The New York Yankees entered Monday’s makeup game against the Minnesota Twins not having won a single game in 2021 in which they trailed by at least four runs. Not a one! Almost impossible to be that boring.
But whether it was the Ryan Ruocco Effect or the Twins Effect in action, New York came back in this one with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to an Aaron Judge blast that leveled the score. It took a few more innings for the walk-off to drop, but Gary Sanchez delivered it in the bottom of the 10th. Euphoria!
So, what led to this change in momentum? Judge’s clutchness? Clay Holmes? Joey Gallo’s solo job?
No, as always, Minnesota has chosen to blame the umps, specifically this time for a borderline call on Brett Gardner that preceded Judge’s walk.
After the game, reliever Tyler Duffey took to the podium and claimed that the home plate umpire was afraid to punch out Gardner, presumably afraid of the wrath of the 1,500 random New Yorkers who attended what was, at that point, a very sad and quiet game in front of a deceased crowd.
This was, of course, the first mistake ever made by an umpire, making it a very historic piece of data.
Twins reliever Tyler Duffey thinks the umpires stole Monday’s game.
Come to the Bronx and rock the pinstripes, Tyler! You’ll quickly find out umpires love to call balls thrown by Yankee pitchers. Yankee pitchers can’t get enough of walking people all around the bases, especially homegrown ones.
Minnesota’s had it out for the Yankees since 2002, for obvious reasons. New York’s record against the Twinkies is 109-38 since that time, including the postseason. The Bombers have won 12 straight playoff games against ’em, good for the vast majority of their postseason losing streak.
And, in Game 2 in 2019, some Bleacher Creatures got an “Uber!” chant going against Uber driver Randy Dobnak, which was a mean-spirited throwback to the pre-internet age of baseball. That has nothing to do with today’s balls and strikes, but everything to do with the way Minny has villainized the Bronx.
You know what’s even better than Twins Reliever Strike-Zone Whining, though? Prominent Red Sox Fan Who Doesn’t Seem to Realize He’s Gotten Every Break for 17 Years Strike-Zone Whining.
Come on, man! The Yankees have the Twins, you have the Yankees. You should be OK with that tradeoff!
It’s bizarre, funky, quirky, maddening (if you hate them), and delightful (if you love them) that the Yanks can always count on the Twins to bail them out of whatever hex they’re currently buried in.
Prior to Monday’s game, though, the Yankees had gone 3-12 in their previous 15, cascading out of the postseason picture in epic fashion. Not exactly the time to be complaining about how they get all the calls.