Six questions with Twinkie Town's editor-in-chief, Jesse Lund -
1. How does it feel to win that thrilling one game playoff?
Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. Awesome. Without a doubt the best "regular season" game I have ever seen. Awesome.
2. How does it feel to go up against the Yankees? What are the Twins chances? They've gone 0-7 this year; why will that change?
The Yanks won 16 more games than the Twins this season, and the Twins needed game 163 to pull it to that margin. There's really no doubt that this is a David & Goliath matchup, so it would be hard to say that the Twins' chances are anything other than underwhelming.
At the same time, it took the Yankees needing a walk-off win to bear the Twins on a few occasions this season. I won't argue that "Minnesota should have won those games", but this was back when the Twins were playing like crap and these were still close contests. The odds are still stacked against us, but the Twins are good enough to steal the series. Crazy things happen in baseball, just look at game 163.
3. Can the Twins go far without Morneau?
Well, they managed to play their best baseball of the season without him. The Twins definitely need a different hero every night, moreso than they would with Justin in the lineup, but sure. They can do some damage.
4. Your impressions of Yankee-fan-favorite Carl Pavano?He's a big boy, throws heavy. Not an ace, but I can't tell you how glad I am that he's in our rotation. I actually hope the Twins bring him back on a one-year deal next season, because our rotation could use some stability. And was he really a fan favorite? He looks like he'd steal your sandwich if you weren't looking.
5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Twins?
Team speed is a strength; the first five hitters in the lineup are a big strength even without Justin. I include Orlando Cabrera in that group because he has picked up some mega clutch hits.
The bottom half of the order is a big weakness, although not quite as much so of late. The depth in the rotation isn't great, and the bullpen is spent thanks to last night's fiasco. Defense is an issue at a lot of places: third base, shortstop and left field in particular.
6. What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Yankees?
Do the Yankees have a weakness? I can make something up. How about age...a lot of the stars are getting to the point in their careers where they start slowing down. And even though that hasn't been the case during the regular season, maybe it catches up to them in the playoffs. Maybe Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon just decide "Oh...no, I can't be bothered. Wheel of Fortune is on in 20 minutes and then it's time for bed."
My thanks to Justin... game on!