It feels good to get that series victory monkey off of your back, right? The weeks since the All-Star break have been an unmitigated disaster for our Twins, so already having a series win in the bag after just two games against the Rangers has made for a much-needed reprieve.
Your soundtrack for today's baseball and breakfast is a song that came up on one of my old mix cds in the car this morning. (Yes, I make mix cds. I like compilations but why listed to one from someone else when I won't like all the songs and besides, just pressing shuffle allows for detachment from the songs. So.) Anyway, it's "On the Way to the Club" from Blur's Think Tank.
Winning last night put the Twins back above .500, at 57-56, and brought them within two games of the second Wild Card spot. Here are a few things to think about in terms of Minnesota's schedule, their performance the rest of the summer, and what it all means in the context of a potential playoff berth.
- The Twins have 49 games remaining. They are 36-22 at home (.621) and 21-34 (.381) on the road through 113 games this season.
- Of those 49 remaining games on the schedule, 23 are at home and 26 are on the road. Going by existing winning percentages, they will go roughly 14-9 at home and 10-16 on the road. If that holds, Minnesota is on pace for an 81-81 season. In the grand scheme of things, that counts as a nice improvement.
- Managing to finish with a .500 record on the road the rest of the year would put the Twins on course for an 84-win season, or a 27-22 record over the campaigns final 49 games.
- For 84 wins to get the Twins into that second Wild Card spot, the Angels would need to finish no better than 24-25, the Rays would need to finish no better than 25-23, the Orioles couldn't finish better than 26-23, the Tigers couldn't finish better than 28-20, Chicago 29-21, and Texas 29-22.
Former Twinkie Town author and old friend Steve Adams took a look at the shortstops who are scheduled to hit free agency this fall, including Ian Desmond, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, and Alexei Ramirez. I've said elsewhere that I could be tempted by Desmond on a short-term contract, but as the best of a pretty mediocre list I don't think that's viable.
Do you have interest in any of these four players, or would you rather see the Twins commit to someone like Jorge Polanco?
It's really hard to not love Miguel Sano. Paul Molitor is impressed with what he's seen, discussing the patience and quality of his plate appearances. Apparently when the Twins signed Sano, at age 16 by the way, he told Joe Mauer that he wanted to come up and hit between him and Justin Mornuau.
"I know Morneau is not here," he said in Betsy Helfand's post-game report on MLB.com, "but I'm here." And that's awesome.
I'll be back with more after today's game, including an update on our Top 30 prospects and possibly one or two other bits. We'll see you back in here in a couple of hours for the game thread.