The Minnesota Twins’ awful postseason losing streak continued, and a costly error by Jorge Polanco did not help.
The Houston Astros beat the Twins 4-1 in Game 1 of their Wild Card series on Tuesday in Minnesota. That handed the Twins their 17th straight postseason loss, dating back to 2004. That streak is the worst in MLB history. The Red Sox had a 13-game postseason losing streak from 1986-1995, while the Phillies had an 11-game streak from 1915-1976. The Twins are even worse.
Things might not have gone that way if not for Polanco’s error.
The game was tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning and Sergio Romo was pitching. He allowed two singles to start the inning and then got two outs. Then George Springer hit a sharp ball to short that one-hopped Polanco, who threw to second. Polanco’s throw was wide of the bag, allowing the Astros to load the bases.
The next batter was Jose Altuve, who walked to break the tie. Michael Brantley followed with a two-run single to make it 4-1, which was the final score.
Polanco making a defensive stop on that ball was the hard part. The throw was the easy part, but he blew that.
Minnesota actually got two hits in the bottom of the ninth but grounded into a double play to end the game. They now need to beat Houston two times in a row to advance to the ALDS.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger seemed a little peeved after losing to the Minnesota Twins Saturday on account of a two-run home run by Jorge Polanco.
Clevinger seemed to take a shot at Polanco when asked about the home run after the game. Polanco hit a changeup out over the plate for a two-run home run that proved the difference in the key divisional game. Clevinger was asked if he was surprised that pitch was hit out of the ballpark, and his response was telling.
The reference to “what happened last year” is Polanco getting an 80-game PED suspension for a failed drug test before the start of the 2018 season. The implication, of course, is that the Minnesota infielder is still a little stronger than he should be.
There is no evidence Polanco has done anything wrong since that ban. If anything, it significantly spices up the AL Central race as the Indians try to catch up down the stretch. And hey, Cleveland pitchers have had their struggles against Minnesota this year, though one ex-Indian seemed to take it a little better.
The Tampa Bay Rays took extreme measures to try and slow down the hot-hitting Jorge Polanco.
Polanco doubled to each gap early in the Minnesota Twins’ 5-3 win over the Rays on Friday night. In between the doubles, he tried to bunt for a hit but was thrown out. After seeing Polanco double to each gap, the Rays tried a new strategy later in the game against him.
Tampa Bay went with four outfielders and just three infielders, putting one infielder on the left side of the field.
Polanco struck out in the at-bat, so something worked. He was intentionally walked in the ninth and finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
On the season, the 25-year-old is batting .338 with 14 doubles, five triples and nine home runs this season.