The Twins' season, which was off to a stable, if weather-delayed 8-5 start, has morphed into something ugly. Minnesota had lost nine of its past 10 games heading into Monday's home game against Toronto, dropping to 9-14.
That's just 23 games — about one-seventh of the season — but it's a pace for a 99-loss season. What in the name of 2011 is going on?
Well, there are a few things that won't get better for a while. But here's one thing that could improve quickly: clutch hitting
The Twins entered Monday with a .713 team OPS — No. 18 in the majors and just below the MLB average of .718. That's not where they want it to be, but it's not awful.
What's holding them back in large part is that they're tied for second worst in MLB in both batting average (.197) with runners in scoring position and OPS (.564) with RISP. They're a few timely hits away from a much more functional offense.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.