The Minnesota Twins with Germany’s Max Kepler have already been eliminated from the MLB playoffs after a 0-2 series defeat to the Houston Astros. You are continuing a historical series of failures and it seems that this has become a habit in Minneapolis. (You can find the highlights of Game 2 here!)
Yankees legend Yogi Berra would have said, “It’s Deja-vu again” had he seen the Minnesota Twins lose their way early in the MLB playoffs. And that would be an appropriate description. Once again the twins didn’t make it through the first round.
Even more: with two defeats to the Houston Astros in the new Best-of-3-Wildcard series of 2020, their almost unbelievable run of playoff failures has been extended to an impressive 18 games. Since ALDS Game 1 in 2004 with the New York Yankees and behind then-pitcher Johan Santana, the Twins have lost every playoff game they have played.
Meanwhile, with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, the Twins had two American League MVPs in their ranks, as well as a hugely successful rebuild in which they became a true home racing car around super slugger Nelson Cruz and youngsters. wild as Max Kepler developed. Since 2004, they have also had three different managers, all of whom have been voted Manager of the Year at least once.
Yet not a single playoff victory has been successful in this period, which they have participated in six times since 2004, five times as American League Central winners.
Minnesota Twins: Second consecutive division
After the Twins won 101 games last year, a good start and strong final sprint was enough for them this year to win the division crown again right ahead of the Indians and White Sox, as third best. team of the AL. In the run-up to the series against Houston, it was all about the drought coming to an end. As the best home team in the majors (24-7), they have received a bad away team (9-23). What could go wrong?
“It looked very similar to last year,” said pitcher Jake Odorizzi, whose only appearance in the series was a phone call with reporters after Game 2. Last year there was a sweep against the Yankees, who had dominated. every playoff series against the Twins since 2004. This time they were finally shunned, but against the Astros their own offense didn’t work at all.
Minnesota had a total of seven wins, plus one run per game. Also, there were no home runs after 91 in the regular season, the AL’s third biggest behind the White Sox and Yankees.
“It’s tough when you know you have the skills,” coach Rocco Baldelli said after the playoffs. “The Astros attacked us from the front. They also threw a lot of quick balls in different parts of the game. And we weren’t able to adapt.”
Minnesota Twins: Berrios’ early replacement raises questions
In addition to the inadequate offensive, some other events should also be questioned and discussed in the coming weeks and months. For example, Baldelli decided to replace the starter Jose Berrios after only 5 innings (2 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 SW) and 91 shots.
“I felt good. I felt strong and healthy,” Berrios said after the match. But even though the bullpen then made the decisive runs in the sixth and eighth inning, Berrios made the decision calmly: “What I always keep in mind is that we have a coach and a pitcher coach. We have authority on our bench. . Whatever the two decide, I will respect 100 percent. “
The twins’ at-bats looked mostly alike without a fight. There were frequent squabbles and thugs thrown to the ground in frustration, but the twins didn’t perform in a major sports fight. The exception was Eddie Rosario, who was thrown out of the game for his repeated protests against a home plate umpire strike call, including throwing his helmet to the ground.
The continuation of a worrying trend
An action that also weakened the team in the sixth inning. “These are important matches and it is very important to involve all our players and coaches,” Baldelli said of the action.
Ultimately, this was the only real thrill in a match that, from the intensity of the players, felt more like a jump training match, not necessarily a postseason match.
Even if 2020 were to represent one of the more unusual seasons in MLB history due to the corona pandemic, ultimately the realization remains that it wasn’t enough again if it really mattered. And that had nothing to do with the special conditions.
It was just a continuation of a troubling trend in Minnesota. To some extent, twins are surrounded by an aura of failure that is ultimately almost a given.