For the first time in three years the Minnesota Twins are back in the postseason, but that’s not the number everyone is focusing on.
Minnesota is attempting to win its first playoff game in 18 years — not a series, just a single game. It’s been since October 2004 that the Twins won a game in the postseason, and it’s a streak that has been haunting everyone involved ever since.
While it’s cliche to talk yourself into things being better this time, it does feel like the Twins have a team built to win in October. Everything is lining up for the curse to mercifully end, from the Blue Jays being a team the Twins have historically owned in the postseason being the first round matchup to Yankees broadcasters being on hand to call the series like ghosts of the past.
More practically, the Twins have never entered October with pitching as strong as the team has this year. Sonny Gray turned in a Cy Young-worthy campaign this season while Pablo Lopez went to the All-Star game and fully delivered on the expectations fans had for him when he was acquired back in January. Even the offense, which had been struggling most of the season has hit its stride.
The lead up to the postseason has also given a few guys time to get healthy, as the Twins will need all the help they can get to end one of the worst losing streaks in sports.
Latest Carlos Correa injury update is the best possible news
If we’re talking impact players who can help the Twins end the streak, Carlos Correa is at the top of the list. This exact scenario is why Minnesota gave him $200 million this offseason, but there were doubts that he would actually be able to contribute.
Correa has been dealing with plantar facsiitis all season, and it flared up on him at the worst possible time. He’s been on the IL since September 20th, and there was some anxiety about his status for the AL Wild Card.
To the surprise of almost nobody, Correa announced on Monday that he would be ready to go when the Twins begin their AL Wild Card series against Toronto.
"I've been able to do pretty much everything,” Correa said. ”Ground balls, hit, some live at-bats, run, I've been doing everything. I feel good."
There was a small chance that Correa might not be health for the Wild Card, but it’s pretty hard to overstate how small the chance was. Not only do the Twins expect their $200 million man to make an impact when it counts, it sounds like Correa is ready to tear things up and prove the doubters wrong.
He was trolled by bitter New York Mets fans early in his struggles at the plate this year, but it was angst the trickled down to Minnesota. Fans booed Correa at various points during his slump, something he acknowledged and ultimately used as motivation to turn things around.
Minnesota will need the clutch version of Correa the Houston Astros benefited from so many years in a row, and it sounds like he’s going to put his best foot forward starting Tuesday.
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