Five Yankees who must perform in Tuesday's one-game playoff vs

by Eddie Scott October 4, 2017, 0:16
Five Yankees who must perform in Tuesday's one-game playoff vs

Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer remembers well all those October losses to the New York Yankees.

And the playoff-like atmosphere in September - with the Yankees playing well, challenging the Red Sox for the AL East up until the season's penultimate day - might serve the youngest Yankees well on Tuesday night.

The Twins' ghastly playoff legacy with the Yankees is impossible to ignore for anyone who has invested emotionally and financially with the little engine that could from the AL Central.

The pitching matchup is an interesting battle between Luis Severino and longtime ace Ervin Santana.

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"I've never been so proud of a group of guys in my entire life", said Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier.

"The faces have changed so much", said Joe Girardi, who managed NY past Minnesota in 2009 and 2010 division series. Dozier also hit.316 against the Yankees this year and can change the game with one swing of his bat, so definitely give him strong consideration in putting together your lineup.

"It's been challenging trying to get him prepared in such a short window".

The Yankees have not won a playoff game since 2012 and also haven't scored a playoff run since then as well. While Santana has been able to limit his BB:K ratio (0.37:1), his home-run rate is slightly concerning, as he's given up 1.32 HR/9 during the regular season. He had a fantastic season, was arguably the first-half MVP of the team, and is one of the most important players in the franchise moving forward.

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Sano played three games over the weekend, his first activity in six weeks because of a left shin stress reaction. "I think we're encouraged that he's going to be available (Tuesday) in some capacity". If they can get past the Yankees in the AL wild card game-and no, their four series losses to the Bronx Bombers from 2003-10 aren't relevant here-it's hard to see how manager Paul Molitor can steer them past the Indians given a shaky rotation that will be limited to one start from staff ace Ervin Santana.

The Yankees have a trio of All-Stars at the back of their bullpen in Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, plus two of baseball's best middle relievers in Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle. Sanchez hammered 33, helping the Yankees heat up again at the end of the season following a sticky patch in the early summer. Minnesota ranks fourth in the AL in both runs (815) and on-base percentage (.334). He has just five errors in 400 total chances. Molitor has said that starter José Berríos, a 14-game victor this season, will also be available in relief tonight.

As the playoffs get underway, we take a look at what to expect when two of baseball's best stories collide in the Bronx tonight.

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