The last push to the playoffs goes through Minnesota

Drew NonnemacherContributor ISeptember 21, 2008

Despite the poor play, the Twins managed to come out of Tampa with a series split.  Liriano picked up the pitching staff and the team with seven innings of five-hit ball in game 4.  Despite his seven innings pitched, I did not feel he was close to being dominant.  He threw way too many balls, and his ratio of strikes to balls was not good enough.  He did enough and the offense did enough in the four run inning to get a win, though.  The game one win was huge.  It was ugly, but the Twins pulled it out in the ninth inning for a dramatic win.  Nice to see Joe Nathan get back on track with a save.  Good for Adam Everett.  He's getting a lot of love from all the Twins announcers for his clutch double in that ninth inning.  You have to feel happy for him.  Game two and three were simply ugly.  No comment on those games.  Blackburn needs to do better in game two, and the offense didn't come to play in game three.  Give credit to the Rays, they took advantage of their opportunities and scored some big runs at different points in each game.  Then the game four win, a good way to end the season road schedule.

So now here it goes.  The last sprint to the finish.  Who would have thought that the Twins and White Sox would be separated by 2 1/2 games heading into this late September series?  There is a very good chance that the Twins could take the division.  The White Sox are by no means playing great baseball.  If they were playing great baseball, the division would have been decided long ago.  Obviously, it would be ideal if the Twins swept the Sox; and ultimately swept the home stand.  I feel a lot more confident with a finish in the dome rather than on the road.  Looking at pitching match-ups, we have Scott Baker vs. Vazquez on Tuesday.  Vazquez is 12-14, but it seems like he always beats us.  We need to figure him out and Baker MUST have a quality start.  Blackburn needs to get back on track in the second game, and the final game has Kevin Slowey tabbed as the starter.  Before Liriano today, Slowey had the best start of the starters in the past week it seems, and he still didn't get through the fifth inning.

So let's go Twins.  Let's start the series with a strong game, and let's go for the sweep.  We could be in a better position right now, there is no denying that, but 2 1/2 back is not terrible.  Also, Joe Mauer is going for another batting title, and Justin Morneau is competing for another MVP.  How sweet would that be?