A year ago, the Brewers were 18 games over .500, led their division by 6½ games and all was great. Then everything fell apart to such an extent that Milwaukee barely finished over .500 and has continued that plummet in 2015.
In the big picture, I think most people are feeling good about the Twins being five games over .500 entering play Monday — even if their play has been inconsistent for a few weeks. The wheels haven’t come off, but there are issues out there:
• The Twins bullpen has slipped into the bottom third of the American League by most measurements. Even if you pretend Casey Fien didn’t give up two home runs to four batters in Sunday’s loss, there’s isn’t any reliability beyond Fien and All-Star closer Glen Perkins.
• There are enough other problems that Joe Mauer’s season has slipped out of the bull’s-eye. For the record, he’s last among the 12 qualifying first basemen in the American League in slugging percentage and 11th in OPS. Entering Monday, he had four home runs; Chris Parmelee has four home runs for Baltimore. Mauer has 273 at-bats, Parmelee has 43.
A Fan’s View: startribune.com/twins