KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are scenarios for two-way ties, three-way ties, even a mammoth four-way tie that could extend the 2021 regular season into Monday or Tuesday. The Twins, however, know their season ends a few hours from now.
"It was certainly disappointing. We came in with goals of winning a World Series, and we didn't reach our goals," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of his last-place team, which plays its final game at 2:10 p.m. "But despite the first half of the season not going anywhere near the way we wanted it go, our team and our players and our staff responded in the second half to do some very quality work and put ourselves in a good position going forward."
He's right, the second half was far less a disaster than the first, but the Twins are still only 28-28 since Aug. 1, so they're not exactly ready to join that playoff hunt. Saturday night's 4-0 shutout of the Royals gives them a chance to avoid 90 losses, hardly a reason to brag. But plenty can change by next spring, and Byron Buxton, for one, can't wait for it to start.
For now, the Twins will send Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.86) to the mound today in a matchup of winless rookies, with Jackson Kowar (0-5, 11.28) on the mound for the Royals. Football games are on the pressbox TV, I saw Chiefs fans tailgating in the parking lot (even though the Chiefs are in Philadelphia), and half the team is catching flights elsewhere after the game.
Pitchers and catchers report in 131 days, by the way.
Here are today's lineups: