by Thomas U. Tuttle
The Minnesota Twins concluded their 2017 season with a 5-1 victory over Detroit and a 85-77 record for the full campaign.
Not too bad when you consider that in 2016 they posted the worst record in the majors at 59-103. The increase of 26 victories is among the greatest improvements from 100 losses in baseball annals.
The team stayed competitive through July and into August, then went 20-10 during an exceptional run that has culminated in the final Wild Card spot and a chance to play the New York Yankees in a single, winner-take-all Tuesday night contest.
This is no best-of-three or best-of-five – – the type of series where the Yankees might be expected to use depth, talent and playoff savvy to knock out the “comeback kids.”
After all, over the last few years the Bronx Bombers have won roughly three games to every one they have lost to Minnesota.
But here’s the beauty of the situation for Twins fans: this youthful ballclub with a couple of key veterans gets to rally behind tough Ervin Santana and throw offensive caution to the winds.
Get him some run support, play solid defense, let the pressure (which is surely on New York) mount – and win just ONE GAME to advance to a best-of-five versus Cleveland – a team that has occasional difficulty with Minnesota.
This is doable! Head out to NYC and simply steal one night game on October 3rd, take the luxury motor coach back to JFK and fly home to get ready for the Indians.
New York was occasionally brilliant this year and nearly caught the Boston Red Sox to avoid this challenge – but they did not. One-and-done is the reality facing a team that no doubt feels they deserve better than what they are facing.
Oh well… Super Slugger Aaron Judge and company better bring their A-game, or things could end quickly. The Twins have emerged from the depths to grab a spot at the dance, pulling off a couple near-miracles enroute.
Why not one more? This one is there for the taking – GET AFTER IT BOYS!