Another Yankees sweep. To say we were “owned” by the Bronx Bombers this year would be an understatement. The Twins record against New York is now a very unhealthy 0-7.
Tuesday’s game was horrible for the Twins as they got thoroughly out-played by the Yankees and lost 10-2. But, these things happens to even the best teams now and again, so any baseball fan can expect this to occur a few times every season. Anyway, there wasn’t much to talk about regards the Twins, except perhaps a fine defensive play by Carlos Gomez, but if that’s the only highlight of your team’s night, something is very wrong. Still, all credit to the Yankees who got their noses ahead early and really took the game to Scott Baker. Meanwhile, CC Sabathia backed up all the New York batting heroics with another composed, steady, and dominating performance.
Sure, Wednesday’s game was a tighter affair, but the Twins still lost, and that’s what matters. They may as well have been totally blown out again, but instead went down 4-3. Yeah, we could talk about how the Twins took the game to the Yankees this time, or how they kept fighting back, but it was still not enough. Again, the Yankees got ahead early and really worked last-minute replacement pitcher Anthony Swarzak hard to complete their sixth victory in a row over a dispirited Minnesota line up.
On Thursday, the Twins didn’t fare too well either, and the sweep was completed by the Yankees with a 6-4 victory. The loss put Minnesota back at the .500 mark again. Detroit and Chicago still have to face the Yankees and the Red Sox in the coming months (as well as the Rays), while Minnesota will be happy to be shot of the main AL East contenders, “only” having to entertain the Orioles in August and visiting Toronto in September for four games.
Much discussion emerges after these close games about how the Twins “just can’t seem to get a break” or how they’re “one hit away from winning”, but frankly the Yankees outplayed the Twins this series, and even if Minnesota do make it to the post-season, the prospect of facing them or Boston again sends shudders down most fans’ spines. Witnessing Michael Cuddyer’s pitiful flailing strike-out in a bases-loaded two-outs situation in the fifth inning on Wednesday night, pretty much exemplifies how a team that has shown so much promise, has consistently failed to produce in clutch situations this season.
The depth of the Yankees batting line-up is also apparent, as the players at the bottom of their order continued to out-perform even their stars up at the top. Brett Gardner, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, even some guy called Francisco Cervelli all produced hits and runs for the Yankees. I know many Boston fans sometimes think their team is pretty much a shoe-in for the AL East pennant this year, but the Yankees look like a class act finally, and if their pitching remains dominant, Boston better keep a close eye on their New York rivals.
Detroit and Chicago continued to win this week, while the Twins struggled. Minnesota is beginning to lose some pace in the AL Central. Of course, a sweep of the Sox this weekend would take care of that, and the Twins are by no means out of it, but once again, they’ve let a potential position of dominance disappear from their clutches. Losing the series to the Yankees was hardly unexpected, but Minnesota can’t keep relying on other teams’ records if they want to forge ahead.