The Twins' loss in Game 2 of the ALDS last night wasn't as painful as some of the team's past postseason heartbreakers, but perhaps that's only because we as fans have been conditioned to these failures.
Certainly, the game had all the requisite attributes of a typical Twins playoff loss to the Yankees: an early lead that disappeared, a blown call by an umpire that proved costly, and -- most importantly -- a complete lack of offensive output from the Twins.
We can savage Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano for failing to deliver quality starts, though there's nothing embarrassing about the results they got against the league's top-scoring offense. We can demonize home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for another in a long line of whiffed umpiring calls that threaten the integrity of this great game (while commissioner Bud Selig seems content to ignore the issue). We can continue heaping blame on Ron Gardenhire, because his teams have now dropped 11 straight postseason games and while I don't think that has much to do with his managing I'm not going to waste my breath defending him anymore.
Ultimately, the Twins' failure to come away with even a single win over the first two games of this series falls squarely on the offense, just like it has throughout this miserable postseason drought.
The Twins last night faced a pitcher who'd started four games since the All-Star break and who was knocked around for nine runs on 19 hits in his two final regular-season tune-up starts. In front of a packed home crowd, the Twins manage to push two runs across. You don't beat the Yankees scoring two runs.
The game marked the seventh time during Minnesota's current postseason losing streak that they've scored three or fewer runs. You don't win games like that very often in the regular season (the Twins went 13-46 when scoring three times or less this year) and you certainly don't win them in the playoffs against an offensive juggernaut like the Yanks.
In Games 1 and 2, the Twins went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in front of their home crowd. It's difficult to label that kind of effort anything but pathetic. In fact, over their past five home playoff games, they have gone 2-for-30 in scoring opportunities. The players change but the story stays the same: the Twins can't get big hits and because of it they've turned into a postseason joke that no one takes seriously come October.
It's a reputation they've earned.