Joe Girardi's first playoff series win touched off a wild scene in the extremely cramped visiting clubhouse - the last champagne party in the last Major League Baseball game to be played at the quirky, noisy Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
"Without Alex,'' Girardi said, "we're not in this situation right now.''
Something about A-Rod and the Twins in postseason. He was a wrecking crew against them in '04, hitting .421 (8-19), with a homer and 3 RBI in a four-game series win, the Yanks' last previous playoff victory.
Tonight, A-Rod concluded a .455 series (5-for-11) with his second huge homer, and six RBI. There are no MVP's named in the DS, but it's clear which player would've received it. The Yankees' offense was drum-tight before A-Rod's game-tying homer off postseason great Carl Pavano.
Seriously, Pavano just earned himself a multi-year deal somewhere after tonight's game, and he's now 2-1, with a 1.71 ERA in postseason, and his last two such games (Game 4, 2003 World Series and tonight) were against the Yankees.
Amazingly, Pavano's nine strikeouts are the most ever by a Twins starter in a postseason game, more than Blyleven, Kaat, Morris, and Johan Santana. Oh, and Rick Reed.
Anyway, it's good night, Dome, and good night Twins. The ALCS starts on Friday night in the Bronx, Yankees-Angels. More stuff tomorrow.