Game 54: Yankees host Twins for Second Game of a Three Game Set


May 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, the New York Yankees host the Minnesota Twins in the second of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

After last night’s 6-1 thumping in favor of the Twins, the Yankees will look to force a series rubber match on Sunday. And, if today’s pitching matchup is any indication, New York should have a good opportunity to do just that.

Masahiro Tanaka (New York) and Kevin Correia (Minnesota) — today’s starting pitchers — couldn’t be at more opposite sides of the success spectrum.

Tanaka, currently 7-1 with a 2.29 earned run average, is coming off a dominant outing against the White Sox in Chicago and is in the midst of a CY Young-caliber season. Correia, meanwhile, is just 2-6 with a 6.34 earned run average in 10 starts.

With a win, the Yankees would finish May at 14-14. After a 15-11 start to the season through the end of April, the month of May has been a disappointment, to say the least. To put the month into even more perspective, the team was only 10-13 in games that Tanaka did not start.

The Yankees are also hoping to put an end to their recent struggles at home. After Friday night’s loss, New York is just 3-8 in its last 11 home games.

What to Watch…

Something in common: Despite the large contrasts when it comes to their statistics this season, Masahiro Tanaka and Kevin Correia do have one thing in common: they will each be making their first career starts against their respective opponents. Tanaka, the 25-year-old rookie from Japan, is making his 11th career start against the 10th different team (he faced the Chicago Cubs twice). Correia, on the other hand, did make a relief appearance against New York in June 2007 as a member of the San Francisco Giants, but has never started a game opposite the Yankees.

Second of the homestand: Today’s game is the second for the Yankees of a seven-game homestand in the Bronx. After this three-game series with the Twins, New York will play one game against the Seattle Mariners (a makeup for a late-April rainout) before playing a three-game set against the Oakland A’s.

Day game success: Today’s start time, with first pitch slated for 1:05pm, should favor the Yankees. New York is 13-5 this season in day games, good for second best in the MLB and best in the American League.