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27 Games into the Season

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:09 PM

27 games is one sixth of the season.A team can't win a championship in 27 games and seldom will lose one (except maybe Milwaukee this year) in such a short span of time.I'm satisfied with the Twins' record, but not satisfied with many individuals. 
 
Last night, I was going to summarize this first section of games, and after an exciting and fortunate 8-7 win, I was going to speculate that maybe the tide had turned.Today's loss sours my mood enough to not make that claim.Today's game was a chance to steal a win when the hitters were totally handcuffed by the opponents' starter.It didn't happen.Also, a perfectly good start was diminished because a relief pitcher couldn't keep a run from scoring when taking over with two out and a runner on first.Finally, the aging veteran could make contact to drive in the tying run with one out and the tying run on third, followed by the top hitter on the team failing to get a hit with the tying run in scoring position. 
 
Here are some observations on the 2015 Twins: 
 
1)After a slow start, the offense has been pretty good.Most of the slow starters have at least righted their batting averages.The power hasn't been there--on target for just 100 homers.Of late, the homers have come with runners on base--several three-run homers and a Plouffe grand slam,Most hitters have not matched their career norm.However, going into today's game, all the players were over .200 and the guys with the lowest averages had been hitting well of late.
 
2)Putting together pitching and defense, the Twins are just about exactly in the middle for run prevention.Given the notes that the Twins FIP is lowest in the league, that may be hard to sustain.I don't think FIP will ever be kind to a staff that strikes out the fewest in the league.
 
3)A big reason for optimism is that there would appear to be real help on the farm.Aaron Hicks is hitting very well at Rochester, while Byron Buxton has been white-hot for the last ten days. Several pitchers have thrived, as well.
 
4)The Twins, for the first time since 2010, have played better at home.They have a nice 10-5 mark at Target Field, while only going 4-8 on the road.Run scoring reflects a .500 team, as of today outscored by 1 run through the 27 games. 
 
5)I expect the team to transition by mid-season.Some players will be disabled and a couple of guys will most likely be discarded.I like what I've seen from May and Gibson and Aaron Thompson has been a revelation.The bench guys have performed well when given a chance. 

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#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 07:12 AM

I'm mildly optimistic. In the aggregate, the pitching staff is performing about where I thought they'd be... just a tick below the middle of the AL. There's room for improvement with the bullpen in particular. Pelfrey will probably regress, Hughes should step it up a bit and improve.

 

The offense is coming around and gives hope not only for this season but for 2016 and beyond. I'm moderately satisfied with how things are shaking out there.

 

Yesterday's loss didn't bother me one bit nor did it diminish my slight enthusiasm for this team. If anything, it bolstered it a bit. The Twins faced a tough starter that shut them down but May also did a fair job of shutting down the A's. Those games happen and I'll take a 2-1 loss over some of the 9-7 victories the Twins were getting in early 2014 because 2-1 losses routinely turn into 3-2 victories under normal circumstances. You can't expect to win many 9-7 games, which the Twins were lucking into on a regular basis in April of 2014.

 

Here are some of the Twins' "victories" from April last year: 10-9, 10-7, 9-5, 9-7. That's four games in one month the Twins won while giving up five or more runs. That's not even a little bit sustainable and unsurprisingly, we saw the team collapse after that point. The Twins only had two victories of that kind in April of 2015.

 

I thought this was a 75 win team. I still believe that but 78-80 wins isn't out of the question. This is a team that isn't getting by on the smoke and mirrors of early 2014; there's actual talent on this roster and a good portion of it has room to improve considerably.

 

And prepare yourselves, everybody... Getting Ervin Santana back in July is just like making a trade.*

 

*somebody had to say it

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#3 brvama

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 07:28 AM

Agreeeeeeee!!! Brock, you nailed the difference from this year and the past losing seasons, there IS talent on this team. And more in the wings. Coming into this year I felt 2015 would be the turning point where the talent starts to show up. It's nice to have good choices available when needed on the roster. Mid-summer we should see a different club, if the youngsters keep pushing the issue.

#4 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 12:54 PM

I think for a team that is re-building (again, still, perpetually), there are such things as good losses and bad losses. For a contender (or, I guess, a Football team), there are only wins and losses, doesn't matter if was lucky or unlucky.

 

The Twins had a good loss last night. Trevor May kept the Twins in it while was out there, pitched deep into the game. A person could point a finger at Mauer for not coming through in the eighth or at Vargas for happening to be the last out of the game, but neither one of them represented the Twins' only chance to get on base or drive someone in. If the Twins can do what they did last night and combine it with a few more hits, I think they will give the fans plenty to cheer about this year and plenty of reasonable hope for the future.  

 

I am looking forward to the next time I can see them in person, which is a good feeling.


#5 spycake

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 02:01 PM

I was definitely more excited entering this season than any year since 2011 at least, and that still remains. Primarily due to the additions of Santana, Vargas, and May to the base of Dozier, Plouffe, and Gibson.




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