What a ride we have been on? Winning the AL Central by 31 games and going 120-42. Beating the Indians and Angels to advance to the first World Series in almost 30 year too.
Now it is a rematch of the 1987 World Series. Twins-Cardinals. For all the marbles. It was a surprise to see the Cardinals make it past the Dodgers. But they did it in amazing fashion. Winning in seven games to setup what looks to be another classic Fall Classic.
Game 1: Jose Berrios vs. Jack Flaherty
Berrios has become our ace during the playoffs. Posting a 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA while striking out 25 in 21 innings. He will look to continue that run of dominance in one of the best postseason runs for a pitcher…ever.
As for the Cardinals, Flaherty has gone 1-1 but hasn’t played poorly. Striking out 22 in 18.1 innings. But he has given up a homer in each of his three postseason outings. He also has filthy stats.
Offensively, the Cardinals were solid. Not as amazing as the Twins, but they remained in the top-10 for almost every category in the league. What pushed them over the top was their league leading pitching. Leading the league in runs against, starter ERA, FIP, and pitching WAR. While also placing second in strikeouts and bullpen ERA.
Berrios would pitch a scoreless first, but so would Flaherty. Although it would come with the bases loaded and taking a Cruz fly out to center to get him out of the jam.
It would remain scoreless through the top of the fourth. Until Sano would reach after being hit and Kepler would single. With two on, Garver stroked a double to left bringing them both home. But would strain his calf in the process. Meaning he will miss the rest of the World Series as the diagnosis is three weeks. Oof.
But with Astudillo now on second to take his place, Arraez would sneak a single into center to bring him home. 3-0 Twins.
We would push another across in the seventh to make it 4-0. This time on a Buxton double that brought home Arraez. We would even get Buxton home thanks to a Polanco double as well. We weren’t done yet either. With only one away and Donaldson drawing a walk, Sano would crush a bomb to right-center. Making it 8-0.
While Berrios continued to mow through the Cardinals. Going the distance, even while giving up two runs in the ninth. He would finish the game with 10 strikeouts and no walks on five hits. The kid is an absolute monster this October!
Final Score: Twins 8 – Cardinals 2
Game 2: Jake Odorizzi vs. Carlos Martinez
It looks like the Cardinals are utilizing an opener in Game 2. As Martinez has only thrown three innings in the postseason so far. However, he was a starter earlier in the year. Posting a quality 15-4 record and 2.90 ERA while striking out 189 in 173.2 innings.
After two scoreless and hitless innings from both clubs, we finally manufactured some offense. Thanks to a hit from Kirilloff and then back-to-back doubles from Polanco and Donaldson to bring two home.
Arraez would then leadoff with a double in the fourth and Astudillo would drive him in with one of his own. Making it 3-0. As for Odorizzi, he would redeem himself. Going six innings and only allowing one run on four hits. I still would have liked him to make it seven innings, but I am just being greedy.
Arraez would reach second again on another double with Astudillo pushing him to third on a ground out. Buxton would then reach on a walk and new pitcher Andrew Miller would throw a wild pitch on his first throw of the game. Bringing in Arraez for a 4-1 lead in the sixth.
Yet Buxton would also score after stealing third and the throw from Yadier Molina would sail high allowing Buxton to sprint for home. Giving us more cushioning.
Thankfully we had it too, as Chris Martin would give up a run in the eighth. Forcing my hand in bringing in Rogers for the ninth. Putting together a 1-2-3 save and putting us up 2-0 in the series heading to St. Louis.
Final Score: Twins 5 – Cardinals 2
Game 3: Kenta Maeda vs. Chris Archer
Archer, like Maeda, has struggled in the postseason. Going 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA. Paired with Maeda’s 6.35 ERA, I would expect a higher scoring affair. But would it happen?
We would go up 1-0 early thanks to a Max Kepler single that scored Polanco who reached on an error. Maeda would then work some magic for a few innings before giving up a 2-run homer in the fourth to Paul Goldschmidt. We would get the runs back in the sixth though. Regaining the lead on a Kiriloff and Astudillo single. I would then pinch hit Cruz for Maeda, but nothing came to fruition. 3-2 Twins in the sixth.
But it was for naught as Trevor Rosenthal gave up a two doubles to blow the hold and tie the game at three in the eighth. Heading to extras, I was thankful Chris Martin delivered a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth. I want a sweep!
We would begin the tenth with Arraez lining a double into the right field. Astudillo would then draw a walk and I would pinch hit Adrianza for Martin in the nine-hole. He came through too. Slapping a single to left and bringing in Arraez for the one run lead.
We would then load the bases after Buxton was plunked and drove in another thanks to a Polanco bases loaded walk. 5-3 in the top of the tenth. But then a wild pitch would score Adrianza and make it 6-3. St. Louis was imploding!
Rogers would then pick up his fourth save of the postseason with a 1-2-3 inning. Making it a 3-0 series and one win from winning it all!
Final Score: Twins 6 – Cardinals 3
Game 4: Julio Urias vs. Miles Mikolas
We got the ball rolling early in what could be the clinching game of the series! With Polanco reaching on a bunt single, Sano drove him in with a double in the first and back-to-back double from Arraez and Astudillo in the second put us up 2-0!
Urias was cruising through the first four innings until surrendering a walk and a pair of doubles from Jeter Downs and Brad Miller to tie it up. Urias would however make it through six innings on only 76 pitches. But with the game tied and wanting the sweep, I pulled him for Tyler Duffey who would get us through the seventh and eighth.
With no outs in the top of the ninth, Arraez would lead off with an opposite field single. Kirilloff would then draw a walk and a wild pitch would push them to second and third. This could be our chance!
But three straight strikeouts ended our opportunity to put the game away.
We would trade scoreless innings in the tenth. Then Max Kepler was plunked by a pitch to begin the 11th…only for Arraez to hit into a fielder’s choice then be picked off. WTF.
Lance Lynn would get the call to end the 11th, but he failed miserably. Loading the bases and giving up a walk-off grand slam for the Cardinals. No sweep for us.
Final Score: Cardinals 6 – Twins 2
Game 5: Jose Berrios vs. Jack Flaherty
Another rematch. This time with a chance for the Twins to win the whole shebang!
I kept Cruz, who is batting .167 in the playoffs, out of the lineup for a third straight night. Giving the nod to Kirilloff in left over the aging slugger. I was roasted by the media non-stop over the last few days for it, but I find their hatred cathartic. If you are on the news for being hated you are doing something right and must be a figure people are interested in.
It was a tight and intense game for the first five innings. Each team unable to get anything going against the opposing pitcher. That was until the sixth. When Kirilloff drove in a run of a double and then Miguel Sano went yard to break the scoreless game open 3-0.
Berrios was still in the game too. While we were only ahead by three entering the eighth, I contemplated leaving Berrios in. Yet three more runs from the offense made it 6-0 and I had a good feeling about Berrios getting another complete game shutout.
He did just that. Going the distance once more and WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!!!!
I was surprised when Arraez was awarded World Series MVP over Berrios. But going 9-20 with four doubles, no strikeouts, and scoring eight runs will do it.
Berrios, on the other hand, went 5-0 in the postseason. Throwing three consecutive complete games, striking out 42 in 39 innings with an absurd 1.15 ERA.
Thank you, Minnesota! We have finally ended our decades of pain and suffering. We are WORLD CHAMPIONS!