Somehow, some way, the 2017 Minnesota Twins are still very much in the hunt for a postseason berth.
Despite being 25th or worse (out of 30 teams) in all of Major League Baseball in four key pitching stats (ERA, Batting Average Against, Quality Starts and WHIP) and in the bottom half of the league in most offensive categories (runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage), the Twins are only 1/2 game behind the L.A. Angels of Anaheim for the second American League wildcard spot.
Starting tonight, the Twins begin a six-game home stand where they'll play a pair of playoff caliber teams (three against the Cleveland Indians and three with the Arizona Diamondbacks). I don't think it's a stretch to say that this is a "make or break" week, especially since the Twins own the second worst home record in the American League (another quirky stat, given that their 2017 road record is second best in the A.L.).
But perhaps the most inexplicable aspect of this Twins season is this resurgence coincides with the acquisition of 44-year old starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, who's actually been solid (2-0, 2.82 ERA in his past three starts). Tonight, Colon will get the start against an Indians franchise with whom he broke into the big leagues in 1997. As such, this prompted the Star Tribune's Michael Rand to look up when Colon made his first ever start for Cleveland against the Twins. You'd have to go back more than 20 years to July 13, 1997 where Colon notched his second career MLB victory. On a side note, Colon's current manager Paul Molitor was still an active player for Twins that year. In that game, Molitor went 0 for 1 with 2 BBs vs. Colon. And the losing pitcher? That would be LaTroy Hawkins, who currently serves as a part time ambassador and TV analyst for the Twins. Crazy stuff.