Today was a good day to finally get a win! It was well overdue and I think it was just what the Twins needed going into the All-Star break. It's been tough watching the Twins these last few weeks. It doesn't seem like we can win games to save our lives! I'm not ever going to jump off the Twins bandwagon, but I'm not always going to be happy with the way the Twins play either.
I think a lot of what has attributed to their losing this season is the number of home runs the pitchers give up, and the dreaded GIDP (ground into a double play) the Twins seem to average more than one per game. Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer still lead the team with the most GIDP's. Could this be what is keeping Joe Mauer's average down? (yes, the first part of the season was much better, but these two things have been our weakness all season long.)
The Twins pitching staff (among all pitchers this season) have given up 184 home runs. Our starting staff alone has given up 67 of those 184 home runs! This is a trend they need to stop and take control of. I'm not sure how other teams rank in this, but it seems quite high to me. In 89 games so far played this season (both home and away), this means the Twins average as a team, just over 2 home runs a game. There have been quite a few games lost by 1 or 2 runs that may have been able to have been won if not for those home runs.
Another issue plaguing the Twins is GIDP's. They have the Major League lead of 102 GIDP's that they have hit into. The record currently is held by the 1990's Red Sox at 174. This means, the Twins are only 72 away from beating that record. This also means that they are averaging more than 1 of these per game as well. On average, they hit into 1.15 GIDP's. They are on pace to have at the end of the season (at this rate), 187.45 GIDP's. This needs to change as well in the second half.
There are some other things that I think are potential problems the Twins have, but I'm not going to go into it. I don't want to point fingers and try to find someone to blame for this drought we're having. I think there are several elements that need addressing.
Congratulations to the Texas Rangers for winning the Cliff Lee battle. I really didn't think the Twins stood a chance, nor did I want to see Cliff Lee in a Twins uniform. As far as my fantasy team is concerned, I want Cliff Lee to continue to do well. Unless of course he's facing the Twins. :)
Hope everyone enjoys the All Star break and I hope the Twins come back with the bang they started the season with!