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Twins are in the right frame of mind

Updated: October 9, 2010, 5:17 PM ET
By Buster Olney

There hasn't been a day since Michael Cuddyer joined the Twins when he felt out of place saying something to teammates. Torii Hunter encouraged him in this way: If you've got something worth saying, then go ahead and say it.

It is because of this culture that the Twins have a full set of emotional safety nets in place following their losses in the first two games of their ALDS against the Yankees. The Twins' greatest challenge, as they head into Saturday's Game 3, will be to turn the page on eight consecutive postseason losses to the Yankees, and in the Minnesota clubhouse, the players made it clear that they felt this would not be a problem.

Joe Mauer spoke up right after the Game 2 loss, encouraging his teammates, and slowly, the frustration that filled the Twins went away. "Last night we got on the airplane, it was a little quiet, but as it went along, guys landed and there was a lot of laughing," Ron Gardenhire said. "They are ready to go. We know what's in front of us."

Jim Thome helps the Twins refocus after defeats, and so does Cuddyer, who tends to be the guy who reminds everyone that their focus need only be on the next game. Nick Punto's sarcastic humor is helpful in these situations, as is Orlando Hudson's high-energy commentary and Carl Pavano's irritability. "Pavano was irritated last night," Gardenhire said, "which always makes us laugh. Gives us a good chuckle to see him mad."

Said Hudson: "We put things behind us. We have fun, we talk about certain things and once it's talked about say, 'It's done,' throw it in the trash can and get ready for the next day."

But no matter what is said and done, what is more important for the Twins is to hit with runners on base. So far in this series, they are 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

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