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  • For some reason, Minnesota just can't seem to buy a win against New York.
By Jon Tayler
September 20, 2017

The Twins lost to the Yankees today, 11–3, as New York finished a three-game sweep of Minnesota in the Bronx. That drops the Twins to 2–4 this season against the Yankees, which isn't necessarily that bad; after all, the Yankees are a very good team, are likely going to win the wild card and still have a shot at the AL East title. But this has also been the story of the Yankees and Twins for every season seemingly since the dawn of time.

With that 2–4 mark, Minnesota has now posted a losing record against New York every single year since 2002. That's 15 straight seasons of complete ineptitude against the men in pinstripes. And those years haven't even been close: The Twins' collective record against the Yankees in that span is 31–78, or a .284 winning percentage that would translate to a 46–116 record over a full season. That winning percentage would be the 15th-worst regular-season mark in modern major league history. Put another way: The Twins against the Yankees over the last 15 years are, collectively, one of the 20 worst teams in the last century-plus of the game.

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But wait, there's more! There are three different years in that time—2002, '03 and '09—in which the Twins didn't win a single game against the Yankees, and in that '09 season, they also lost all three of their ALDS games against New York. At one point, the Twins lost 13 straight games to the Yankees across the 2002 and '03 seasons. Things are even worse when it comes to Yankee Stadium, which seems to be Minnesota's own personal House of Horrors That Ruth Built. Since 2002, the Twins are 12–40 in the Bronx—a .231 winning percentage, or the equivalent of a 37–125 season, and in seven different years, Minnesota didn't win a single game it played in Yankee Stadium.

The stats aren't any prettier. Including today's shellacking, Twins pitchers have a collective 5.09 ERA against Yankees hitters since 2002 and have surrendered 150 home runs in 121 games. Not counting today's stats, New York's lineup has hit .287/.347/.465, or just a tad under what Jeff Kent slashed over his entire career. The Twins, by contrast, have managed a mere .252/.309/.388 line against Yankees pitching, or the rough equivalent of Pokey Reese's career at the plate, and have been shut out seven times.

So yeah: The Twins are bad against the Yankees. So bad. So, so, so bad. Bad beyond belief. Bad to the point where you wonder what the Yankees are putting in the water in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. Bad to the point that it shoots past coincidence and even suspicion and lands solely at the only plausible explanation being that the Twins are the plaything of a merciless god who lives in Staten Island and thinks Don Mattingly is a Hall of Famer.

Well, at least luckily for the Twins, yet another season of getting beat on by the Yankees has finally come to a clo—

Maybe Minnesota should consider ceding that second wild card to the Angels to save themselves some pain.

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