Tom Kelly used to say, you are never as bad as you look when things are going bad, nor as good was you look when things are going good. Unfortunately, while that should have given us hope during the Twins struggles, it is also a cautionary tale about the Twins recent burst of wins. Despite their recent success, the Twins have the worst record in the American league. They are nine games out right now, but a three game losing streak could leave them 12 out by the end of the next series.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
How many wins do the Twins need? (Updated 6/30/2011)
On the other hand, the number of wins needed to take the central division may be much fewer than it has been in recent years. The division leader, Cleveland, is on a pace to win slightly less than 88 games. The Twins will need a .640 percentage over the rest of the season to reach that number. That is still a daunting task. Over a full season a .640 winning percentage is over 103 victories. The ability of the Twins to put together that kind of record is going to require Mauer, Morneau and Young to start producing at last years levels. And they are going to have to beat the teams ahead of them while doing it to prevent their competition from matching their pace. That needs to start with their next series against the White Sox.
In the last two weeks the Twins went on a winning streak and then a losing streak. Cleveland has fallen back into a virtual tie with Tigers. Both the division leaders are now on a pace to end the season with 86 victories. The Twins will need to win games at a .626 pace the rest of the way in order to match that total. That's slightly less than Philadelphia's percentage over the first half of the season.
In short, the Twins have been catching up. And catching up at a pace that exceeds the minimum necessary. Its a long season, but so long as the percentage of games they need to win keeps going down, we know they are ahead of the pace they need to win.