The Twins won, again, on Monday. They are now 9-2 with a +27 run differential. Their offense is killing the ball, again, averaging 5.27 runs per game and sitting toward the top of the runs and home runs leaderboards. In the middle of the action is the ageless (he's actually 40) designated slugger, Nelson Cruz.
Cruz went 3 for 4 with an RBI on Tuesday. He's now hitting .395/.435/.674 with three homers and 15 RBI. Yes, he has 15 RBI in 11 games. That's a furious pace. How furious? That's a 162-game pace of 221 RBI. He's been doing his damage with runners on base. This season he is 14 for 19 (.737) with runners on base.
That is the most hits in a player's first 19 at-bats with runners on in the expansion era (1961-present), per Elias Sports Bureau (via Sarah Langs).
Cruz is almost getting better as he ages. Last year, he hit .311/.392/.639, good for a career-best 168 OPS+. He hit 41 homers and had 108 RBI, which are even more impressive figures when you realize injury held him to just 120 games.
Heading into the season, we knew to expect all kinds of craziness. In one more game, the Twins will be through 20 percent of their schedule and Nelson Cruz will be on pace to drive in more runs than games played. He's also threatening hitting .400, though it doesn't seem that he can keep his average that high, considering that he's struck out 11 times in 43 at-bats.
Then again, it's 2020. Anything seems possible at this point. That is, unless someone talks about how Nelson Cruz will stop hitting. Bet against him at your peril. He's a monster in the box.