The Yankees played the Twins seven times this season – and won all seven games. But, let’s look at those games:
Cnt Date Tm Opp Reslt INN +----+-------------+---+----+-------+----+ 1 2009-07-09 NYY MIN W 6-4 9 2 2009-07-08 NYY MIN W 4-3 9 3 2009-07-07 NYY MIN W 10-2 9 4 2009-05-18 NYY MIN W 7-6 9 5 2009-05-17 NYY MIN W 3-2 10 6 2009-05-16 NYY MIN W 6-4 11 7 2009-05-15 NYY MIN W 5-4 9
What do you see here? Four of these seven games were very close – being one-run wins. Six of these seven games were decided by two runs or less. And, two of those six games went into extra innings.
So, while the Yankees took all seven games from the Twins this season, these were very close contests.
Next, how did these two teams trend out to end the season?
In their last 21 games of the 2009 season, the Yankees went 12-9.
In their last 21 games of the 2009 season, the Twins went 17-4.
Therefore, the Twins were the “hotter” team towards the end of the season this year.
Of course, the Twins are heading into this ALDS tired and spent whereas the Yankees are rested and have been prepping for this series for the last three weeks (or longer). That said, the Twins are probably very happy that they will have off-days on Thursday and Saturday this week.
And, I don’t think the Twins are sweating the Yankees as much as some people think they should be…and I hope the Yankees don’t think they’re going to “steamroll” their way past the Twins in this ALDS – because, this season, these teams kept their games close; and, the Twins have been playing outstanding baseball lately (when the Yankees were not playing at that same level).