Posted at 10:49 AM on August 28, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
Every time I try to write the Twins off for dead this season they seem to win a few games and make things look interesting again. Wanting to see them climb even closer in the A.L. Central race, I feel it’s my duty to proclaim that the Twins have no chance of passing Detroit and catching Cleveland.
Here’s why: After a loss last night in Cleveland, the Twins now trail the Tribe by 6.5 games. Let’s assume the Indians struggle and play their final 32 games at .500. Considering they have played the first 130 games at a .562 clip, it’s hard to assume they could fall much further.
In order for the Twins to pass Cleveland and win the Central by a game, Gardy’s “Comeback Kids” will need to finish the season 23-8.
Does anyone honestly believe a team this Twins team can get on that kind of roll? Their best month this season was April when they went 14-11. They had a losing record in July and may have another losing month if they don’t win a game or two in Cleveland.
Even though I don’t for one second believe the Twins have what it takes to get on a real hot streak (they swept a Baltimore team that gave up 30 runs in a game last week), I do think they will continue to lurk.
It’s that hanging around part that makes me mad as a fan. The division was there for the taking, but the front office didn’t add the offense to grab it. Adding a serviceable third baseman and DH was doable, but the Twins opted to save their money. Now they’re paying for it.
Posted at 9:41 PM on August 28, 2007
by David Zingler
I am writing this in the top of the 9th as Brian Buscher rounds the bases after his first major league homerun – a wall-scraper to right. Indians lead 6-4. Rondell White pops out – one down (how low can one man’s batting average go?). Jason Tyner just beat out a bunt, despite the best effort of Casey Blake (wish we still had him). Now Bartlett hits a screaming double down the third base line – Tyner to third. While this exciting, it is merely delaying the inevitable. Torii Hunter flies to center and Tyner scores – 2 outs, Indians lead 6-5. As soon as the Twins lose this game, they will be – wait Morneau just struck out looking – they are 7.5 games out of first.
It’d be nice to have something clever to say here, but nothing seems fitting. While this has hardly been the worst season of Twins baseball I’ve witnessed (leading off for the Twins: Rich Becker!), it is the most frustrating. They were the Timid Twins. Time after time, Twins hitters froze at the plate in key situations, while the front office was paralyzed, doing nothing to enhance the team’s chances.
We saw flashes of brilliance from this team, but they were always followed by extended stretches of mediocrity or worse. The 2007 Minnesota Twins leave behind thousands of disappointed fans.
Posted at 10:01 PM on August 28, 2007
by Chris Dall
As the Twins chances fade with the passing of summer, I guess it's time to look ahead and see what the team has going into next season. Let's start with tonight's starting pitcher.
Well-known baseball prognosticator Gary Eichten told me as he was leaving today that Boof Bonser was going to draw "a line in the sand" tonight against Cleveland. When I pressed him on what exactly that meant, he wouldn't say. I took it to mean that Boof was either going to pass on seconds at the post-game buffet, or that he was finally going to show the Twins what he can do on the mound after going two months without a win.
Well, I'm not privy to what goes on in the Twins clubhouse, but the line Boof drew on the mound wasn't too clear. Yes, he put the team in a hole early, and he gave back the lead after they tied it up in the fifth, but he kept the game close, and that's what you want a back-of-the-rotation guy to do. The question is, can Boof be anything better than a 4-5 starter? If he can cut down on the walks and stay away from the big inning, maybe so. There's also the question of his girth, something the team is clearly concerned about. I'm not sure what the "next level" is for Boof, but if he's going to get to it, he might have to start by losing a few pounds. Then again, a few extra pounds haven't prevented this guy from winning 236 games.
I'm rooting for Boof. He may not be as important to the Twins future as Liriano or Garza, but having a solid young pitcher to round out the rotation will be pretty key given the money the team will likely (hopefully) be spending elsewhere.