A Tale of Two Twins

For the Minnesota Twins, Charles Dickens could sum up their last two weeks easily. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” Dickens wrote that to open “A Tale of Two Cities”, and it has been exactly that for the Minnesota Twins. Two weeks ago the Twins started a series against the Tampa Bay Rays, fresh off their first three-game winning streak of the young 2011 season. It seemed that the then 9-12 Minnesota Twins were about to turn things around and play the baseball they were capable of playing.
The Twins were then promptly swept on the road by the Rays and the Kansas City Royals. The Twins bandwagon had finally ground to a halt. The Twins were 9-18 and sporting the worst record in Major League Baseball. And the Twins were not only the worst team in baseball, they had the worst April in franchise history and were at the bottom of most hitting and pitching statistics. They were not just losing games; they were being blown out of the ball park. During their six-game losing streak the Twins gave up 10+ runs 3 times and were outscored by 40 runs (14-54)! It was ugly baseball to watch. The Twins were seemingly out of every ball game by the time the 4th inning began.  
When the Twins came into Chicago, after a much needed day off, they were lucky to be playing the only other team in the AL that had played even remotely as poorly as the Twins had. The White Sox were 2nd to last in run differential (-34) and were just informed that their Tweet-aholic manager, Ozzie Guillen, was going to be suspended for two games for tweeting during a White Sox game immediately following his ejection. Then something magical happened for the Twins. Struggling Francisco Liriano, he of the 9+ ERA, came into US Cellular Field and pitched a no-hitter. He needed 123 pitches, and the help of some defensive gems from Denard Span and Danny Valencia, but he earned not only his first no-hitter, but his first career complete game. The Twins managed to win that game 1-0 thanks to a solo home run by Jason Kubel, but for one night the offensive ineptitude of the Minnesota Twins was set aside as Twins fans celebrated Frankie No-No! The next night the Twins won again and headed to the weekend series in Boston with some positive energy.
Thanks to another solid start from Scott Baker and some uncharacteristically explosive offense, the Twins battered the BoSox for 9 runs and surpassed the 5 run threshold for just the 2nd time in 2011. The Twins had another three game winning streak, including their first win at Fenway Park since 1997, and things were all right in the world again.
Twins fans came back down to earth on Saturday following a 9-2 drubbing that featured a two hour rain delay that knocked Twins’ starter Brian Duensing from the game. The Twins were completely shut down by Clay Buchholz and managed only three hits and plated zero runs. On Mother’s Day the Twins looked like pink was their lucky charm as they squirted out to another quick first inning lead, only to see the Red Sox bang ball after ball off the Green Monster as they pushed run after run across the plate. The Twins lost in pink, on Mother’s Day, 9-5, and again find themselves 10 games behind the first place Cleveland Indians.
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The Lucky hat is losing some of its muster, going 1-2 over the weekend, while the Twins managed to be 3-0 last week without the hat. Updated season standings to come later this week.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Brian Duensing Chicago White Sox Clay Buchholz Cleveland Indians Danny Valencia Denard Span Francisco Liriano Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins Ozzie Guillen Scott Baker Tampa Bay Rays

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