Even when the Minnesota Twins were rocketing off to one of the hottest starts in franchise history at the beginning of the season, it was clear something was off.
Starting pitching has been phenomenal, as the Twins own one of the best units in all of baseball. The catch seems to be that the offense is hardly pulling its weight. Minnesota once again lost a low scoring game on Sunday, the second in three games against the Cleveland Guardians.
Outside of a tough first inning, Joe Ryan was excellent and turned in another great performance. Unfortunately the Twins offense wasn’t able to negate the two runs Cleveland scored in the bottom of the first, resulting in a 2-0 loss.
It’s not the first time this season an anemic offense has failed to come through, and it doesn’t seem like things will be changing anytime soon.
Rocco Baldelli has blunt reaction to Twins struggling offense
After the game, Rocco Baldelli was pretty blunt and to-the-point in reacting to not only the quiet bats on Sunday but the way the Twins offense has been performing to this point.
”When you don’t score, you’re not going to win,” Baldelli said after the loss on Sunday.
While he was short with the offense, Baldelli made sure to let everyone know that pitching is absolutely not the problem with the Twins so far this season.
“Our pitchers did a good job again. They went out there and threw the ball very well,” Baldelli said while praising Joe Ryan for getting back on track after a tough first inning and shouting out the bullpen for keeping the Twins alive until the end.
For as good as the pitching was, though, the offense remained silent. It’s the third shutout loss of the season for Minnesota and the ninth game this year where the offense has scored two or fewer runs. The offense has simply not been there the way the starting pitching both deserves and needs, and it’s showing in the number of games the team has lost by one or two runs.
Minnesota has a 9-10 record in games decided by two or fewer runs, with losses to bad teams like the Nationals, Royals, and White Sox in there. That’s a good example of how a bad offense can swing a team from being a dominant force in the American League to where the Twins are.
“I try to keep it simple. We’ve gotta swing at strikes and we have to try and swing at strikes that are more in the middle of the zone than on the outskirts and edges of the zone,” Baldelli said. “If you’re going to win a ballgame you have to take advantage of those spots when you come up, you know bases loaded, the few opportunities we got we just didn’t do it.”
Before anyone slams the panic button too hard, the season is far from lost despite how frustrating the offensive struggles have been. Minnesota is still 19-16 and has a 2.5 game lead on the Guardians even after dropping two of three against them this weekend.
Let’s also remember that it’s only early-May and the offense still has time to wake up. Guys like Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda aren’t going to remain in slumps forever and we’ve seen what happens when the bats are hot and this offsense operates at a high level. For as frustrating as things have been, the Twins own a +26 run differential which is proof of life for the offense.
Time is going to feel like it’s running out fast, though, as the Twins upcoming schedule is an absolute gauntlet. Minnesota’s next three series are against the Padres, Cubs, and Dodgers — three very dangerous teams that will challenge the Twins in a big way.
For the first time in a long time, there doesn’t seem to be much doubt that the starting rotation is going to show up in these big games. Now would be an excellent time for the offense to wake up and join the party, because the Twins will need every bit of help they can get over this next stretch of games.