Correa, Lewis supply the pop, Griddy their way to Twins comeback win

Veteran's adjustments and rookie's resurgence have left side of infield surging

September 9th, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS -- already knows what these big moments in September are like. is new to this stage -- but is quickly making it his own.

And together from the left side of the Minnesota infield, the established star and the emerging one punished some baseballs -- and did the Griddy -- to bring the Twins a step closer to glory.

Correa mashed the hardest-hit homer of his career and reached base three times, while Lewis crushed four baseballs at 102 mph or harder -- including a pair of RBI doubles -- as Minnesota continued its charge toward October with a 5-2, come-from-behind victory over the Mets in the opener of a three-game series at Target Field on Friday night.

“I just feel like September is a month where I can let it all out,” Correa said. “The finish line, you can see it out there.”

  • Games remaining: vs. NYM (2), vs. TB (3), at CWS (4), at CIN (3), vs. LAA (3), vs. OAK (3), at COL (3)
  • Standings update: The Twins (74-67) hold a 6 1/2-game lead on the Guardians (68-74) for the AL Central title.. Cleveland clinched the tiebreaker by winning the season series, 7-6. Minnesota is currently the third-best division winner, meaning it would host a best-of-three Wild Card Series vs. the final Wild Card entrant starting on Oct. 3.
  • Magic number: 15 (for AL Central)

The victory maintained the Twins’ lead in the American League Central at 6 1/2 games over the Guardians, who bounced back to beat the Angels on Friday after the Twins wrapped up their victory over the Mets.

Correa has now put 25 balls in play in September -- and 14 of them have been hit at 100 mph or harder, including the 114.2 mph, game-tying blast to the second deck off Mets starter Kodai Senga that marked the hardest of his nine-year career and the 111.9 mph double on a rope to left-center as part of the Twins’ go-ahead, three-run rally off the Mets’ bullpen in the seventh.

“That’s just the Carlos I know, so it was kind of boring, to be honest with you,” joked Dallas Keuchel, who pitched five strong innings. “I was expecting like 120 [mph] off the bat.”

It has undoubtedly been a tough 2023 season for Correa, who has set the Twins’ single-season double play record and struggled to find his mechanics while playing through the pain of plantar fasciitis. But he has a chance to put that all behind him with another strong September, and he said that he’d found some adjustments on the road in Texas that have helped him -- though he declined to go into specifics.

And as Correa has heated up with a .393/.452/.643 line in a small September sample fueled by those adjustments, his partner on the left side of the infield has stayed red-hot -- seemingly not slowing down at all, and celebrating his hits with the “Griddy” dance that has been popularized in Minnesota by Vikings superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Lewis got the Twins started with an RBI double down the left-field line off Senga in the first inning and narrowly missed a homer in the third, and even his double-play grounder in the fifth was scalded at 102.4 mph.

After Andrew Stevenson ran wild on a chaotic play involving a double steal and two errant throws by the Mets defense that gave the Twins a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Lewis came through again with another RBI double. This one at 111.7 mph, tacking on a vital insurance run.

“He's carrying this offense, it's plain and simple,” Correa said. “Ever since he came back, he's been unbelievable. He's a special talent. I've seen a lot of great prospects come up and make a huge impact right away, but he's a top-tier prospect.”

“I mean, it’s just a matter of time before I think there’s some MVP votes,” Keuchel said.

The respect goes both ways, with Lewis throwing credit back at Correa, who has always been one of his shortstop idols, for the example he sets. Now, he gets to witness the performances when the lights are brightest that have made Correa such a feared and productive presence in playoff runs.

“I love watching him hit,” Lewis said. “I’ve loved it since I was little. That’s why he is one of my favorite players to this day. Being able to watch him take ground balls, literally right next to him, being able to watch him hit in front, behind, wherever it is in the order, it doesn’t matter. … He’s just so professional, man.”

Together, the left side of the Minnesota infield is starting to lead the charge with leadership, energy and performance -- and when they’re both locked in, Friday night is what it can look like.