The Twins open a three-game homestand tonight against a team that bears some resemblance to themselves. The Seattle Mariners have posted four straight losing seasons and are trying to put a couple of hideous offensive years behind them -- even worse than the Twins, believe it or not. Minnesota's offense bottomed out with just 615 runs last season -- but the Mariners scored only 513 in 2010, and 556 the following year.
The new Mariners are built largely from within, with a few key outsiders sprinkled in. They made an investment in the offense that the Twins have never even considered, spending $240 million over 10 years on Robinson Cano, and they have a couple of pillars to a championship rotation in Felix Hernandez, who will start Sunday, and Hisashi Iwakuma, who the Twins will miss this weekend. The Twins hope to have a similar couple of aces on the mound in a couple of years.
The Mariners came into the season with considerable hopes that they're about to turn things around, and so far, they've seen some good signs and some bad. The Mariners come into tonight at 20-20, while the Twins are 19-20; Minnesota is 10-10 at home, Seattle 12-10 on the road.