GRAND RAPIDS — We’ll see what happens as the playoffs for Major League baseball got started Tuesday.
As we all know, the Minnesota Twins have not played well in the postseason and in fact have not been successful in winning a series since 2002. With a 16-game losing streak in the postseason, it is hard to favor the Twins in any matchup.
Can that change this year? Sure, but don’t count on it.
The Twins play the Houston Astros in the first round of the playoffs. Minnesota – the No. 3 seed in the American League – will have its hands full with the Astros, the No. 6 seed. But this is the postseason and any team will be tough to beat so it might as well be the Astros.
Can the Twins’ starting pitching match up with the big boys? Yes, if Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios and Michael Peneda are on their game. However, it remains to be seen what kind of starting pitching the Twins will receive. If the Twins can get solid pitching here, I like their chances to advance.
Offensively, the Twins should be fine although they are not even close to the record-setting team of last season when they set a new record for home runs in a season.
I think a key to winning is doing the little things right like advancing runners, bunting and stealing bases. Against good pitching teams need to manufacture runs and if the Twins can do this, it will improve their chances.
One thing that scares me – and it is supposed to be a strength – is the bullpen. The closer role is in shambles right now and it has Twins fans shuddering. Taylor Rogers has been terrible in the last month or so while the other option, Sergio Romo, has not been lights out either.
If I was Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, I would use my best reliever in key situations and that guy in my mind is Tyler Duffey. Matt Wisler has also pitched well and the Twins should also use him in key situations.
Trevor May is a good strikeout pitcher but has given up five homers in 23 innings. No key situations hopefully for him.
At any rate, let’s hope the Twins have a lot of baseball left to play.