Not good enough.
By: Christopher Torola
The Twins took two out of three from the Pirates and one out of three from the Astros last week. This was a great opportunity wasted. The Twins played two bad National League teams at the Metrodome, and should have faired better. Meanwhile the Tigers went four and two, increasing their lead in the American League Central to four games over the Twins.
Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the Twins have found their power stroke this year; but they seemed to have lost their identity in doing so. They already have five players (Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, and Joe Crede) with more then 10 home runs. The Twins had only three players reach that mark all of last year. The only problem with this is, they seem to have forgotten how to play baseball. They are not advancing runners, stealing bases, or properly laying down sacrifices. Far too many base hits have been wasted by double plays and runners swinging for the fences and striking out. Worse yet, they seem to be making an abundance of base running errors recently. I noticed a lot of Twins base runners caught in run downs over this last home stand.
Some of this can be chalked up to injuries. Both Nick Punto and Denard Span who combined for a third of the Twins stolen bases last year, are currently nursing injuries. Span is on the DL because of an inner ear infection and Nick Punto, who was recently activated, may be heading right back as a result of a head first slide into first base. Joe Mauer missed some time with Flu-like symptoms. Even Twins Iron-Man Justin Morneau missed a game with general soreness.
It is not much longer until the All-Star break. If the Twins can stay strong through the remaining inter-league games, they may be able to take some momentum into a three game series at Kansas City, followed by a tough home stand that will have the Twins playing the Tigers, Yankees, and the White Sox prior to a much needed resting period over All-Star weekend.