A Few Thoughts on Game 1


Image credit: photobucket user mokibomo

It is ridiculous for any team to beat one team so consistently, especially when the talent disparity between them isn’t that large. For years, the Yankees have been a better team than the Twins, but not that much better, and that gap has narrowed this season. On paper, this Twins team has a better starting rotation and a better bullpen, while New York has a slight advantage when it comes to offense. If nothing else, the Twins should have a .500 record against the Evil Empire this year, but they’ve won just two games. I don’t know what it is, but the Twins cannot beat the Yankees. Maybe it’s just a poor matchup: the Twins’ finesse pitchers vs. the Yankees’ power-hitters; maybe it’s just a run of poor luck; maybe there are other, psychological factors involved (which seems odd, since so few of the players on the current roster were on the team last year, and thus haven’t experienced much of the Twins’ futility against the Yankees).  I will be very surprised if the Twins manage to win a game in this series.

With last night’s loss, the Twins now have the longest active postseason losing streak, at ten games.  If they get swept, they’ll have the longest postseason losing streak in baseball history.   So there’s that.

I am not going to whine about the umpiring in last night’s game. I think we can all agree that, between the arbitrary strike zone and the missed calls, it was atrocious. But the umpiring has been pretty atrocious all year long, and there is no sense in beating a dead horse.

Also, how ’bout that Cliff Lee?   *Sigh*

UPDATE:  I was half-asleep when I wrote this, and there was one more thing I wanted to discuss but forg0t to actually type. Gardy seemed to resist the urge to over-manage this game (well, other than the first-inning bunt), and I find that encouraging.  The two moves that turned out to be pivotal:  leaving Francisco Liriano in to face Curtis Granderson and bringing in Jesse Crain to pitch the seventh, really can’t be considered tactical blunders even though they cost the Twins the game.  Sure, Liriano looked gassed, but Granderson has a positively Tolbert-esque line against lefties this season, so leaving Liriano in was definitely a risk worth taking.  The decision to bring in Crain was a sound one as well, since he’s actually been one of the most reliable members of the bullpen this season (one could actually argue that Crain struck out Teixeira on five or six pitches, but I won’t).