The Twins are now six games under .500... and 8.0 games behind the Cleveland Indians. In essence, nothing has changed. Of course, being the chaser instead of the chased, this does not bode well for the Minnesota nine.
While I still tried to maintain a sense of optimism in late-June, I can’t quite bring myself to those levels once again. The Twins are losing pieces (sweep of the Blue Jays notwithstanding). All it would really take is for Tribe to rattle off a winning streak, and then it wouldn’t really matter how we shake out the rest of the way.
That being said, this is baseball, and stranger things have happened (see: 2006). So, let’s take a quick look at the late July-August schedule to see what we’re facing during the infamous “dog days of summer”:
- From July 26 until August 30, the Twins play 33 games.
- Of those 33 games, 23 are against Central Division foes.
- Of those AL Central contests, 10 are against the division-leading Indians.
- The non-divisional games include a trip to Boston (yikes), as well as hosting the Pirates (currently the hottest team in baseball) and the Athletics (probably the second-hottest). Gulp.
That being said, predicting the Twins this season is about as accurate as predicting manager replay challenge results. For example: they went into the All-Star break with a 9-2 homestand, feasting on some really bad teams. They came out of the break and got swept in Kansas City (one of those really bad teams). Then, they cleared customs in Toronto (a house of horrors for them in recent years), sweeping them.
One other interesting thing about the month of August: As long as the team doesn’t completely tank before the NFL preseason starts, there could be some really big crowds at Target Field. The first weekend of the month, we induct Johan Santana into the Twins Hall of Fame. Two weeks later, Jack Morris (MLB HOF member) gets feted. The week after that? Well...
Whether that extra emotion helps or hurts this club is anyone’s guess.
So far this season, these two clips perfectly describe my relationship with the Twins:
Truthfully, the logical part of my brain tells me that the Twins don’t have a run in them. Because of this, I’m okay stripping off a few parts at the deadline in order to leverage value for the future.
8.0 GB, though. Almost the perfect number where one can just as easily say “gosh, 8.0 games back” as “well, just 8.0 games back!” Between the celebrations of the past and the clashes with division rivals, these upcoming August nights could indeed still get pretty steamy.
Which Twins celebration are you most excited about?
This poll is closed
Johan "Not Ervin" Santana (Twins HOF)
Black Jack Morris (Cooperstown)
Big Jim Thome (Cooperstown)