If you want to read my emotional, completely nonobjective response to last night's loss, you can scroll down a bit. This, however, is a clear-headed analysis of the Twins' chances tonight.
Just because they lost yesterday does not suddenly mean the Twins are a significantly worse team. It's easy to write this, but another thing to believe it. They are the exact same team they were on Wednesday at 8:00 PM. Most of us, myself included, were expecting the Twins to come out in Game 1 and pick up a signature victory. Something that we could all put our hat on and say, 'See? We can play with the Yankees.' That didn't happen, though. Instead, the exact opposite occurred, as the Twins once again melted under the pressure that the Yankees apparently bring with them. And, all of sudden, the thoughts came back to the fact that the Twins can't beat the Yankees; that, for some unknown reason, it'd probably be better for Twins' fans hearts if they just forfeit.
And I was as guilty as anyone. If you read my post from right after the game, you know that. But this is still the same team that won 94 games during the regular season, just one fewer than the Yankees. And it's still the same team that in a way already did conquer their demons, as they managed a spectacular comeback win against the Yankees, at Yankee Stadium, against Mariano Rivera in a game back in May.
Sure, this is the postseason, and that makes it different. But objectively we cannot let one game kill our hopes. The Twins had already lost 68 times this year. Some were more heartbreaking than others. This was one of the more heartbreaking ones. But last night's game has no effect on tonight's. The score is going to be 0-0 when the first inning begins. The game is still going to be in the friendly confines of Target Field, where the Twins posted an American League-best home record.
So if you were confident about yesterday's game, be confident about today's too. Yes, the Game 1 loss definitely changes the Twins' chances in the series as a whole, but it shouldn't change your thoughts about tonight's game in particular. So maintain your confidence tonight. The match-up is as good as it was yesterday, with the Twins throwing Carl Pavano, who pitched beautifully in an elimination game against the Yankees in 2009, against Andy Pettitte, who, despite his experience, only recently returned from an injury and hasn't been effective in the least during that short time frame.
At 6:07, the Twins will have another opportunity to take the first chunk out of the dragon that they are attempting to slay, and I expect them to take full advantage.
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