The Yankees didn't take long in putting the Twins away (again, and we'll get to that) in Game 2 of the ALDS. They won 8-1 and now have a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series and we have a shot to bury the Twins in Minnesota on Monday.
Let's take a look at some things to know about Game 2 and this series in general.
Exactly 15 years ago on Saturday, the Twins beat the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS. They haven't won a playoff game since. That's 15 straight postseason losses, one back of the 1975-79 Chicago Blackhawks for the record in all major professional sports. This isn't to say these Twins players can't get it done, because most of them have only been around for these two games and maybe the AL Wild Card Game in 2017. This is to say that Twins fans have been tortured in this time.
Making matters worse is that, once again, it's the Yankees. The Twins have lost 12 of those 15 games to the Yankees (the 2006 A's won the other three).
That's brutal. We feel for you, Minnesota Nice people.
The Twins were going with unseasoned rookie Randy Dobnak and . He didn't miss bats and allowed lots of hard contact. He was just overmatched by a savage group of talented hitters. His final line is pretty ugly.
The Yankees sent veteran Masahiro Tanaka to the hill and .
One reason the Twins probably didn't hit Tanaka well is that they feast on fastballs and only six of his 83 pitches were heaters. They are also one of the worst teams in the league at laying off breaking stuff outside the strike zone, which is Tanaka's trademark.
Quite a knight for Sir Didi
The Yankees were already somewhat in control of the game, but Didi Gregorius came through with in the third inning:
This is interesting: For decades, a shortstop had never hit a postseason grand slam. Now, there have been a few in the past six seasons.
It's a shortstop slam deluge!
EE stays hot
There are some things the 36-year-old Edwin Encarnacion can't do well anymore. Something he can still do is hit. He can take breaks and roll out of bed raking. Encarnacion hadn't played a game since Sept. 12 due to injury, but Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone decided to hit him cleanup in each of the first two games of the ALDS. In Game 1, he went 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI and added another RBI in Game 2.
The Twins' inflated win total
It's easy to get caught up here and gawk at "what the Yankees are doing to a 101-win team!"
Look deeper. While the Twins were a good team in the regular season, their win total is completely inflated due to how many terrible teams resided in the AL. The Twins were only 32-37 against teams with a winning record while picking up 69 against sub-.500 squads.
Their record against some of these teams further illustrates the difference in their true talent level and how we've judged 100-win teams in the past.
Just taking away those three historically bad teams puts the Twins at 67-51. Prorate that to 162 games and that's a 92-win team. That's probably about their true talent level.
The history of 0-2
Only four teams have ever come back from an 0-2 deficit in the best-of-five format:
- Red Sox over Indians, 1999 ALDS
- Red Sox over A's, 2003 ALDS
- Giants over Reds, 2012 NLDS
- Yankees over Indians, 2017 ALDS
That's the group the Twins are trying to join. One of those teams even won the World Series (Hint: It was an even year). Clearly, history is not in Minnesota's favor.