By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater July 4, 2006 at 4:59AM
I suppose it's their own fault they're still 10 games back. They couldn't play any worse the first two months of the season if they tried. In fact, I think their starting pitching had the league's worst ERA and the team one of the worst road records up until the beginning of June. And that's when it suddenly all turned around.
Even if you're a baseball fan you may not realize the run my Minnesota Twins have been on lately. Winners of 10 in a row, 20 of 22, a record-tying 16-2 in Interleague play (just finished unfortunately!), a majors-best 30-10 home record, the list goes on and on. In fact, not only are they the first team in baseball history to collect all three monthly awards--Player of the Month (Joe Mauer), Pitcher of the Month (Johan Santana), and Rookie of the Month (Francisco Liriano)--they also had the runner-ups (!) in two of the categories: Justin Morneau to Mauer and Liriano to Santana.
Not that they didn't have some good young talent (and in Santana perhaps the best pitcher in all of baseball), but this about-face is truly remarkable. And yet, despite their stellar feats on the field lately, they've only picked up a measly 2 games on the division-leading, best-record-in-baseball (?!) Detroit Tigers this whole time, and the hated World Champion Chicago White Sox (w/ Hawk Harrelson, the most disgusting and unprofessional "homer" TV broadcaster in the business) are 7 games ahead in second place. So the Twins still have a long way to go to get back in this thing, and there's still a lot of baseball to be played. They are clearly in the best division in baseball this year, and I'm proud of the way they've rebounded from an atrocious first third of the season.
Keep playing like this and they'll be part of that Wild Card conversation real soon.