Minnesota Twins top 2017 moments: A forgettable Memorial Day

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Ervin Santana
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Ervin Santana /

The Minnesota Twins had an incredible run to the playoffs in 2017. Let’s remember some of the best moments of the year!

The Minnesota Twins had an incredibly fun season to follow as a fan. To close out the calendar year of 2017, we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments of the season!

Our next moment was a rough Memorial Day weekend, culminating in an historically bad Memorial Day game!

Memorial Day weekend

The Minnesota Twins entered their weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays in first place in the American League Central with a record of 25-18, coming off of a 3-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

The first two games of the Rays series were typical games, splitting the two, with a 5-2 Friday loss and a 5-3 Saturday victory. However, Sunday’s game set up what would be an incredible Monday.

On Sunday, the Twins and Rays played 15 innings, with the Rays coming out on top 8-6. Typically reliable closer Brandon Kintzler blew a 2-run lead in the 9th inning, leading to extra innings.

In the end, the Minnesota Twins used 9 pitchers, including Friday night’s starter Hector Santiago. The game took 6 hours and 26 minutes. After the game and the other games of the weekend, the Twins found themselves in desperate need of arms.

The Minnesota Twins placed Justin Haley on the disabled list and sent Kennys Vargas to Rochester. To ensure the team had enough arms for the Houston Astros series, they brought up Jason Wheeler and Drew Rucinski from Rochester.

Memorial Day vs. Astros

Not many would have predicted at the beginning of the season that the Memorial Day matchup between the Twins and Astros would have pitted two first-place clubs. Many saw it out of the Astros, but the Twins were surprising skeptics everywhere.

Also surprising skeptics was starting pitcher Ervin Santana, who was coming off of his second shutout of the season his previous start, leading the league with 7 wins and sporting an impressive 1.80 ERA coming into the start.

Santana continued his dominance, shutting down the powerful Astros lineup for 7 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. The Twins had tagged the Astros for 7 runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-2 lead when Santana exited the game, and they added another run in the bottom of the 7th to take an 8-2 lead into the 8th inning, when the game was turned over to the bullpen.

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That’s when everything went upside down for the Twins. Ryan Pressly opened the inning by giving up a walk to Josh Reddick, hitting Jose Altuve with a pitch, then singles to Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran, and Marwin Gonzalez, with only a Brian McCann pop up resulting in an out.

Pressly was then pulled, bringing in Craig Breslow. Breslow, however, fared no better than Pressly. He allowed a single to Alex Bregman, an RBI ground out to Evan Gattis, then a single to George Springer. A double to Josh Reddick brought in 2 runs, and put the Astros in front.

They weren’t done, however. Matt Belisle replaced Breslow, and he tagged a single. Carlos Correa followed with a walk, and Carlos Beltran drove a 2-2 pitch deep down the right field line for a 3-run home run. Belisle got McCann to line out on a screaming drive to left to finally end the inning.

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Those three were the only arms available from the previous bullpen members for the game, so recent call up Drew Rucinski was handed the 9th inning and essentially told it was his inning. He allowed a 2-run home run to Bregman, a walk and two more singles, with just a pop out to third base mixed in.

Carlos Correa grounded out to drive in another run before Beltran mercifully grounded the ball right at Correa, striking him in the basepath, causing him to be called out and ending the inning.