Twins chase Yankees' Luis Severino in the first inning

Twins chase Yankees' Luis Severino in the first inning

It's why attempting to predict the MLB postseason amounts to little more than a guessing game, and why - in a fact frequently cited here - it would require a best-of-269 game series to determine with statistical significance which of two good baseball teams is actually the better one.

All season, the New York Yankees won games with a powerful line-up and a devastating bullpen.

Once again the Twins' star - Joe Mauer, the league's most valuable player - performed well (5 for 12, four walks), but didn't get a lot of help.

This is Minnesota's first appearance in the wild-card game.

The Yankees went on to the World Series, where they lost to the Marlins. He allowed one earned run on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six innings in a 6-1 home win over the Rays his last start. This was before David Robertson would show up in the third, asked to pick up Green with the bases loaded the way Green had picked up Severino. The Twins make it close, but the Yankees pull away late. After Santana retired Gary Sanchez, Gregorius lifted a full-count fastball well into the right field seats to tie the game 3-3.

Despite the sweep, Teixeira managed a compliment, of sorts, for the Twins: "That's a pesky team". However, it isn't an impossibility that the blueprint for a Twins win exists, and in fact was found in that same dominant series for the Yankees. On a 3-2 pitch, Rosario lined a two-run homer into the right-field seats for a 3-0 Minnesota lead. The 23-year-old is a Gold Glove Award candidate in center field, led the team with 11 bunt hits and was the best baserunner in baseball this year, as measured by Fangraphs.

Gates open at 6 p.m. for the wild-card game viewing party. "You don't want to give anybody hope", Jeter said.

Each time you look up at Aaron Judge (yes, look way up), he's got a smile on his face.

"Cleveland has got a good bullpen, that's for sure". "Well, it hasn't happened".

In a much less reliable sample size, the Twins have hit.385 with a.429 OBP against Severino.

Sure, it's a potential one-and-done, a season boiled down to three hours on Tuesday evening, but according to the numbers you have to like the Yankees' chances. He has a 3.71 ERA in 97 home innings. In all of the games that the two teams have played this century in the playoffs, the Twins have only won two of them.

Want more up-to-date figures?

On the mound for the Twins, who clinched a wildcard berth to make their first postseason appearance since 2010, is veteran Irving Santana, who has two career postseason starts among eight appearances. Whatever energy was being charged since NY claimed the home advantage for this game left with Dozier's swing. The entire rest of the game was just a grind.

It left Minnesota without Buxton and slugger Miguel Sano - he was left off the roster because of a left shin injury - and the Twins just didn't have enough to overcome New York's overpowering bullpen.

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