Twins got a taste of why nobody wants to face the Yankees in the playoffs

And the Twins got a taste of why on Monday night.

Every day that passes makes a Twins-Yankees one-game Wild Card playoff more likely.

That's great because it would put the Twins back in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but it's bad because the Yankees are freaking awesome, not to mention their 12-2 playoff record against the Twins since 2003. 

This year's Yankee team is red-hot right now, frequently flashing its frightening potential. They've outscored opponents by 61 runs since Aug. 14, Aaron Judge is on fire again, and their super bullpen is capable of putting a game on ice after five innings or less. 

The Twins got a glimpse of that dominance Monday night. After Jaime Garcia limited the Twins to one run over 5 2/3 innings, the bullpen put a number on the Twins. 

David Robertson got four outs without allowing a hit. Dellin Betances walked two to give the Twins a bases loaded, one out situation in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman blew Joe Mauer away and got Byron Buxton to pop out to end the threat. Then he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, ending the game on a 104 mph fastball to Eduardo Escobar.

104 mph. That's not a typo. 

Since the beginning of September, the Yankees have held opponents to a .182 batting average in the seventh through ninth innings. Their only weakness has been issuing walks, namely Betances. 

But Yankees manager Joe Girardi can leave Betances on the bench and not blink. He still has two other elite options that Minnesota didn't face Monday night: Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle. 

Look at how many strikeouts per nine innings these guys average. 

  • David Robertson: 12.1 K/9
  • Chad Green: 13.8 K/9
  • Dellin Betances: 15.6 K/9
  • Tommy Kahnle: 11.5 K/9
  • Aroldis Chapman: 12.7 K/9

For context, Trevor Hildenberger (among regulars) leads the Twins with 9.31 K/9. 

The only one of the five whose fastball doesn't average at least 95 mph is Robertson, according to FanGraphs. The rest throw straight gas. 

  • Robertson: 91.9 mph
  • Green: 95.8 mph
  • Betances: 98.5 mph
  • Kahnle: 98.1 mph
  • Chapman: 100.2 mph

If that's not enough, consider that all of them have a strikeout rate of at least 33 percent. 

Still not enough? The scariest part about that stat is that Chapman, the guy with the 104 mph heater, is the low man at 33 percent. Green is actually the most strikeout-happy at 42 percent.

FanGraphs points out that "the Yankees could become the first bullpen to feature five pitchers with strikeout rates of 30 percent or greater."

They're not invincible, but with a bullpen like New York's, they're capable of being the most dangerous team in baseball this postseason – and the Twins are on a collision course with them. 

The alternative to the Yankees

If the Twins happen to get in as a Wild Card team and they don't play the Yankees, the only alternative appears to be a do-or-die against the Red Sox. That would only happen if the Yankees erase a three-game deficit and win the AL East. 

Boston is 5-2 and has outscored Minnesota 51-21 this season. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.


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.

Miguel Sano

Better playoff matchup for Twins: Astros or Yankees?

Barring a collapse in the Central Division, the Twins are headed to New York or Houston.

Report: Yankees might want new Twins LHP Garcia

Jaime Garcia is scheduled to make his debut with the Twins Friday in Oakland.

Q&A with Byron Buxton on the playoffs, facing the Yankees, his incredible speed and more

We talked playoffs, his incredible speed, facing the Yankees and more.

Everything you need to know about tonight's Twins-Yankees playoff game

Brian Dozier: "Reach back a little bit and take your game to the next level."

Report: Pitcher traded to Twins from Yankees will start Tuesday

Littell went 19-1 in the minors last season and he's been good again in 2018.

Updating the Twins' playoff chances

Losing eight of 12 after the All-Star break puts the Twins in a tight situation.