Wild Card Game 1 – Astros at Twins

For the 3rd time in four years the Twins are in the playoffs and somehow this time it feels different. Sure we are living in a pandemic, just had a 60 games season and eight teams made the playoffs, so of course it feels different. But this year the Twins just seem to have a shot, especially if Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson are able to play. EDIT: Bux in, Donaldson out.

The hated Astros are in town and you just know just about everyone outside of the Houston area will be rooting for the Twins to easily dispatch of those cheaters. Rich Hill has been especially outspoken about his disdain for the Astros and what they did to baseball and even though he probably won't pitch this series I hope his hatred rubs off on his teammates.

Kenta Maeda on the mound for the Twins (another guy who may have some thoughts on the Astros) and easily the Twins ace this year and richly deserves the opening slot. Zach Grienke pitching for the Astros and while he started strong this year, has labored recently. Let's hope it's a trend.

Game time is at 1:08p this afternoon televised on ABC and lots of radio outlets and streaming platforms. Weather should be perfect for fall baseball.

1. Luis Arraez, 2B
2. Byron Buxton, CF
3. Max Kepler, RF
4. Nelson Cruz, DH
5. Eddie Rosario, LF
6. Miguel Sano, 1B
7. Jorge Polanco, SS
8. Ryan Jeffers, C
9. Marwin Gonzalez, 3B

115 thoughts on “Wild Card Game 1 – Astros at Twins”

      1. I took the Chinatown bus up that morning, visited New York for the first time, found a way to a friend's apartment in Queens to crash on her couch for a few hours in the middle of the night despite not having a working cell phone, and then took the train back to get to work in DC the next day.

  1. Honest Abe missed virtual kindergarten yesterday for Yom Kippur so he has an extra day's worth of schoolwork to get caught up on. He just shut down his computer, lied down on the couch, and told us he was all caught up.

    Nice try, bub.

    1. If it makes you feel any better, the trinket spent the first three weeks of virtual school not doing any of her math assignments, but telling us she didn't have any. She's all caught up now, but that was a lot of fun.

      1. The plate discipline is encouraging across the board. If the pitch count gets run up, that's a good thing.

          1. Frankly, when Cruz didn't ground into a double play, I started to feel like things might be different for once.

            They might not be, but... they also might.

            1. Don't forget, the Twins had the lead in practically every playoff game against the Yankees.

  2. I love Kenta Maeda. Him wriggling out of that felt like the type of thing where the Twins would not have been so successful at in years past. Long way to go, but this feels better at least.

    Spoiler SelectShow
  3. Did the homeplate umpire just vomit after ball four to Arraez?

    It sure looked like he bent over and let loose a huge amount of liquid while the catcher was jumping to make a throw.

      1. He has cloth mask on and didn't remove his facemask, so it's pretty much impossible. Still, it was a really weird optical illusion from something.

    1. He looked great. Who knows what tomorrow holds, so I send him back out with Duffey getting loose quickly.

  4. Wish he would have made the play before, but heads up by Marwin to run after the incoming runner than try to put down a tag at the base

      1. Before the series I was looking at their starting pitcher, and he was the only one who really worried me.

  5. Runs Scored for the Twins in each playoff game going back to the start of the 1991 World Series

    1 (this game), 1, 2, 4, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 5, 4, 6, 2, 1, 1, 1, 3, 5, 1, 1, 3, 2, 5, 11, 3, 1, 7, 1, 4, 5, 2, 4, 3, 5

    1. All of them - do or die if they can’t come back.

      Or do you mean, how many will be effective tomorrow?

      I have to say, a 1-4 day feels huge from Sano when none of his at-bats resulted in a K.

    1. I reached the acceptance stage of this tragedy in 2010 game 2 (the exact moment was when Berkman wasn't called out on strikes - I knew right then he was about to homer). Now, while I would love for them to win, I am not nearly as invested as I would have been before that moment.

      (I vaguely remember spending most of Game 3 with DK and others almost laughing at the futility at a sports bar somewhere. Was anyone else there?)

  6. It's pretty much all just rotten luck and a half a damn foot that's made the difference in all of these losses. They all feel about the same. Balls that are absolutely smoked? Directly at a fielder. Pitches on the corner that could have gotten them out of a jam? Not called. That being said, this one hurts the most.

    It's a team under .500, Kenta was great, and they should have been out of that 8th inning with no damage. And now they've burned up their best relievers, are going to be playing an elimination game, and I get to spend the next 24 hours hearing about their 17th straight postseason loss. I'm livid about Polanco's horse shit side arm sling of the ball to 2B. Just get the ball over there, good god. Do they maybe lose later? Sure! But it would feel better than a run walked in on Romo's 3rd best pitch after the bases were loaded on two duck farts and an absolutely brutal error on about the easiest possible throw.

    1. On the bright side, we lost to the Astros this time! They're a franchise who plays the game the right way, right?

    2. I think of the phrase "Frustration is a component of expectation" as I read this.

      I was remarkably upset last season because I had expectations that this record setting offense was in a position to win.

      This year - I have lowered my expectations. From a betting standpoint I see the Twins as slight favorites - particularly playing at home.

      I know many here disagree with me - but I think the players feel a level pf pressure to break the postseason losing streak that they have not been able to overcome. This just wasn't a team that made such head scratching errors of laziness or walked in a run during the regular season.

      1. walked in a run during the regular season

        There were 6092 walks allowed this season, 140 with the bases loaded. Pittsburgh led with 11 while the Twins were in the middle at 4. Also at four: Cardinals, Cubs, Yankees, Atlanta, Marlins, and Astros. Rockies, Orioles, and Tigers all had three. Romo has done it eight times in his career and three times with the Twins. His last time was, of course, on Sunday. I'd sooner attribute this to unfortunate timing of a slump than postseason jitters. The dude has pitched in three World Series and yet to give up a run in them.

        1. Its amazing how many "unfortunate timing" plays happen to the Twins in the postseason before they are swept out of it every year.

          1. Might as well ask the Tigers how they felt playing Cleveland the last two years. They lost 20 in a row and then won the series that broke the streak.

            1. Its hard to do whataboutism when your team has the all time record for playoff futility.

              I continue to wait for that win that will put an end to this streak and hope it will open the postseason floodgates.

              1. No, I mean we have to access 16 years of faulty memories to focus on, to obsess on, to get wrong, while Tigers' fans have it all in recent memory. It's not whataboutism when comparing two improbable streaks of similar nature.

    3. I don't see this one as bad luck. It's hard to win when you get four hits and one run. It's hard to win when you go 0-for-7 with men in scoring position. It's hard to win when you make an error that gives the other team the bases loaded in the ninth inning. It's hard to win when you walk in the go-ahead run.

      Could things have gone better for them? Sure. But they lost today because they didn't play well enough to win.

      1. Pretty much agreed, although the error didn't lose the game, nor did the BB - it's the number 1 under runs scored that lost the game, just like all the other one run playoff losses. When you can only score one run, there is no leeway for anything but perfection, and no team let alone the Twins play well enough to pull that off

    4. I think Gleeman or someone tweeted that four of the five hardest hit balls yesterday were hit by Twins and all four of them were outs.

Comments are closed.