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Twins’ momentum vanishes as they fall back into last place

Jun 27, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Delmon Young

Digging out of their massive early season hole seemed possible and then some when the Twins chased Giants starter Madison Bumgarner from last Tuesday’s game with an eight-run first inning.

They’d won eight in a row as part of a 15-2 stretch that improved the Twins from an MLB-worst 17-37 to 32-39, miraculously bringing .500 into reach just two weeks after the season looked all but lost and putting them 6.5 games out of first place in a division there for the taking.

Not only have they lost all five games since then, the Twins have scored a grand total of nine runs in 53 innings since that eight-run opening inning Tuesday, plummeting past the Royals to reclaim the league’s worst record. Anything short of ending the first half on a 13-game winning streak would make clawing back to .500 at the All-Star break mathematically impossible and the Twins are now nine games behind the division-leading Tigers with just 86 games to play. So much for momentum, huh?

Momentum left as suddenly as it arrived, but the injury bug unfortunately stuck around. Just as they were finally getting healthy with Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, Glen Perkins, Joe Nathan, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka returning from the disabled list Justin Morneau unexpectedly will undergo neck surgery that may end his season, Delmon Young was carted off the field and placed on the DL with an ankle injury, and Jason Kubel‘s return timetable has been delayed again.

Because they play 21 of the next 25 games at home and the rest of the division is so mediocre even this buzz-killing setback doesn’t totally wipe away their great run, but ultimately we’re a week from the season’s midway point and the Twins have the AL’s worst record while being further out of first place than all but the Orioles. Detroit sits atop the division despite being on pace for just 87 wins, but in order for the Twins to win 87 games they’d have to finish 55-31.

Possible? Sure, but before and after the 15-2 stretch they’ve gone 17-42.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    That pic is so appropriate. The “waste management” in the background can’t be anymore fitting. I’m betting that if you added zero text and just left the pic up there, the point would come across the same.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I’m hoping that no one sent those “It’s Happening” t-shirts to press before the losing streak, I can’t imagine those things are going to fly off the shelf the way they would have a week ago.

    • minnesconsin - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      they went to press with a slight edit:

      Sh*t’s Happening

  3. hgulkkcaj - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    The weirdest part about this whole season is that it still feels like the Twins have the best team in the division (not saying much, I know) and even at 9 games back on June 27, there’s no reason to believe that they will win the divison – especially with all the games against Central coming up. Time to make up some ground!

  4. Old Gator - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    The Tweenkies still have plenty of momentum. It just happens to be downhill. I forgot how to calculate the friction factor when rolling down a rough incline, but I do know that once they reach and go over the cliff they will accelerate at 32 ft. per second/per second. Aside from remembering that from junior high school physics, I also calculated it from measuring the circumference of the crater that the Feesh left in the oolite last week.

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