The Left Arm of Fransisco Liriano Will Be a Key Factor in a Comeback Attempt
There have been many words used to describe the Minnesota Twins' 2011 campaign—frustrating, humiliating, injury-ridden, disappointing, lost.
However, one word that has come into view following their assent from the American League Central's cellar: historic?
That's right. The Twins have a chance to erase the largest deficit in Major League Baseball history, should they come all the way back to win the division.
As of June 2, the Twins sat 16 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians. By June 25, following a three-game losing streak, the Twins have closed that gap to eight games behind Cleveland and seven games behind the Detroit Tigers (who I identify as the real team to beat in this division).
Should the Twins erase the deficit it would be the largest comeback in MLB history.
The current record is held by the 1914 Boston Braves, who sat at 26-40 in early July that season, 15 games back in the standings.
The "Miracle Braves," as they became known, finished the season by going 70-19, eventually winning the pennant by 10 1/2 games over the New York Giants. The Braves would go on to sweep the favored the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series that season.
The Twins are facing an uphill battle, but have shown great resolve in recent seasons. In 2009, the Twins erased a seven-game lead of the Tigers in the final weeks, eventually securing the division title in one of the most memorable games in Twins history—Game 163.
The Twins will now turn to Fransisco Liriano to get the comeback back on track in the second game of a three-game set in Milwaukee.