If someone told me in March that a matchup of the Yankees' and Twins' best starters on June 1 would pit Darrell Rasner against Nick Blackburn, I'd have thought they were crazy, but that's exactly the case this afternoon as 26-year-old rookie Blackburn (4-3, 3.39 ERA) faces off against 27-year-old Rasner (3-1, 1.80 ERA).
Blackburn will be making his first career start against the Yankees. Rasner, who was the Yankees best pitcher in May, will be looking to keep things going in June. Rasner has given the Yankees a minimum of six innings in each of his first six starts, and after last night's extra-inning win, the Yankees will want him to go deep again today, though Mark Feinsand reports that Scott Patterson has been called up off his own strong May to add a fresh arm to the Yankee bullpen. Morgan Ensberg, who was hitting .164/.239/.164 since April 15, was designated for assignment to make room for Patterson.
Rasner has allowed just one run in his last 13 innings, though that one was enough to get him the loss in his last start, which the Yankees lost to the Orioles by an eventual final of 3-1. Today his support features Wilson Betemit at first base with Jason Giambi getting the day off and, as has been the standard pairing, Chad Moeller behind the plate.