The Twins End their Misery

Twins Misery
(Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Twins have ended their misery of playoff losses with a two-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. After losing 18 straight postseason games that started in 2004 and seeing every other team win at least one playoff game they combined timely hitting, effective pitching, and excellent defense to move onto the American League Division series.

Royce Lewis

There were plenty of players who stepped up, most noticeably rookie Royce Lewis. After missing 10 games due to a hamstring ailment, the Twins knew he was going to be limited. However, he hit home runs in his first two at-bats to help ignite the team and the Target Field crowd. He became the third player in major league history to go deep in his first two postseason plate appearances, following Evan Longoria for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 and Gary Gaetti for the Twins in 1987, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Carlos Correa

The Twins end their misery of playoff losses by advancing to the ALDS. After struggling through an injury-riddled regular season, Carlos Correa emerged as one of the Twins’ best players. In the brief two games he had three singles and drove in a run, but it was his defense that helped the Twins. Correa made a terrific alert play to throw out a runner at the plate to end a threat in Game One, and in had a clutch moment facing the Blue Jays in the top of the fifth inning of Game Two with two outs and the Twins leading 2-0.

The Blue Jays had their best scoring opportunity with Bo Bichette at the plate with runners on second and third and pitcher Sonny Gray close to 90 pitches and struggling. Gray immediately turned and threw to Correa, who was behind Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. by the bag at second. Correa swiped the tag on Guerrero to end the threat and the inning. The Blue Jays challenged, but the call stood, and the Twins escaped without a run scored.

Bullpen Success

Starters Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray were effective, but the bullpen was superb in both games. They pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings, all of them coming in high-pressure scenarios. Griffin Jax, Brock Stewart, Caleb Thielbar, and Louie Varland combined on four hits over 5 1/3 innings and closer Jhoan Duran seized the moment better than anyone expected with five strikeouts and saving both games.

Bring on the Astros

The Minnesota Twins will face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. During the regular season, the Twins won four out of the six games these teams played against one another with the Twins outscoring the Astros 29–25. But remember the Twins did not face Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez, or Justin Verlander during those games.

Minnesota Better be Ready

The Twins had better be ready for an uphill battle. The Astros are the defending World Champions. Since the beginning of the 2017 season, they have won two World Series and four AL championships. They also boast a 13–4 record in playoff games in that time.

The Astros have home field advantage. This means the Twins will need to win at least one game at Minute Maid Park to advance to the American League Championship series. But if they play as well as they did against the Blue Jays, the Twins could make to the ALCS. This series will be an outstanding one to watch and follow.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Share "The Twins End their Misery" on social media:
More Minnesota Twins News
James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *