The Minnesota Twins started off the 2021 season in a worse fashion than anyone could have possibly imagined. The rotation started strong, than absolutely crumbled. The bullpen struggled mightily, consistently blowing the few leads the rotation produced. The lineup struggled mightily, a trend visible across baseball.
The Twins entered the second half of last Thursday’s doubleheader at 14-28 with the worst record in baseball, and everyone in Twins territory wondered: Will the biggest issues this team have get fixed?
Well, wonder no more. The Twins have been absolutely red-hot over the the past seven games, winning six of their past seven and four straight. Yes, it’s come against meager competition in the Angels and Orioles, but Cleveland is just one game back of the White Sox, and the Twins still outscored them 23-8 over three games.
How did they do it? Let’s start with pitching. Over the past seven days, Randy Dobnak, Michael Pineda, Jose Berrios, and Matt Shoemaker have started five games, only given up a combined eight runs, and pitched 28.2 innings. That’s impressive.
Even in Kenta Maeda and J.A. Happ’s less than impressive starts, they still gave up a combined seven runs over 11 innings. That’s not awful, especially considering how bad they were through the start of the season. The bullpen has improved by leaps and bounds too.
Over that same seven day span, Taylor Rogers, Cody Stashak, Caleb Thielbar, and Luke Farrell have allowed zero runs over their past 10.2 innings. Hansel Robles owns a win, two saves, and a 3.60 ERA over that time. We don’t need to talk about Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, and Jorge Alcala.
The lineup has been even better. Rob Refsnyder has been outstanding since his call-up, slashing .400/.436/.657 with two homers, two doubles, and seven RBI in just twelve games. Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff are each hitting .292 over the past six games. Mitch Garver is hitting .375 over the last seven days.
Those four hitters lead an offense that is first in runs, second in hits and walks, fourth in homers, eighth in slugging percentage, and ninth in on-base percentage over the past seven days. The pitching is coming around, the offense seems to be here, and the team is getting healthy. Don’t count out the Twins just yet.