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  • 'Let's Ride Together:' 3 Reasons to Be Excited About the Final 52 Games


    Cody Christie

    The Twins dropped to second place for the first time since June, but the team is having a call to action. With 52 games to go, it's time to band together and enjoy the ride of the 2022 season.

    Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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    Wednesday night's loss in Los Angeles might be the low point in the season so far. However, the Dodgers are arguably baseball's best team, and they finished the series with a 10-game winning streak. The Twins eventually need to be able to beat playoff-caliber teams, but the club was hardly playing its best baseball. 

    Twins Vice President of Communication and Content Dustin Morse had a simple message for fans following the team's loss, "Let's ride together." Sports are designed to be frustrating for fans. Only one team can end the season as the champion, so 29 other fan bases will be upset. Baseball isn't fun if you don't enjoy the journey of a 162-game season. 

    With Morse's message in mind, here are three reasons to be excited about the remainder of the Twins' schedule. 

    Twins Control Their Own Destiny
    MLB's unbalanced schedule means the Twins have 27 remaining games against AL Central teams. This includes nine games against the Royals and White Sox, six games against the Guardians, and three games against Detroit. Minnesota can control its own destiny by winning the majority of the games in the division, including 15 games against Cleveland and Chicago, the other teams chasing a division title. 

    There will also be some tough tests on the schedule with seven road games against the AL's powerhouse teams. Minnesota travels to Houston on August 23-25 to play the Astros in a three-game set. Houston has a 71-41 record, and they are tough to beat at home with a .660 winning percentage. New York has the same record as Houston but has struggled recently with a 2-8 record in their last ten games. The Twins head to New York for a four games series from September 5-8. Both series will be a good test for the Twins. 

    Arraez's Batting Title Chase
    Entering play on Thursday, Luis Arraez leads baseball with a .333 batting average. He is five points ahead of St. Louis' Paul Goldschmidt for the MLB lead and over 20 points higher than Rafael Devers for the AL lead. Minnesota hasn't had a batting title champion since Joe Mauer during the 2009 season when he won AL MVP. Only four Twins players have won a batting title, but each player has their number retired by the team (Mauer, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, and Kirby Puckett). 

    Arraez struggled in a recent stretch going 7-for-42 (.167 BA), but he seems to have recovered his swing. Over his last three games, he has gone 9-for-14 (.643 BA) to help improve his average. Also, he has 13 three-hit games so far this season which ties him for second in baseball. If Arraez can stay healthy, he should earn his first batting title. 

    Young Contributors
    Roster depth helps every contending team, and the Twins are no different, with multiple young players providing value to the team. It took some time, but Nick Gordon seems to be living up to his former status as one of the team's top prospects. Jose Miranda is coming off one of the best minor league seasons in franchise history, but few expected him to have 126 OPS+ during his rookie campaign. Jhoan Duran has been one of the team's bright spots during his first taste of the big leagues. His dominant relief appearances are some of the team's must-watch moments, but some may forget he was a starter until this year. 

    It's easy to get mad and upset when a team isn't performing well on the field, but fans need to enjoy the ride, or sports will never be enjoyable. 

    What are you excited about watching in the last 52 games? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

     

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    What am I excited about watching  ,,,

    Watching twins win exciting baseball games by dominating  ...

    Arraez winning a batting title ...

    Some killer instinct would help and the players should have a team meeting  to get fired up for the next 52 games  ....

    What I'm not excited about is watching kepler batting fourth  , love his defense  but the offense is atrocious  ,,, he started the season hitting to all fields and now is pull happy again  .... 

    I have been excited with the 2022 twins  but haven't been excited with the FO the managers plan ...

    The plan,  the plan  , the plan  ..

    Smiles everyone 

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    18 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    I’m excited as I watch every game waiting for one rotation arm to do seven innings!

    Well there have been some games where -- OH  you mean the Twins rotation, never mind.

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    32 minutes ago, RpR said:

    Well there have been some games where -- OH  you mean the Twins rotation, never mind.

    Thanks for the smile..thats actually really funny.  I needed that.

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    I'm excited to see how many different lineups Rocco can come up with in the last 52 games. If anyone can do it 53 times, he can! How many times he'll bat Kepler in the cleanup spot and he won't get a hit. How many more times he'll rest Correa, Buxton or Arraez on the same day. Or how many games will Buxton miss because of his knee or play and still be unproductive. How many more times he'll play his worst players like Beckham at DH while Urshela sits the bench. How many more games will they lose because they can't bunt a player into scoring position. How many times will he fail to pinch run for a slow runner after a leadoff double in the late innings of a close game and they fail to score. How many strikeouts Jake Cave can accumulate before he gets sent back down to AAA. How many more games Pagan will blow before he is DFA'd. How many games will Archer pitch more than 4 innings. How many games behind Cleveland and Chicago will they finish by. Yes, I'm so excited for Rocco to continue to botch up chances to win. Maybe if we are all lucky, they'll miss the playoffs due to his "Plan" and it will be the last time we see him in a Twins uniform. 

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    There are things to be excited about.  Need to see how this next week or two goes becaue if they can keep things tight who knows.  I will be watching Miranda, Gordon and Arraez. Hopefully Larnach comes back at some point and gets more MLB action.  Hoping Jovani Moran excels at the MLB level as we will desperately need him to do well out of the gate next year. Would like to see Sands and maybe Henriquez get more chances and if the Twins are out of it then SWR, Varland, Strotman, Palacios and Wallner would be fun to see.

    It feels like the Twins need to develop their young players for them to be more successful next year but again will have to wait and see if this team goes down the drain or has some fight left in them to stay in it until the end.

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    9 minutes ago, Dman said:

    There are things to be excited about.  Need to see how this next week or two goes becaue if they can keep things tight who knows.  I will be watching Miranda, Gordon and Arraez. Hopefully Larnach comes back at some point and gets more MLB action.  Hoping Jovani Moran excels at the MLB level as we will desperately need him to do well out of the gate next year. Would like to see Sands and maybe Henriquez get more chances and if the Twins are out of it then SWR, Varland, Strotman, Palacios and Wallner would be fun to see.

    It feels like the Twins need to develop their young players for them to be more successful next year

    Well as the Saints have a losing record, let them flail away there, and not in the Bigs.

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    Timely article Cody, when so many are down because the Twins were swept by a very good red hot Dodger team. I'm looking forward too with all those goals that you mentioned and also to Palacios returning to MLB team because he's our best sub now for Correa on the field & see his hitting get better as  he gets be ready for next year. Another is to watch Archer progress as he recovers from surgery & down time these last few years. Going into the post season we need a lot of veteran presences and come around post season time Archer will be a great asset.

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    i know from where it sit - at my desk at work in vancouver - that i'd love to see arraez get a batting title. it's been great watching him get to where he is and to see a batter like him is a privilege. i look forward to well fought games, a little less heartache and maybe, please, a stolen base or two.

    i look forward to the two games i'll over the labour day weekend vs the sox and look back fondly on the two games i saw over the july 4th weekend recently.

    i alos look forward to seeing byron running across centre field and diving to make a highlight reel catch... ok... so maybe i won't see that.

     

    go twins.

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    I'm interested to see if Jose Miranda can keep on fire and close the gap on Julio Rodriguez as a RoY candidate (it'll be a very tall call) or if he can just continue mashing.

    I'm interested to see if Maeda can return and how he looks.

    I'm interested to see how Duran closes out the season.

    I'm interested in potentially seeing Matt Wallner and Simeon Woods-Richardson at the MLB level.

    That's in addition to whether or not the Twins can pull out a division win and advance all the way to a World Series victory.

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    35 minutes ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

    Amen, brother. We need a couple of more hot bats to go with Arraez and Miranda. Polanco, Buxton, Correa, Larnach when he returns - 2 or 3 of those guys getting hot would cure a lot of what ails us.  

    ANY body getting would cure a lot.

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    Not thrilled slipping out of 1st place due to a recent bad stretch. Not happy at all. But if you told me the Twins would be in 1st place August 1st after the disaster that was 2021, I'd be thrilled just knowing that. So I'm going to remain positive/optimistic that a losing stretch will reverse itself and the Twins are going to win the ALC and get that pennant and have a shot to win at least the 1st round playoff series, 3 games at home. To quote the immortal Nuke LaLoosch: "Man, I F-ing love winning. It's like, better than losing, you know?".

    But specific things I'm looking at:

    1] Arraez winning a batting title.

    2] Watching the rotation to see if it finally gels. Mahle, a healthy Gray, and a still learning/growing. A little interested to see if Archer ratchets his game up a notch after finally being healthy for the first time in years. Is there more to unlock? Bundy? Just be solid and give the team a chance, all I ask.

    3] Really want to see Miranda and Gordon continue to improve. Miranda is part of the future, a big part. Can Larnach, and maybe Jeffers, come back healthy and finish strong?

    4] I want to see Duran finish strong and Jax get back to being as solid as he's been before a recent slump.

    5] For a playoff push, and getting ready for 2023, I'm VERY interested in the final 3 bullpen spots. Megill has actually flashed a little and has some stuff. Can he find some consistency? Can Moran establish himself as a big part for the stretch and the future? Do the Twins finally give up on "fixing" Pagan and just audition someone who has a chance to actually succeed? Do they commit to Sands as a middle/long guy? Is there any chance veteran Sanchez...horrible with Washington but surprisingly solid since joining the organization...maybe re-inventing himself after injuries and bad years to find a role in his late 20's as a successful mid/long man who could make a difference? Really interested to see how the Twins figure out those ,ast 3 BP spots because they're also important.

    6] September call ups are now limited to just a couple guys. Not sure who might come up as prospect wise, who else is ready to come up that hasn't already got a shot? But whoever does, I'm going to watch the choices, whoever they might be to see if they might be part of 2023. 

    7] Not Twins, but the entire milb system. Who finishes strong? Who just got promoted and how do they do? Even SSS, how many draft choices debut, and where, and what do they do?

    8] And this is a BIG ONE, I'll be in the Cities for the Vikings preseason game against the Niners with my father and see the stadium for the first time. Whether it's the Friday night before, or Sunday, we're going to catch a Twins game against the Rangers and I will be able to see Target Field in person for the first time! Maybe we'll run in to someone. Friday or Saturday night, we're planning on exploring Forgotten Star Brewing. Again, maybe we'll run in to someone. Should be a great weekend!

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    I don’t need to participate in all the dreary complaining as I will have all winter to do that.  I guess some want to start early so as to be first in line with their “I told you so’s”.  I still cling to the apparently antiquated notion that baseball is fun.  Man, what I would give to be able to go back in time and see another Killebrew at bat.

    Right now I am going to enjoy the ride and personally hope that the Twins win the division, and a round of playoff games.  It would be even better if they went all the way to the WS  and stuffed it down the throats of the depressing complainers.  So yeah, that is what I hope to see.

    This life goes by so fast.  Morse is right..”enjoy the ride”.

    I will be at the game in Anaheim tomorrow and will be loudly encouraging my favorite team.

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    19 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    Since I do not care about playoffs that I do not think we can win, I love the tension in the race for first place and I want Arraez to take that title.  I also want Miranda to continue to get hits and push for ROY - no chance, but he should be on the list.  

     

     

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    I'm really hoping Arraez wins the batting title.  I'd love to see Twins win the division but that is very questionable at best.  I would love to see some life in this team; especially the veteran players.   I'd love to see Rocco get a new computer or reboot his current one.  He may have some analytic and computer skills but has shown very little field managing skills. And most people upset with the Twins, including me at times, aren't basing it on 2 games with the Dodgers.  The Twins have been playing uninspired and at times down right poor baseball over the past 60 games.  If they don't take advantage of the games against those sub 500 teams then they aren't any better than them.  Go twins!

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    PLAYOFFS!!

    Arraez batting title

    Buxton at 35 Hr’s

    Correa batting .280

    Maeda - Moran - Winder - Smeltzer to bolster the PEN!

    We have 30% of the season left to just play sound baseball - we’ve got an upside - let’s enjoy!!!!

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    My guess is the pitching is going to be ‘ok’ from here. But, the only way I see the stretch being fun from a competitive standpoint is if Buxton gets healthy-er…and Correa gets hot.

    Otherwise, for me, it’s Arraez and the new (trade) guys and the new (young) guys…getting a sense for where they fit in the near future.

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    I'm excited about Ryan, Gray and Mahle getting up tpo ten starts each.

    I'm not excited about sending Bundy and Archer out there ten times each, but not sure who else we can give those starts to while keeping those two on the roster.

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    27 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    I'm excited about Ryan, Gray and Mahle getting up tpo ten starts each.

    I'm not excited about sending Bundy and Archer out there ten times each, but not sure who else we can give those starts to while keeping those two on the roster.

    Archer beat the Yankees 8-1, one the Twins few true high points.

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    I must be watching a different team. This offense is light years away from being competitive against playoff teams. They have no go-to guy for a game changing hit. They struggle immensely to plate guys with men on. Only 1 player with 50+ RBI's/100+ hits 70% into the season. 5 total IBB's. Dead last in SB (mostly Rocco's fault). Who would I send up in a critical situation? I'd be forced to say Arraez and hope for his patented single over a preferred bases-clearing double (only 1 for the team in 2022). This iteration has not a single guy, much less the 2-3 required bodies to attempt carrying us in the playoffs. 

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