I don’t know what the big deal was; winning playoff baseball games is simple.

The Twins clinched a spot in the American League Divisional Series on Wednesday, beating the Blue Jays 2-0. It was, as many have pointed out, the first time since 1991 the Twins have won a playoff series at home, and just the second time since then that they’ve won a playoff series of any kind.

Sonny Gray threw five scoreless innings, and somehow the Twins bullpen shut down Toronto for another day, but Carlos Correa was at the center of everything again for Minnesota. He drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded single, and he was right there for the two biggest defensive plays of the day.

The first came in the top of the fifth, as Toronto put runners on second and third with two out. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., on second, got caught wandering, and Correa raced in behind him as Gray whirled for the pickoff - ending the threat without Gray having to throw another pitch.

Vladdy Jr. immediately motioned for the dugout to challenge the play, probably because he was thinking, “If I just got picked off second, my teammates are going to kill me.” Replay confirmed that Guerrero was out, but this is why I support players being able to challenge calls: they always do it out of hope rather than facts, and it’s funny when they’re wrong.

In the top of the sixth, the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out, and Matt Chapman came up against Caleb Thielbar. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Chapman ripped a liner down the left-field line that landed about a foot foul; it would have given Toronto a 3-2 lead. On the third pitch, he bounced to Correa at short, and the Twins started an inning-ending double play.

And that was pretty much it for Toronto. Brock Stewart set them down in order. Griffin Jax did too, albeit with a third out that involved him getting mowed down by Cavan Biggio in the first-base line.

Jax’s dad, Garth, played linebacker for the Cowboys and Cardinals in the NFL. Presumably he would have wanted Jax to lay out Biggio, whose dad was a (scoffs) baseball player, but I’m pretty sure that even if you have the ball, you’re not allowed to form-tackle base runners.

Jhoan Duran blew away the Jays in the ninth, after a weird medical timeout for them to fix something on his hand. While the trainers worked on him, the cameras cut to Emilio Pagán hurriedly getting loose in the bullpen, and I’m sure I’m not the only Twins fan whose heart fell down around his ankles when he saw that.

The Twins start the ALDS in Houston on Saturday. The two-day break should give Minnesota the chance to pitch Pablo López and Gray in games two and three, which - after the two combined to allow one run in the ALWCS - is obviously a key thing for the Twins.

First of all, I’d like to curse the FOX corporation. Whenever they put MLS games on national TV, they inexplicably have the games kick off 25 minutes after the announced start time - so, for example, Wednesday’s game, a 9:30 kickoff, actually started at 9:55.

Anyway, it was a total disaster for Minnesota United, regardless of the start time. The Loons went down 5-1 at LAFC, after scoring 190 seconds into the game, then almost immediately giving away the lead. I covered the game for the Star Tribune, so I will point you to that recap, rather than boring you here.


TIMBERWOLVES vs Dallas (preseason), 11am
WILD at Chicago (preseason), 7:30pm


GOPHERS VOLLEYBALL at Maryland, Friday

TWINS at Houston, ALDS Game 1, Saturday
LOONS vs Los Angeles Galaxy
TIMBERWOLVES vs Dallas (preseason)
WILD vs Dallas (preseason)

VIKINGS vs Kansas City, Sunday
GOPHERS MEN’S HOCKEY vs Bemidji State (exhibition)