins after going 7-0 against them this season:
I think our club is confident right now because of the way we’ve played since May. As far as meeting the Twins, we’re not going to have to face questions like “can you beat them,” like we’ve had to answer during the course of the year. Once the playoffs start though, it’s a new series and we know the importance of each game. You can pretty much throw everything else out the window.
…on the Twins possibly already being in playoff mode after tonight’s win:
I don’t think that you can really answer that question until Wednesday and after Wednesday’s game. I’ve been on clubs that had to play extremely hard all the way through and we lost in the first round. I’ve also been on clubs that did not have to play hard all the way through, for instance the ’98 Yankees, and we ended up winning the World Series. It really comes down to how your perform. I think everyone’s mind is going to be in playoff mode.