Sunday, October 10, 2010

Was it a dream?

I honestly woke up this morning feeling like this was all a dream.  It all happened so fast, and it was so familiar, that I assumed I had to be dreaming.  More like a nightmare.  So, over 8 months after the Twins reported to spring training, after all the highs and lows of another season of Twins baseball, here I sit trying to figure out how we got swept AGAIN by those damn Yankees! 

Though I had planned to blog a little bit during the series, I just couldn't bring myself back to the keyboard after the disappointment of game 1.  How quickly all of the high fives and fist pumps were replaced by sighs and shaking heads.  I didn't know it then, but the series changed the moment Curtis Granderson and his .234 batting average against left handers slid into 3rd base.  Before that moment, Liriano, who had held lefties to a .211 batting average for the year, had shown the dominance we expected of our ace, Target field seemed like a well earned home field advantage, and the invincibility of the Yankees was truly pushed to the back of our minds.  

Sure, Jose Mijares came in and wiggled out of the inning without further damage.  Yes, we were able to grind out another run courtesy of a bases loaded walk, but there was a different feeling in the air.  The shrugs came back, the doubts overcame our swagger, and the Twins of 2010 became the hard luck underdogs of so many years past.  When J.J. Hardy stood at the plate with a chance to sieze back the series in the 7th, it was Sabathia that made the big pitch, and Hardy that flailed helplessly at a ball out of the strike zone.  When Mark Teixiera deposited Jesse Crain's hanging slider into the right field bleachers, you could almost hear 40,000 fans exclaim, "here we go again!" When Jim Thome stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 7th to face righthander David Robertson, we should have been expecting to see the ball drop into Target Plaza.  The Yankees had already used up their only lefthanded reliever, Thome hit .302/.455/.698 against righties this year, and this was the season that the "Yankees curse" would finally be broken.  Instead, when strike three bounced off the dirt to end the inning, it didn't seem as surprising as it should have. 

From that point forward, the series went pretty much the same way.  Every time the Twins had a big opportunity, we were left shaking our heads.  It just never felt like we had a chance after the disappointment of game 1.  In the end, we didn't lose because the Yankees spent more money than us; we didn't lose because they worked harder than us; we didn't even lose because they were better than us.  In my humble opinion, we lost the series because we expected it to happen, and so did they.

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