One game to decide a season's worth

It’s hard to believe that after 162 regular season games, two teams in the same division were stubborn enough to finish with the same record. And it took a pretty decent collapse by one organization to have us arrive at this point. Tonight around dinner time; or when you’re sneaking out of the office, the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers will begin the biggest game of their seasons with first pitch between Rick Porcello and Scott Baker set to begin at 5:07 PM.

As Rob Neyer points out at ESPN’s SweetSpot, the Twins are the easy choice in this one.

The Twins have played better baseball this season. They’ve outscored their opponents by 51 runs. The Tigers have been outscored (by just one run, but still). Of course, the Twins are without Justin Morneau and, well, it’s baseball. Baker might get knocked out in the third inning and Porcello might baffle the Twins for seven innings and Cabrera might jack a couple of homers.

And we’d have to agree. Sure, we love Jimmy Leyland. Sure, Ron Gardenhire is an angry troll. We have no reason to pull for Minnesota. But we see them taking this game. They’re at home, and they’re due. It just feels like the Twinkies always get down to the last game or two of the season and fall tragically short. Let’s not forget last year’s 1-game playoff which the Twins lost 1-0 in Chicago. And this time they’re due. Leyland rides off into the sunset and Miggy’s free to beat on his Mrs. all offseason.

This will be a good one tonight. And we might be lucky enough to catch the end of it due to working full-time again. The MLB Playoffs are here baby. Break out the bunting!