10/06/2004 8:05 PM ET
Brown to make Game 3 start
El Duque's tired shoulder not well enough to go Friday
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
|Kevin Brown is 4-4 with a 3.61 ERA in his postseason career, including a 1-0 mark and 0.83 ERA in three Division Series starts. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
NEW YORK -- With Orlando Hernandez's tired right shoulder still ailing him, the Yankees will turn to Kevin Brown on Friday when the American League Division Series moves to Minnesota for Game 3.
Brown will make his 12th postseason appearance, starting for the 11th time. He is 4-4 with a 3.61 ERA in his postseason career, including a 1-0 mark and 0.83 ERA in three Division Series starts.
After breaking his non-throwing hand by punching a clubhouse wall on Sept. 3, Brown missed three weeks before returning for a start at Fenway Park on Sept. 26. He was touched for four runs in just two-thirds of an inning, but he followed that up with five innings of one-hit ball against the Blue Jays on Oct. 2.
"We really liked what we saw Saturday," manager Joe Torre said. "Kevin did not try to manufacture, he did not try to overthrow, and probably better than the result that particular day where he threw 70-plus pitches, the fact that he felt good on Sunday, Monday, yesterday. I think that was good."
In his career, Brown is 8-2 with a 3.05 ERA against the Twins in 15 starts, including a 5-1 mark at the Metrodome. Brown did not face the Twins this season, as his last start against Minnesota came in 1995 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
Brown has battled more than the broken hand this season, fighting off an intestinal parasite in June and July while dealing with a chronically bad lower back.
"I don't really have limitations," Brown said. "I'm not really going out there thinking, 'OK, 100 pitches or whatever.' Hopefully it's nine innings. It would be great if that happened."
"He's been dealing with a lot of things, aside from the breaking his hand," Torre said. "The fact that he's on and off with back problems and whatever. But knock on wood, from that game to right now, physically he feels good. And just the experience factor I think was a big part [of the decision to start him in Game 3]."
Hernandez threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and the Yankees haven't ruled him out for Saturday's Game 4, but Javier Vazquez remains the likely candidate to start should the Yankees win one of the next two games.
"If he wants to go out there, he's had enough experience," said Torre of Hernandez. "Wanting to do it and being able to do it is the difference between playing hurt and playing not-so-smart. Playing hurt and being able to do what you do is one thing, like what Sheffield has done, but to go out there and not be armed -- literally speaking -- with your best stuff, it's tough to try to trick people."
Torre said he has no plans to bring Mike Mussina, who threw seven innings in Game 1, back on three days' rest for Game 4 at the Metrodome.
"I don't think so," Torre said. "I'm not going to rule it out, but I don't think so. I'm happy with my other options."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.