A little less than two weeks ago, we posed a question: Could the Twins, who went a combined 35-78 in August and September in each of their two past lost seasons -- a combined mark that is even worse than their dreadful overall finishes each year -- avoid the dreaded swoon this season?
We noted at the time that the stretch run would be important in getting a look at the team's prospects and also to see what kind of control Ron Gardenhire still had over the team. We also noted that, as of that morning, the Twins were 18-21 in August and September this year -- not good, but at least a sign that they were still interested.
On the very day we wrote that post -- in the morning, mind you -- the Twins went out and lost 18-3. Including that game, they are 2-10 since we posed the question about the swoon. In those games, they have been outscored 98-33. They have been shutout three times and allowed double-digit runs four times.
Part of this can be explained by a slew of call-ups getting playing time. Some of it can be explained by the pitching staff being in even worse shambles than it has been for much of the year. Some of it is a very good, hot-hitting opponent (Oakland), which the Twins have faced home and away.
And part of it seems to be that the fight has gone out of the team, and the inevitable swoon has swallowed them as they limp into the season's final week.
The Twins are 65-90. They have seven home games to finish the year -- three against Detroit and four against Cleveland, both of whom are still playing for spots/positioning in the postseason.
Minnesota needs three wins to get Gardenhire career victory No. 1,000 and to beat the early Vegas over-under line of 67.5 for the season.
The Twins need two victories to finish with a better record than last year.
They need one victory to match last year.
Based on the last two weeks, we would bet low.