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Archived Story

I’m Back

Published 1:15pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The summer has caught up to me a little bit with a lot going on and the damn heat I just haven’t been able to get myself to sit down and write something. So for that I apologize. But I’m back again.

A lot has happen to our mighty Twins since I last wrote. They were being called through by a lot of people, you know who you are, I mean how could anyone say the Twins were getting ready for the fat lady’s performance?

So how did this band of misfits get themselves back into the American League Central race? Much of the reason actually comes from the last sentence, the American League Central. Come on people, we all know that the Central isn’t the strongest guy in the gym so that is a big reason for the resurgence.

If the Twins were in the AL East they would be 14 games out, in the Al West 11 games out, in the NL West 11 games out and the NL East 11 games out. The only other division in baseball where the Twins would be 7 games back like they are now is the NL Central. So what is that saying about all of us in the Central part of our nation?

So we now know the big factor in the Twins getting back in the race is the weak division. But there are a few other little things that have helped out in that quest. Like I have said before, the Twins starting pitching has been very good. They are going farther into games which have taken the Twins terrible middle relief pitchers out of the game. Now if only they could complete the games to take out the terrible late innings guys. Wait, I’m sorry, Glen Perkins has been great in late innings and Joe Nathan is on the verge of a comeback so that is good news. But take away some of those early games the middle relievers gave away along with all the games Matt Capps has given away and the Twins might be in first place.

It’s been hard to watch the Twins with Morneau, Mauer, Young, Kubel, Span, Thome, and others not in the lineup all that much during the season. When they are not in the game together there are not many runs scored so the starters really have been the saviors of the team.

Another bright spot has been Ben Revere who really has come out of no where to be a very effective lead off man. He has been so effective that we haven’t missed Span all that much. He brings speed and excitement to the team and when he and Casilla are hitting and running the Twins sometimes score enough runs to win.

Another guy I like is Anthony Swarzak. I have said before he is a guy that I can’t help but root for. He will do anything the team asks him to do and as a former coach I love that.

Every time he has been called on to start a game do to injuries or whatever, he has done a great job and you gotta love that. Scott Diamond did it too on Monday night but Swarzy has done it a few times now.

Joe Mauer has started to hit again and he even slid head first into first base ala Nicky Punto the other night. Could we have been wrong about his desire to play or is he feeling guilty.

Besides the fact the Central is a weak division how the Twins have gained ground is a mystery. They have been using mirrors or something. The double header loss to Cleveland was a blow but if they can start scoring some runs and the starters can continue to rack up the innings they have a shot. I would like to see them add some arms in the bullpen if they think they have a shot at the division but if Nathan can continue to look almost like the old Nathan and Perkins continues to pitch maybe it isn’t as big of a factor as I think.

-By the way, I like what the Wild has been doing in adding players and I would be curious to see how the Wolves would play under Don Nelson who seems very passionate to land the job.

  • Tracy Mitchell

    Welcome back, dude. You’re back, Delmon’s back, the Pirates are back. Things are moving in the right direction. Now we need Kubel and Morneau back. Listening to people’s comments about the Twins are fascinating. The national sport writers and commentators should know better, but they seem clueless sometimes. There’s no real mystery to the roll they have been on since Swarzak’s one-hitter. Despite the record, the Twins were never a 20-game-below-500 team. The middle infield is stabilized, the starting pitching has been well above average, the defense is slowly eliminating mistakes, the youngsters are contributing more, and Cuddyer has been unbelievable. Valencia has been huge as well. Gardy stuck with Casilla long after everyone else, including me, had given up on him. That’s paid off big time, as he has been playing quality defense and seriously contributing with his bat. He has become a real presence at the top of the order. Gardy also got Nishioka into the right spots and he has been solid in the field. Not much bat yet, but the middle infield is now stabilized. In June the pitching got better, and by July the hitting has been vastly improved. When Kubel went down, Cuddyer picked it up and has been huge. Those that want to dump Cuddyer need to figure out where his contributions would otherwise come from. And the minor league system has contributed – Ben Revere, a major league ready center fielder and quality lead off, Luke Hughes, a versatile glove man with some real pop in the bat, Anthony Swarzak, Tom’s new favorite, and Trevor Plouffe, a potentially big bat with a lot of athletic ability, Rene Tosoni, a guy to keep an eye on. It will be interesting to see who else, if anyone, will get called up – Gibson, Hendricks, Benson, DeVries, Dozier.

    Kubel and Span are getting close to returning, apparently Morneau is working out. Should be fun the rest of the way. Even if we have to do it without Slowey.

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