I suppose this is about as rosy as it’s been so far this season for us Twins fans. A 5-game winning streak for the hometown team coinciding with a 5-game losing streak by the Indians…the MLB-draft is going on and the Twins actually addressed some organizational needs instead of taking a high-school outfielder and a college pitcher…Tsuyoshi Nishioka has started a rehab stint and should be returning soon, Joe Mauer is rumored to be close to a rehab stint as well, Liriano came off the DL yesterday after a pain-free week of throwing…things are looking up. Continuing that positive trend, I thought I’d focus on the positive and dig a little deeper into this most recent 5-game roll the Twins have been on.
The Vitals (of the streak):
Average Runs Scored: 6.4
Average Runs Allowed: 2.0
Wins by starting pitchers: 5
Runs Surrendered by the Bullpen: 0
Innings-pitched by the ‘pen: 10
Victories by two or more runs: 5
# of games in which the Twins have scored first: 4
# of extra-base hits: 17
Team avg. with RISP: .316
Team BB/K ratio (hitting): 13:20
I suppose I should, at this point, add in a caveat here. The Twins have won 5 straight against teams that started off the year playing way above their heads. No one expected the Indians to be able to sustain the pace they were on. The Royals…they were destined to fall off. Both teams are in the midst of a “correction” of sorts and the Twins just happen to be playing them both at the right time. The impressive thing to me about this 5-game winning streak is that all of the wins have come on the road. Not only that, the bullpen has not surrendered a single run over the last 5 games…that’s a victory in and of itself (knock on wood).
If the Twins could take 1 of the next 2 games in Cleveland, they would finish with a solid 6-4 record on the roadtrip, with an off-day in front of a 10-game homestand against the Rangers, White Sox and Padres. Overall, the Twins will play 19 of their next 25 games at home – a welcome sight for a team that will have played 40 of it’s first 61 games on the road. The Twins are still 11.5 games out of first, but the division has certainly tightened up a bit over the last week with the Indians holding only a 1.5 game lead over the Tigers entering play tonight. I hate to get too rosy-eyed, but if the Twins could even shave a couple of games off the 1st place lead over the next 3 month, they’d only be a small handful of games out of 1st at the beginning of September…