[With the Detroit Tigers defeating the New York Yankees in the first round of the playoffs tonight, I thought it would be a good idea to reprise a post from last year when the Yankees lost to the Rangers and update it with the new stats. -Ed.]
In 2003, the Twins played their first postseason game against the Yankees. They won.
Since that game they have gone 1-12 against the Yankees in postseason games, last winning Game One of the 2004 Division Series. They have also gone 0-4 against the Yankees in postseason series during that time.
Since 2003, here is the list of teams that have beaten the Yankees in a postseason series:
Florida Marlins (2003 World Series)
Boston Red Sox (2004 ALCS)
Los Angeles Angels (2005 ALDS)
Detroit Tigers (2006 ALDS)
Cleveland Indians (2007 ALDS)
Texas Rangers (2010 ALCS)
Detroit Tigers (2011 ALDS)
That’s six different teams with the Tigers doing it twice. Including their World Series championship in 2009, that makes the Yankees 4-6 in postseason series that do not involve the Twins. Let me repeat that: 4-0 against the Twins, 4-6 against the rest of baseball. In that time, only three other teams have faced the Yankees more than once in the postseason. The Red Sox went 1-1 in those famous 2003 and 2004 ALCSs and the Angels also went 1-1. The Tigers have beat the Yankees both times they've faced them. That means the other three teams up there only had to face the Yankees once to beat them.
That’s series. How about games? As described above, the Twins are 2-12 against the Yankees since 2003, and that’s being generous since they’re 1-12 in their last 13 games and 0-9 in their last nine. But, hell, the Twins need a break, so let’s be generous. Here is a list of all the teams that have played the Yankees in the postseason since 2003 along with their overall record against them, sorted by the number of wins.
Detroit Tigers (6-3)
Los Angeles (5-6)
Florida Marlins (4-2)
Texas Rangers (4-2)
Cleveland Indians (3-1)
Philadelphia Phillies (2-4)
Man, I can barely stand to do this analysis. Must…forge…ahead….
Okay, so not including the Twins, seven other teams have played the Yankees in the postseason since the start of the 2003 season. Only one other has a losing record in terms of series, with Philadelphia losing the only time they faced them. After them, only one other team, the Angels has a losing record against them in games, and if we extend things back to 2002 the Angels improve to 8-7 against the Yankees while the Twins (and everybody else) stay where they are.
So the rest of baseball is 31-25 against the Yankees in the playoffs over a span of time in which the Twins are 2-12 (or 1-12 if you’re not feeling generous). Since the Twins last won a playoff game against the Yankees, the rest of baseball is 24-19.
This is astounding. I had no idea it would be so stark. Against the rest of the MLB playoff teams, the Yankees are well under .500, and that includes their World Series championship in 2009. Against the Twins, though, they’re like the Globetrotters playing the Washington Generals.
The Twins talk a lot about how the Yankees aren’t in their head and ya de ya de ya de, but I think it’s impossible to think otherwise.