Friday, July 21, 2006

Have the Twins peaked?

The Minnesota Twins start a key six-game road trip this evening when they take on the Cleveland Indians.

The Twins will play three games against the Indians this weekend and three more next week in Chicago against the White Sox.

Although the Twins have been phenomenal at home (37-11) they have been woeful on the road (17-29, including 0-12 against AL Central foes Indians, Sox and Detroit Tigers). This will be the trip which will determine what the Twins will do at the July 31st trading deadline. If the Twins have a good road trip (Say, 4-2 or better) they may retain all of their players for the stretch drive. If they go .500 or worse?

Sell, Sell, Sell!!

Hey, I’m not looking to rain on any parades here. The mere fact I am talking about a Twins playoff run this season is remarkable considering a couple of months ago I was calling for management to blow up the team. The Twins have gone a scorching 29-7 in their last 36 games so I say enjoy it while it lasts.

Even if Twins are virtually eliminated from the playoffs, there are still a lot of aspects of this club which are worth paying attention.

-Joe Mauer attempting to be the first catcher in a long time to win a batting title. The last to do it? You have to go all the way back to 1942 when Cincinnati Reds backstop Ernie Lombardi accomplished that feat.

-Justin Morneau becoming the first Twin to hit 30+ home runs since 1987. He also has a very good chance to become the first Twins player to hit 40+ since…what was that guy’s name?.....Oh yeah, Harmon Killebrew.

-Francisco Liriano has an opportunity not only to win the AL Rookie of the Year but also the Cy Young award. Not a bad double play for a rook.

-Liriano and Johan Santana have the opportunity to become only the second pair of Twins teammates to win 20 games in the same season. Dave Boswell and Jim Perry each won 20 way back in 1969.

Yes, I never thought two months ago that I’d be saying this:

The 2006 version of the Minnesota Twins have been fun to watch!

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