Sometimes it happens in the first inning, sometimes in the ninth. But in virtually every game the Twins have played this season, they can look at the scoreboard and find themselves behind.
The Twins’ 8-25 record — the worst in the American League — is bad enough, but making it worse is the lack of an occasional romp to victory. In 32 of their 33 games, the Twins have fallen behind at some point, so it sometimes feels like they are forever trying to rally.
“Sure, we talk about that, about the mental grind of a season. It’s tough enough when you’re not winning your share, but having games where you can play from in front instead of behind [would help],” manager Paul Molitor said. “It’s almost inevitable that it’s going to be taxing on some of the guys.”
Only on April 21, when the Twins scored twice in the first inning at Milwaukee and kept adding on for an 8-1 victory, have they led from start to finish. The rest of the time? Somehow, the Twins are 2-10 when scoring first.
Molitor likened the Twins’ constant need to overcome a deficit to a team that counts on its lineup to carry a so-so pitching staff.
“You can only outslug somebody so many times,” he said. “It’s part of the reason our record is what it is — the fact that we’re playing from behind so much.”
They have rallied to victory seven times, of course, but they can’t let a deficit linger too long. The Twins are 1-20 when trailing after five innings.
Meyer sitting out
Alex Meyer hasn’t appeared in a game since being sent back to Class AAA Rochester after his May 3 start in Houston, and the righthander probably won’t until sometime next week.
Meyer reported some fatigue in his pitching shoulder after a bullpen session early this week, and the Twins decided he should skip a start to rest. He won’t pitch this weekend, but is tentatively scheduled, according to director of minor leagues Brad Steil, to return to the mound at Charlotte next week.
Really late arrival
The Twins have already ensured their 10th victory will come later in the season than ever before, except for the 1995 season, which started three weeks late due to a players’ strike.
The 2012 Twins won their 10th game on May 13, the latest in franchise history, and had a 10-24 record when they did. The 1966 Twins reached 10 victories on May 12. This year’s team cannot hit double figures until at least May 14, and it will have taken them a minimum of 35 games to do so.
For the record, the 1995 Twins reached 10 victories May 29; that season opened on April 26.