Wednesday, June 26, 2019

More like it

When the Twins defeated Tampa Bay on June 2, Minnesota was 40-19.

A bit more than three weeks later, the Twins beat Tampa Bay again. Minnesota's record is now 51-27.

When 11-8 is what passes for a slump, that's a sign of a pretty solid team. That's a .578 winning percentage. That translates into 93 wins over the course of 162 games. In a slump.

The Twins still have the AL's best record. They still have the largest divisional lead. They still have not lost more than two games in a row.

Yes, the past three weeks have been a bit of a struggle compared to the first two months. Forty-and-19 is a pretty high standard.

In my estimation, the fall-off has been more about the lineup than the pitching. The "bombas" aren't as common and there have been a few games in which the fielding has been erratic. And yes, there have been a few clunkers from the pitching staff.

But Tuesday's win was encouraging. The Twins racked up last year's Cy Young winner, Blake Snell. Kyle Gibson ate some innings. Word was that Byron Buxton's wrist is progessing, and the Twins are simply a much better team with him in the lineup.

The one downside is that Max Kepler left after getting hit by a pitch. With Buxton and Marwin Gonzalez already on the IL, this raises the possibility of a few days of an outfield of Eddie Rosario, Jake Cave and Willians Astudillo.

I love me some La Tortuga, but not as an outfield staple.

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