What in the world has happened?
I hate to declare the season over with 129 games still to play, but it effectively is in my book after the Twins took a 3-0 lead over the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday, then watched as the South Siders reeled off nine unanswered runs for the 9-3 win.
All of the Twins’ problems were laid bare: the team isn’t getting enough innings out of its starting pitching, the bullpen is in disarray and the clutch hitting is non-existent. The Twins are now 12-21 on the season. Nine games under .500 isn’t insurmountable, but it will be for a team struggling in so many areas. I don’t expect the Twins to have a winning record and, as a result, they will wind up well out of the running for a postseason berth.
It’s hard to stomach because on paper the Twins are as good as any team in the league. To some extent, the Twins have been unlucky. Although the club’s record is 12-21, by pythagorean winning percentage the Twins are a .500 ball club, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Here’s how pythagorean winning percentage is defined:
Pythagorean winning percentage is an estimate of a team’s winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Developed by Bill James, it can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky.
How unlucky are the Twins? Well, they are 0-11 in extra-inning games and doubleheaders. That has to change, right? I’d like to think that luck will eventually swing in their favor, but if you can’t pitch or hit that’s a pretty deadly combination for the game of baseball.
Out of the 15 teams in the American League, the Twins are dead last in saves, 14th in innings pitched, 13th in strikeouts and 12th in team ERA, according to Baseball-Reference.com. None of that is good. The hitting side of the ledger is better, but the Twins also are middle of the road when it comes to runs scored.
They try again on Wednesday. J.A. Happ gets the ball.
-The Twins’ struggles means trade speculation is underway. The New York Post, never a friend of the Twins, suggested Tuesday that pitchers Michael Pineda and Happ would make for interesting trade pieces.
-I’ll add my own: It’s time to trade Miguel Sano, or perhaps a combination of Sano and someone else, to get that ace-like pitcher the Twins so desperately need for the regular season and postseason. The Cleveland Indians have Shane Bieber. Now, who can the Twins get? What would it take to get Eduardo Rodriguez in Boston?
-Old friend watch: Kyle Gibson made another quality start for the Texas Rangers on Monday. He allowed a run over six innings and lowered his ERA to 2.28.
-Prove me wrong Minnesota and start winning some games!