Big Mo (And The Loss Of)
You know, the more I watch sports, the more I begin to realize that the concept of “momentum” is almost as important as concepts like “talent” or “good coaching”. I mean, just think about this for a second. Heading into Wednesday of last week, the Twins were riding high having won 14 out of 17 or something, and looking to finish off a sweep of the White Sox at the Dome. Then, Joe Nathan heartbreakingly blows a save, and everything comes crashing down, as Detroit goes on a terror (they never seem to lose anymore) and the Twins drop two of three to the Indians.
Now call me crazy, but I truly believe that had Nathan thrown one more key strike and finished off the Sox in that fateful ninth inning, the Twins would NOT have collapsed against the Indians and might still be in the thick of things in the AL Central race, not just scoreboard watching and needing to sweep the Tigers twice in the next few weeks to have any hope of the postseason. I know that major leaguers are professionals and should be able to play every game on an even keel, but for what it’s worth, I doubt that ever actually happens (unless said players are in a rare mindset personified by guys like Derek Jeter or Tiger Woods).
Just look at it from a fan’s perspective…one day, we’re riding high and excited about the Twins after nearly giving up on the season two weeks previous. Now, after the events of just a few more days, we’re starting to give up again. You can’t tell me that the players don’t feel some of those same feelings, pondering the “what-ifs” and getting down just like “us”.
Just a theory, but would explain the rollercoaster play of the Twins for the past three seasons, as young guys are very excitable and prone to those ups and downs.
At least the Twins were able to get a Labor Day victory today, thanks to a big first inning and a strong bullpen picking up Jeff Manship. Oh, and Nathan dominated the ninth…
Preview (69-68, 2nd, 6.5 GB DET): Brian Duensing (2-1, 3.81) vs. Ricky Romero (11-7, 4.15). Maybe we can get Big Mo back with a good series in Toronto (after collapsing there last fall).