The Final Countdown: 60 Games

The last ten games have not been kind to our Twins and after Monday night’s fiasco, I’m not sure this countdown exercise is even worth doing any more, but we’ll give it one more shot.

With eight of the last 10 games coming against the two teams at the top of the AL Central Standings, they had an opportunity to make some real headway, but the lack of anything resembling MLB-caliber hitting in those series pretty much ended any chance of closing ground.

I still maintain that these series weren’t as critical as others made them out to be, but there’s no doubt it was an opportunity lost. And what’s particularly disheartening is just how flat-out BAD the Twins have looked in virtually every aspect of the game of baseball.

We started this countdown when the Twins had 100 games remaining to their season and trailed the Tigers by 10 games. The theory was that they need to gain one game every ten games through the rest of the season in order to win the division.

Once again, since I’m maintaining my stance that Cleveland will not remain in contention throughout the season, let’s check in on the REAL AL Central Standings with the Twins having 60 games remaining.

TWINS GAMES REMAINING: 60

TEAM RECORD GB
Tigers 54-48 -
BitchSox 50-51 3.5
TWINS 47-55 7

Not surprisingly, the Twins lost ground over the past 10 games to both the Kitties and the BitchSox. They’ve now fallen behind the pace they needed to set when we started this… gaining an average of one game every ten games played. They’ll need to make up some ground over the next ten games to get back on pace.

- JC

5 thoughts on “The Final Countdown: 60 Games

  1. If the Twins drop a couple more games in this Texas series, would you say that Smith really should start to firm up negotiations on some fire sale trades? Or how long would you like him to let the team try to stay in the race this season, even if this series goes badly?

  2. I suppose it depends on what the Tigers do, too. If they don’t pull away, then I suppose you try to stay in it. Stranger things have happened.

    But it’s the way this team has been losing that makes me feel about ready to start selling. They aren’t just losing… they’re looking like they did in April… flat out awful… and it’s hard to imagine a team that bad making another serious run.

    The thing is, some of these guys could be clear waivers and be traded in August, too, so there may not be quite the rush we would otherwise think there is.

  3. JC, the Twins need, as you would say, to put up a “crooked number” in the standings this next week if anything is going to happen this year. Sure, 60 games left is a good portion of the season, but I didn’t still anticipate MN being in 4th place as we hit August. It’s going to be hard to leapfrog 3 teams. Also it will help if they stop surrendering 20 runs in a single game.

  4. Giving up 20 runs in a game is no problem. All you have to do is score 21.

    OK… so maybe it’s a LITTLE bit of a problem :(

    And yeah. I’m thinking this next week to 10 days will seal things, one way or another. The question is whether Bill Smith will start selling before that time is up. Kenny Williams is considering starting a fire sale of his own and they’re still leading the Twins. Of course, Smith has an advantage over Williams in that the Twins have over 3 million in attendance already banked. Williams has to be concerned about lack of attendance and the resulting loss of revenue.

    Should be an interesting week.

  5. The 2009 Twins were 56-62, in 3rd place and 6.5 games back of Detroit, on August 17, and still trailed the leader by 7 games as late as September 6 (although by that time the Twins had pulled back up to .500). That team wound up tying for the division lead with 86 wins, and of course winning the Game 163 playoff for the right to get swept by the Yankees in the ALDS.

    So, yeah, sometimes a team might get a chance at pulling off an improbable comeback, even if it looks dead in mid-August. But then, the 2009 Twins also were 52-51 and just 2 games back on July 31, which gave Smith the confidence to acquire Orlando Cabrera at the deadline and then trade for Carl Pavano a week later. When Smith traded for Jon Rauch and signed Ron Mahay on August 28, the team was 64-64, in 2nd place, and trailed Detroit by 4.5 games. At those points when Smith decided to bolster his roster for the stretch run, his team was just good enough, as well as close enough to the lead, to justify his decisions.

    When the team is 47-55 and in 4th place, off the lead by 7 games, in late July, just lost a home series against the division leaders, most recently got crushed by the West leaders in the first game of a Texas/California road trip, and faces a difficult schedule over the next 6 weeks… well, maybe I’d give the guys the next 3 games in Texas to show me something to make me think that they could be real contenders. Maybe. But if the Rangers continue to make them look bad, I’d say it’s time to cut bait and start rebuilding towards the future, if any good deals can be made.