On Tuesday night, the New York Yankees secured a season-series loss to the Minnesota Twins for the first time since May 2001.
That fact may comfort you. After all, the 2001 Yankees ultimately made a storybook run to the World Series, securing two of the most dramatic victories in team history before Andy Pettitte tipped his pitches in Game 6 and ruined our lives, leading to the most depressing single-game loss most of us have ever experienced.
Unfortunately, I must now remind you that the 2001 Yankees couldn't hit whatsoever in that World Series, batting .183 combined in the seven games. Paul O'Neill hit .333. The only other starter to hit over .300 was ... Andy Pettitte. He went 1-for-3.
While all of those ping pong balls of decades-old stats probably weren't bouncing around Byron Buxton's brain after Tuesday's stress-free Twins win, his mind was still boggled just the same.
All he's been told, since coming to Minnesota, is that the Twins cannot beat the Yankees. They could not beat the Yankees in 2017, when Buxton rammed into a wall midway through a Wild Card Game where his squad had blown an early 3-0 lead in swift fashion. They could not beat the Yankees in 2019, when Didi Gregorius' grand slam put an early exclamation point on an Uber driver's tough start.
But now? Now, they can. The Twins secured the season series on Tuesday, beating the Yankees 6-2 and 6-1 in the first two home games of this set. Sometimes, a team that cannot hit hits by accident for a little. This was not one of those times. In the postgame, Buxton was in awe, possibly at how simple his "impossible" task actually was.
Yankees blow Byron Buxton's mind by sinking lower than they have since 2001
Twins co-aces Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan helped hold the Yankees to three runs in two games combined. One run scored on a ninth-inning downer grounder with the bases loaded and no outs Monday. One run scored on a botched double play ball midway through Tuesday's game. In reality, the Yankees probably earned just one run in the first two games of this set, coming via walks and hits stacked up in a row (as tradition dictates).
Bad, bad, bad. This team is bad.
Buxton's Twins pulled off the impossible by simply being better than the 2023 Yankees. At some point, that may flip once more, but kudos to Minnesota for defending their home turf and making Buxton reevaluate his whole life, from being six years old to the present day.