Minnesota Twins 2017 Season in Review: August

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Jorge Polanco
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 18: Jorge Polanco /

With the season completed, it’s time to look back on the 2017 Minnesota Twins season. We’ll continue our look at 2017 with a look at the month of August.

The Minnesota Twins have completed their season, and it’s time to take a look back at what was an exciting ride for Twins fans!

Puckett’s Pond is doing a series reviewing the 2017 season month by month. Make sure to check out the reviews of April, May, June, and July. Continue reading for our look at August.

August Overview

August 2017 goes down as a month to remember for Twins fans. The team entered the month 7.0 games back of the AL Central lead and responded by going 20-10 for the month. That figures out to a .667 winning percentage, by far the best of any month by the Twins with the next best being .538.

With all the winning there were two series sweeps that stand out as signature victories for the Twins. First was the home and home, border battle series sweep against the contending Milwaukee Brewers. The Twins then swept the National League Wild Card Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cleveland Indians continued to have the Twins number as they again won the series between the two teams in August.

After the hot month of August, the Twins still found themselves 6.5 games back of the Indians for the AL Central lead. While the division title seemed to become out of reach, the Twins were right in the middle of an exciting wild card race going into September.

Individuals of Note

August was such a good month for the Twins it seems easier to list who didn’t perform well. The top performance of the month goes to the turnaround from Jorge Polanco. After being non-existent in the month of July, Polanco came into August hot and hit .373/.413/.686 with 6 home runs. His August performance led to Polanco finding himself in the middle of the Twins lineup for the rest of the season.

Joe Mauer hit for .336 average seemingly regaining his pre-concussion form. Mauer also ended the month by recording a hit in 9 straight games as part of a 14 game hit streak that extended into September. Brian Dozier started to hit his annual late-season hot streak as his average for August was .319 as he also hit 9 homers. Eddie Rosario also continued his hot hitting from July as he hit .307 and kept pace with Dozier hitting 9 home runs.

Byron Buxton returned from his time out with an injury to pick up right where he left off. Buxton hit .324/.354/.619 with 8 home runs and 8 stolen bases. That line is exactly what the Twins saw in Buxton when they took him as a first-round selection.

With Brandon Kintzler gone to Washington, new arms were able to step into prominent roles in the bullpen. Trevor Hildenberger emerged as the top arm out the pen late in games as he pitched 12.1 innings in August. He struck out 15 batters and only allowed 3 earned runs which led Hildenberger to a 2.19 ERA.

Alan Busenitz also emerged and had better numbers than Hildenberger. Busenitz threw 13.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and a 1.32 ERA. From the starting pitching side, Ervin Santana continued to steadily be the ace of the Twins rotation. Santana went on to a 5-1 record with a 2.95 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 10 walks for the month.

Twins hitter for the month of August: Jorge Polanco

Twins pitcher for the month of August: Alan Busenitz

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Other Notes

August was home to the Twins longest win streak as they won 6 straight from August 6th through the 11th. They also played two more doubleheaders against the Indians and the Chicago White Sox. The Twins had a strange habit in 2017 of losing the first game and winning the second game in five of their six doubleheaders. The only one not following that pattern was the two-loss day they had at the hands of Cleveland in June.

Next: Minnesota Twins Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Year

On a sad note, August 19th ended up being the last time we truly saw Miguel Sano for the Twins this season. It was then Sano would go on the DL with a stress reaction in his lower leg. Something he is still trying to recover from after an unsuccessful attempt to join the team in their Wild Card game this postseason.