Why The Twins Still Have a Chance

Jimmy MohlerContributor IIIAugust 14, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 26:  Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Joe Mauer #7 during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium on July 26, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Despite a good slide of losses, the Twins still find themselves in the mix in the American League Central hunt for October. They lost the series against the Angels. They lost next series against what was left of the Indians. They lost the series after in Detroit, and they even dropped their most recent series at home against the last place Royals.

But there have been some positives, and they may just add up to a late team turnaround.

The most important thing I saw in the Royals' series was a fantastic start by Francisco Liriano. The Twins needed nothing more than a quality start, which Liriano gave them. He pitched seven innings and gave up only one run via a solo homer. The number one factor for the Twins right now is their young pitching. If Liriano can get it done, perhaps the other young starters can rally and take the opposing teams into later innings. 

Pavano showed his worth in his first start as a Twin, dominating the Tigers. He faltered against the Royals last night however, allowing five runs and getting notched for the loss. But there were more positives from the rubber match vs. the Royals. I actually felt all right after the loss, knowing that the bullpen is finally starting to throw the ball a little better. If the starting pitching can take the pressure off the 'pen, I think we'll see an overall pitching resurgence in Minnesota.

You may call me a hopeful, but after being a Twins fan for so long, you just get accustomed to these things. Five games back is nothing. There's still a lot of baseball to play. And with the way the White Sox and Tigers have been missing opportunities to capitalize on the division lead, there's no reason the Twins can't catch fire and win the division.