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Déjà Vu: Can the Twins Surge Back in 2022?


Twins Daily Contributor

Throughout Twins history, there have been mutiple seasons where the team has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to win the AL Central. Can the current roster find some Minnesota magic and surge back into contention?

Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

 

Most franchises have seasons a fanbase can remember fondly for how their team fought to the season's final days. The Twins are no stranger to some late-season comebacks, and younger fans may have forgotten about the below-mentioned runs. In September, the current Twins team is facing its largest deficit in the division so far in 2022. Minnesota is running out of games to win the AL Central, but so were these three teams. 

2006 Twins (96-66)
Farthest Behind: 12.5 Games (May 27)
September Deficit: 5 Games with 23 Remaining (September 7)

The 2006 Twins only spent four total days in first place, but the club was on the top of the standings when it mattered most. With 96 wins, Minnesota already headed to the postseason, but that didn't take away from the drama. In the season's final series, the Twins lost the first two games against Chicago to make things more interesting. Minnesota won their final game, but fans refused to leave the Metrodome as the division title was still up for grabs. 

The Tigers and Royals headed to extra-innings, and the fans and players could watch the final innings on the stadium's screens. Detroit entered the day tied with the Twins, but the 100-loss Royals put up a final day fight. Kansas City eventually won in 12 innings, and the Twins stormed the field before taking a victory lap.  

2008 Twins (88-75)
Farthest Behind: 6 Games (June 10)
September Deficit: 2.5 Games with 6 Remaining (September 21)

Minnesota made up three games in three days to enter the season's final weekend up a half-game on the White Sox. Unfortunately, the Twins couldn't take advantage of facing the Royals in the season's final series and ended up tied with Chicago. Everything came down to a Game 163 where future Twin Jim Thome hit a home run that accounted for the game's lone run. It was a brutal ending after a thrilling race to the division's top, but the Twins put themselves in a position to win the Central. 

During the 2022 season, there will be no tie-breaker games, so the Twins need to win the head-to-head match-up with the Guardians. Entering play this weekend, Minnesota has gone 5-9 versus Cleveland, so the Twins need a five-game sweep to take the season series. 

2009 Twins (87-76)
Farthest Behind: 7 Games (September 6)
September Deficit: 7 Games with 26 Remaining(September 6)

Minnesota saved their longest winning streak for the season's final month with six straight wins from September 13-19. For the second consecutive year, the Twins ended the season with a series versus the Royals, but this time the Twins needed a sweep to force a decisive tie-breaker game. 

Detroit and Minnesota played one of the most memorable games in team history as Alexi Casilla's one-out single in the bottom of the 12th inning scored Carlos Gomez. Minnesota went on to be swept by the Yankees, but the Tigers didn't reach the postseason, and fans were left with one final Metrodome memory. 

Like the seasons mentioned above, Kansas City will play a role in deciding who eventually wins the AL Central. Because of the lockout, Cleveland's final six games are all at home against the Royals. It looks like Kansas City doesn't have much fight in them if the Twins recently concluded series is any indication. Minnesota will likely need KC to win multiple games in the season's final week for more Minnesota magic to unfold. 

Do you think the Twins still have a chance to win the division? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

 

 


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This stretch of 5 games against the Guardians may well decide the Twins' season. The Twins are 4.0 games back of Cleveland and 1.0 games back of Chicago. If the Twins were to sweep the Guardians (exceedingly unlikely), they'd almost certainly be in the division lead.

If the Twins were to get totally swept, they'd be 10 games back and fried extra crispy. How I like my chicken... not my favorite MLB team.

1-4, Twins are 1% playoff potential.
2-3, Twins are 5-10% playoff potential.
3-2, Twins are 20-30% playoff potential.
4-1, Twins are 30-50% playoff potential.
5-0, Twins are 50%-70% playoff potential.

There's a range because of what the White Sox might do in addition to the Guardians. In order to give the team a good shot at winning the division, the Twins really need to take 4 of 5 here.

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My hope is the Twins will be firing on all 8, SPing , BP, defense & offense will all come together. That all the starring pieces comeback healthy & hungry, with CLE young team folding at the end and we with such momentum going into the post season to win our 1st post season game since who knows.

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