Many long-running horror film franchises follow a familiar script of killing off the evil character at the end of one movie. only to bring him (or her … or it) back to life for another go-round. This merry-go-round of burial and resurrection is not altogether plausible, but then again neither is a man who has knives on his hand.
The 2015 Twins season has not been a horror movie. If it fit into a genre, maybe it would be a coming-of-age film, filled with highs and lows (as well as humorous interludes of dancing). But this Twins season has followed the horror franchise plot line of burial and resurrection, and I have decided to count up the number of times this team was left for dead, only to be brought back to life again:
LEFT FOR DEAD, PART I — April 13 burial: The Twins had their doors blown off the first week of the season, going 1-5 on a road trip (including a brutal showing in Detroit) before getting creamed by Kansas City in an error-filled home opener. At that point, Minnesota was 1-6 and many of us wrote them off about 1/23rd of the way into the season.
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE, PART I — May 31 resurrection: What followed, of course, was an “I can’t believe this is happening” 29-13 stretch that included timely hitting and superb bullpen work. It left the Twins 30-19 at the end of May, and leading the AL Central.
LEFT FOR DEAD, PART II — June 16 burial: Those waiting for the other shoe to drop so they could say “I told you so” didn’t have to wait long. The Twins went 4-11 in their first 15 games of June, leaving them at 34-30 and making people assume the full-on fade toward another losing season was on.
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE, PART II — July 17 resurrection: But instead of fading, the Twins surged again. They cruised into the All-Star break with a 49-40 record and won their first game after the break to get to 50-40 — a pace for 90 wins at the 90-game mark.
LEFT FOR DEAD, PART III — Aug. 9: It didn’t last. A 3-6 home stand and a brutal 1-6 road trip pushed the Twins under .500 at 55-56. I wrote that it was nice the Twins had at least contended until the Vikings’ first preseason game, which was later that night.
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE, PART III — Aug. 16: But a 4-2 home stand, combined with the mediocrity of the American League, nudged the Twins back into contention at 59-58 before a big road trip out East.
LEFT FOR DEAD, PART IV — Aug. 19: The optimism didn’t last long. After three crushing losses to the Yankees, the Twins were again below .500. Many figured this was the end, finally, for good.
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE, PART IV — Sunday: What followed in Baltimore, however, was a stunning four-game sweep — a rout and three one-run wins, to vault the Twins once again within shouting distance of the final Wild Card spot.
That’s where we stand as of 2 p.m. Tuesday as the Twins prepare for a three-game series at Tampa Bay before a big home series against Houston this weekend. How many more times will we bury and revive them? If horror movies are any indication, the possibilities are endless.