Jose Berrios is B-Rabbit and Today is His 8-Mile Moment. His One Shot.

Photo: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins find themselves in a familiar position once again. They’re down in a postseason series, just hours away from playing a decisive must-win game. These are the exact moments when franchises trust their best pitchers to shepherd in a victory.

Kenta Maeda has had a magnificent year but Rich Hill’s season was rocky and Michael Pineda is a loose cannon. The Twins have groomed and prepped one guy to be their ace, for nearly a decade. That guy is Jose Berrios. Today, September 30, 2020; is his moment… 8-Mile style.

This afternoon, Jose Berrios is B-Rabbit. He is Eminem. The guy with all the talent, but can’t come through when it matters. This is his one shot, his one opportunity. We are the crowd. The Astros are his rap-battle opponent. Only he can decide whether he’s up against Lil’ Tic or Lotto. What are you gonna do, Jose?

Can’t Count on the Bomba Squad

The offense was only able to harvest one run vs the Astros in Game 1 and it’s become clear that Minnesota can’t bank on the “Bomba squad” to will them to a win. Look, one run on four hits (at home) isn’t going to cut it, no matter the pitcher. At this point, though, just don’t expect the Twins’ hitters to win a game on their own.

In last year’s playoffs against the New York Yankees, Minnesota put up a combined seven runs in three games. The vaunted “Bomba Squad” (that hit over 300 HR’s in 2019) must have an expiration date, come playoff season.

The Minnesota Twins need Jose Berrios to man their ship. He’s been declared a #1 starting pitcher since he was killing hitters in the minor leagues. If the two-time All Star wants to be in the discussion around the league of aces, here’s his chance.

Nobody in the sports world desperately needs a win more than the Minnesota Twins right now. They are the laughing stock of Twitter and the frauds of Major League Baseball. They’ve lost 17 playoff games in a row (and counting). If they succumb to Houston today, not only does that streak extend to 18, but their 2020 season is finished.

Jose’s One Shot

In a postseason where Minnesota can avoid the New York Yankees for at least two rounds, this feels like the year to make a run. The Twins’ AL Central rival, Chicago White Sox, are starting to mushroom and manifest into a contender, earlier than expected. The Twins’ core is suddenly getting a year older. Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson aren’t getting any younger but nobody’s clock is ticking like Jose Berrios’. It’s a clock he has a chance to reset this afternoon, though.

If Jose’s been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself… he won’t find one better than this. A must-win postseason game, with his team’s “back against the wall”, an 18-game playoff losing streak on the line, and on the verge of being swept by a below .500 Houston Astros team. Phew.

It’s up to Jose now. The ball is literally in his hands. Can he go out and show this Minnesota Twins organization, and their fanbase, that he is “The Guy”? On behalf of this entire fanbase, I beg him to do so. Please, put the state of Minnesota on your back, today, and guide us to a game-3, Jose. We need hope. You can provide that hope.

Don’t let us down.

Stephen Strom | Minnesota Sports Fan

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