NYY 8, MIN 4: It’s Over
Image courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Brian Dozier hit a leadoff homer, Eddie Rosario added a two-run shot and the Twins were up 3-0 in the first inning. Hard to realistically imagine a better start for Twins fans. Luis Severino was bounced from the game after he recorded just one out. Just as euphoria began to sweep across Twins Territory, it was blown away just as quickly.
Ervin Santana gives up a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning. It’s OK, that’s just like a 0-0 ballgame, right? Santana gives up a homer to Brett Gardner in the bottom of the second to give the Yankees the lead.
The Twins answered in the third, tying the game, but they also stranded runners on second and third base for the second straight inning. Jose Berrios took over for Ervin and the Yankees took the lead right back. The next inning, Aaron Judge delivered the finishing blow in the form of a two-run homer. The Yankees scored their final run off the game when Alan Buesnitz walked in a run on four pitches.
There were plenty more downers in this one. The Twins were already forced to play without the injured Miguel Sano, but Byron Buxton was forced to leave this game in the bottom of the fourth due to a back injury he suffered while making another ridiculous catch in center field earlier in the game.
To add insult to injury -- literally -- Zack Granite, who replaced Buxton, provided an embarrassing moment in the top of the eighth inning when he stepped clear over first base and was tagged out. Just completely missed it.
Did that feel good? Going for a walk down Loser’s Lane? No, didn’t think so, and in the end that’s not what the 2017 Minnesota Twins season was all about.
Think about this: The Yankees are celebrating a playoff victory over the Twins right now. I realize that doesn’t sound like an unlikely scenario in the grand scheme of things, but flashback six months ago … hell, two and a half months ago ... and nobody could’ve seen this coming. Also, it took a homer from Judge, a guy who killed everybody this season, a dude who hit 52 homers and may win AL MVP, to really put away the Twins.
Tonight will not go down as a memorable one for Twins fans, but the 2017 season sure will. This team completed the biggest turnaround in franchise history and became the first team to go from 100 losses to the postseason. A group of young players gained playoff experience -- elimination game experience -- at Yankee Stadium. The loss is tough to swallow right now, but there’s no question this Twins team will be better for going through it.
My favorite story from this season was how after the trade deadline Paul Molitor wrote “No retreat, no surrender” on a whiteboard in the clubhouse. He was inspired by a Bruce Springsteen song he heard on his morning walk, Mike Berardino shared all the details in what is, in my opinion, the best piece of Twins writing from this season.
His team seemed to take that message to heart and stormed back for an improbable finish even its own front office didn’t see coming. Today, looking forward, another lyric from The Boss comes to mind.
Everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
The 2017 Minnesota Twins season may be dead, but this franchise appears to be in as good a shape as it’s been in quite some time. The future is bright. Here’s hoping someday we look back on 2017 as a springboard season that catapulted the Twins back to a championship run.
Postgame With Molitor
Postgame With Mauer
Postgame With Santana
Postgame With Dozier
What, that’s it? No, of course not! There is going to be plenty more analysis of this game and the entire 2017 season here at Twins Daily in the days to come. Tomorrow night I’ll be posting a recap of all the recaps, sort of a final sign-off from me, putting a nice bow on what has been an amazing experience for yours truly.
- Steve Lein, h2oface, Sconnie and 4 others like this