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Mr. Important, all of a sudden.

game 2

ALDS Begins Again, Before ANOTHER Day Off

The Yankees continue their American League Divisional Series against the Twins in about three hours, and they're missing the advantage they had in Wednesday's Game 1: It's incredibly unlikely that the Twins are hung-over this time. If they had played the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera, this would be less of a certainty.

Much of the drama about tonight's game revolves around Jose Molina starting over Jorge Posada as catcher, though it seems like it'll make less difference now than, say, a potential Game 6 of the World Series in which A.J. Burnett might pitch. (Not to get ahead of ourselves.) What really matters is how Burnett pitches: If he has one of his occasional six-runs-in-three-innings starts, it doesn't matter much who the Yankees have at catcher.

We know Game 1 was easy, and no one's really all that scared of the Twins anyway, but this game's still vital. A loss tonight eradicates all the trouble the Yankees went through to earn home-field advantage, and it'll send both teams back to a rabid, rollicking Metrodome on Sunday night, full of wild Minnesotans not quite ready to say good-bye to their baggy-walled surreal edifice. Strange things happen in that dome. If the Yankees don't win tonight, they'll head there with no assurance that they will return. That's a frightening concept.

But yeah, they're probably gonna win tonight.

Photo: Getty Images