Is Target Field really a home-field advantage for Twins?

The one hope for Twins fans is that a return trip home could help their favorite team take a deep breath.
Target Field

The Minnesota Twins' hopes of exorcising their ghosts of October's past are fading by the minute as the New York Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the American League Divisional Series over the weekend. 

As the Yankees dominated the Twins to the tune of 27 strikeouts in the past two games, many Twins fans are having flashbacks of the 2000s when Minnesota was routinely tortured by the bleacher creatures that occupied Yankee Stadium. With the series appearing to be over, the one hope for Twins fans is that a return trip home could help their favorite team take a deep breath.

So far this year, that hasn't been the case. The Twins' overall record at Target Field looks pretty good at 46-35, but that doesn't hide how much Minnesota has struggled at home during the second half of the season. Since the All-Star break, the Twins have dropped eight of their 12 series at home, compiling a record of 17-19.

Part of this has been the Twins' injury woes as they have lost Byron Buxton and Michael Pineda since the All-Star break. In addition, the Twins current pitchers such as Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and others have had a steep decline in their performance.

Not only that, but the Twins were better on the road this season, leading the majors with 55 road victories. 

But what if the people attending the games were part of the problem? As someone who has attended games at Target Field throughout the years, it's routinely been lauded as a baseball bar. Fans can come and go, grab a couple of $10 beers in the Barrio and take a quick glance at the action on the field.

A lot of that has to do with the quality of the team that was put on the field. Since Target Field opened in 2010, it has hosted one playoff game prior to Monday's Game 3 with the Yankees.

Follow BMTN Sports on Twitter

However, it was my last Twins game at Target Field that made me question some things. As I sat in the stands for a game for the first time in forever (I usually wander around and socialize while watching the game), I noticed that many of the fans weren't really into the game (part of the reason is the Twins didn't generate much offense).

As the Twins made a late push in a game with the Cleveland Indians, who were pushing Minnesota for the lead in the American League Central, some fans stood up to cheer on the team. As the Twins came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, a man behind him screamed "Hey! Game's on!" which forced the other fans to sit down and put their hands in their pocket.

I'd love to say this was an isolated incident, but when I came home later, I found out that while another fan stood up to cheer, a fan had thrown a mini-donut in disgust that someone would dare make noise for the Twins in the bottom of the ninth inning in an important divisional game.

Which leads me to ask: How much of a home-field advantage is there if fans aren't willing to get in the game? If things go south in a hurry in Game 3, are Twins fans going to quit and give up on the season?

Hopefully, these things won't come to fruition, but if the Twins are going to complete the improbable comeback to advance to the American League Championship Series, the atmosphere at Target Field is going to need a facelift beginning Monday night.

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Antoine Winfield Jr. says playoff win was "for my pops back in '09"

The son of the Vikings legend did not forget about "Bountygate."

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.


It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.


Target Field

Target Field's craft beer selection ranked 7th in MLB

Target Field is great for craft beers, but you might need help finding them.

Target Field

Target Field ranked seventh in Boston Globe ballpark poll

The Boston Globe asked their beat writers' favorite stadium and Target Field was represented well.

Target Field

Game times for Twins-Yankees ALDS at Target Field confirmed

The times for games 3 and 4 have been announced.

Rocco Baldelli

Why the Twins shouldn't fear the Yankees

The Twins have a terrifying postseason past with the Yankees, but this time around there is nothing to fear in the ALDS.

Twins giving Gate 34 at Target Field a makeover

It'll provide more space, shade and entertainment options for fans.