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Thursday (Twins have avoided major slides) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: June 19, 2014 - 9:20 AM

 

The Twins find themselves in a familiar spot right now, albeit with some key differences from other similar situations this season.

 

On multiple occasions, as we are doing right now, it has been fair to wonder whether a team playing primarily .500 ball was heading on a nosedive south from which they would never recover.

Early this year, when they fell to 3-6 after a three-game sweep in their first three home games ... they rallied to win their next three against Kansas City to even their record.

They dropped four in a row after starting 12-11, but then they won three in a row to get back to 15-15.

Four more consecutive losses in late May pushed them to 23-25, but they leveled themselves by going 9-8 over the next 17.

That, though, brought them to this recent stretch: five consecutive losses, four by one run, many in heartbreaking fashion and none more so than Wednesday's game in Boston. The mental difference between winning a 1-0 game in extra innings and losing it 2-1 -- not to mention snapping a losing streak and salvaging a once-promising road trip with a 4-5 mark instead of 3-6 -- is hard to calculate, but it is significant.

The Twins are now 32-38, six games under .500 for the first time all year. So once again we find ourselves asking: is this the point where the Twins break? Do five losses in a row become 11 of 13, 14 of 17? Our guess this season is no based on the starting pitching being better than in past seasons; then again, we just watched three starting pitchers throw about as well as possible at Fenway, only to have the bats go silent in a sweep.

Still, though, our guess is no. This is a cycle with this year's Twins, not a trend like it was from 2011-13. But we could be wrong, and it's precarious regardless heading into this four-game series vs. the White Sox.

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