0-15. 0-for-freaking-15. At this point, the Minnesota Twins’ playoff struggles in the 21st century have crossed into “curse” territory. Neither Gardy’s scrappers, Molly’s up-and-comers, or Rocco’s Bomba Squad have been able to win a single playoff contest since George W. Bush’s first term. Once again, the Twins find themselves with their backs against the wall in a Yankees ALDS series. Even under the home limestone, the situation certainly looks grim.
Starting in that same ‘04 postseason where the current hex began, however, a trend has developed: whenever a team shatters a curse, they do it in the most dramatic way possible.
- In 2004, the Boston Red Sox were still laboring under the Curse of the Bambino. They found themselves down 0-3 in the ALCS to the Yanks trailing 4-3 in Game Four with Mariano Rivera trotting to the mound from the Fenway pen. But Dave Roberts stole a base and the Sox never lost again that postseason. Curse lifted.
- In 2016, the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series title since 1908. Up 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Seven against the Cleveland Indians in that year’s Fall Classic, the Cubbies surrendered a game-tying three runs even with Aroldis Chapman on the mound. It took two more runs and an extra inning to finally allow them to fly a WS “W”. They had also been down 3-1 in that series.
- Just a year later, the Houston Astros were gunning for their first championship in franchise history. It took seven of the craziest games in World Series history, but they got it done.
Right now, the Minnesota Twins need a miracle to stay alive and break their own bugaboo both against the Yankees and in the playoffs in general. Fortunately, if recent-ish history is any indication, this is when it’s most likely to happen.