After an ugly series against the New York Yankees, Minnesota went to Boston with an opportunity to reset. In a game that the Twins put up 14 hits and scored nine runs, they still found themselves on the short side of the ledger. While this season has gone nothing as was expected, this is a reality that’s played out far too often.
The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman has consistently reported one of the most telling statistics tied to this club during the season.
Giving up five or fewer runs in a baseball game on a nightly basis should not be a difficult task. It also should not so consistently result in an inability to overcome. The turnover in their starting rotation has compounded Minnesota's ineptitude to pitch. The path forward looks even more gloomy with the uncertainty of Kenta Maeda’s health going into the offseason.
Offensively the Twins are no longer the Bomba Squad, but they’re hardly a lackluster unit. With 577 runs scored, they are 13th in baseball as a team. They are 13th and 14th in average and on-base percentage, respectively, while rounding out the top 10 in OPS. That’s not by any means world-beating numbers, but being middle-of-the-pack should present a substantially greater opportunity for competitiveness.
It’s on the bump where things go completely off the rails. The Twins are 26th in pitcher fWAR, and their 5.00 ERA is 27th in baseball. At 21.7%, they are striking out batters 23rd most across the sport, and there’s been little semblance of bright spots.
During the broadcast, Dick Bremer noted the Twins need to overhaul the relief corps in 2022 while Caleb Thielbar was on the mound. The formerly retired pitcher has been a pleasant surprise and was noted by the broadcaster as a near-lock for the unit in the year ahead. He then promptly gave up a two-run shot to Red Sox utility man Enrique Hernandez and Minnesota’s season predictability was as evident as ever.
Tonight Rocco Baldelli will turn to another bright spot, Bailey Ober, in hopes of getting back in the win column. Minnesota is an underdog at Fenway while the Red Sox are chasing down Tampa Bay, currently sitting 6.5 back in the AL East.
There have been bright spots for this club, but they haven’t been on the mound. Looking to salvage something over the last month, seeing performance from the bump would be a much-welcomed reality