3 Twins that deserve blame after 9-1 loss to Astros in ALDS Game 3

It was a bad afternoon of baseball all around for the Twins on Tuesday.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages
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The top of the order

It was a really bad day for the Twins best hitters, who went ice cold at the worst possible time.

Minnesota has struggled all postseason with RISP, but they were particularly awful in Game 3 and a lot of that had to do with the top of the order's inability to put the ball in play. The Twins went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, only managing to get a run on the board after Houston had turned to its bullpen.

Side note: Minnesota being able to get to the Astros bullpen is actually an encouraging sign, but it was once again too little too late.

Two specific moments of the Twins best hitters coming up empty stood out as particularly frustrating in Game 3.

In the bottom of the third, with two on and no outs, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Royce Lewis all went down in order. It was once again an instance of the Twins leaving runners stranded in scoring position, but it also squandered an early opportunity to chip away at a 4-0 deficit and start to steal some momentum back from Houston.

Later in the fifth inning, the Twins loaded the bases with one out only to watch Kepler strike out looking and Lewis get sent down swinging at a pitch way outside of the zone. The crowd had come back to life throughout the course of this mini-rally but were left holding an empty bag after getting silenced by their own offense.

Minnesota's offense had been clicking over the last two games, with the four-run rally in Game 1 creating momentum that carried over to a six-run game on Sunday night. All of that mojo went away on Tuesday, as the team's best hitters failed to produce.

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