It seems like just the Twins’ luck, right? They make a couple of moves to bolster their starting rotation after a surprisingly good first half of the season — first a flyer on Bartolo Colon and then a more significant pickup of Jaime Garcia — only to hit a rough patch and drift further out of contention.
Even as modestly committed buyers instead of sellers, the Twins have to be disappointed to suddenly be below .500, trailing the AL Central race now by 4.5 games and the Wild Card by three.
That said, the push to add those pitchers was made with the duration of 2017 in mind, not just this recent stretch. The Twins are 4-7 since the All-Star break against a schedule that looked daunting from the get-go: the Astros, Yankees, Tigers and Dodgers.
But after one more game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the schedule eases up considerably and could — should? — enable the Twins to at least stay on the fringes of contention for the foreseeable future.
Their next two series are against way-below-.500 teams Oakland and San Diego before coming home against the mediocre Rangers. In the back half of August, the Twins have 11 consecutive games against either the White Sox or Blue Jays, two last-place teams. Bad teams who have nothing left to play for often wilt even more in the dog days of summer and/or give playing time to prospects in the name of development.
The Twins are done for the season with the Astros, Red Sox and Dodgers — three elite teams against whom the Twins have gone a combined 3-12 this season — after tonight.
Bottom line: the Twins will have the type of schedule conducive to winning streaks or clusters of, say, seven wins in nine games. Whether they take advantage is another matter, but they are at least in a better position to do so after adding Colon and Garcia — both of whom are scheduled to start this weekend in Oakland.