From 2011-17, Twins starting pitchers never finished higher than No. 26 in MLB in strikeouts. Think about that: seven seasons, all in the bottom five — including three that were dead last.
If there is good news in a season otherwise filled with a lot of disappointments for the Twins, it is that their starting pitching has been both improved overall and better at securing strikeouts.
Heading into Monday, Twins starters rank No. 14 in MLB with 459 strikeouts this season. Three of them — Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi — already have more than 100.
They are all threats to reach 200, which hasn't happened for a Twins starter since Francisco Liriano notched 201 in 2010.
You have to go all the way back to 2007 — the last season Johan Santana was here, which is not at all a coincidence — to find a Twins team whose starters finished in the top half of MLB in strikeouts.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.