The Runner Sports

Twins Need Consistency

We are one week into the month of August and the Minnesota Twins have made it clear that they will be impossible to figure out. They are 3-3 on the month so far, having alternated wins and losses the entire way. In the wins, the team has looked great, and in the losses, they have looked awful.

Take, for instance, the offensive numbers through the six games:

Game 1- Zero runs, three hits.

Game 2- Five runs, seven hits, including one homer.

Game 3- One run, three hits.

Game 4- Eight runs, twelve hits, including three homers.

Game 5- One run, four hits.

Game 6- Six runs, seven hits including three homers.

That is quite the up and down. The losses have seen two runs scored total, while the wins have added up to 19 runs and have all feature at least one long ball. In the losses, the offense has looked lost, and apart from the game against Cole Hamels, they have not been running into great pitching. It has really been an issue of bad at-bats and bad situational hitting. When the few runners do get on base, they are not getting moved up by the hitters behind them.

In the wins, everything has been different. Seven home runs is obviously good, and they have even overcome early deficits in two of them. They have shown patience at the plate, and not only have they gotten hits, they have strung those hits and good at-bats together. In other words, the approach that won them so many games over the season’s first few months has been there and netted good results.

Now let’s take a look at the basic pitching stats of the six games:

Game 1- Three runs on four hits.

Game 2- Two runs on four hits in an Ervin Santana complete game.

Game 3- Four runs on nine hits, with three runs scored on a Joey Gallo home run.

Game 4- Four runs on nine hits in a Bartolo Colón complete game.

Game 5- Four runs on eight hits.

Game 6- Five runs on seven hits, with all runs scored in the first inning.

That is a lot less up and down. The pitching staff has not given up more than five runs in a game, they have thrown two complete games, and the bullpen has only allowed three runs in the month. There is not much more to say because the pitching has been good. Not lights out, but good.

So the answer is pretty clear: The offense is the reason behind this inconsistency. There have been some good individual performers, including Brian Dozier, who has three home runs in the six games, but things are clearly not clicking for the team as a whole. If the pitching can continue to keep runs as low as they have, then the hitters may need to start producing some runs through small ball.

Situational hitting will be important so runners can move up and get into scoring position. The team has been good at drawing walks and working pitch counts all season, but has lost that touch so far this month. They can also use speed to their advantage, as shown by the lone run scored against Hamels on Saturday. It came because Byron Buxton stole second and advanced to third on an errant throw. The homers can also keep coming, but the team needs to realize that they need to score more runs than they are, and they need to use the tools at their disposal to make that happen.

With four games coming up against a solid Milwaukee team this week, the Twins need to figure things out so they can catch up in the Wild Card race.

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer

Charlie Gillmer is a lifelong Twins fan who spends most nights dreaming of learning a knuckleball and pitching them to a World Series victory.
Charlie Gillmer

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