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Monday (A [bases] loaded question) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: May 24, 2010 - 9:49 AM

The frustrated Twins fan -- and there appear to be many -- will note that the Twins have been awful with the bases loaded this year.

In 65 at bats with the bases loaded this year, the Twins have a mere 11 hits -- which works out to a .169 batting average. And just when you thought the Twins had turned a corner with Jason Kubel's grand slam off Mariano Rivera, the bases loaded woes crept up again in two crucial spots in Sunday's 4-3 loss to Milwaukee.

But we're here to look at this optimistically. Not possible? Well, consider:

*The Twins are still 26-18 despite the failings with the bases loaded.

*This seems to be a statistical anomaly rather than a trend. The Twins have a patient lineup with hitters who can crush strikes. That should mean good things will happen in a bases loaded situation where a pitcher doesn't want to issue a walk. Consider that in 2009 (.355), 2008 (.333), 2007 (.310) and 2006 (.333) the Twins, with a lot of the same core hitters, batted over .300 with the bases loaded.

*The fact that they have had 65 official at bats with the bases loaded in just 44 games is rather astounding. Consider that in 2004, when the Twins were a lighter hitting crew but still won the division, they had just 95 at bats all season with the bases loaded.

There are going to be plenty of other bases loaded opportunities this season on a team that draws a lot of walks and moves station-to-station (by design) much more than past Twins teams. And they will make teams pay at a much more frequent rate than they have so far this season. When they do, an already impressive offense will be even better.

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