On Baseball: Ervin Santana Shocked the Yankees 12 Years Ago. Can He Do It Again?

“Yeah, they were good,” Santana said Monday. “But no nerves at all. Just try not to think about it.”


Santana pitching for the Los Angeles Angels during an A.L.D.S. victory over the Yankees in 2005, his rookie season.

Robert Galbraith/Reuters

That would be sound advice for his current teammates. The Twins were so bad last season that they chose first in the draft this past June. Now they are the first team ever to reach the playoffs after losing at least 100 games in the previous season — but to extend their fun, they must successfully escape the Bronx, where they are 14-45 since 2002.

That record includes four flops in division series, most recently in 2010, and a three-game sweep last month. Santana allowed two runs (one on an Aaron Judge homer) over five and two-thirds innings to lose the opener, 2-1, on Sept. 18, and the Yankees won the next two games handily. Santana is 0-5 at the new Yankee Stadium, with a 6.43 E.R.A.

“The difference is it’s October, and it’s one game,” Twins Manager Paul Molitor said. “It’s going to be a little bit more…

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