If you Punch the Twins, They will Knock You Out

PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

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The Minnesota Twins improved their record to 20-11 on Saturday when they dusted up the Yankees 7-3 at Yankee Stadium. Embarrassingly, it was the Twins’ first win in the Bronx since 2016… Yeah, the Yankees still play in the American League… But enough about our embarrassing past. Just like most Minnesota sports teams (except the Timberwolves) we’re all moving away from the losing attitude of our past, as we lead the future of Minnesota into a winning culture.

Hold on, let me get off of my soap box…

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Alright, back to this new Twins team. Rocco Baldelli seems to have created the type of upbeat team atmosphere and chemistry that he envisioned when he took the job this offseason. His college pitching coach has come to the MLB and has schooled the league for over a month now, taking a bad pitching staff from last season (with some minor tweaks) and has made them.. above average?

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Meanwhile, the new sticks (and old ones) on offense have turned the “pitcher’s ballpark” that was Target Field, into a bad joke about how shitty our teams have been offensively, since moving into the “new” digs. This new and improved Twins’ lineup is dropping more bombs and breaking more hearts than Jimmy Stewart during WWII.

But, it’s the clubhouse that seems to make this team special. They have that “it” factor, it seems from the outside. All of the different personalities look like they are meshing together in that weird, but perfect, way that a baseball team needs to be successful.

And, the hard evidence of that perfect locker room has shown itself after the Twins have taken L’s this season. They look like Mohamad Ali out there taking half-landed jabs and returning them with knockout haymakers. The counterstrikes started early. After winning on Opening Day vs Cleveland, the bats struggled in game 2 and the Twins lost 2-1. Clearly taking the offensive struggle from game 2 personally, we only demanded Carlos Carrasco’s self-esteem in return for game 3, winning in a route 9-3.

Then, something called interleague play happened, where pitchers apparently hit… I don’t know, there are some weird places in this world. Anyway, it was a back and forth see-saw ride with that whole experiment… Again, if you punch the 2019 Twins, then get ready to get popped the next day.

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From there, we swept Detroit (btw… we are 6-1 vs the AL Central) before flying to Toronto, where the Twins hit the low (so far) of their 2019 rollercoaster, losing 3 of 4. They’ve lost two series so far this season: the aforementioned 4-gamer vs Toronto and then losing 2 of 3 on the road vs the Houston Astros.

Unfortunately for the Baltimore Orioles, they have been the follow-up opponents to both of those losing series. The Twins have taken out their anger on the poor O’s for all 6 of those games too, doing things to their pitching staff that are VERY illegal in 49 states (excluding Wisconsin)…

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Speaking of the Houston Astros, they may have landed a good roundhouse to the Twins’ jaw a few weeks ago, taking 2 of 3 in the first series (while we were still avoiding police following the first 3 games vs. Baltimore), but they underestimated the Twins 2019 counter-attack when they played again a week later… and that’s not a mistake you want to make.

After splitting the first two games of that next series between the two teams (and getting embarrassed in game-2 — 11-0), the counter-punches came fast, hard, and in the right spots to finish out the 7-game season series. The Twins would outscore the Astros 14-4 in the final 2 games, chasing them out of the Twin Cities and lighting the home fanbase on fire.

And that leads me to the worst Twins baseball game I’ve watched this season. Friday vs the Yankees, the Twins played like dog shit. They were throwing the ball all over the place and looked sloppy. The bats that came in on fire, couldn’t hit the ball out of the Little League ballpark that is Yankee Stadium. Add on some terrible umpiring behind the plate and the game was excruciating to watch.

So, I knew Saturday would be fun. Because this Twins’ team clearly doesn’t sleep well when they play like shit. And, they didn’t disappoint:

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And now the Twins are back at the top of the American League and have a chance to win a series in New York, which hasn’t taken place since 2014 and has only happened a total of 3 times since 1992…. (according to mcubed.net). Again, the Yankees and Twins both still play in the American league and have games in New York every year.

But those other years don’t matter. Because this is a different Twins team. A different MINNESOTA culture. You can smell it changing…

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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