10/03/2004 10:48 PM ET
Yankees-Twins ALDS probables
Veteran matchup set for Game 3
Here are the pitchers scheduled to start in Yankees-Twins series:
New York Yankees
Game 1: Mike Mussina (12-9, 4.59)
Mussina gets the call in the playoff opener for the second straight season. Mussina boasts an outstanding 20-3 career record against the Twins, posting a stellar 2.97 ERA. But this season, Mussina went 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against Minnesota. Mussina took the loss in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins last year, allowing three runs in seven innings
Game 2: Jon Lieber (14-8, 4.33)
Lieber takes the mound for his first career postseason start, getting the nod in Game 2 of the ALDS. Lieber has excelled at Yankee Stadium this season, going 11-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 15 starts. One of those starts came against Minnesota, as he defeated the Twins on Sept. 29 by allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. In four career starts against the Twins, Lieber is 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA.
Game 3: Orlando Hernandez (8-2, 3.30)
Hernandez makes his first playoff start since 2001, the 14th of his career. El Duque, who boasts a 9-3 career mark in October, has been battling a tired right shoulder over the past two weeks, but the Yankees are hopeful that he can take the ball on Friday. If he can't, Kevin Brown is the likely candidate to take his place.
Game 4: Javier Vazquez (14-10, 4.91)
Vazquez is slated to make his postseason debut on Saturday, taking on the Twins for the third time in his career. Vazquez went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two outings against them this season, but he felt strong in his outing on Sept. 30, allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Twins.
Game 1: Johan Santana (20-6, 2.61)
No pitcher is on a better roll right now than the 25-year-old left-hander and leading AL Cy Young Award candidate. Since June 9, Santana is 18-2 with a 1.36 ERA in 22 starts. He hasn't lost a game since July 11 and was 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA after the All-Star break. He owns one of the best changeups in the game and is equally tough with his low-mid 90s fastball and nasty slider. Opposing 3-4-5 hitters batted a combined .194 against Santana in the regular season.
Game 2: Brad Radke (11-8, 3.48)
Although not reflected in the win column, many on the club felt the 10-year veteran was the most consistent he's ever been -- including his 20-victory season in 1997. He finished the year second in the AL for fewest walks per nine innings with 1.1 and was fourth in ERA. Of his 33 starts in 2004, 24 were quality outings, but 15 were no-decisions. The 30-year old was 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA in six September starts.
Game 3: Carlos Silva (14-8, 4.21)
In just his first year as a starter, Silva developed into a more complete pitcher. He began the year with a 5-0 record before riding a roller coaster. But he's been great down the stretch, going 4-0 with a 1.90 ERA in his last seven starts. The 25-year-old started the season with just a sinking fastball, but became more effective after learning how to throw offspeed. His sinker remains his most effective pitch -- he frequently keeps the ball on the ground even though he's prone to giving up a lot of hits.
Game 4: Santana or Kyle Lohse (9-13, 5.34)
Because Santana has logged 228 innings and hasn't pitched at all on three days' rest this season, Lohse could get the ball if Twins are ahead in the series. Lohse has struggled to find consistency all season. The right-hander has lasted seven innings just four times this year and worked longer than seven only once
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.