Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
It’s all about the starting pitching and the Twins starting pitching has been much improved this season.
The past two seasons the Twins starters have finished dead last in earned run average. Last season the starters combined for a 5.06 earned run average. In 2013 the starters combined for a 5.25 earned run average.
Through the first-half of the season the Twins starters have combined for a 3.86 earned run average, which is good for 12th best in the league and fifth best in the American League.
The Twins don’t have a true “ace” it’s been five guys going out and doing their job.
Kyle Gibson has been the most consistent of the Twins starters. Gibby is currently 8-6 with a 2.85 earned run average. He finished the first-half strong recording four straight quality starts.
Tommy Milone has been lights out since returning to the rotation in June. He has recorded six straight quality starts and is currently 5-1 with a 2.84 earned run average.
He has given up just two earned runs in his last 19 innings pitched.
Phil Hughes, the man who was the Twins ace last season got off to a slow start this year, but has been on a roll as of late. He’s currently 8-6 with a 4.32 earned run average. If Hughes can cut down on the home runs he’s been giving up he could be in store for a great second-half of the season.
At one point of the season Mike Pelfrey looked like the Twins ace. Big Pelfrey was 2-0 with a 2.25 earned run average. He’s been scuffling as of late though going 1-4 with a 6.08 earned run average in his last seven starts. He has been excellent at Target Field with a 3-2 record and a 2.22 earned run average. When he is away from Target Field he has struggled with a 2-4 record and a 6.02 earned run average.
Ervin Santana, the Twins prized free agent returned from his 80 game suspension before the All-Star Break. Santana looked sharp in his first start back and shaky in his second. Santana is scheduled to start tonight against the Oakland Athletics and can set the tone for the second-half of the season with a strong outing.