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Article: It's Official: Twins/Molitor Agree To Three-...

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The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have reached a three-year contract extension with manager Paul Molitor.In his three seasons...

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http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...

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10/3 GAME NOTES: Twins Fail to Exorcise Bronx Demons, Fall to Yankees to End Cinderella Season

Posted by Brandon Warne , 04 October 2017 · 181 views

minnesota twins new york yankees ervin santana aaron judge
This is an excerpt of an original post; please read this article in full on Zone Coverage here.

For a half inning Tuesday night, the Minnesota Twins showed the New York Yankees the equivalent of a pair of middle fingers as they raced out to a 3-0 lead.

However, the rest of the night was all too familiar, as the Bronx Bombers outscored the Twins 8-1 the rest of the way for an 8-4 win at Yankee Stadium. The loss was the Twins’ 13th in a row in postseason play, dating back to Johan Santana outdueling Mike Mussina in Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS, which was played at the previous iteration Yankee Stadium, just across East 161st Street from where Tuesday’s game was played.

The final pitch came after midnight Eastern time, meaning these two teams came 24 hours shy of playing on the 13th anniversary of the Twins’ last playoff win. As it stands, the Twins haven’t won a playoff game in 4,747 days — a 13-game losing skid that is now tied with the Boston Red Sox (1986, ‘88, ‘90 and ‘95) for the longest in MLB history.

Fans will cite the history as though it means something, and frankly to them, it does. Through thick and thin, fans remain the same. But the faces change — on both sides, really — and so while the Twins have a staggering 33-91 record against the Yankees dating back to the beginning of the Ron Gardenhire era, the history doesn’t matter much to the players. Sure, they’re aware of it, but it’s just like why citing Joe Mauer’s career numbers against C.C. Sabathia aren’t as meaningful as they sound.

Mauer and Sabathia might have an extensive history replete with a lot of battles, but neither even remotely resembles the player they were when they squared off in Joe’s MLB debut in 2004.

Winston Churchill may have said that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, but the honest-to-goodness fact was the Twins simply didn’t have the horses to keep up with the Yankees.

With that said, on any given day, an MLB team can beat any other — and for a while, it seemed like the Twins had a good chance.

Brian Dozier ambushed a 3-1 fastball to lead the game off with a home run, and five pitches in, the Twins had a 1-0 lead. After Mauer hit a pop foul to third, Jorge Polanco walked and Eddie Rosario hit a laser into the right field seats, and just 17 pitches into the game, the Twins had a 3-0 lead and had stud righty Luis Severino reeling.

The Twins had jumped him in his mid-September starter for three runs as well, but that took three innings rather than four batters.

It didn’t stop there, as Eduardo Escobar hit a sizzling liner into center for a single, and took third when Max Kepler was credited with a double to right on a ball Aaron Judge mishandled for just a brief second.

Maybe most write-ups of the game won’t focus in on this point, but we will — this is where manager Joe Girardi more or less won the game. Rather than sticking with the righty who was for all intents and purposes the third-best starter in the American League all season, he turned the game over to the bullpen with just one out in the first inning.

That is, the bullpen with the best strikeout rate in baseball — one that rolled five deep before any of their relievers could be considered a peer with what the Twins were working with. Like all relievers, much of the Yankees ‘pen ebbed and flowed as the season went along. Probably the most consistent performer all season long was Chad Green, and that’s who Girardi went to with one out, runners on second and third and a game teetering on the precipice.