Wonderfully exciting game last night between the Twins and the Tigers. Technically it was the last regular-season game, as the two teams tied for the AL Central title and needed the one-game playoff to break the tie. But it certainly had the feel of a post-season game.
Adding to the drama was the fact that it was the last regular-season baseball game in the Metrodome, as the Twins will move into their new home next year. Further drama was supplied by the Vikings game Monday night, featuring Bret Favre against his former team, the Packers. This Monday Night Football game pushed the baseball playoff game from the usual Monday to Tuesday.
Adding still more to the intrigue was that the Tigers had led the divison almost the whole season, since early May, and the Twins caught them on the final Saturday with a furious 16-4 run in September, including making up 3 games in the final 4, the first time this has ever happened.
Then there is the Tigers first-baseman Miguel Cabrera, who had provided the Tigers with a huge distraction when he got into a dometic violence situation with his wife over the last weekend of the season, getting home at 5 AM and winding up at the police station after she called the police. As it turned out, he bounced back from this and had a good game last night.
The game was back and forth the whole way, with the score even at 4-4 after 9 innings, then the 10th inning ending with the Twins' Alexi Casilla getting thrown out at home after he failed to tag up properly on a fly ball to right. His run then would have ended the game, but as it was it went into the 12th, when Casilla turned from goat to hero by driving in the winning run for the Twins, sending the packed house into a frenzy.
The Twins are quite the story. They have won the divison something like 5 out of the last 8 years, depsite being a small-market team, in an era in which small-market teams supposedly are not able to compete. How they do it should be a lesson for other teams. The Tigers, on the other hand, are loaded with high-priced stars, but couldn't quite hang in long enough to close the deal this year. Now the Twins get the Yankees in the Division Series, another team with loads of high-priced talent.
Play in the Division Series starts today with three games, the first starting at 2:30 P.M. The games are staggered so that one can watch them all. They are on TBS, which I can watch now that I have full cable (the last two years I've been limited in which post-season games I could watch). Let the games begin!