Rocco Baldelli got outmanaged in Game 1
I can not pretend to know what all goes into being a major league manager, but my gut feeling after watching this game is that Baldelli got outmanaged in the first game of this series. While his lineup was fine, his decisions with the bullpen were a head-scratcher as he relied on several arms with zero postseason experience to keep the game close.
To begin the struggles, the Twins would turn to Littell in the top of the fifth only to see him cough up a pair of hits and put Tyler Duffey in a tough spot. Although the veteran Duffey would get out of the inning, he would also give up a run, which gave the Yankees the momentum they needed.
But even after that decision, more Baldelli errors would help dig a deeper hole in the Twins. He would lean on another reliever making his postseason debut in Stashak, who coughed up a pair of solo home runs. Then he would go to Gibson, who has struggled after dealing with ulcerative colitis for the past month, but because he’s meant so much to the organization’s stretch of losing seasons in the 2010s, it was a great spot to have him make his postseason debut.
As much as it stinks for the Twins to lose this game, which was the franchise’s MLB-record 14th straight postseason loss, they have an opportunity to even things up on Saturday and it begins with simply making better decisions.