Results tagged ‘ 1991 World Series ’

Two Good Teams

This past weekend, the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves (both leaders of their respective divisions) played some hard-fought games that brought to mind another series between each club that you might remember:

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On Friday night, Francisco Liriano and Tim Hudson locked horns in an epic pitchers duel (I was at this one in person!).  Frankie struck out seven batters in a row at one point (tying a club record), and the Twins did Hudson in with one productive inning in the seventh.

For Saturday’s game, another pitching lockup commenced, this time with Nick Blackburn taking the hard-luck loss to Derek Lowe.

In the finale, Kevin Slowey came back down to earth after a series of outstanding starts, and the Twins effectively lost after the second inning (down 5-0).  Delmon Young did continue his hot hitting with a three-run bomb, though.

Notes:

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-It was nice to see the Twins organization recognize Bobby Cox before the opening game of the series (Cox has announced his retirement from managing effective at the end of this season).  He truly is a class act who will be sorely missed by Atlanta and all MLB.

-Boy, is Delmon ever on a tear!  Of course, he is also prone to those bone-dry stretches as well, so is it really necessary to re-hash the Garza/Bartlett for Young/Harris trade every time he goes on a streak?!

-We need to get healthy.  We may be able to beat some NL clubs (like the incoming Rockies) with the likes of Danny Valencia and Trevor Plouffe in the lineup, but we need O-Dawg and JJ back to compete with the big boys offensively.

Preview (36-27, 1st, 2.5 GA DET): Aaron Cook (2-3, 4.76) vs. Carl Pavano (6-6, 3.92).  Does Pavano ever get a no-decision?  I’m kidding…that’s actually a positive thing, as it means he’s pitching deep into games.

Lookin’ Back…On The Memory Of…

Well, it’s been a little while since I last updated this blog, but I think perhaps (during that time) I have gained the proper perspective from which to evaluate the 2009 Minnesota Twins.

As Garth so poignantly sings:

I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance

That simple verse pretty much sums up my memories of the 2009 Twins baseball season.  Sure, it ended with a bitter taste in our collective mouths, but would we rather have just missed out on the postseason altogether?  Heck no!!

Much like in 2006, when I watched the Twins clinch the division on (until a few weeks ago) what many considered to be the most improbable streaks in team history, 2009 was somehow even more thrilling!  I’ll never forget the anticipation of each late-September contest, feeling the Dome rocking that final weekend against Kansas City, or watching game #163 (for the second year in a row!) that turned out to be the single most exciting baseball game I have ever watching in my entire life (I was a bit too young to be conscious for any of the ’91 World Series).

Thus, that is the way I will look back on the Twins when I recall 2009.  It was witnessing an incredible comeback (no outs, no one on) in game #2 of the season, watching Joe Mauer put together the greatest season in catching history, and seeing my team completely put a fork in its most hated rival (the Pale Hose) time and time again.

Another way to look at things is this: The Twins, a team that couldn’t pitch all season and couldn’t get clutch hits for a good part of it, managed to play 166 games…four more than 23 other teams counting both leagues.

Since the Twins began their “competitive” run in 2002 after nearly a decade of celler-dwelling and being the butt of countless jokes, there is one take-away memory I have of each season…

2002: Making the playoffs.

2003: Getting Shannon Stewart and overcoming a large first-half deficit.

2004: Dominating the division and having the Yankees on the ropes in the ALDS.

2005: Not being able to hit all season long and having even the always-stoic Brad Radke begin to grouse about it.

2006: The Comeback (Part I)

2007: Too much youth, too many bonehead plays.

2008: Sweeping the White Sox on the final homestand to stay in contention.

2009: The Comeback (Part II); especially that one-game playoff.

Though none of those season ended with the team hoisting a trophy or parading around a city, they still bring back some great memories that still make it all worthwhile.

Coming up next: A look at my favorite Metrodome moments

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