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Pre-Game 162

Good morning, Minnesota!  Feelin good?

As I've thought about the game in a few hours, there've been a few things on my mind.

  • Remember in 2006, how the four teams involved on the final day were the Twins, Tigers, Royals and White Sox?  Well, those are the same four teams involved today, except the two teams vying tor the one playoff spot (the same two teams as '06 as well) have swapped opponents.  It's a fun coincidence that this year we're counting on the White Sox to beat the Tigers, while the team that did us a favor that season needs to roll over for us today.
  • Last year, the Twins swept the team in front of them to take a half-game lead with just one series to go.  All Minnesota had to do was win, and the title would have been theirs.  Chicago forced game 163, and we all know what happened there.  This season, all Detroit had to do was win...something they haven't yet done.  Can the Twins play the role the White Sox played last summer, and take a division they probably had no right to win?

Don't get me wrong, because I'm not saying "the Twins don't deserve this", because they do.  They've done what they had to do whe they had to do it, which was win.  But there's no denying they've had help all year to keep within shouting distance of first place, and this week they've had help again.  In many ways, it just makes this weekend's improbable run that much more astounding.  Admit it, if the Twins were 15 games up and running away from this division, today wouldn't be nearly as exciting.

Moving to the specifics of today's game, the Twins are running out a starter on just three days rest for the second day in a row.  Ron Gardenhire wants to go with the veteran in this situation, and I have to agree with him.  Carl Pavano has done a decent job to this point and I'm happy to turn to him today.  Should he faulter early, I'm sure Gardy won't hesitate to go to Brian Duesning.

Sixty-five minutes prior to first pitch, the Tigers-White Sox tilt will get underway.  Watch carefully.  We all know what the implications are.

See you for the game thread at eleven!