As someone who has dabbled in sports rituals and superstitions over the years, I found myself wondering the other day about the Twins' Rally Sausage.

The processed meat tube that became a fun narrative during the Twins' offensive turnaround that prompted a recent 17-3 stretch must have stopped working as the bats went silent during a seven-game losing streak when the Twins were outscored 45-12.

Where was the Rally Sausage, and why had it forsaken them?

Very soon after, I had the answer. As Bobby Nightengale wrote, the Rally Sausage made its triumphant return Tuesday. It was delivered by UPS to the Twins' clubhouse in Washington just a couple hours before Minnesota walloped the Nationals 10-0 to stop that skid.

As it turns out, they had left it back in Minnesota after scoring only one run in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees at Target Field, perhaps thinking that their luck had turned. But after four more lackluster losses on the road, the sausage was back.

Byron Buxton, who had said previously that he would not touch the sausage, broke that promise. He hit two home runs Tuesday.

"That's our lucky sausage," Buxton said. "Getting it back was big. I guess I'm going to have to hop on the train. I done touched it now."

That a sausage would have some sort of magical powers that helped Twins hitters barrel up some balls makes no sense at all — unless, of course, you have ever played or watched sports, as I talked about on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast.

In sports, if you think something is lucky, it is. There are probably not magical spirits in a summer sausage, but if Twins players think that touching it will help them, then it does have an impact on performance.

It gives them an extra shot of confidence. It gives them something to rally around. It breaks up some of the tension, particularly the airing of grievances that had been happening during the losing streak.

Maybe the power of the sausage is not great enough to overcome the curse of the Yankees, which explains why they only scored one run before temporarily discarding it? Maybe they had to ditch it for a little while to realize what they were missing?

Or maybe they were just due to bust out of their slump and the sausage was just a coincidence?

We'll never know for sure, but that's the point.

Here are four more things to know today:

* Also on Wednesday's podcast, Chris Hine and I broke down the Western Conference finals ahead of Game 1 between the Timberwolves and Dallas. What are the best matchups? Can the Wolves keep this up? Is this really happening?

* PWHL Minnesota defeated Boston to even their finals series at one game apiece. Rachel Blount is expected to join me on the regular episode of the podcast Thursday to break down that series, while Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins is slated to join me for a special edition podcast after Game 1.

* Indiana blew it in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, and neither the Pacers nor Boston were very impressive down the stretch of a Celtics overtime win.

* After watching Kirk Cousins handle the bulk of the QB news conferences for the Vikings over the past six years, it was a little jarring to see Sam Darnold holding court Tuesday during OTAs.