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Saeason Record: 96-66
SP Johan Santana (34 GS, 19-7, 2.77 ERA, 245 Ks, 233.2 IP), All Star, Cy Young, 5th place for MVP
1B Justin Morneau (.321/.375/.559, 34 HR, 130 RBI, 97 R), AL MVP, Silver Slugger
The 2006 Twins season can be summarized in three words. Awards. Piranhas. Perseverance.
The Twins were showered with accolades in 2006: Cy Young, Pitching Triple Crown, AL MVP, Batting title, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and All-Star selections.
Piranhas was a nickname given to Minnesota's 1,2,8 and 9 hitters who hit for average and ran exceptionally when on base. The Piranhas: Nick Punto, Luis Castillo, Jason Bartlett and Jason Tyner combined for a scrappy .299/.356/.373, 17 3B, 6 HR, 144 RBI and 230 R. This style of play combined with the 30-plus home run seasons of Torii Hunter and Justin Morneau, Micheal Cuddyer's 100-plus RBI season, Mauer's AL-leading .347 BA and Santana's Cy Young performance boosted the Twins in the AL Central.
The Twins became the first team in MLB history to clinch on the final day of the regular season having never held complete control of first place in their division. The Twins were swept by the A's in the ALDS.