After a 5-1 start, the Minnesota Twins have hit a rough patch in the early going. Here’s what they need to do to steer their season back on track.
Two weeks ago, the city of Minneapolis was buzzing. It may have been early in the season, but a 5-1 start showed a lot of promise to Minnesota Twins’ fans. Since then, the Twins have gone 3-8 and can’t seem to put together a full 9 innings.
The Twins now sit at 8-9 after getting swept by the Indians and are now on the verge of losing another series to the Detroit Tigers. While some of the young talent has come through for the Minnesota Twins, something seems to be holding them back.
What has caused the reason downfall of the Twins? Can the Twins fix it? As Twins’ fans, we almost expect the season to go this way, but that doesn’t mean it’s what we want. Here’s what we can hope for heading into the rest of the baseball season.
Better substitution choices by Paul Molitor
Santana was working on another masterpiece. Through 6, he had given up only 4 hits and one earned run. Yet, he was pulled from the game after the 6th inning while the Twins led 2-1. Tyler Duffey came in and gave up 3 runs in the 7th inning after walking 3 batters.
It’s this kind of decision-making that has Minnesota Twins’ fans enraged. Santana could’ve obviously gone longer, as he’s proven he can do, and he’s easily been the Twins’ best pitcher this season.
Many other decisions by Molitor have kept Twins’ fans uneasy. Whether it’s keeping Joe Mauer in the middle of the lineup, pinch hitting Danny Santana or removing the starting pitcher too early, Molitor needs to make better managerial decisions for the Twins to improve.
Play a complete 9-inning game
It seems obvious, but apparently playing the entire baseball game isn’t so clear to the Minnesota Twins. They’re no stranger to hot starts, as the Twins get nearly 70% of their runs in the first four innings. But after that, the offense always seems to stall.
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It’s not just the offense, either. As mentioned above, the pitching is no stranger to a solid start. Yet, the Twins have given up the most runs in the MLB from the 4th inning on.
It’s frustrating, as a fan of the team, to watch your team get out to a lead to only lose it and end up losing by 3 or more runs. That seems to be the story for the Minnesota Twins in every game, though. The offense’s biggest issue isn’t getting hits, it’s getting hits with runners in scoring position.
As for the pitching, the issue seems to be control. Maybe it’s stamina or lack of focus, but the Twins’ pitching seems to lose focus of the strike zone as the game progresses. Not just that, but the Twins are giving up too many long balls in key situations.
To win a baseball game, the team needs to come ready to play a full 9 innings. And the Minnesota Twins have mightily struggled at doing that this year.
The MLB season is a very long one, but if the Minnesota Twins don’t fix these issues, it’s going to seem even longer. It’s not like the Twins are far from being a solid contender, it’s just that there’s always something that seems to be standing in the way. Right now, the only thing standing in their way is themselves.