Minnesota Twins: How the Twins let Game 1 slip away

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 04: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after striking out against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 04: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after striking out against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 04: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run against Cody Stashak #61 of the Minnesota Twins during the sixth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 04: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run against Cody Stashak #61 of the Minnesota Twins during the sixth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Yankees took advantage of their opportunities

Sometimes baseball can be a really simple game. While the object of the game to hit a round ball with a round bat can be quite complicated, the key to coming through in the clutch can be as simple as slowing the game down and making good decisions. For the Yankees, that’s what they wound up doing all night long to come away with the victory.

After the Twins took a 2-0 lead on solo home runs from Polanco and Cruz, the Yankees were able to cash in during the bottom of the third inning in a series of unfortunate events. D.J. LeMahieu would hit a pop up off the end of his bat, but Luis Arraez would be one step short of squeezing the ball in his glove for an out.

Like sharks smelling blood, the Yankees would capitalize immediately, loading the bases on an Aaron Judge single and Edwin Encarnacion double. Jose Berrios would appear to get Gleybar Torres to ground into an inning-ending double play, but C.J. Cron couldn’t get the pick on a low throw from Luis Arraez and the Yankees would take the lead 3-2.

After the Twins tied the game on a Polanco single, the Yankees would tee off on Zack Littell in the fifth before the bases would eventually be loaded for Torres. This time, the Yankees’ second baseman would cash in with a double that would give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

The Yankees extended their lead with a pair of home runs in the sixth inning, another clutch situation would present itself and the Yankees would cash in with a LeMahieu double off Kyle Gibson that would blow the game open in the seventh inning.

In all, those situations accounted for seven of the Yankees’ 10 runs on the night. Just as much as the Twins needed to come through at the plate, a couple more well-composed plays could have given Minnesota a chance to steal Game 1.

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