All I am saying is that this is not a bad team. I know, a week ago, when the Twins were in the midst of a four game losing streak I was a little bit critical of their efforts and their ability to turn the tides. Time is a calming factor. Frankly, once I was over the shock and disappointment of a bad run to start the season, I was able to consider this stretch objectively. Here are the results of that objective realization:
The Twins are who we thought they were! (I LOVE you, Denny Green!)
Last season the Minnesota Twins were 3-6 against the Toronto Blue Jays. This year the Twins are keeping pace, taking one of three from the Jays. Keep it up boys; this is the same record that brought you an AL Central Championship in 2010!
A year ago, the Twins managed to win just two of six games against the Yankees. Good news Twins fans; the 2011 Twins can easily match that record, having already gone 1-2 at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees still have to come to Target Field! Clearly, this team is keeping pace with the 2010 AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins!
The Twins struggled early this season against a vastly improved Oakland Athletics squad, but were only an unearned run away from winning that series (Thank you, Alexi Casilla. Honorable mention to worthless bats…). A year ago the Twins were 6-3 against the Athletics, so they are a little short of that mark, but it’s early, and we’re only a game behind (1-2 as opposed to 2-1) through the first three games. Last year the AL Central Champion Twins won the division by six games, but I would be willing to accept a five game win this year.
After playing the A’s the Twins were on pace to only win the division by five games, which, as I said, is perfectly acceptable. But then the Twins went ahead and stunk up the joint against a resilient Kansas City Royals team that the Twins had defeated 13 out of the 18 times they played last season. I do not think that the Twins will go 13-5 against the Royals again this year, but 10-8 seems perfectly reasonable, even a tad low. The Twins can still reach those marks by going 9-7 against the Royals through the rest of the season, and I have no doubt they will perform at least that well. So the Twins lose three more games off of their 2010 pace, yet remain capable of winning the AL Central by 2 games. I am still excited.
Rolling into Tampa Bay the Twins were definitely not excited to be back on the road and facing another AL East team. Last year the 2010 AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins were 3-5 against the Rays. This year the Twins have started out 1-3, but a 2-2 split at Target field seems perfectly reasonable, especially given the Rays complete dismantling of their franchise during this previous offseason. Twins still on pace to win the AL Central in 2011, I like it.
Then, earlier this week, the Twins headed into Baltimore to face an Orioles squad reeling in the midst of a big losing streak. With a game yet to play tonight the Twins still have an opportunity to split the road side of the season series. I like their chances tonight, and expect the Twins to earn the split. That will put them 2-2 on the year against the O’s, slightly behind 2010’s 5-3 mark, but with an opportunity to be 3-1 at the friendly confines of Target Field, and the Twins are right back on track with their 2010 selves. Let us favor a conservative outlook and chalk up another series split at Target field, and the Twins will be 4-4 against the O’s this season, dropping another game to the 2010 AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins. That leaves them with a one game cushion on the division, despite their early season struggles.
Be strong Twins fans, things will get better. Eventually this team will start playing up to their capabilities, the bullpen will settle down and we will find reliability in Matt Capps as the closer, once again. If the Twins just turn things around a LITTLE bit, this team will be winning games again and repeating as AL Central Champions!
My Lucky Twins Hat is sitting at .500, and the Twins have won just once (1-6) when I don’t have it on. Also, I have it on good authority that there is a lucky Rod Carew Jersey out there hat is 2-0, so let’s run with that!