The Houston Astros defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon. The victory was mildly impressive, given the fact that Houston was the underdog heading into the outing, but not that notable.
Minnesota has now lost 17 consecutive postseason games. Them getting beaten in the playoffs, death and taxes are life’s only certainties.
“We didn’t give ourselves enough room to work,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after the Game 1 loss.
“In a tight situation, anything you’re not going to execute comes back to bite you and that’s what happened in today’s game.”
#Twins manager Rocco Baldelli on today’s loss: “We didn’t give ourselves enough room to work. … In a tight situation, anything you’re not going to execute comes back to bite you and that’s what happened in today’s game.”#MLB #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/6Kg8tEBiFh
— Andersen Pickard (@AndersenPickard) September 29, 2020
Far more interesting than Houston pulling out a victory over the perpetually helpless Twins is a graphic displayed during the sixth inning.
The graphic in question showed the team’s batting averages in 2017 and then in 2020.
What a difference a little cheating makes.
For the uninitiated – in January 2020 MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that an investigation showed the Astros illegally stole signs in the 2017 regular season and playoffs, as well as during parts of 2018.
The entire scheme revolved around Astros bench coach Alex Cora and a bunch of players watching the live feed of the game on a monitor behind the dugout, decoding signs, and then signaling their teammates by whistling, yelling or banging a trash can with a bat.
NBA ratings and NFL ratings have one thing in common. https://t.co/bxZOa6b5LE
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 29, 2020
One or two bangs would mean a breaking ball was coming, while no banging meant it was a fastball.
Major League Baseball went through more than 70,000 e-mails and conducted upwards of 70 interviews during the course of the investigation.
Ultimately, the Astros were fined $5 million and forced to give up their draft picks in the first and second rounds of 2020 and 2021.
Not surprising. https://t.co/WLcM4GhrSH
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 28, 2020
Their status as the 2017 World Series champs remained intact, though.
It will be interesting to see how Houston ultimately fares in this postseason when the team has to face off against someone other than the hapless Twins.
Games against legit opponents are much tougher to win when you’re not cheating.
The Astros and Twins will face off once more on Wednesday at 10:08 am PT on ABC.