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Sunday, October 04, 2009

While We're Waiting: Aaron Gleeman On Tuesday's Tigers/Twins Tilt

Aaron Gleeman reminds us of just how improbable this whole Tuesday game was. Not only are the Twinks the only team to have two game 163's necessary since the start of division play, they're the first to do so in consecutive seasons.
When the Twins lost in Detroit last Wednesday it looked (to me at least) like the season was over, save for "a miracle if things break perfectly for the Twins and horribly for the Tigers." They were three games back with four games left, which put their odds at around five percent with a deficit that no team in MLB history had come back from. So naturally they won the next four games while the Tigers went 1-3 and now the Twins are the only team in MLB history to be in a one-game playoff in back-to-back seasons.

Not only did the Twins erase the Tigers' three-game lead in four days to force Game 163 for the second straight year, they've won 16 of 20 games since Justin Morneau was shut down with a back injury and are 30-14 since falling a season-worst six games below .500 at 56-62 in mid-August. I'm not sure how to explain it and certainly didn't believe they could do it, but it sure has been fun to watch. And we're not done yet, because the Twins and Tigers will decide the AL Central title tomorrow at the Metrodome.
The Twins had Joe Crede go down with a season-ending back problem (but what else is new?), and his replacement, Matt Tolbert, looked simply awful. Orlando Cabrera was similarly execrable, and yet somehow, both managed to turn things around, with the Twins going on a late-season tear at the exact same time the Tigers skidded into a tie.

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