Free Falling Twins Headed to Cleveland
One team has a fleeting opportunity to make the playoffs in 2015. The other, a raging dumpster fire that has never been able to find its way in 2015 and has many people questioning the path they are on moving forward.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians, two teams having seasons on vastly different ends of the spectrum of success.
The Twins come into play tonight with a record of 54-54, nine games back of the Royals in the AL Central standings. If you had the Twins finishing in second place in the Central and possibly sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card, congrats. You are clearly either high on crack or need to run out right now and buy me a lottery ticket.
Aug 1, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder Torii Hunter (48) reacts after striking out in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately for the Twins, it looks like the clock may be striking midnight sooner than they had hoped. Over the past 10 games, they have been in a free fall, posting a 2-8 record and looking every bit like the team many thought they would be in 2015. They’ve also lost 14 out of 18, so it appears the slide has been in action for quite some time. As a result, they have seen themselves fall back to fifth in the wild card standings, but only 3 games out. So there is still hope.
Unfortunately, the Twins have received the impact they had hoped for from their mid-season acquisitions. And, by mid-season acquisitions I am of course referring to the Hail Mary call ups of several top prospects. So far, while their have been flashes of what could be, it hasn’t been enough to push the Twins to the next level.
Byron Buxton injured himself after a small sample size of 11 games and 39 plate appearances. Miguel Sano, the much-heralded slugger, has displayed decent power slugging five homers in 28 games played. His .277/.405/.521 slash line also appears promising, but he’s not ready to carry a team offensively. Top pitching prospect Alex Meyer struggled in two appearances out of the pen, was sent back to Triple-A, and has subsequently struggled there as well.
So yeah, things could be going better for the Twins. But you know what? Things are going a lot better for the Twins right now than they are for the Indians. While the Twins may be getting ready to hit the life support button, the Tribe is already in the position to play spoiler. The 2015 season has gotten away from them and at 49-58, there is much reason to be optimistic about gaining 7.5 games when they have been unable to play well on a consistent basis.
There is not point in rehashing our frustrations as fans again. It is what it is. The 2015 season is just one of those years where everything that can go wrong for a baseball team has gone wrong. Injuries, bad luck, poor performance. It all adds up to a disappointing season. Maybe the Indians learn from the way things have gone. Maybe his makes them better in 2016. What is known for sure is that they now have two months to start figuring things out and preparing for what they what to do heading into 2016.