I've taken a few weeks to step back and take a look at the 2009 Minnesota Twins.
In that time, I've seen everything: a good winning streak, a frustrating losing streak, a convincing win against Roy Halladay, and a head-scratching series loss to Cleveland.
The last few weeks have all but summed up the Twins' 2009 season: inconsistent.
The fact remains that they still have a shot to win the AL Central, and it's do or die.
Right now, the Twins are 74-72 and 4.5 games behind the Tigers.
With a day off tonight, Minnesota will return to the dome for an enormous three-game series against the Tigers.
So far it looks good for the Twins.
Game one looks to be Duensing, who has pitched consistently well. He has not started against the Tigers, but holds a 1.08 ERA in two relief appearances against them.
Game two looks very good. The Twins will send out Carl Pavano, who has dominated the Tigers all year, posting an ERA around one and going 4-0.
Game three will be on Scott Baker, who has not pitched well against the Tigers, but has seen a convincing second-half resurgence.
For this Twins team to stand a chance in the last couple weeks, they'll have to right the ship of pitching.
They'll also have to ramp up the offense.
With the big guns gone, the little guys will have to step up even more. Most importantly, Gardenhire has to make due with what he has.
Right now, that's not a lot, but if he can worry about the lineup he puts out, and not the stellar one sitting on the bench, the Twins will have a much more realistic shot at being a contender in this pennant race.
The Twins are without MVP-candidate Justin Morneau due to a season-ending back injury.
A lot of people wrote the Twins off right then.
Morneau was atrocious behind the plate before his exit. The Twins are 9-2 without Morneau this season, and they'll need to continue to rally for their busted-up first baseman.
Will the Twins win this division?
I'm not sure. I would love to see it happen, but the fact remains that the Tigers are still leading the division.
A lot can happen in a span of 16 games (seven against Detroit).
The Twins are no strangers to the proverbial comeback. Right now they are the underdogs, and that's when I feel like they play their best baseball.
So write them off, I beg you. If I recall correctly, the '87 team was just as finished... But they did something phenomenal.
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