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Did ‘ya Hear the News?

September 28, 2017

Just two days ago I wrote about the Twins having a magic number of two to make it into the postseason. Well, the Minnesota Twins have just done what many – myself included – thought was impossible and in about 126 hours our hometown nine will be entering fall baseball and playing in the MLB postseason as the second Wild Card team and play either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox in the one-game play in game.

For me there’s no sport that comes close to baseball and when we’re talking baseball there’s nothing that equals postseason baseball and when your team is a part of postseason baseball . . . damn, where are the words?

First, congratulations to the Twins’ players, manager Paul Molitor, team staff and management for bringing some postseason baseball back to Minnesota. I don’t care if it’s just one game or four games or 20 games; this is baseball and this is the postseason and this is what it’s all about.

The last time the Twins were in the postseason was in 2010. We had won the AL Central with a 94-68 record and then went on to lose the AL Division Series to the New York Yankees in three straight games over four nights. (If it’s any consolation, the Yankees then went on to lose to the AL Championship Series to the Texas Rangers) What followed were some dreadful years where we finished in last place with 90+ losses. In 2015 it looked like we had turned the corner by finishing with a respectable 83-79 season but then last year’s campaign saw us tumble to an embarrassing MLB worst record of 59-103.

But, hey, that was then and this is now, and now says the 2017 Twins have set a MLB record by going from having the most losses in a season to making the postseason the following season.

Did I mention that the Twins are in the postseason? Or that I’m excited?

Who knows how it’ll play out but today it’s looking like we’ll be playing the Yankees next Tuesday in the Wild Card play in game.

The assumption is that staff ace Ervin Santana (16 – 8; .3.36 ERA; 1.134 WHIP; 173 hits/85 runs) will be making Tuesday’s start, but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. Yeah, Santana is pretty good so you’d think you want your best pitcher on the mound in a win-or-go-home game, but if Santana starts the Wild Card game that means (assuming the Twins win) he’ll only get one start in the American League Division Series instead of two. If I’m managing the team, I’d want him on the mound for two in the ALDS. Also, assuming it’s the Yankees we have to play (which isn’t a guarantee at this point) Santana’s numbers against the Yankees aren’t so spectacular.

Santana’s numbers against the Yankees in 20 career starts: 5.66 ERA; 1.517 WHIP; 138 hits/81 runs

Those numbers are a little better against the Red Sox in 15 career starts: 5.17 ERA; 1.264 WHIP; 82 hits/52 runs.

If it were me taking this team through the postseason and toward a 2017 World Series I’d have Kyle Gibson as my Wild Card Game pitcher. While Gibson had a horrible first half (16 games: 5-7; 6.31 ERA, 1.770 WHIP; 106 hits/61 runs), he rebounded brilliantly in the second half and over 12 starts he put up a great 7-3 record with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.247 WHIP while allowing 69 hits and 29 runs. I’d start Gibson and keep him on a short leash and if he runs into trouble then I’d pull him as early as the second inning and bring in Jose Berrios and go from there.

But that’s just me and I’m just a fan and all I care about is that the Twins are in the postseason!


Go Twins!

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