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View from the summit of Game 62


Anyone who reads this can do the math, but let's lay it out for all to see.

As of the morning of 11 June, the Twinkies stand at 25 - 37, 13 games back of the Pale Hose, who have racked up a mighty 38 - 24 (.613) record.  Exactly 100 games remain to be played.  Consider:

  • In order to have an outside shot for a wildcard berth at 85 - 77, this team has to play .600 ball
  • For Chicago to choke and allow the Twins to catch them at that pace, their club would have to lose 56 of 100 games (84 - 78)
  • The White Sox current clip would put them at 99 - 63
  • A 90-win Twins season requires a .650 win rate the rest of the way; but provides no guarantee of a wildcard and still requires Chicago to have a losing record the rest of the way to re-gain the division title
  • Were the Twins to start winning at an ungodly two-out-of three pace and sustain it through September, they would finish 92-70; likely gaining wildcard entry but still requiring numerous things to go wrong on the South Side of the Second City to earn another division title

Nobody wants to see the fire sale begin. This team has the talent to make a comeback and no opponent is that good - especially in the AL Central.  Yesterday's come-from-behind, sayonara spanking of the Yankees inspired some hope.  Stranger things have happened in a Major League season, but even the truest fan (those of you who never left after the seventh inning at the Met) needs to understand what the team is up against.  Eyes up.

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The issue that I have with a comeback is that the division doesn't really lend to it.  The White Sox are in a position where they're the best team in the division and thus everyone else is worse.  The Twins are in the polar opposite position.  They're in the cellar and everyone else is better.  The weakness of the bottom half might help bring the Twins out of the cellar if they started to play more capably, but that same weakness helps the Sox stay where they are.  That said, I haven't examined the schedules to see who has more games against the bottom half.

I had picked the White Sox to win the division before the season.  Cleveland is playing a little better than I had anticipated.  KC figured to be a "wild card" in the division and Detroit wasn't expected to be very good.  

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I'm with you - but reality says what it says. Will hope Donaldson and Cruz keep banging. Brewers just put their 3Bman on the IL - looking to me like Robles will bring back the most? Fire sale may be in our best interests. If not for the injuries and the meltdown we'd never have seen Larnach and Gordon at Target this soon. Kirilloff and Jeffers look great - Refsnyder is a 4th OF find for us and I'd like to see Simmons moved quicker than the rest so we can play Gordon. It's time for him to get this chance. I'd like to see an infield of Arraez(3b)Polanco(ss)Gordon(2b)Kirilloff(1b) the rest of the way - Sano can DH if not traded.

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10 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

The weakness of the bottom half might help bring the Twins out of the cellar if they started to play more capably, but that same weakness helps the Sox stay where they are.

This.  Beat the snot out of the Spiders, Tigers and yes, even the Royals and recover a winning record against the White Sox the rest of the way and there's a chance.  Not impossible, but man, this is a deep, deep hole we're in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here we are 11 games later, 8 more remaining to the halfway mark.  The Twins had a real shot at going 7 - 4 over this span, but had to settle for 6 - 5.  At this pace they would not be able to reach .500 before the end of the season.  They would need to improve to 50 - 39 (.561) the rest of the way.

Meanwhile the ChiSox broke their own 5-game streak going the opposite way and posted a 6 - 6 record in the same span of days, resulting in a mere half game gain in the standings.

At this point, nothing short of an extended run of wins will keep the Twins in the hunt.  Three more losses by game 81 and they have truly had it.  Even a sweep of Cleveland and a split in Chicago wouldn't move the needle very much.    

For a team with as much raw talent on the roster as the Twins have taking 7 of 8 or winning them all is not an impossible task.  Three things stand in the way - more consistent scoring, more consistent pitching and injuries.  The club has the most control over over the first two, hopefully they will find an answer.  If there is a third loss, the conversation shifts to rebuild vs. reload.

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