Minnesota Twins: What a Weekend!

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2008

This weekend was the perfect example of how life is as a Minnesota sports fan. Just when you think the Twins may have a chance to actually grab sole lead of the AL Central, it slips away. Although the Twins won late Saturday, Glen Perkins has really diappointed recently.

Nothing against Perkins. He may have a lofty ERA, but he has been consistent for the majority of the year. The last time he went less than five innings was way back in early June against, ironically, these same Orioles. Unfortunately, his last three starts have not been satisfactory.

He was assigned the second game of the doubleheader against the Orioles on Saturday, and turned in less-than-stellar results. He only lasted three innings while being shelled for six runs on five hits. Luckily for him the Twins offense matched that total in the first inning. The quartet of Korecky, Reyes, Breslow, and Humber refused to let another man dent the plate the rest of the game. They were doing all they can to purchase the trust of Twins fans across the country. It almost worked.

The White Sox were rained out on Saturday and with the Twins winning both ends of the doubleheader pulled within a half game. Chicago faced more troubles. They had three games scheduled against the Tigers, with only Sunday remaining before they hit the road. Major League Baseball acted fast and came up with what I think is a very fair, but relatively complex solution.

The Sox would play a doubleheader on Sunday against the Tigers if the rain would permit, which it did, and then forget the unplayed third game. The rest of the season will continue to play itself out with the Calcetines Blancos playing only 161 games. If the AL Central race is within a half of a game after the last scheduled game, they would make up the game against the Tigers on the 29th of September. If the Twins were ahead by half a game, and the White Sox won their makeup game, a tie-breaking game would be held in Chicago on the 30th. The same is true the other way. If the White Sox were ahead of the Twins by a half game, they would play the Tigers once more on the 29h, and if they lost would play the Twins on the 30th.

However, if either team is ahead by a half game and then wins or loses, pushing their lead to a full game, no tiebreak game would be needed.

The Twins and their fans were in good spirits after Saturday, but then the roller coaster took over.

Following a time period when faith in the bullpen was almost restored, our offense was splendid, and the AL Central seemingly ours, we entered a downward spiral that hasn't yet stopped. The White Sox won both sides of their doubleheader against the Tigers on Sunday, moving up one and a half games after a horrible Twins loss. The White Sox actions weren't as painful to witness as the Twins game was. Blackburn was roughed up for six runs in four innings, and Humber surrendered an additional run during his relief stint.

The most painful part, however, was the fact that a gentleman by the name of Radhames Liz threw eight innings of five-hit ball against the same team that touched home plate 24 times the previous day. This 25-year old Liz is a product of the Dominican Republic and sports a 6.90 ERA. Let me say that again: the Twins managed five hits against a 6.90 ERA.

Talk about a moral deflator.

But such is the life of a Twins fan; everyone must now know that. Monday night was more of the same. The Twins were held scoreless once again until Mauer hit a dinger in the ninth to put Minnesota on the board in a losing effort; 3-1. Luckily, the Yankees and Mariano Rivera beat the White Sox, so the 1.5 deficit remains intact.

The Twins now send two of their best pitchers against the Tribe as they attempt to pull closer in the division. Unfortunately, Scott Baker and the Twins draw Cliff Lee on Wednesday. Lee now has a record of 22-2 to go with a 2.36 ERA. He is the obvious pick for the AL Cy Young, and I must say that I am rooting for him very hard. I wouldn't be too disappointed if he no-no's Minnesota on Wednesday, as much as it pains me to say. He is one of my favorite pitchers, and I wish him the best of luck in the AL Cy Young race.

The way things are currently playing out would pit Baker, Blackburn, and Slowey against the Sox when they come to town in just a couple days. I hate to see Liriano left out, but that decision was made when he was called up, and I doubt he will find himself on the mound on the 23rd-25th. I'm glad that Perkins is not alloted to start against Chicago. As I said before, he has put up some...well, horrible numbers recently.

While some people have given up on the Twins, they continue to prove that life as a Minnesota sports fan is the epitome of a ride on a roller coaster. This weekend was a perfect example of that. While I have had many doubts about the ability of Minnesota to win this division with the way their team looks right now, it will all come down the highly anticipated White Sox series. Can Minnesota actually pull this off?

We'll see on the 23rd of September.