"We've got nothing to lose. There's no pressure on us and we shouldn't play with any pressure… It's really the Twins' to lose." -- Paul Konerko
Kevin Slowey and company, backed by an early offensive attack, helped the Twins earn their 4,000th victory Sunday afternoon with a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians, highlighted by a five-run first inning off Mitch Talbot.
More importantly, the team continues to sport baseball's best record since the All-Star break at 39-16, having won eight of their last nine games heading into an important three-game series against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night at US Cellular Field.
With a magic number of 14 and a six-game lead in the American League Central, the Twins could put few more nails in the Sox coffin and punch their ticket to the postseason. Of course, they could also completely blow it. Realistically, no lead is a safe lead til the fat lady sings.
Catching up to the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees (who were just swept for the first time all season by the Texas Rangers this weekend) for home field advantage wouldn't be so bad either, but is that a practical goal? It's been a while since the Twins have had this comfortable of a lead this late in the season. Feels kinda weird and kinda good all at the same time.
Then it's the Oakland Athletics and Indians back at Target Field, followed by a nice road trip through Detroit and Kansas City before welcoming the Toronto Blue Jays to Minneapolis for the final four-game set of the season. As much as the Tigers and Royals suck this year, they're also pretty great at playing the spoiler.
Will the Twins be able to take care of the Sox one last time and secure the ALC? How easy/hard do you think their schedule is looking at this point? Predictions, anyone? Also, for those of you who have been to the new abode, I'd love for you to share your favorite Target Field memories so far.