The Twins and Yankees have played 14 playoff games against each other in their history. Believe it or not, the Yankees didn’t win all of those games. It may seem like the Yankees have always beaten the Twins—especially considering how much the Yankees have beat up on them in the regular season in that same time span—but the Twins actually won two of those 14 games. Two whole games!
I was kind of shocked when I looked that up, because I only actually remembered the Twins winning one game. The one I remember was Game One in the 2004 ALDS. The reason I remember winning that game? Johan Santana. He pitched 7.0 shutout innings, befuddling the Yankees, and carrying the Twins to victory 2-0 victory. Shannon Stewart drove in Michael Cuddyer on a single to score the first run, but my personal favorite—Jacque Jones—hit a solo-home run later. That death-dinger made me feel extra special because I lived in New York City at the time and the one Twins bobblehead I had on my desk was Jacque Jones. I could point at it on my desk and say, confidentially, “THAT’S MY BOY!”
Of course, the Yankees beat the Twins in the next three games, winning the series 3-1. At least a former Twin sent them to their doom in the 2004 ALCS...
The win I didn’t remember was actually the very first playoff game the Twins and Yankees ever played: Game One of the 2003 ALDS. Perhaps I didn’t remember that one because I had conflated it in my memory with the 2004 win. It featured the exact same pitching match-up as 2004: Johan Santana vs. Mike Mussina. Although, at that time, Santana wasn’t quite yet the dominate pitcher he later became. He only made it 4.0 innings in that game before they brought in Rick Reed for just two outs, not even a full inning. I’m telling you, history is wild.
Anyway, the Twins still won that game too.
Now that I’ve been reminded, I will NEVER forget that Luis Rivas sac fly that scored the first run in Game One of the 2003 ALDS. That was beautiful. Later on Torii Hunter hit an RBI triple, scoring Matthew LeCroy, but Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano air-mailed it to third and Hunter made it all the way home. The first run in that game was scored on a sac fly by... who? In any case, the Twins won 3-1.
Really, this is all just proof the Twins CAN beat the Yankees, even though the two dollar dog limit hasn’t been lifted. There’s another obvious solution:
Bring back Johan Santana. Any idiot can look at these two games the Twins actually won and see the common bond. And really—it’s probably more likely than not that Johan Santana is trying to make a comeback right now, right? We just need to find Santana. bring him here, and then we can beat the Yankees.
I will get the alter ready. You find Johan Santana. Let’s meet back here in twelve hours.