Twins...win? 2019 Twins

drleather2001

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On the verge of taking 3/4 from
The Rays in TB, the Twins are 10.5 games up in their division, have the best record in baseball, and a scorching offense that has a 107+ run differential.

It might be time to take them seriously.

Their pitching is merely above average, so I would think they will attempt to add a #2-3 starter at the trade deadline, but it remains to be seen whether the ownership will invest the necessary money to make a true postseason run or merely be content (as they were in recent seasons) to be in the hunt.
 

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
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Yup. Maybe Berrios can win a game a la Johan Santana. But figure a Blake Parker or Taylor Rogers fuckup at the Toilet and voila.
 

drleather2001

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Yeah. There’s definitely that. Which is why I don’t think anyone will take them for serious WS Champ contenders unless they add a seasoned top of the line starter.

Still, they might be the best Twins team since 1991. And those mid-late aughts teams were solid but not spectacular. In hindsight it’s really not surprising they lost to the Yankees, even if the way in which they lost was, um, uninspired. The 2004 and 2010 teams had excellent pitching and mediocre offense, and the 2006 squad lost Morneau for the season before the playoffs started.
 
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drleather2001

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They have tied the MLB team record for home runs before the all star break.

Which is a month away.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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They haven't collapsed, but since their 40-18 start, it looks like the Twins team everyone expected this year has shown up: 16-15 and over half of their 11½ game lead is already gone. Martin Perez has a 5.37 ERA over his last 10 games, and Jake Odorizzi has a 7.85 ERA in his last 4 starts along with blister problems. It will be interesting to see what they do at the trade deadline because even if the Indians can't catch them, Jose Berrios needs some serious help if they want to play beyond the first week of October. They also have an imbalanced defense... an excellent outfield behind a really porous infield, but if they're all hitting I'm not sure what they can do about that.

*
 

drleather2001

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Welp.

With a tire fire of a bullpen that is seemingly going unaddressed by management (or, more likely, ownership), I don't see this team keeping their lead in the division beyond next week. And I wouldn't be shocked if they are out of WC contention by September.

Deeply frustrating that an ownership that got more or less everything it wanted from local government and taxpayers to fund their stadium isn't willing to do the bare minimum (they could use a #3 starter and a quality short-innings reliever, but simply a league-average reliever over the past week would have them up 5 over the Tribe instead of 3) to do more than make the team "good enough" for fans to show up through the summer.
 

jon abbey

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Welp.

With a tire fire of a bullpen that is seemingly going unaddressed by management (or, more likely, ownership), I don't see this team keeping their lead in the division beyond next week. And I wouldn't be shocked if they are out of WC contention by September.

Deeply frustrating that an ownership that got more or less everything it wanted from local government and taxpayers to fund their stadium isn't willing to do the bare minimum (they could use a #3 starter and a quality short-innings reliever, but simply a league-average reliever over the past week would have them up 5 over the Tribe instead of 3) to do more than make the team "good enough" for fans to show up through the summer.
This is way too harsh from my perspective, they have been battling a red-hot A's team and now a red-hot Yankee team evenly (3-3 in back and forth games with 1 left against NYY tonight), they just bludgeoned two Yankee starters in a row and scored 20 runs in 2 games against the team leading MLB in July team ERA (NYY). They haven't traded for bullpen help yet at least in part because the asking prices are way too high, the entire market is locked up currently because of this, not just MIN. Their next 10 games are against CWS/MIA/KC, so that should help settle things down. They do need Odorizzi to be more like the guy he was the first few months of the season and not the one of the last few starts, though, but he has great numbers against NY hitters and shut them down once already this year.
 

terrynever

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You would think a game like last night would motivate Twins’ management to shore up the bullpen. But this is Minnesota. An article in the Star-Tribune today pointed out that the 1987 and 1991 World Series champs won with mediocre bullpens. I would link it but it’s not worth the read, unless you want to see what mellow journalism looks like.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Both the Twins and the Indians are good-but-not-great teams, playing in a division with two atrocious teams and another that's far from good. As a result, their records are going to be closely tied to their schedules and they'll look better than they are during stretches of intra-division play.

The Indians have gone 30-13 since June 1st, but only 13 of those games came against winning teams (they went 7-6). They definitely want to pull even this weekend since that joyride is about to end. They spend the first half of August playing the Astros, Angels, Rangers, Twins, Red Sox and Yankees. If they survive that gauntlet in good shape, they'll want to beat up on the softer schedule of the last half of August. It's going to be really important that Cleveland takes control by the end of their 6 of 9 head-to-head with the Twins in early September... after that the Twins can feast on the rest of the AL Central for their last 13 games.

Minnesota's bullpen will certainly look better if they get aggressive at the deadline and land a legit #2 starter. Like the Red Sox, no bullpen is going to excel when they're entering the game in the 4th or 5th inning on a regular basis. Martin and Odorizzi have turned back into what they always were.

*
 

jon abbey

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This is just reiterating the above post, but after another win against KC tonight, CLE are now 26-9 since June 13. That breaks down into:

10-0 against DET
8-2 against KC
8-7 against everyone else

CLE have 19 games left against DET/KC/CHW, MIN still has 33. Advantage MIN.
 

drleather2001

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Well they are back to 3 games up, which paradoxically makes me think Ownership will say "See? No reason to get another starter. We're good!"
 

NYCSox

chris hansen of goats
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This is just reiterating the above post, but after another win against KC tonight, CLE are now 26-9 since June 13. That breaks down into:

10-0 against DET
8-2 against KC
8-7 against everyone else

CLE have 19 games left against DET/KC/CHW, MIN still has 33. Advantage MIN.
Gee I wonder why you're pumping the Twins tires so much. :)

I swear if the Tigers hadn't blown the 2009 division lead the Yankees title drought would be pushing 20 years. Leyland had their number.
 
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jon abbey

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Actually the Twins lineup scares the crap out of me as a possible opponent and I think the historical stuff between NY/MIN is totally meaningless. I'm not pumping anything, those are simple facts.
 

drleather2001

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And Dyson comes in for the ninth with a 3 run lead and gives up 3 earned runs getting no outs.

Lolz as they say.
 

jon abbey

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A little bit strange as he had to take an early morning flight and got to the game in the middle innings, but on the flip side, he hadn't pitched in a few days and Rogers had gone twice in a row (they had to use him anyway to try to bail out Dyson). Romo was at 14 pitches after a clean 8th, but most managers would have gone to Dyson there as a three run lead is tough to blow for a solid back of the pen guy and a good chance to get his feet wet (ideally not by peeing on them as happened here).

I am an AL fan much more than a NL one and so my last strong memory of Dyson is the last time he was in the AL, TEX 2017, when he was so horrible and went from closer to DFAd in a few months, a 10.80 ERA in 17 games. Sox fans might remember this one where he also could not record an out in a 7 run Boston 7th:


It's not so relevant to tonight since this one was actually against a NL team in the Marlins and the circumstances were a little strange, but welcome back to the AL, Sam. :)
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Sam Dyson, who has allowed 6 of the 9 batters he's faced to cross home plate since donning a Twins uniform has been placed on the IL with biceps tendonitis.
 
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drleather2001

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Twins now 4 games up on Cleveland. 538 has them at about 80% to win the division.

Here's the catch: 10 of their remaining games are against Cleveland. But, 7/10 of those are in Minneapolis. So... who knows. both teams have played 112 games. If the Twins can split those games 5-5, that means there's only 40 games for CLE to win 5 more than MIN to claim the division. I don' t think that will happen, given that 26 of those of those Twins games will be against the White Sox, Tigers, and the Royals. CLE also still has a NYY and TB series left on the schedule.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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The division will probably be decided by the 9 game stretch in early September in which the Twins and Indians play each other 6 times. At the very least, Cleveland will have to be in first place after the last of those games on September 15th, because Minnesota will basically be facing minor league teams having major league tryouts for 2020 during the last two weeks of the season.