05 April 2011
That's one way to get a monkey off your back.
The Twins did the impossible tonight, coming from behind to win a game in Yankee Stadium. Defeating the Yankees is a tough enough task -- Minnesota's only won four of the last 30 meetings -- but the Twins also defied their historicaly bad luck in Yankee Stadium, winning their seventh game there in nine years. Overcoming a four-run defecit only makes the victory sweeter.
The game started out as innocuously as all other games against the Yankees, with a three-run blast from Mark Teixeira. Starting pitcher Brian Duensing pitched well enough, but allowed enough Yankee batters to reach base to make the eventual New York home run a painful one. Add another solo shot from Andruw Jones, and the Twins were suddenly in a 4-0 hole with CC Sabathia starting to heat up. Sabathia finished his masterful night by retiring 17 straight Twins batters, leaving Minnesota to duel with New York's incredible bullpen.
Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera (JoSoMo) shut down the Twins on Monday, but a vulnerability was found tonight. The mighty Yankees showed off a chink in their impenetrable armor, and Minnesota was able to capitalize. Soriano loaded the bases in the eighth inning and walked in a run, giving Delmon Young the opportunity to smack a three-run double on a bloop hit to right field.
Matt Capps did everything he could to prove he is worth his hefty pricetag, and Joe Mauer singled in a run in the 10th to give the Twins the lead. Joe Nathan closed things out in the bottom half of the inning, and the monkey was no longer clinging to the backs of the Minnesota Twins. Truthfully, the Twins didn't win as much as the Yankees lost.
But a win is a win, and in Yankee Stadium Minnesota will take any win they can. In the grand scheme of things, this game in early April doesn't mean much. It's the fifth game in a summer that will see the team take the field at least 156 more times, but this could be the most important victory the Twins have enjoyed in a long time.
The Twins' struggles against New York are at least partially pyscological -- even a poor team wins more than four of every thirty games against the Yankees -- and hopefully this dramatic victory will spur some enthusiasm in Minnesota. Again, it's still April. Over 150 games have yet to be played. But a come-from-behind victory against the Yankees in New York is something to remember.
Hopefully it won't be the last.
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