Saturday, June 06, 2009
Minnesota Twins: Ready to Become Road Warriors?
The month of June has just started, but by the time it ends the Minnesota Twins could know whether or not they’ll be in the mix for the postseason.
Following last night’s win against the Seattle Mariners, the Twins are only 7-16 on the road, a far cry from the 21-12 record they hold in the cozy, teflon confines of the Metrodome.
The Twins have 23 games left to play this month and 17 of them are on the road.
The Twins start with a west coast swing against the aforementioned Mariners and then head south to battle the struggling Oakland Athletics, before returning to the Midwest for an interleague battle with the Chicago Cubs.
Following the road trip the Twins get six games on friendly ground against the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros, before heading back out to tangle with regional foes the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.
Although the thought of two lengthy road trips could be very daunting for a team that has struggled so much when sitting in the visitor’s dugout, the Twins still have a lot going for them.
Entering play on June 6th, the Twins currently sit at .500 with a 28-28 record and trail the division-leading Detroit Tigers by a mere game and a half in the standings.
Additionally, the Twins opponents for the rest of the month—even with the red-hot Brewers and Cardinals factored in—are a combined 10 games under .500 on the season.
If that isn’t enough to keep Twins fans and players confident, there is the simple fact that the Twins simply haven’t been playing nearly as bad as their road record would indicate; nine of the club’s last 10 losses on the road have been by three runs or fewer.
With the same level of play and perhaps a little bit more luck the Twins could very well have won any of those games and could be looking down on the rest of the division.
No doubt, the month of June will be a tough test for the Twins, but this team has the pitching and the bats to make serious waves in the still very wide-open American League Central before it’s all said and done.
It could be that a long road trip is all it takes to bring it all together.