It is flat f---ing amazing what competent starting pitching can do. Doesn't have to be Johan in his prime or anything like that. It just has to be decent. A couple runs allowed, avoid big innings, get it to the 6th or 7th inning.
The Twins don't look that much different than the 2012 version that won a paltry 66 games and caused many to wonder if this was the last stand of the Ron Gardenhire Era. Some asshole even said they would win 59 games, fire everybody, and trade Glen Perkins to the Nippon Ham Fighters. Many pointed to the starting rotation that looked just as unpleasant as last year's Springfield Tire Fire as the main reason for skepticism.
However. That hasn't happened (yet, at least). Kevin Correia continues to have a "Sorry, haters" start, your Pelfrey/Worley/Hernandez outings have been hit and miss, and Scott Diamond continues to be good and competent, which is all you can ask. Today, he had a no-hitter going into the 5th, got in a jam in the 6th, worked out of it, and left the game in the hands of Casey Fein, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins. In 2013, that's been enough, and allowed the Twins to avoid a sweep in Detroit and go into this weekend's series with Cleveland at 12-12 on the season.
Of the starters, Pelfrey has struggled the most, and had his best game of the season ruined by one bad pitch to Prince Fielder on Monday. But compared the 2012, when everyone was either already out for the season or completely unprepared or unable to face major league pitching, this is a walk in the park. It would be nice if Vance Worley would quit giving up jack jobs, but I'll repeat: the Twins are .500, and will still be until at least May 3rd. It could all go to shit this weekend, but I'm going to embrace optimism, because they've played watchable baseball for an entire month, and that's more than they've done in two years.
One thing I missed in the FAST REAX earlier: Aaron Hicks hit a triple on a 101 mph pitch from Bruce Rondon. That's one way to convince people you're starting to come around.