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Game Thread "Get Away" Twins vs Rangers 12:10pm c...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:42 PM
Down 2-1 in the series, a win would earn us a split.   And a theme that should be obvious for every get away game i could introduce:...

Trade Value

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:27 PM
With a disappointing series against a bottom three team in baseball, and an 11-19 record 30 games into the year, it's hard to not ask the...

2021 MLB (non-Twins) Season news

Other Baseball Today, 03:42 PM
A thread for news from around Major League Baseball. Tonight in L.A., the Angels will forego their DH in order to let Shohei Ohtani both...

Twins Minor League Report (5/5): Saints Come Marching In

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:57 PM
After dropping their opener yesterday, the St. Paul Saints won convincingly on Wednesday afternoon marking the first victory as an affili...

GIF: Trevor Larnach's home run

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:45 PM
Get a load of this blast. This was Trevor Larnach's first Triple-A home run. The three-run shot helped the Saints to their 10-4 victory t...

Photo

What Went wrong?

Posted by mike8791 , 18 September 2020 · 1,427 views

No, the season isn't over, but in terms of winning the division, it almost certainly is after a disheartening series loss in Chicago. The Twins were overwhelming favorites to win the Division, at least. The FO came thru this offseason by signing Donaldson and greatly strengthening the rotation by trading for Maeda and signing Hill and Bailey. Results in an improved rotation are self-evident to the point where this can now be considered the strength of the team.

But what happened? Sure the Sox improved more than expected, but let's face it, the Twins blew it. How? By going 9-9 against the Tigers and Royals. Compare this to the Sox record of 18-2. Therein lies the tale. No way could the Twins make up for this disparity.

So why did this happen? Just one opinion: the Twins did not take these teams seriously enough. Maybe they relaxed too much. Is this the fault of the players, the manager, or is it one of those inexplicable happenings that seem to occur periodically in baseball? Whatever the reason(s), playing .500 ball against two of the worst teams in the league is inexcusable for a team with legitimate World Series expectations.

A few more thoughts on what went wrong. No, we can't blame injuries as every team(look at the Yankees) have had a slew of key players on the IL. No surprise with the pandemic-shortened season. Also not a big surprise that the offense declined from record-setting 2019. Guys like Garver, Arraez, Kepler - to name three - played well below expectations, leaving big holes in the lineup. You can't win consistently by relying on the long ball. This is a lineup that has trouble manufacturing runs. Big question: why doesn't Buxton have the green light to steal every time he's on IB? Despite improved infield defense, this team has made too many mental errors. For this the coaches, and especially the manager, must be held accountable.

And speaking of the manager, his handling of the pitching staff deserves harsh scrutiny. Why hasn't he left starters in longer? Why do Twins' starters always go on 5 days rest? Baldy is babying his players and the results have shown in the increasing erratic performance of the overly-taxed bullpen. This is a short season and yet the relievers, especially their erstwhile closer, have blown an alarming number of games. Throwing Rogers out in one save situation after another, with predictably poor results, is a clear example of the manager's inflexibility in handling of his bullpen.

So let's call this season a disappointment to date. No excuse for this team playing .500 ball after getting off to a 10-2 start! But this sour taste can easily be dispelled by going deep into the playoffs. A World Championship would silence the most severe critics, even me. I'm just not betting on this result, given what I've seen so far.