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After watching the Sox make the most unlikeliest of comebacks against the Twins on Wednesday afternoon, I almost don’t want to see the Metrodome go.
On one hand, it could very well spell the end of the Twins’ extraordinary home-field advantage, diminishing their speed-based antics and forcing them to rely more on power that traditionally hasn’t been there.
On the other, it would’ve been nice to see if Wednesday’s win could’ve been the start of destroying the Great Minnesota Myth.
After all, the Twins let the Sox back into two games, which is something they never do. They held Carlos Gomez to one single in six at-bats, and he always kills the Sox. Add in the Twins using the solo homer to get ahead on Tuesday, and the seeds were planted to change the shape of the rivalry to a much less annoying version on both teams’ parts.
That might be unfortunate, because in many ways, the Twins-Sox rivalry is the best in baseball. It lacks the history of Red Sox-Yankees and Cubs-Cardinals, but its roots are compelling in a unique way. They’re two teams using vastly different approaches from the top down to maximize the benefits of vastly different stadiums, and it has resulted in roughly equivalent results for an entire decade.
The Sox never came close to taming the Metrodome, but on Tuesday and Wednesday, they looked like a team capable of holding their own. Hell, Gordon Beckham might’ve been capable of transforming the series by himself. He came up with a big extra-base hit in all three games, and he finishes his Metrodome career hitting 15-for-34 in the air conditioning, good for a line of .441/.486/.791.
Instead, the move to Target Field will probably make the divide between the teams much more ordinary — especially if you count on the new stadium increasing the Twins’ revenues. And that’s fine, I suppose, but there’s something to be said for changing a reputation by hand.
At least they went out with a bang. It was arguably their finest performance of the season. And if the Twins happen to fall a game short of the postseason, it’ll be fun to think that it was because the team that always seals the deal couldn’t conquer a team that could never come back.
Minor league roundup:
- Durham 9, Charlotte 0
- Jack Egbert was nicked up for runs in every inning but the second, finishing with five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. One strikeout.
- Taylor Thompson threw two shutout innings in his first Triple-A outing, making an emergency jump from Bristol.
- Stefan Gartrell doubled; Brady Shoemaker doubled and struck out twice.
- Salem 9, Winston-Salem 5
- Brent Morel went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Justin Greene, singled, walked, drove in a run and struck out twice.
- Tyler Kuhn went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Wander Perez struck out four over 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just a walk and a hit.
- Hector Santiago threw two shutout innings.
- Kannapolis 5, West Virginia 1
- Josh Phegley went 4-for-4 with four singles during a 16-hit day for Kannapolis.
- Daniel Black singled twice, walked and drove in a run.
- Jon Gilmore doubled and drove in a run.
- Nevin Griffith allowed a run over seven innings — five hits, two walks, two strikeouts.
- Dan Remenowsky picked up save No. 23 with two shutout innings, allowing a hit and two walks while striking out two.
- Great Falls 10, Billings 5
- Jose Vargas went 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI.
- Nick Ciolli singled, walked and scored two runs.
- Kyle Colligan went 1-for-4 with two RBI.
- Jesus Avila doubled, walked, struck out once and scored two runs.