Well folks, the verdict has finally been determined once and for all: the 2004 version of your Minnesota Twins simply isn’t that good.
Does that mean they aren’t going to make the playoffs this season? It most certainly does not. The AL Central is still weak enough for a highly flawed team such as the Twins to sneak its way into the postseason, if only to get crushed by the Yankees in the first round.
Losing three of four to the Detroit Tigers this weekend pretty much sealed the deal for me. Coming off an impressive sweep of the Royals earlier in the week, the Twins pulled out an impressive 7-1 win last Thursday to run their winning streak to four games. Then, true to form, they proceeded to score a grand total of five (5) runs in three games against the likes of Gary Knotts (5.28 ERA before series), Nate Robertson (4.39), and Jason Johnson (4.60). That, I must say, is very pathetic for a team that has playoff aspirations. I know that the Tigers are a much improved team, but the fact remains that their pitching staff is still very mediocre and their defense is poor (last in the AL). Yet the Twins somehow found a way to lose the series at home.
As much as I love the Twins, they are just so damn inconsistent! In April, it seemed the offense was finally living up to the hype. When the pitching finally came around, it was gonna be “Look out American League, here come the Twins!” In June and July, the pitching staff (the same one who’s quality was deeply questioned before the season began) has been outstanding. The offense has been up and down, but most down. But everyone connected with the Twins has been saying “Just wait until Stew comes back. Then the offense will come around and it will be ‘Look out American League, here come the Twins!’”
Sadly, it seems the only teams that might need to look out for the Twins are the Indians and Tigers as the Twins struggle to keep them at bay in second place. I would like to draw your attention to two other outstanding articles that deal with this very same theme of inconsistency. John Bonnes a.k.a Twins Geek wrote an excellent entry that puts into words many common thoughts shared by Twins fans. Also, the Geek links this article by CityPages’ Brad Zellar (and author of his very own blog called Yard: The Blog). I highly encourage all of you to check out these two pieces, as they provide some excellent food for thought to dwell on over the All-Star break.
That’s all I’ve got for today here at Twins Chatter. I’m still adjusting to blogging without a safety net (John left for France on Saturday) so I hope you’ll forgive my brevity. Tomorrow, I’m going to post my first-half review of the Twins’ season, including a report card, statistics, and some thoughts/suggestions/predictions about the second half of the season. I hope you’ll all stop by and check it out. In the meantime, have a relaxing and enjoyable All-Star break.