Going into the ninth inning with Jorge López, the Minnesota Twins had a two-run lead against the Los Angeles Angels. Given the team’s anemic offense, two runs should be enough for a closer of his caliber, right? Think again Kemosabe.
A blown save by All-Star Jorge López, who’s been among the best this year, is new, but the bullpen meltdowns are old hat for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have chosen to rely on guys like Emilio Pagán and get themselves into trouble in close games. Games that should be well in hand.
On Saturday night, the Twins found a way to yet again, squander chances, blow leads, and allow the Horrendous Halos to hang a W on the Twins in extra innings, who took advantage of Lopez and later Emilio Pagan.
The Twins haven’t been playing well. Minnesota was 47-37 on July 5th, but since then, the Twins are 11-17. They’ve won back-to-back games only twice in that span, continuing over a month of one step forward, and two steps back. Minnesota should try something different. Perhaps facing the opposite direction.
The Minnesota Twins need to improve their play over the rest of the season.
In the midst, of a tightly contested race for the American League Central, that level of play is unacceptable. To continue to have a chance at the playoffs, the Twins must be consistent and beat teams they’re supposed to, because they don’t have the talent to compete with the big boys. The Twins don’t have the luxury of losing winnable games.
We just saw the disparity between Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, the Twins have been turned into jam by all the true championship contenders they played, especially over the last two months. In fact, turned into jam may be too kind; the Twins were roadkill when facing elite competition.
LA outscored the Twins by thirty-two in four games this season. When facing the Houston Astros, the Minnesota Twins lost all three games, in lopsided affairs, getting outscored twenty-one to three and failing to score in two of those games. The Yankees, whom I believe are a rung below the Dodgers and Astros, played closer games against the Twins, but nonetheless still took two of three.
Regardless, Minnesota’s next two series, against the Royals and Rangers, could be a fulcrum on which the entire season hinges, a real chance to step up. If our boys can put together a nice winning streak and generate some momentum and some cushion, that will be massive, because they need it, as the Guardians are surging. Winners of seven of their last ten, strong pitching has been supported by a once putrid lineup which has begun to find its way.
There are a lot of indicators that the team is just beginning to hit its stride, which is why it’s so important the Minnesota Twins take advantage of bad teams to take the pressure off the eight remains contests with Cleveland. The last thing the Twins want is to face the possibility of having to take five or six of eight games to stay in a playoff race.
My heart tells me the Twins will get it together and go on a run, or that we will have a final, epic confrontation with Cleveland catapulting us to the postseason. The season is long, and peaks and valleys are inevitable. We were just going through a tough stretch and once we get into the playoffs, well, anything can happen. However, my logical brain tells me… Well, I think I’ll just ignore that for now and follow my heart.