Last Night’s 6-5 Twins win over the Tigers was one of the most emotionally charged wins so far this season. So much so that I actually forgot the Tigers scored a run in the ninth inning. Thanks to a college friend who’s gone out west with her husband to Moscow, Idaho for correcting me on the score.
Now back to the topic at hand since. A lot of the reason why this was an emotionally charged game would have to do with how the last 3 1/2 innings were played. Virtually every half inning with the exception of the bottom of the ninth had a lead change. Here’s a quick summary of some of the key hits in the game. Jim Thome hit his 601st career home run in the second to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The Motor City Kitties tied the score in the third inning on a Sacrifice fly from former Twin Delmon Young. Ben Revere made an outstanding catch on the play. Tigers would get the lead in the sixth on Jhonny Peralta’s solo home run, his 17th of the season. Rene Tosoni would give the Twins a 3-2 lead in the seventh on a two-run home run after two bunt attempts. in the bottom of the Seventh, the Tigers would tie the score. Thome made the score 4-3 in the top of the eighthth scoring Joe Mauer from second. Tigers would tie the score at 4 in the bottom of the inning on a bases loaded sac fly by pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit setting the stage for the ninth inning.
The ninth opened with a lead-off single from Rene Tosonioff Detroit’s closer Jose Valverde, who’s 35-35 in save situations. Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Ben Revere Reached on errors on Sacrifice bunts. Trevor Plouffe and Mauer would strike out setting the stage for Justin Morneau’s big two-out two-run game winning single.
Detroit would score a run in the bottom of the inning off of Joe Nathan, but the Twins would win 6-5 over the Tigers. This is the Twins first series win since they took three of four against the Kansas City Royals back in mid July. Since then they’ve only had one series split, against the Cleveland Indians.
Now here’s what I think this win could mean for the Twins. This win for the Twins could lead to the Twins getting back in the race for the Al Central Division. Currently, the Twins are in fourth place, 10.5 games back in the standings. To win the AL Central, they would have to climb over the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. All three of these teams are with in three games of each other with Detroit in first place.
The Twins can gain some ground this weekend since the Tigers and Indians have a three game series against each other this weekend. If Cleveland loses tonight to the White Sox and then wins two out of three to the Tigers, that would help the Twins if the Twins can get a series win against the Yankees, they would be at least 8 games out. The key here is the Indians don’t win all four of their next four games, Otherwise, it would be an 8.5 game lead over the Twins with Cleveland in first place if the Twins did get a three out of four series win. However, it should be noted that the Indians have played four less games than the Tigers.
But, the Twins would still have a hard climb to even get back to 500. They would have to win 27 of their remaining 40 games just to end the season with a 500 record. To even have a chance at winning the Al Central, the Twins would have to have a few more wins than that since it appears that it would take somewhere in the 80 win total to win it.
So, what does last night’s win got to do with this? Well, a win like this can help a team get into gear and propel them back into the race. However, a win like this can do nothing to improve the team. One thing is certain. If the Twins have any chance left at winning the AL Central, they’re going to have to take care of business against the Yankees at Target Field. Otherwise, if recent history is any indication of how the Twins will do against the Bronx Bombers, you can for sure say the season is over.