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Brendan Harris grounded to shortstop. Derek Jeter fielded the ball cleanly and made the throw to Mark Teixeira at 1B. The Twins season is over. I’m drained, so I can only imagine the emotions being experienced by the Twins players and coaching staff. What a run the Twins went through over the past four weeks. They were five games under .500 and seven games behind the Tigers. Next thing you know, the Twins went 16-4 and forced a Game 163 against the Tigers. That produced one of the best games in Twins history and put the Twins into the playoffs. The Twins were swept by the Yankees but showed a lot. They could have won two games out of the three they played. They got very strong starts from Nick Blackburn and Carl Pavano. Denard Span, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer all played well. Just too many mistakes, on the bases, some on pitch selection, both by the pitchers and the hitters, and more. The better team won, but the Twins still could have won two games.
It’s been a fun run. It’s been a terrific end to the season. The team had plenty of obstacles that they were able to overcome to get to the playoffs. As I’ve said, I’m proud to be a Twins fan these days.
- Nick Punto took a lot of blame in this game. After leading off the 8th inning with a double, his base running really hurt the Twins. Denard Span hit a bounding ball up the middle. Punto put his head down and ran, fully believing he was on his way to tying the game. He forgot that the ball could be played by the shortstop, and was actually fielded quite easily. Punto finally looked at B very late, slid to a stop and tried to get back to 3B, but he was thrown out for the first out of the inning. It would have been 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Instead, there was only one runner on and an out.
- Jason Kubel had a rough series. If these were regular season games, he probably would not have played, certainly not B CC Sabathia, and maybe not against Andy Pettitte.
- Carl Pavano was incredibly impressive. He gave up two solo home runs in the top of the 7th inning that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The pitch to Alex Rodriguez was on the outside corner. The pitch to Jorge Posada was down and outer half. Not horrible pitches. He struck out nine and walked none. He throw nothing straight the whole night. I was very much impressed.
- It’s frustrating when the Twins bench consisted of Mike Redmond, Carlos Gomez, Alexi Casilla and Brian Buscher. Doesn’t give the manager many options.
There really isn’t a lot to say about the game. It was what it was. It was far closer than the 4-1 score indicated. The Twins had their chances in Games 2 and 3. It just didn’t happen. And no, that isn’t the manager’s fault. In fact, it’s hard to argue with any of the decisions that Ron Gardenhire made in this series. So, don’t bring out the whole playoff record, or record against the Yankees. It is what it is, and I just don’t think that the manager has had much to do with that.
There isn’t much more to say. The Twins gave its fans quite the run down the stretch. It was a ton of fun, and I hope we all were able to enjoy the ride. If you would like to listen to last night’s podcast, click here. If you have any questions or comments, click here.