Thursday, May 8, 2008

2nd Split: 10-6

The Twins made up for a lackluster start to the season over the past 3 weeks, thanks mainly to 7 straight wins at the Dome. I hope that's an indication that the home cookin' is back in full swing - they're going to need every advantage they can get. The next 7 games against the Red Sox and Blue Jays will be a good test of how far the Dome-field advantage will carry the Twins.

The offense picked up a bit, but it's still wildly inconsistent. The Twins were shut out 3 times in their 6 losses this month, and were 1-hit in another. Most of the offense came in three blowout games: 12-6 vs. Texas, 11-1 vs. Detroit, and 13-1 vs. Chicago. The 36 runs the Twins scored in those 3 games nearly equaled the 38 runs they scored in the other 13.

The most consistent players during this stretch have been:

Boof Bonser - Pitched at least 6 innings in each start, with a 3.79 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. His strikeout rate has increased over his last couple starts - after just 14 K in his first 5 starts, he has 13 in his last 2.

Joe Mauer - Hit .383/.491/.553 with 6 doubles and a triple. He reached base at least once in each game he played.

Joe Nathan - Collected 6 saves in 7 appearances with a 1.00 WHIP. Only run allowed in a mop-up stituation.

It's been good to see (as I predicted) several players get on the HR bandwagon, including Harris, Monroe, and Gomez with 2 each. Just because some other people have chimed in doesn't mean that Morneau and Kubel should stop, though. I can't wait for Lamb and Young to finally hit one.

Here's my bold prediction for this next stretch: Slowey will have a better ERA than Livan.

Can the Twins keep up this pace, currently good enough to give them 86 wins on the season? I would be all kinds of delighted if they could pull that off. How long will that pace be good enough for first place in the surprisingly struggling AL Central?

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