The Twins' 8-4 loss to the Yankees in the American League wild-card game continued the long trend of Minnesota falling victim to the Bronx Bombers come playoff time. While having so many playoff meetings should ordinarily spark a rivalry, this matchup has been one-sided throughout.
By losing Tuesday, Minnesota fell to a dismal 2-13 all time in playoff games versus the Yankees, dating back to their first meeting in 2003.
|2003||ALDS||NYY Win 3-1|
|2004||ALDS||NYY Win 3-1|
|2009||ALDS||NYY Win 3-0|
|2010||ALDS||NYY Win 3-0|
|2017||AL WC||NYY Win 1-0|
And if you think the Yankees save their dominance versus Minnesota for October, you're wrong. Including all playoff games and Tuesday's win, the Yankees own a cumulative record of 90-33 against the Twins since 2002. That's good for a gaudy .732 winning percentage.
The Twins' loss Tuesday was their 13th consecutive postseason defeat since beating the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS. All but three of those 13 losses have come against the Yankees (Oakland swept the Twins out of the Division Series in 2006).
When these two teams have met in the playoffs, seemingly everything has gone the Yankees' way. Perhaps the most notable example came in the 2009 ALDS, when Twins catcher Joe Mauer laced what should have been a double in the 11th inning of Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. However, umpire Phil Cuzzi blew the call, ruling an obviously fair ball as foul. Mark Teixeira won the game for New York on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th, and the Yankees swept the Twins away en route to title No. 27 a few days later.
Perhaps this whole history changes if Mauer's ball is called fair. Instead, it's yet another gut-punch moment for the Twins in New York.
The 2017 wild-card game only added more heartache. The Twins blew a 3-0 first-inning lead almost immediately and scratched out but a single run against the Yankees' bullpen. By the end, it looked like old times, as they looked completely lost - to the point that they were missing bases - en route to an inevitable loss.
None of this should take away from the Twins' resurgent season, as they became the first team ever to make the playoffs after losing 100 games the year before. Perhaps in the future, when they're ready to contend annually instead of making a Cinderella run, they'll get to bypass the Bronx.