As a stood on my balcony staring at the clouds churning near my apartment building and listening to the Minnesota Twins get swept by the Kansas City Royals, I wondered to myself, “Is this it? Is it over?” Of course, I was talking to myself about the Twins season, not about the world or anything else.
Understandably, there is a slight sense of panic after the weekend sweep of a Minnesota team that has been considered strong playoff contenders for the 2020 campaign. But is it time to panic? I say nay! ... and here’s why:
The team started the season with an unprecedented 10-2 record, doing so for the first time since the team moved over from Washington, D.C. Included in that is a six-game winning streak, building a great cushion of wins to help pad the blow of losses like we’re seeing right now. On top of that, the Twins have shown in the early part of this season that they’re able to compete with the top AL Central foes - Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox - by grabbing series wins.
Still early in the season...
Minnesota will play their 17th game tonight when they face the Milwaukee Brewers. They are just over 25% done with their season and still have a lot of games left on their plate. Yes, each game is equivalent to 2.6 games in a normal season, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are still 44 games left on the Twins’ schedule this season.
More teams will make it in the playoffs this seasons. Over half the MLB teams, in fact. Do I like it? That’s a conversation for another time. But let me tell you this: If the season ended after yesterday’s games, these eight American League teams would be in the playoffs:
- Twins (10-6), AL Central leader
- Detroit Tigers (8-5), AL Central second place
- New York Yankees (10-6), AL East leader
- Tampa Bay Rays (8-8), AL East second place
- Oakland Athletics (12-4), AL West leader
- Texas Rangers (6-8), AL West second place
- Cleveland (10-7), Wild Card
- Baltimore Orioles (7-7), Wild Card; wins tiebreaker over the White Sox (8-8)
Two teams at .500 and one team below .500 would make the playoffs at this point. Unless the Twins take a deep dive in the season, they have a firm grasp of a playoff spot. (No jinx, no jinx...)
As I’m sure all teams are, the Twins are still adjusting to being on the road (and probably even at home) with COVID-19 precautions in place. As Danny Gladden mentioned in a post-game show this weekend, players cannot socialize in person with each other and basically are confined to their rooms outside the field. It’s a different type of normal for players right now, and it could still take some getting used to this season.
As a Twins fan, are you panicking?
This poll is closed