After rolling through the AL Wild Card and to the team's first playoff win in 18 attempts, the Minnesota Twins hit some turbulance in Houston.
This was to be expected, as the Astros are defending World Series champions and built to destroy other team's dreams in the postseason. There's a reason Houston has only missed the playoffs once since 2015 and have won a pair of World Series in the last nine years -- they're really good.
Baltimore might be the No. 1 seed in the American League, but Houston is the real problem for everyone left standing.
Minnesota is the first line of defense against the Astros getting back to the World Series, and Game 1 did not go the way fans were hoping it might. The Twins were able to battle back from a 5-0 hole and show the type of fight that gives fans hope things can turn around, but mistakes all over the place ended up costing them in the opener.
The Twins played well against Toronto, but caught some lucky breaks that helped them sail to victory. They'll need those breaks and more against Houston, and the team got a heavy dose of how slim the margin for error will be in the ALDS.
3 Twins to blame after 1-0 loss to Astros in ALDS Game 1
It was a brutal game for one of the Twins best young players. There's no nice way to put it -- Canadian or Minnesota -- Edouard Julien looked like a rookie in every sense on Saturday against the Astros.
Things didn't start off that bad, as he drew a leadoff walk against Justin Verlander and managed to double in his next at-bat. Everything went downhill from there, though, as Julien ruined his own luck with some bad baserunning that very same inning.
Royce Lewis hit into a fielder's choice, but it was Julien who got tagged out rather than Lewis. It seemed that Julien forgot how many outs there were, because he took off on contact from second base and right into Jeremy Pena who had fielded the ball.
Had Julien not run, Pena throws out Lewis at first instead of taking a runner in scoring position off the bases.
In the fifth inning, things hit rock bottom for Julien. He was punked so hard on a 2-2 curveball from Verlander that he lost both his bat and his helmet while flamboyantly striking out.
To be fair, Julien -- much like the Twins in general -- found a way to end things on a higher note than it otherwise seemed. He made a clutch defensive play in the eighth inning to save a run, something that almost outweighs his earlier mistakes given how his glove has always been the thing experts say might hold him back.