There's a lot we could write about (and we will, just you wait). Being a fan in the bad times, positive signs during the west coast road trip, the legacy of Harmon Killebrew, the future of veterans and rookies, aureuvedic cures for Joe Mauer's legs, but I wanted to start by presenting something I've been thinking about throughout the big move back to Minneapolis: where does a bad ball-team start: with the pitching, or with the hitting?
This season, Twins fans have had to see a bit of both bad hitting and bad pitching. The starters are suddenly walking batters, tossing fat pitches that get hit a long way and leaving games far earlier than we would like. The relievers have been a similar hodgepodge of erratic deliveries and ugly outings. When the pitching is that bad, it makes hitters try twice as hard to hit...and that leads to swinging at ugly pitches, and that leads to a bad offense and that leads to losses.
But at the same time, the offense has been dismal all by itself. Runners are stranded like the crew of the SS Minnow, "Home Run" seems to be a dirty word, a .200 average seems positively robust. And when the offense is that bad, it means pitchers can't make a single mistake, which leads to living on the edges of the strike zone, which leads to walks/fat pitches and that leads to losses.
So how exactly did our team start to suffer? Was it bad pitching that begat bad hitting, or bad hitting that begat bad pitching? I honestly do not know. I doubt anyone in the Twins organization does (otherwise they'd have taken steps to fix it by now). Conveniently, the last couple of games have shown what can happen when the Twins get both good offensive production and good pitching...though of course which one came first is debatable....