Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twin City Minute: Playoff Chances

Forgive me for refraining from the topic du jour. Like a ninny, I'll be sitting through a 2.5 hour class during this much-anticipated NBA draft. Instead, I want to build on T-Bird's sentiments about another Twins postseason run.

As of June 28, the club sits 6 games back, 5.5 in the Wild Card. Assume the Wild Card stays in the Central again. An entire half of baseball remains, including 25 games versus Detroit (12) and Cleveland (13). Additionally, the Tigers and Indians play each other 11 times. Plenty of ground to be made, but traditional optimism is wavering. As much as I want to think it will happen, the chips are stacking up against Minnesota's Little Team That Could.

The Tigers' potent lineup features MVP-bound Magglio and the frightening Gary Sheffield. Kenny Rogers' return adds to an already solid rotation. A disastrous bullpen limits them, but that's what deadline trades are for. The Indians boast good bats, but have gotten this far without Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner playing to their potential. Expect a second half surge. Cy Young-apparent CC Sabathia holds down a capable, yet culpable staff. Cleveland seems to be the smaller hill to climb, but the Twins have yet to beat the Tribe this year (0-5), outscored 36-14.


RegularJoe said...

I'm not sure I agree about our chances, but at least we're back to talking about baseball.

Jimmy Rogers said...

This time last year, most everybody thought the Tigers were a fluke. Now we know they're for real, and arguably better than last year. The Indians underachieved greatly last year, and still haven't reached their full potential as a team this season.

Granted, I think there's many positive things going on with the Twins: the emergence of Slowey and "Great Scott" Baker, Garza's call-up, Bartlett getting on base and wreaking havoc on the basepaths. But will Torii keep up his torrid pace? Will Morneau match his MVP year, which was so vital to last year's success? How much will he be affected by his collision? Will Santana be the normal lockdown 2nd half pitcher we're used to? It's ridiculous to expect someone to be as dominant as he's been for the 5th year in a row over 15 starts. Eventually, he's going to fail to live up to his already lofty expectations and just be good, not unbelievable. Will that be enough to keep the team in the hunt?

I desperately want to be wrong about all of these concerns.