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The Twins have been terrible -- and terribly unlucky with weather

twinsrainIf you’ve been paying attention at all this summer in Minneapolis, you’ve noticed two things: an unusual amount of rain and an extraordinary amount of bad baseball.

We’ve had a staggering number of heavy rains. And we’ve watched the Twins pile up 100 losses (and counting).

If you’ve thought about the two of those things together, you might have been thinking: doesn’t it seem like it’s been raining an awful lot when the Twins are at home?

During a wet summer, that’s only natural. But in looking a little bit harder at the data, we also can conclude that the Twins have been pretty unlucky when it comes to the worst of the weather.

According to Heather Rule’s calculations, the Twins have had 11 rain delays and three full postponements this season at Target Field.

Looking at the full season, there’s also this: by my calculations, using data from Weather Underground (thanks to Matt Brickman for the link) there have been 41 days between April 1 and Sept. 25 in the Twin Cities in which at least 0.2 inches of rain have fallen.

On 23 of those days, the Twins had a scheduled home game.

On 16 of those days, the Twins had a scheduled road game.

On 2 of those days, the Twins had a scheduled off day.

Even if it didn’t specifically rain during the game in each case, bad weather certainly influences attendance.

There have been two particularly sad/comical stretches of poor weather.

*Between the end of May and the end of July, the Twins played 10 home series. In nine of those series, there was at least one scheduled game in which it rained at least 0.2 inches on that date.

*September has been particularly brutal. The Twin Cities have had at least 0.2 inches of rain during six of the Twins’ last 11 scheduled home dates. And for as lousy as the weather has been lately, it looks like it is going to be beautiful for most of this week — when the Twins end the year on the road.

Then there’s this: in a far less scientific rendering of the weather, WCCO (again, our guy Brickman and his crew) likes to hand out “Top 10 weather days” in the metro area. While I don’t profess to know exactly what goes into the *official* designation of these days, I do know this:

There have been a total of 7 “top 10 weather days” in the Twin Cities during this baseball season (see #top10wxday on Twitter if you’ve never participated in this phenomenon).

The Twins have been at Target Field for just two of those seven (and in one of those, Sept. 1, they were competing against the State Fair, the Gophers’ opener, a Vikings preseason game, high school football and more). Seriously, I hope you guys enjoyed May 21 when the Twins hosted Toronto for a 1:10 p.m. game on a top 10 weather day. Weather Underground reminds us it was 80 degrees that day without even a trace of rain.

So the Twins have caught most of the rain and missed most of the truly glorious days. That doesn’t explain 100 losses, but it sure made them a little bit more miserable.

Sunday's Vikings game in GIFs: They are the team to beat in the NFC

For the third time this season, the Vikings spotted an opponent at least a one-touchdown lead. And for the third time the Vikings won thanks in large part to a dominant defense and the uncanny ability to make game-turning plays. Make no mistake: even through all the injuries and problems with the offensive line/running game, this is a very good team. How good? We’ll get to that at the end. First, let’s recap Minnesota’s 22-10 victory over the Panthers with 5 GIFs (and a bunch of words, too).

ALLOW ME TO RETORT

Like I said, the Vikings have been spotting opponents early lead. This time, they gave Carolina 10 quick points and looked like they were in danger of getting their doors blown off. Instead? As has been the case in all three games this year, Minnesota stiffened after the initial wave and blasted past its opponent. The Vikings have given up 13 points (7 that weren’t in garbage time) beyond allowing those early leads this year. Like Samuel L. in Pulp Fiction, their retort game has been STRONG.

SAFETY FIRST

The shift started with a dominant defensive play by Danielle Hunter, with an assist to very good pass coverage, leading to a safety that trimmed Carolina’s lead to 10-2 at the end of the first quarter (which, frankly, sounds more like a Twins score than a Vikings score). That sequence felt like the beginning of a massive momentum switch that really never relented for the final three quarters.

SPECIAL TEAMS ACES
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Marcus Sherels also got an assist on that safety by helping down a Jeff Locke punt deep in Carolina territory. Then Sherels gave Minnesota its first TD with a sweet punt return. Add in Cordarrelle Patterson looking like a special teams whiz and it’s clear the special teams played a starring role in this victory (another missed extra point from Blair Walsh notwithstanding).

SAVAGE DEFENSE

But the biggest story (again) was the defense. The Vikings went up against the reigning MVP from a 15-1 team and sacked Cam Newton eight times while picking him off three times. Carolina looked miserable for three-fourths of the game, one week after Green Bay looked the same. Guys, I don’t know how to say this but if the question was whether the Vikings could go from a very good to an elite defense this year, the question has been answered with an emphatic, “yes.”

THE BEST
youre the best you are the best
My thought going into the Vikings’ game at Carolina was this: with the Cardinals and Seahawks struggling early this year, a Minnesota victory over the Panthers one week after defeating (and outplaying) Green Bay would establish the Vikings as the team to beat in the NFC. I can’t back off of that now, nor should I. Three weeks into the season, Minnesota has established itself as the new team to beat in the conference. That is subject to change, and the distinction carries far more weight in January. But after another dominant game from the defense and a very good second half from Sam Bradford, this is where we are.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Wild at Buffalo (preseason)

    6 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Colorado at Wild (preseason)

    7 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Wild at Winnipeg (preseason)

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    2:07 pm

  • Gophers football at Penn State

    2:30 pm on BTN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Jacksonville at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    2:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Carolina at Wild (preseason)

    5 pm on 100.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Chicago Cubs

    Pittsburgh

    6:05 PM

  • Arizona

    Washington

    6:05 PM

  • NY Yankees

    Toronto

    6:07 PM

  • Cleveland

    Detroit

    6:10 PM

  • NY Mets

    Miami

    6:10 PM

  • Milwaukee

    Texas

    7:05 PM

  • Tampa Bay

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

  • Seattle

    Houston

    7:10 PM

  • Cincinnati

    St. Louis

    7:15 PM

  • Oakland

    LA Angels

    9:05 PM

  • Atlanta

    New Orleans

    7:30 PM

    ESPN

No NBA games today

  • Ottawa

    Toronto

    5:00 PM

  • Columbus

    Boston

    6:00 PM

  • Minnesota

    Buffalo

    6:00 PM

  • Philadelphia

    New Jersey

    6:00 PM

  • Philadelphia

    NY Islanders

    6:00 PM

  • Carolina

    Washington

    6:00 PM

  • New Jersey

    Montreal

    6:30 PM

  • St. Louis

    Dallas

    7:30 PM

  • Edmonton

    Calgary

    8:00 PM

  • Calgary

    Edmonton

    8:00 PM

  • Los Angeles

    Arizona

    9:00 PM

  • Arizona

    Los Angeles

    9:30 PM

No MLS games today