By Joe Christensen
CHICAGO — Beginning Wednesday, the MLB postseason will begin zooming by with three games on back-to-back days.
Some people like to play hookie on the first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA basketball tournament. For baseball junkies, like me, the first round of the playoffs feel a little like that.
In many ways, tonight is even more special. The Twins and White Sox will have the national spotlight all to themselves. Baseball fans from Alaska to the Florida Keys will have a window (on TBS) into one of the game’s most underrated rivalries.
(* FSN North is doing a Twins postgame show, as well.)
I have vivid memories of last year’s one-game playoff between the Padres and Rockies, and those teams don’t even hate each other like the Twins and White Sox do.
The Rockies were on their amazing run of 20 victories in 21 games. The Padres had just missed clinching a playoff spot, when Milwaukee’s Tony Gwynn Jr., of all people, played spoiler.
The game at Coors Field stretched 13 innings. San Diego scored two runs in the 13th to take the lead, but the Rockies stormed back with three runs against all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman. Did Matt Holliday touch home plate or not, as he slid chin-first? A question Padres fans had to chew on all winter.
Tonight will bring only the eighth one-game playoff in major league history. Our baseball editor, Dennis Brackin, put together a fun look at the previous eight called, “Paging Bucky Dent and Luis Sojo.”
So have fun watching tonight. As Souhan wrote, it’s like Game 7 without the six appetizers.
I’m predicting a high-scoring game. The wind will be blowing straight to center field, but the more I study it, the conditions don’t look like they’ll be quite as blustery as we thought during the game. (Temps in the high 50s, NW winds at 10-15 mph.)
Anyway, I’ll be back with the starting lineups and pregame notes in a few hours. Get ready. It should be a lot of fun.