Can The Twins Get the Monkey Off Of Their Backs?

Tonight, it was a good win for the Twins despite the fact the Yankees bullpen didn’t do very well, but we’ll take the win none the less. Now, if we can keep this up the next two games at Yankee stadium, I think it will get the monkey off of the Twins backs. In their past 37 games in the Bronx not including tonight’s win, the Twins are 6-31 since Ron Gardenhire took the reins from Tom Kelly back in 2002. This includes a 2-5 record in the playoffs.

Last season, the Twins managed to get a win against the Yankees in New York thanks to a grand slam by Jason Kuble off of reliever Mariano Rivera. Unfortunately, it didn’t materialize into more success against the Yankees except for one win at Target Field. In the end, we were swept in the playoffs last fall.

Now, here we are again with a good win tonight over the Bronx Bombers by a final of 5-4. Rafael Soriano walked three Twins batters in the eighth inning. One of those walks included a bases loaded walk to Joe Mauer which brought home the first run for the Twins. Delmond Young then hits a bases clearing double off of David Robertson, a right handed relief pitcher for the Yankees, tying the score at four. Mauer then drove in the game winning run in the tenth.

In looking ahead for the remainder of the two games in this four game set, I think the Twins have a shot of leaving the Bronx with a 3-1 series win over the Yankees. They have a good chance at beating tomorrow’s Yankee starter, Freddy Garcia, who the Twins have had success against in the past. And, they also do have a shot at beating A.J. Burnette, the Yankees starter on Thursday if Fransisco Liriano can have a solid outing.

Would I rely on the fact the Twins could beat these pitchers alone? No. The Twins need to hit better than they have in recent years against the Yankees. It will also mean that they need to take advantage of mistakes the Yankees make and they don’t usually make many. There were certainly plenty of mistakes made by the Yankees bullpen tonight and the Twins capitalized on it.

If the Twins are going to have any success against the Yankees this year in the playoffs, then they need to do better against the Yankees. If they can win one of these next two games in the Bronx and if they can win a couple from the Yankees come August at Target Field, I think the Twins are well on their way of having more success in the postseason against the Yankees. It would certainly be a psychological boost for the Twins come October.

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