Twins win 2023 AL Wild Card Series

Twins win 2023 AL Wild Card Series

MINNEAPOLIS — Entering this postseason, the prospect of going deep into October may seem unfathomable to a fan base that has known only playoff heartbreak for the better part of two decades — but the Twins finally shook off the weight of history on Tuesday.

So why not these twins? Why not this group?

They’re the guys who broke the losing streak — and they’re finally the team with the pitchers who can finish it.

For the first time since 2002, the Twins advanced to the postseason, with a 2-0 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday before a crowd of 38,518 at Target Field. They earned a two-game sweep of the best-of-three Wild Card Series and set up a Division Series matchup against the AL West champion Astros starting Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

“It feels great, man. It feels great,” Carlos Correa told ESPN. Getting that first win in a long time yesterday was special, but to get that win here and move on to the next round, it feels great.” We’re going to Houston. Obviously they have a great team there, and we’re going to play our best baseball, man. “This feels really good.”

It’s really simple. They got the playoff magic they needed from Correa and Royce Lewis — and lots of it — but the backbone of it all is a pitching staff that allowed just one run over two games, the same recipe that got the Twins to this point and the power that often sets the stage for October success.

The 2020 Braves only allowed fewer runs in a two-game playoff series or more, as they beat the Reds in a two-game sweep of the NL Wild Card Series.

“This is a young, talented group that really wants it,” Correa told ESPN. “I tell everyone this reminds me a lot of the 2015 Astros — when the young talent came out, matched up with the veterans who were already there, and then they started coming out. I feel like this organization, this The team we have now, and all the young players who are going to be here for a long time – me, [Byron] Buxton and Royce will be here for a long time and we will build something special.

And if there is such a thing as clutch pitching, the Twins have it in both Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray, who combined to allow one run across 10 2/3 innings as the toughest above-the-rotation tandem the Twins have had since. It all started.

Lopez and Gray entered the postseason as Two of the top three MLB qualified starters in damage limitation with guys in scoring position. Gray pitched this way as part of his five innings in Game 2, surviving three jams from multiple baserunners, including a pivotal moment in the fifth when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled from second base to leave Bo Bichette with the bat in his hand. the hands.

This is not one of those old twin bulls that had soft points and soft launchers; It’s a group of big-time skill players for big moments — like when Caleb Thielbar induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of George Springer to clip the bases loaded in the sixth.

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