Without outstanding performances by players in crucial situations, you can’t win a playoff round. Let’s examine the top five Twins players’ Wild Card Round contributions.
The Minnesota Twins’ amazing Wild Card series victory over the Toronto Blue Jays has already been covered extensively in writing. There were a bunch of outstanding plays, clutch hits, huge throws, and game-winning pitches. There were so many wonderful moments made possible by so many different players. Here is a rundown of the top performances from a memorable Wild Card round.
5. Griffin Jax
For the Minnesota Twins, Gryphon Jax’s season was up and down the entire time. posting astronomically high ERA months like May and August while also displaying light-speed potential in other months like June and September.
Jax was given one of the hardest tasks a bullpen pitcher could be given in the Wild Card round. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio are scheduled to bat in the eighth inning of a two-run game. He had to repeat it twice.
Guerrero Jr.’s leadoff double in game one didn’t hurt Jax, and he managed to escape game two without suffering any consequences before going 1-2-3. Both times, Jax held onto a slight lead against the Blue Jays’ finest players, allowing the Twins to win both games with Jhoan Duran’s appearance in the ninth inning.
4. Sonny Gray
Sonny Grey, who began Game 2 hoping to emulate Pablo López’s outstanding start in Game 1, is fourth on the list. Grey delivered as expected, pitching five shutout innings with five strikeouts against the typically powerful Blue Jays offence.
Sonny Grey encountered difficulties on several occasions, such as when he overcame runners on second and third in the second and fifth innings while still managed to strand runners even though his performance on the mound may not have been perfect.
Sonny Grey, who was the Twins’ best starting pitcher during the season, demonstrated his value in game one by getting out to a strong start in a game where the Twins needed it despite only scoring two runs.
3. Pablo López
Despite not going scoreless like Sonny Grey did in Game 2, Pablo López’s start still rates higher due of the greater stakes.
López took pride in playing the pitcher who would finally end the Twins’ streak. In reality, he arrived to Game 1 with the uniform of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Johan Santana, who pitched in a postseason game that Minnesota won.
Pablo performed brilliantly in game one, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up only one run while thriving under the tremendous burden that was placed on him.
2. Carlos Correa
The second person on the list is the player the Twins signed because of his propensity to deliver under pressure, which is exactly what Carlos Correa did in the Wild Card round.
The Twins won their first playoff series in 20 years thanks to three crucial contributions from Correa. The defensive play of the first game was made by Correa, who drilled Bo Bichette at home plate after Jorge Polanco misplayed a grounder. After engineering the momentum-shifting pickoff play in Game 2 that ended the Blue Jays’ biggest rally of the series, Correa then hit the game-winning RBI.
1. Royce Lewis
What else is there to say about Royce Lewis? the player whose two home runs in the first and third innings of Game 1 of the World Series, which accounted for all three of the Twins’ runs, nearly single-handedly put an end to 19 years of suffering for Minnesota Twins fans.
The fact that Lewis made the effort while playing through a hamstring injury, when it was unlikely he would even make the playoff team, makes it even more extraordinary.
Lewis, who is only 24 years old, cemented his place in history with his Game One performance. A performance that restored faith in Twins fans and provided the basis for what may turn out to be a remarkable playoff run.
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