Take a guess what opponent our Twins are 16-43 against since 2006?
I give up.
The Toronto Blue Jays.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?! THERE’S NO WAY THAT IS TRUE?! YOU’RE FULL OF IT!
Sorry man, just speaking the truth.
Basically, the above is the conversation I had with myself while looking up series stats against the Blue Jays over recent years. When I looked this stat up, I was completely shocked at how lopsided this matchup has been in recent years. Now, it is a well known and referenced fact that Ron Gardenhire and the Twins struggle with much of the AL East, especially the New York Yankees. However, the Blue Jays tend to be near the bottom of the East on a regular basis, yet the strength of their division shows up when it comes to head-to-head matchups with our Twins.
According to MCubed.net, our Twins have just been outplayed in many of their games in recent years. In the 2010s decade, the Twins managed to put across 3.2 runs per game while the Blue Jays would plate a shade under 6 runs a game at 5.9. It has been even worse when these games are at Target Field. The Blue Jays sport a record of 12-3, including last night’s victory, at Target Field and have been averaging over 6 runs a game while we are plating right around 3 runs a game. Does not take a rocket scientist to see those numbers are not in the favor of Twins while at home against the Jays. It is not much better on the road over the same time span. The Twins are 4-12 while scoring just 3.7 runs/game while the Blue Jays are plating 5.9 runs/game.
Last night, as described here, was much of the same as prior meetings with our neighbors from the North. The Blue Jays took advantage of our pitchers later in the game and scored 9 runs by stringing together hits in the 6th and stringing together walks to lead to a Grand Slam. The Twins were in a great spot to possibly reverse roles with a strong outing by Phil Hughes through 5 innings, but the wheels fell off. Like they seem to do when we are playing Toronto.
Last night’s game may seem like just one game in a season full of hills and valleys, but with our Twins having to play a doubleheader now tomorrow thanks to a “wintery mix,” Thursday’s double dip may very well be an early turning point of our season. If we can put together two solid games to sweep the doubleheader, we will move above .500 and be on the up and up. However, if we play poorly in both games like we have in recent games versus the Blue Jays and we will be starting the slippery slope toward repeats of the past three seasons, as the schedule keeps getting harder through the end of April.
These games tomorrow may be a positive reminder of how cool two baseball games in one day can be, but it may also be an unpleasant reminder this year could very well be on the same path as the past 3 seasons. In order to produce some momentum before they go on a week long road trip, the Twins will need to play competitively tomorrow and at worse, come away with a split in the double header.
But until then, do your best to at least laugh at the sick sense of humor Mother Nature has for us in the Midwest.