Are The Minnesota Twins For Real
Picked by many to struggle even to crack 70 wins this season, the Minnesota Twins have gotten 11 percent of that total within the first 15 games. A 5-3 decision that puts one in the left side of the ledger on Sunday runs a win streak to 4 with weather shortened series sweeps over a couple of struggling ballclubs.
Obviously, the White Sox and Angels are just scuffling a bit in the early goings. So by that reason alone no one should be printing AL Central Champion T-shirts with a Twins logo on it just yet. Also witness the Royals and Mets who sent Ron Gardenhire’s troops to 5 straight defeats before this run. Looking at comparable numbers, the Twins are not really exceptional at very much. Minnesota ranks 18th in team ERA and their pitchers don’t strike out a lot of batters which is crucial in the age of the strikeout. In the field, the Twins have committed 11 errors and are 26th in fielding percentage. At the plate, Gardy’s boys struggle getting hits and only 3 teams have scored fewer runs this season. Joe Mauer hitting .375 is an eye-popper for sure, but that means other teams should have their heads examined for pitching to the former MVP.
How are they doing it? For one, the pitching staff does not issue walks or hit anybody which helps keep trouble off the base paths. Also when teams get on base against Minnesota, they are not running. Opponents have 3 steals and have been caught 3 times. It’s a testament to the pitching staff as a whole to emphasize the reduction of time to deliver pitches to home plate. Another factor is that the staff has not given up many home runs to this point.
When at the plate a few shocking nuggets come forth. Even though Aaron Hicks is struggling mightily with his average, he’s second on the team in runs scored because he’s also second in walks. Hicks also came through in the clutch on Sunday to tie the game that set up Josh Willingham to clear the bases. Here’s some more, whine about Brian Dozier, Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe all you want at your own peril. They are all hitting in the neighborhood of .200, but when they get on base someone feels obliged to drive them home.
For sure, over a 162 game season there’s no way the numbers hold up. Though last year, the Baltimore Orioles stayed close enough in a lot of games to soar all the way to the postseason. If Gardy nurses this team to 81 wins this season, it’s won’t be a miracle. However it will most likely earn him another season as manager of the Minnesota Twins.