The A's aptly named mascot (at least for yesterday): "Stomper"
Initially, I had written off the Twins 14-13 Monday loss to the Athletics - after having led 12-2 in the third inning - as just "one of those games." Hell, over the course of 162 contests, every club is going to conclude their season with a few losses that are so perplexing, so nightmarish and suicidal, that it's really more healthy to just move on to the ensuing day. Such is the beauty of baseball.
But after yesterday's 16-1 stomping at the hands of the 40-53, last-place A's, I shelved the article I had initially slated for today and opted instead to slightly worry about Twin fates for the rest of 2009.
I'm generally not the gloom-and-doom type, but 32 damn runs allowed in three days to any last-place team is simply unacceptable. The Twins are now back to just a lone game over .500, they've yet to capture the imagination to the Twin Cities, they haven't been in first-place in a (mediocre) Central Division since game #6, and (scratch head now) haven't had a five-game winning streak all damn season. Crazy. Confusing.
To grind through stats-of-plight herein would truly fill more sentences than I would care to throw at you, gentle reader, but I think that the bare and blunt truth about this Twins club can - to date - be namely surmised with two words:
To look at the Twins closer is to magnify their mediocrity and their embracing of the ordinary:
-the 48-47 record
-the fact that they have been neither six games above or below .500 all season
-the disturbing truth that they're 11-14 in one-run games, 12-12 in "blowout games" (5 + runs), and 4-5 in extra inning games
-the bizarre results of our winning percentages against Winning teams (.522) and Losing teams (.464)
What the hell?
Really, individual performances aside, the club's ultimate boast through 95 games is that they continue to stomp the shit out of the National League: 12-6. Yea! That part of the campaign is over!
A penultimate savior for the fellas right now is that the Central has proven surprisingly average as a whole. Detroit continues to play solid ball (and has been quite good at home), although they sport the fewest wins for a division leader. The second-place White Sox have steadily improved over the course of the season, but they're still just four games over .500 themselves.
While the good doctor should probably call for a dose of the Indians and Royals immediately, we don't get them until August 4 and August 11, respectively. Until then, we have to deal with the first-place Angels in Anaheim, before hosting the Chi Sox and the Angels at home.
There's still a boatload of baseball to be played, but the boys seem desperate for a nice, little five-game win streak to re-inject some enthusiasm into what truly looked like a most sanguine season back in April.