With Aaron Boone’s squad completing the ALDS sweep of the Twins on Monday, some may say that there are now three certainties in life. Death, taxes, and the Yankees defeating Minnesota in the postseason.
With the Yankees win on Monday night, not only do they advance to the ALCS where they await the winner between the Astros and Rays series, but they also continue their postseason dominance against the Twins, winning their 13th consecutive playoff game against the AL Central Champions, eliminating them for the fifth time in 15 seasons.
Going into the Division Series, Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli, seemed confident headed into the do or die best-3-out-of-5 against the AL East Champions; telling the media that Yankee Stadium “isn’t intimidating at all.”
Baldelli was under the impression that the Twins’ history against the Yanks wouldn’t plague his 2019 team that won 101 games, while also demolishing the previous team home-run record set by the Bombers in 2018 (267) with 307 long balls as a team. This season, they beat the Yankees by one dinger (306).
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However, despite their success during the regular season, the Twins’ batting order struggled throughout the ALDS against New York pitching, combining for just three home runs in three games, all of which came in Game 1.
With the loss on Monday, Baldelli joins an ongoing list of Twins managers that were eliminated by the Yankees from postseason competition in the 21st century, joining Ron Gardenhire (2004, 2009, 2010) and Paul Molitor (2017).
The 2019 Twins were the Yankees’ biggest test when it came to Minnesota teams in postseason play, with five different hitters launching 30 or more home runs during the regular season, breathing new life into a team that had only one playoff appearance (2017) in the last decade.
In a series that was anticipating long homers, and often at that, the Yankees were able to outslug their opponents, launching four homers (DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres) to Minnesota’s three (Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano).
Minny had chances in Game 3 at home, though, loading the bases with no outs against Luis Severino in the bottom of the second inning, before Sano got underneath a fastball for a pop-up — and then Severino took care of Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave with two strikeouts to end the threat.
Yankee pitching and defense was able to step up in big situations as well, sucking the energy out of Target Field multiple times throughout Game 3, as Twins fans watched on with nothing but flashbacks in their minds.
As the Yankees creep closer to the 2019 World Series with their second ALCS appearance in three seasons, the Minnesota Twins now stay home, looking back at a stellar 2019 season that’ll be known as “Bomba Season,” and will be remembered by a familiar foe celebrating on their home turf.
There are all but two certainties in life — death and taxes. However, in the minds of Major League Baseball fans, there are three. Death, taxes and the New York Yankees defeating the Minnesota Twins during the postseason.