Monday, October 5, 2009
It All Comes Down to This
If you would've told me a month ago that today the Minnesota Twins would be one game away from clinching the AL Central I would've called you a stupid liar, and an idiot... and I would've thrown a rock at you.
Well, here we are. The team that refuses to just go away like everyone thought they would is now finding themselves in yet another one game playoff to decide the AL Central. This has been anything but a dream season; our best pitcher is out for the season with a wrist injury, our former MVP has a fractured back, our 3rd baseman has a back made of glass, and Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert are in the everyday lineup. Our one-time unhittable prized rookie is now struggling to even come out of the bullpen. But somehow, some way, the Twins are finding ways to win. Players are getting hot at the right time (Delmon Young's batting .529 with 3 homers and 10 RBI in the past 4 days, Michael Cuddyer: 10 homers and 29 RBI in the past month, and Jason Kubel contributed 16 extra base hits and 25 RBI over the same span). Speaking of spans, Denard has been arguably the team's second most valuable player this season providing great defense as well as offense. He has been dominating the leadoff spot and is a huge reason the Twins are where they are right now. He's definitely an exciting player to keep an eye on for years to come.
I'm not sure what's more incredible, the fact that there's been a one game playoff for the third consecutive year or the fact that the Twins have been involved in the last two.
I know what the majority of MLB fans are thinking, "who cares who wins this game? They're just gonna get dominated by the Yankees anyways like they did all season...durf durf durf" Yes the Twins did lose all seven of their games against the Bronx Bombers, but let's keep in mind that these were not all decisive victories...six of the seven games were decided by 3 runs or less. Oh yeah, and three of those games in New York were decided on walk off hits; the Twins were very much in all of those games. What has history taught us? The team that gets hot at the right time tends to make the deepest run in the playoffs, just ask the '07 Rockies (who might've cooled down a little too much when they swept the NLCS and had an extended break only to be swept by the Red Sox in the World Series). Hell, you might even be able to ask the '09 Rockies in a few weeks. The Twins offense is getting hot at the right time, and the Yankees have been known to choke in the postseason as of late. I'm not terrified by their pitching either, I think the Twins would have a legitimate shot at beating them.
But before any of that happens, they have some work to do Tuesday night.
Is there enough Metrodome magic left for one last run before the Twins move outdoors?