Carl Pavano robbed the Yankees of $38 million from 2005-2008 and on Sunday night, New York will look to make him pay for it.
The 33-year-old right-hander is the only thing standing between the Bombers and their first trip to the American League Championship Series since 2004, and there's more on the line in Game 3 than just the satisfaction of sweeping the Twins and exacting revenge on Pavano.
If Minnesota wins on Sunday, the Yanks would be forced to start CC Sabathia in Game 4 on Monday at the Metrodome, meaning he'd have to pitch on just three-days rest if New York was to win and advance to Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Of course, that was his fourth consecutive short-rest start in a row and Sabathia is more than capable of pitching Monday then Friday, but it would be nice to have him 100 percent for the beginning of the next round.
Let's take a look at the Game 3 pitching match-up.
Game three: Sunday, Oct. 11 - Andy Pettitte (14-8, 4.16) vs. Carl Pavano (14-12, 5.10)
Pettitte is a veteran of postseason play (14-9, 3.96) and pitched very well on the road this season (8-4, 3.71), so it made sense to start him in Game three.
The left-hander is 4-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 12 career ALDS starts, including a victory over the Twins in 2003. In that game, he allowed just one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out 10 over seven innings.
Pettitte is 9-5 with a 3.70 in his life vs. Minnesota, including a 5-4 record and a 3.62 mark at the Metrodome. This year, he faced the Twins once on May 18, giving up four runs on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium, leading the Bombers to a 7-6 win.
Minnesota's roster hits a stunning .394 against Pettitte, led by Delmon Young (9-for-14, 2 2B), Brendan Harris (8-for-17, 2 2B), Joe Mauer (4-for-10, HR) and Michael Cuddyer (5-for-14, 2B, HR).
I was saddened to find out that Pavano was born in New Britain, Conn.—the same place where my girlfriend grew up. That should give you some sort of idea how much hatred we Yankees fans have for a man who started just 26 games over the span of a four-year contract in the Bronx.
Pavano, who began 2009 with the Indians, had a terrific six-game stretch after being traded to the Twins. From Aug. 23-Sept. 19, he went 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA, before stumbling to the finish line with an 8.27 mark over his final three starts.
The former Marlin went 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in eight games (two starts) for Florida during the 2003 postseason, including nine innings of one-run ball against the Yankees in the World Series (another reason to hate him).
Pavano is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four career regular-season starts vs. New York, but yielded just four runs in 13 1/3 innings against them this year in two games for the Indians.
Johnny Damon is 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles when facing the right-hander and Derek Jeter is 4-for-10 (.400) with a pair of doubles.
Jorge Posada returns to the starting lineup with an 0-for-2 mark against Pavano and Robinson Cano is 0-for-5.
The Twins pitcher was 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA in five starts at the Metrodome this season.
Prediction: Yankees 6, Twins 5
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Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com
Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org