NEW YORK 8, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, October 5.
Batting stars: Torii Hunter was 3-for-4. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.
Pitching star: Eric Milton pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and striking out two.
Opposition stars: David Wells pitched 7.2 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out four. Derek Jeter was 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk. Jason Giambi was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Jorge Posada was 2-for-5.
The game: Well, it was good for three innings. The Twins got a man to second in both the second and third, but could not get him farther. The Yankees had only one hit, and did not advance the man past first.
Then came the fourth. Jeter struck out, but Giambi and Bernie Williams hit back-to-back doubles to get New York on the board. Posada singled to put men on first and third. Hideki Matsui hit a ground-rule double to make it 2-0. Aaron Boone popped up and Juan Rivera was intentionally walked to load the bases. It backfired, as Nick Johnson doubled home two and Soriano singled home two more. It was 6-0 Yankees, and the game and the series were pretty much over at that point.
They played the remaining five and a half innings, of course. The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive singles by Hunter, Pierzynski, and Michael Cuddyer. The Yankees scored in the eighth when Boone singled, stole second, and scored on a bunt single-plus-error by Rivera. The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the eighth to drive Wells from the game, but did not score. Jeter homered leading off the ninth.
WP: Wells. LP: Johan Santana. S: None.
Notes: The Twins used their standard lineup with the exception of Cuddyer at DH. Shannon Stewart was in left and Jacque Jones in right. There were no in-game lineup substitutions.
Santana was dealing with a hamstring issue, which is likely why he could not keep it going after three innings. His line was 3.2 innings, six runs, six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
The Twins were outscores sixteen to six in the series. Six runs over four games, and three in the last three, is not likely to get the job done.
Little did we know the string of post-season futility this series began.
Record: The Twins lost the best-of-five series, three games to one.