Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Agony of The Twins

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What in the world is going on with the Minnesota Twins?

At 17-34, the Twins, who many picked to win the AL Central, have the WORST record in the major leagues and the worst all-around team in the major leagues. I mean, they have down right STUNK IT UP to this point in the season. They are last in the majors in runs scored (170), last in the majors in RBI (153), 27th in team BA (.234) and last in the majors in team ERA (4.76). The formula is pretty simple: If you can't hit and you can't pitch, you are not going to win games.

But the question on everyone's mind is-- WHY?

The Twins have been a very consistent team under manager Ron Gardenhire, winning the AL Central in 6 out of 9 seasons under his watch. And the 3 seasons they didn't win the division, they still had decent records. Never have the Twins been this bad during Gardenhire's tenure. So did they all of a sudden just forget how to play the game of baseball?

In fact, here's a little FUN STAT which (pretty much) summarizes how the season has been going for Gardenhire and the Twins so far--

Last night, starter Scott Baker threw seven scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels and left the game with a 5-0 lead. The Angels scored five runs in the eighth inning and one run in the ninth inning against Minnesota's bullpen and defeated the Twins, 6-5. Baker became the first major-league starter in 13 years to pitch a scoreless outing of at least seven innings and leave with a lead of at least five runs, only to see his team LOSE THE GAME.

It gets more interesting--

This was only the second time since moving to Minnesota from Washington in 1961 that the Twins lost a game in which they led by 5 or more runs going into the 8th inning. The only other time they lost such a game was on July 30, 1971 to the New York Yankees. Since that loss to the Yankees in 1971 the Twins had gone 755-0 (A MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD) in games in which they took a lead of five or more runs into the eighth inning-- UNTIL LAST NIGHT! They are now 755-1 since 1971 in games of that sort. Sheesh! Talk about a bad luck year!

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In defense of the Twins, there's still a lot of baseball left to be played and they still have a chance to turn things around. But if Scott Baker's (bad luck) outing doesn't put the Twins season (thus far) into perspective, then I don't know what does?

Stat courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN

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