All in all, it's tough to be overly upset about the way the Twins played in last night's ALDS opener at Yankee Stadium. On little rest, they headed into hostile territory to face a vastly superior and more experienced team, and while the results may not bear it out, the Twins held their own.
The 7-2 final score would suggest that the Twins were soundly defeated in their postseason opener, and there's no doubt that this was the case. Yet, while they were only able to scratch a couple runs across, the Twins did manage to register nine hits and numerous lengthy at-bats against the Yankees' ace and bullpen.
Untested rookie Brian Duensing, who prior to last night's game had never even visited New York City -- much less pitched there -- went out and showed good poise while attacking the Yankee hitters from the start. He threw 59 of his 79 pitches for strikes and issued only one walk over 4 2/3 innings. He did end up being charged with five earned runs during that span, but one of those runners would have been thrown out at the plate on a decent relay throw from Orlando Cabrera when Nick Swisher doubled, and another scored on a home run hit against Francisco Liriano after Duensing was (prematurely?) pulled from the ballgame.
Really, the Twins showed no signs of being overwhelmed or intimidated. They played with confidence and mounted rally attempts late into the game, but simply couldn't compete on this night with a better and far more well-rested team. I'm not going to complain about their effort. If I were going to complain about anything it would be the fact that this sport enables one team to outspend another more than threefold, but that's a rant for another day.
For now, we'll see how the Twins perform on Friday night with an extra day of rest and with a slightly more favorable pitching match-up. I'll have a preview of that game up tomorrow morning. For now, I recommend that everyone uses this day off to reflect on the amazing events of the final weeks of the regular season, rather than the deflating but expected result in their first contest at Yankee Stadium.