Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.

Section 219: A happy surprise from the Twins

Posted by: Howard Sinker under Twins offense Updated: May 10, 2013 - 9:12 AM

I felt a little bit sheepish turning away from the Twins a couple of times this week to watch the Wild flail through its playoff run, which ended up looking like of one those Twins-Yankees playoff series from the last decade. But through the miracle of the iPad and MLB At-Bat and a Twitter feed that pretty much tells me everyone -- more than I need to know sometimes -- I was able to keep up and ...

keep up and ... (searching for the right words)

keep up and (trying for some understatement here) be pretty impressed with the way things went this week. After scuffling through Detroit and Cleveland, where they played some games that looked like the games we were scared about, the Twins battered Boston in three out of four -- and came awfully close to sweeping the first-place Red Sox.

Thirty-one games into the season, the Twins are above .500. Granted they could be below .500 by the end of Saturday's game, but I'm guessing you would have given me odds if I'd been willing to bet on the Twins having a winning record after 31 games and their first road trip of substance.

Stuff is happening that we couldn't have expected, most noticeably to arrival of Oswaldo Arcia, who was supposed to be here for a quick look and has pretty much announced that he has little intention of returning to Rochester. Through 18 games, Arcia has pretty much been to hitting what Aaron Hicks hasn't been -- and his offensive leaps have allowed to Twins not to be overly concerned with the baby steps of progress and regressions shown by Hicks. I'm still convinced the Twins are doing the right thing by letting Hicks make his mistakes in Minnesota rather than Rochester.

Arcia's work in Boston obscured the Fenway troubles of Josh Willingham (hitless in his last three games in Boston) and that Trevor Plouffe has reversed a career trend and is hitting this season for a higher average (by 50 points) with men on base than with the bases empty.

Some of the confidence in Arcia should come from the way he has batted -- hitting to all fields and, according to those who know more than I do, making adjustments that you wouldn't expect from such a young player. "Pace" is a tricky thing, but I am OK with him striking out 140 times in 500 at-bats (his current rate) in return for a combination of power and smarts at the plate.

But the point here isn't to go too deep with numbers or figure out why things have been happening. It's much simpler: The Twins are 16-15 and not close to the disaster that lots of people were anticipating. Remember, after 31 games last year, the Twins were 8-23, and the year before they were 12-19 -- and would be 12-27 before winning another game.

To compensate for watching the Wild, I'm going Target Field tonight (and Saturday and Sunday, too). Yes, I'm more in than I thought I'd be.

 

 

 

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 96 4th Qtr 10:50
Orlando 73
New York 66 4th Qtr 8:15
Indiana 97
Denver 29 2nd Qtr 2:35
Memphis 46
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 0 3rd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 3rd Prd
Philadelphia 3
Boston 3 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 7:58
Toronto 1
Dallas 3 2nd Prd 9:33
Ottawa 2
Detroit 1 2nd Prd 9:13
Tampa Bay 3
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 7:40
Florida 2
Nashville 1 2nd Prd
St. Louis 0
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 56 2nd Half 3:02
Army 60
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 64 2nd Half 3:15
Detroit 66
East Tenn St 55 2nd Half 0:02
Furman 57
Saint Louis 46 2nd Half 3:43
George Mason 53
USC Upstate 78 2nd Half 1:31
Jacksonville 62
High Point 71 2nd Half 0:09
Liberty 50
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 2nd Half 0:04
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 68 2nd Half 1:23
Mercer 67
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 52 2nd Half 2:25
Ohio State 76
FIU 56 2nd Half 0:07
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 61 2nd Half 1:20
St Francis-NY 56
Bryant 68 2nd Half 0:23
St Francis-PA 71
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 61 2nd Half 0:54
Towson 65
Western Carolina 74 2nd Half 3:55
Va Military 68
Sacred Heart 60 2nd Half 1:53
Wagner 70
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 31 2nd Half 9:24
Ga Southern 58
Holy Cross 30 2nd Half 13:15
Loyola-Maryland 30
Eastern Ill 39 2nd Half 9:49
UT Martin 59
Jacksonville St 35 2nd Half
Belmont 45
Connecticut 22 2nd Half
Cincinnati 30
Rider 25 2nd Half
Saint Peters 23
SIU Edwardsville 35 2nd Half
SE Missouri St 34
Marshall 35 2nd Half
Southern Miss 25
Tenn Tech 22 2nd Half
Tennessee St 32
Middle Tennessee 38 2nd Half
TX-San Antonio 31
Ill-Chicago 28 2nd Half
Milwaukee 28
Weber State 30 2nd Half
North Dakota 26
Denver 26 2nd Half
North Dakota St 16
IUPU-Ft Wayne 33 2nd Half
South Dakota 24
Louisiana 43 2nd Half
South Alabama 33
Ark-Little Rock 15 1st Half 9:20
Arkansas State 25
ULM 6 1st Half 17:15
Troy 3
Georgia State 16 1st Half 9:57
Texas-Arlington 14
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
ULM 51 FINAL
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
(6) Tennessee 69 2nd Half 2:29
(10) Kentucky 66
(24) Oklahoma 65 2nd Half 1:02
(14) Texas 64
Clemson 55 2nd Half 6:52
Wake Forest 51
(23) Syracuse 58 2nd Half 0:23
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 63 2nd Half 2:11
Florida 49
Milwaukee 51 2nd Half 1:28
Cleveland State 63
Wright State 108 2nd Half 0:09
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 60 2nd Half 3:11
USC Upstate 60
Stetson 58 2nd Half 1:16
Northern Ky 64
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 57 2nd Half 14:25
Sam Houston St 44
Fla Gulf Coast 53 2nd Half 7:44
Lipscomb 38
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Vanderbilt 19 2nd Half
(18) Miss State 30
IUPUI 30 2nd Half
Western Ill 36
Abilene Christian 22 2nd Half
Houston Baptist 28
McNeese State 32 2nd Half
SE Louisiana 28
Oral Roberts 22 2nd Half
South Dakota St 40
Louisiana Tech 33 2nd Half
Western Ky 32
TX-San Antonio 23 2nd Half
Middle Tennessee 30
Texas-El Paso 29 1st Half 0:26
UAB 32
Auburn 15 2nd Half
Arkansas 31
Grand Canyon 20 1st Half 3:30
UMKC 24
Illinois 33 2nd Half
(15) Nebraska 30
(20) Iowa 58 2nd Half
Northwestern 41
Utah Valley U 27 2nd Half
Chicago State 26
Green Bay 38 2nd Half
Valparaiso 17
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
Sacramento St 29 1st Half
Montana State 32
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii

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