Thursday, June 09, 2005

Good Times

The Twins got off to a rocky start in May, losing 7 of 12, but since losing to former Twin Kenny Rogers on May 14 the team has turned around to post a 15-7 mark and has not dropped a series in its last seven. They've been such fun to watch, game commentary seems nearly beside the point.

Is this for real? Part of me can't help but wonder whether the team with the league's best pitching staff shouldn't have done better than a 4-3 mark against a Cleveland team with the league's worst offense, and if the Twins just didn't catch New York and Arizona at the right time. The Yanks came to the dome having already lost 5 straight, dating back to a 17-1 thrashing at the hands of the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium, and lost another series to the Brewers after leaving Minnesota. The Diamondbacks just returned from a 2-5 road trip to the Northeast, and had lost their previous four series.

On the other hand, I also really enjoy the thought, after all the crap we've taken about "the worst division in baseball," that the two best teams in baseball this season just might be playing in the AL Central. The Twins have the best staff ERA in the majors. The worst ERA in the rotation is Lohse's 4.25, and he's been improving; the worst ERA in the bullpen is Old Mulholland's 3.68. The offense has been heating up, despite slumps and injuries for Morneau and Mauer--which may lead one to believe that the best is still to come. Chicago keeps rolling along, but the Twins keep drafting off their bumper. They can't shake this team.

No worries for the ChiSox, though. They can take solace in the knowledge that they still lead the wild card race by 7 games. There's a nice cushion for them when they fall.

Meanwhile, God's favorite creation pitched a brilliant 4-hit shutout last night, striking out 9 while walking none. He even hit a single up the middle (now 6-for-20 in his career at the plate, which should give him bragging rights over his countryman Carlos Silva as well as Luis Rivas), scored a run, and as a special bonus FSN showed him in a promo spot touting his "mini-me" statuette that set a million hearts aflutter (boys & girls) across Twins Territory. Is he not the coolest man on the planet right now? If you could be another person, is there anyone you'd rather be than Johan Santana?

I feel like Tim Kurkjian right now, except I don't have to fabricate stories to make Johan look good. Meanwhile, it was also nice to see the team rack up 10 runs on 15 hits in support of their Ace--and with Mauer and Morneau back in the lineup, too.


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