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 comes from the 2017 Wild Card game, but it was really something that Brian Dozier had done all season long – leading off the game with a home run.
Dozier’s 2017 season
After three very solid seasons at the keystone for the Twins, Dozier broke through with a monster 2016 season, when he hit 42 home runs and drove in 99 runs, in spite of the team losing more than 100 games. Many doubted whether he could repeat the feat in 2017.
Instead, he arguably had a more well-rounded season in 2017, hitting .271/.359/.498 with 34 home runs and 16 stolen bases, and he even won a Gold Glove for his steady work at second base.
However, it’s one of Dozier’s renowned attributes that has garnered him notice and led to this game being highlighted. Since 2013, no player has hit more home runs while batting from the leadoff position in the batting order (108 for Dozier, next closest is Charlie Blackmon with 105). He is second only to Blackmon in that same time in home runs leading off a game, with 27 to Blackmon’s 28.
After an incredible run in August and September to get there, the Twins earned the right to face the powerful Yankees in the Wild Card game. The Twins were tasked with facing against the Yankees’ Cy Young Award finalist Luis Severino in the game with his triple digit fastball.
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Dozier worked a 3-1 count on Severino, then took the next pitch deep to left-center for a solo home run to give the Twins an early lead. After a walk to Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario drove a ball down the right field line for another home run, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Twins fans know that the Yankees bullpen was able to stifle the Twins the rest of the way while the Yankees offense put up 8 runs, giving the Yankees an 8-4 victory in the Wild Card game.
Dozier enters his final season in 2018 with a chance to set himself up for a future 9-figure contract. More leadoff home runs in playoff games will certainly help his case!