The Twins just finished a three game series against the Angels, and on Thursday night, they will start a four game set at Target Field against the Toronto Blue Jays. To say that the Blue Jays have had the Twins numbers in recent years is a massive understatement. Let’s take a look:
In 2011, the Twins were really bad and the Blue Jays were good, but the domination was uncanny. Even in recent years when the Twins have been very good and the Blue Jays were not good, the Jays had the Twins number. The one win the Twins got came in the third game and was 4-3 decision in which Nick Blackburn topped lefty Brett Cecil. Cecil was sent back to AA to start the 2012 season (no, not just because he lost to the Twins).
In those six games in 2011, the Blue Jays collected 10 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs against the Twins. Jose Bautista led the way. He had one double and in incredible seven home runs, including three home runs in the final meeting of these teams. Catcher JP Arencibia knocked a double, a triple and three home runs against the Twins. Seemingly every Blue Jays hitter contributed.
The Blue Jays enter this series with a 17-14 record while the Twins are at 8-22. Their record is as much about their pitching as it is about their hitting. The Twins are lucky in that they don’t have to face Brandon Morrow, but Henderson Alvarez, Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchinson will get to face Twins hitters.
(note – Blue Jays’ player stats are through Tuesday, unless noted)
What would you have said if, a little over a month into the season, I told you that the two best hitters for the Blue Jays were Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson. Encarnacion is hitting .270/.326/.574 with eight doubles, nine homers (10th homer on Wednesday) and 25 RBI. Johnson is hitting .269/.383/.472 with a double, seven homers and 18 RBI.
Would you have believed me if I had told you that Jose Bautista would have a sub-700 OPS? Coming into the Twins series, Bautista is hitting just .187/.318/.355 (.673) with three doubles and five home runs. Yet, they have four hitters performing even worse than that!
- JP Arencibia - .187/.318/.355 (.654) with five doubles and two homers.
- Colby Rasmus - .206/.274/.363 (.637) with three doubles, two triples and three homers.
- Yunel Escobar - .248/.275/.309 (.624) with five doubles, one triple and one home run.
- Adam Lind - .186/.275/.309 (.585) with six doubles and two home runs.
The Twins will send Jason Marquis, PJ Walters, Nick Blackburn and Scott Diamond to the mound. The Jays won on Wednesday to break a three-game losing streak. The Twins did a nice job of keeping Albert Pujols cold. Can they do the same with Jose Bautista?
Well, that’s why they play the games!
The Twins postgame transactions on Wednesday night created a lot of discussion at Twins Daily. John wrote about the Changing Focus that the moves represent. Yesterday, Parker asked What Happened to Chris Parmelee?