Twins tie major sports record with 16th consecutive playoff loss

Plenty to be be proud of in 2019, but history vs. Yankees stings

Sloane Martin
October 08, 2019 - 1:29 am

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Categories: 

They couldn’t slay the dragon.

For the 13th time in their record-tying 16th straight playoff loss, the Twins lost to the New York Yankees, 5-1, in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday at Target Field, the third postseason game hosted at the decade-old stadium. All three are losses to the Yankees.

The end of the season allowed players and manager Rocco Baldelli to reflect on the American League Central-winning season.

“I mean it when I say to you I don’t sit here frustrated at all,” Baldelli said. “I am extremely happy and extremely proud of everything we just went through. Our guys should be walking out of the clubhouse with their heads held high. They continued to fight day in and day out.”

“So many memories,” starter Jake Odorizzi said. “There’s so much to look back on. You look at the start of the season to now and there’s so much that happened in between there. You saw players grow. You saw guys come into their own. That’s the stuff that’s really important to me.”

“I think everyone in this locker room gave everything they had for those three games,” catcher Mitch Garver said. “Things didn’t go our way. Those first few games in New York were tough, then coming home and playing in front of our home crowd. I think everybody enjoyed that. I hope Twins Territory enjoyed that. I think there’s more of that to come.”

RELATEDYankees beat Twins 5-1 to complete another playoff sweep

They weren’t a part of it, but the history against the Yankees since 2003 will continue to be talked about amongst Twins fans. 

The Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL from 1975-79 are the only other professional franchise of the four major sports that have known such misery in the postseason. Sixteen straight postseason losses is the longest in baseball history. This is the Yankees’ third consecutive sweep of the Twins, not including the 2019 wildcard game, and they own a 16-2 record against the Twins in the postseason.

The team that won 101 games, had just two three-game losing streaks in the regular season, and set the Major League Baseball record for home runs in a season fell quickly to the Yankees, and were outscored 23-7 in the series.

A chunk of the sellout crowd of 41,121 left before the final out either too frustrated to continue watching, or unable to confront such ignominious history. The Twins have not won a playoff game since 2004 when they took the opener of the ALDS against, of course, the Yankees. New York won three straight to advance to the ALCS.

Entering the matchup, Twins players and first-year manager Rocco Baldelli downplayed the history of these franchises in the postseason.

“I don’t think any of our guys care one bit about what has happened here previously,” Baldelli had said. “And I think our guys are about as confident going into this series as you can be.”

RELATED: WCCO Radio Twins Coverage

Brett Brandon and Ron Kragness traveled from north of Thief River Falls to attend Game 3. They said they leave grateful for an exciting season, but stunned with another loss to the Yankees.

“There has to be (a curse),” Brandon said. “How do you explain it?”

“You lose that many times in that many games...that’s not good,” Kragness said.

While fans think of the past -- and distant and recent -- the Twins front office will be focused on the future and constructing a roster for the 2020 season. Baldelli said postgame he’ll remember this season, and this season.

“I wouldn’t trade anything that just happened for anything in the world.”

Comments ()