This is the second series in a Diamond Mind tournament involving eight of the best teams in franchise history.
1965 Twins 4
1987 Twins 2
Game 1 @ Griffith Stadium
Johan Santana and Earl Whitehill were locked in a pitcher’s duel most of the game. The Twins got to Whitehill in the top of the third inning when Joe Mauer doubled home Nick Punto for a 1-0 lead. The Nats’ only score against Santana came in the fourth when the team used three straight singles to tie the game. The score remained 1-1 through nine innings. In the top of the tenth, Justin Morneau doubled to score Mauer for the go-ahead run. Joe Nathan ran into a bit of trouble, but worked his way out and ended the game when he struck out Goose Goslin. 2006 Twins lead 1-0.
Game 2 @ Griffith Stadium
The Nationals scored three times off of Brad Radke, and General Crowder held the Twins to a single run as Washington evened the series at a game a piece with a 3-1 win. Justin Morneau was 4-for-4 with a double in the losing effort. Jack Russell pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save. Series tied 1-1.
Game 3 @ Metrodome
Michael Cuddyer hit two three-run home runs and Francisco Liriano pitched 8 2/3 strong innings as the Twins took Game 3 at the Dome. Cuddyer’s home runs came in the fifth and seventh innings. Liriano allowed one run on four hits on the game, and struck out six Nationals. Torii Hunter added a solo home run in the 8-1 Twins’ victory. 2006 Twins lead 2-1.
Game 4 @ Metrodome
Carlos Silva allowed just one unearned runs in eight innings, and the Twins used a balanced offense to score nine runs in the game and take a commanding lead in the series. Joe Mauer was 3-for-4 with a double, and five other Twins had two hits in the game. The lead was only two heading into the eighth inning, but a six-run inning put the game away. 2006 Twins lead 3-1.
Game 5 @ Metrodome
The Washington bats finally showed some life in the Metrodome, scoring seven runs to avoid elimination at the hands of the Twins. They did it by getting to Johan Santana, scoring four runs off of the ace in 5 2/3 innings. Dave Harris hit a solo home run in the second inning, the first home run for the Nationals in the series. General Crowder pitched seven innings allowing just one run to earn his second victory of the series. 2006 Twins lead 3-2.
Game 6 @ Griffith Stadium
The Nationals scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie, and held on for a 2-1 win to force a game seven. Both pitchers were strong, as Brad Radke and Lefty Stewart dueled for seven innings. Heinie Manush and Ossie Bluege knocked in the Nats’ runs. Series tied 3-3.
Game 7 @ Griffith Stadium
Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan combined for a three-hit shutout in the series-clinching win for the Twins. Liriano went eight innings and allowed all three of the Washington hits. Earl Whitehill and Tommy Thomas held the Twins scoreless for eight innings as well. Luis Rodriguez, batting for Liriano, hit a pinch-hit solo home run in the top of the ninth to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Joe Nathan made it look easy in the ninth, striking out two of the three men he faced to clinch the game and the series. 2006 Twins win 4-3.
Series MVP: Francisco Liriano 2-0 0.54 ERA 16.2 IP 10 K
The 2006 Twins won 51 out of 100 series against the 1933 Nationals. The most common outcome was a six-game win for the Twins, but a seven-game series seemed to capture how close these two teams played.
2006 Twins in 4: 1 1933 Twins in 4: 5
2006 Twins in 5: 12 1933 Twins in 5: 20
2006 Twins in 6: 23 1933 Twins in 6: 9
2006 Twins in 7: 15 1933 Twins in 7: 15
This was a very even match up between these two teams, and the 1933 Nats actually won more games overall, 299-287.