Crushed into submission

Three days ago. A five game winning streak. Things were starting to look up.

Then, a clash with the first place Cleveland Indians. Win the series, gain at least a game in the hunt for the playoffs. Sweep the series, gain three games, a rush of confidence, and narrowly dodge the proverbial nail in the coffin that’s been haunting the Twins these past few weeks.

They could dodge no longer, it seemed. A loss Monday. And Tuesday. And finally again tonight.

A sweep.
Another loss for Santana. 0-4 against Cleveland this year.
A slowly shrinking deficit in the standings turned into a massive deficit of 8.5 games. And a 7 game deficit in the Wild Card race.
Hopes, dashed.

If this wasn’t the nail, it’s at least been marked and placed, ready for the hammer to swing down upon its season ending head.

They’re not technically eliminated, no. But a sweep like this does wonders in advancing a hang dog attitude. The Twins didn’t just need these wins for the standings – they needed them for their psyche, for their confidence, for something to rally around, a final push toward the playoffs with a whoop and a cry and a stomping of midwestern, small market feet.

The Twins are 67-66. There’s still a month of baseball left. And last year showed that even a team barely over .500 could win the World Series with a little bit of luck, a strong set of pairings and a hot streak near the end of the season.

Of course, you have to make the playoffs first. And with these crushing losses, I’m not sure the Twins have the heart left in them to even try.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 29th, 2007