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Are The Twins The Unluckiest Team In Baseball?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:41 PM
I posed this question in a column on the SweetSpot blog at ESPN.com today. You can read it here.   Basically, the premise is that wh...
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Article: Five Players To Watch Over The Next Two Months

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:41 PM
On his excellent RandBall blog, the Star Tribune's Michael Rand wrote Tuesday that despite being out of contention, the Twins' approach a...
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Masterson Dealt

More Baseball Today, 01:40 PM
Somehow Cleveland got a AA OF for a guy that is on the DL.......(I think he's still on the DL) with numbers as bad or worse than KC and S...
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Any Chance Twins Can Add A Swarkak Or Deduno To Willingha...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:36 PM
Does anyone think that adding a Sam Deduno to a Josh Willingham trade might entice the Yankees to make a deal for some prospects? What ab...
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Article: Trade Candidate: Brian Duensing

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:36 PM
The Trade Deadline is fast approaching. Teams have until Thursday to make moves without needing to worry about waivers. One name that has...
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The Store

Proving Grounds

Attached Image: lirianosmile.jpg This week's series against the first-place White Sox will serve as a tough test for this Twins team. They've rebounded after a lousy start to go 13-10 over their last 23 games, remaining on the periphery of an AL Central race that no club seems poised to run away with. In three days, the Twins could conceivably be within 5.5 games of first place. They could also find themselves out of it by double digits.

Perhaps no one will be under a bigger microscope in this crucial showdown than Francisco Liriano.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] He's been great since returning to the rotation at the end of May, posting a 2.67 ERA and 35-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30 1/3 innings while allowing only one home run, but his opponents in those five starts have been the Athletics, Royals, Cubs, Brewers and Pirates. Those teams rank 28th, 19th, 25th, 10th and 29th in the majors in OPS, respectively.

Liriano has been feasting on weak competition, for the most part, and on Monday he'll be matching up against a first-place team with a starter in Jake Peavy who has been flat-out excellent all year.

It would be a stretch to say the Twins are even on the fringes of contention at this point, but they're not out of it. Climbing back into the mix would require a continued transformation from the rotation, and Liriano will need to be one of the guys leading that charge.

Both he and the team will have a chance to make a statement at Target Field on Monday night.


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