After a stretch of games that saw the Minnesota Twins’ offense break out of a slump and lead the team to winning eight out of 10 games, the Twins’ bats fell silent in Kansas City against Kansas City Royals’ starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie Wednesday night resulting in a series tying loss, 4-1. The key stat that describes the Twins struggles was that the Twins were 0-11 with runners in scoring position. Although Guthrie was pitching quite well on Wednesday night, it is still unacceptable for a lineup to go 0-11 with runners in scoring position and still expect to win.
Another area of concern for the Twins is the continued lack of production out of the leadoff position. The Twins sent out Eduardo Escobar to man the leadoff spot on Wednesday and Escobar responded with a 0-4 performance. If the Twins expect to have consistency throughout their lineup, there must be stability at the top of the order. When the team had Denard Span and even Ben Revere, the top of the order was a strength. Now, it seems to be a revolving door of mediocrity with no end in sight. If Aaron Hicks can grow into that position, it would be great for the organization; but as of right now, Joe Mauer seems to be the only legitimate option to produce at the top of the order.
By no means is it time to press the panic button, as the Twins can still win the series if they take the last game of the series tomorrow; however, they are sending Mike Pelfrey to the mound tomorrow and his struggles this season have been well documented.
Much has been made about the Twins turnaround over the past few games and it is obvious that the team is playing with more confidence and are hitting the ball with more consistency now then they had previously in the season. Games like this will happen where the team falls victim to a strong pitching performance, but the key will be how the Twins respond tomorrow when faced with the opportunity to win their fourth straight series.
To get back to .500, the Twins must win series against teams like the Royals because they will face tough opponents in Washington and Detroit coming up and winning two out of three in either series will be no easy task. I am confident that the Twins’ lineup will respond tomorrow against a lesser starting pitcher in Wade Davis; but whether or not Pelfrey keeps the Twins in the game long enough to have a chance to win, remains to be seen.