Monday, September 22, 2008

For All the Marbles

On Thursday, I wrote that the Twins would have to keep pace with the White Sox over the weekend in order to have a shot at capturing the division during the final week of the season. I guessed that this would mean taking three of four from the Rays, and while the Twins weren't able to do that, a series split got the job done with the Sox dropping their final game against the Yankees on Thursday night and then losing once in Kansas City over the weekend. And now it all comes down to this.

This late-September Twins/White Sox series is one we've been eyeing for much of the season. Tomorrow, it begins. And the Twins, trailing by 2.5 games in the AL Central, cannot afford to simply win this series. Going into the final series of the season with a 1.5-game deficit forces them to rely on way too many lucky events falling into place. If the Twins want to make the playoffs, they need to sweep the White Sox and take over first place. That's a tall task, especially considering that they won't have Francisco Liriano going in the series, but they do have one major factor playing into their favor.

The Twins will be playing at home, in front of large enthusiastic crowds. This is when we've seen this team at its best this season. They can put their road woes behind them because all six remaining games will be played in the comfort of their own park.

It's go time. Buckle up.