But of course, I prefer it when they're winning. Probably too much so. And it has not escaped my attention that the Twins are at .500 right now, nor that they are one game behind the 2nd Wild Card spot. This, while nice, is also dangerous. Unless the Twins I expected at the start of the year (you know, the woeful-pitching, incompetent-hitting, bad-luck-bedeviled, please-god-let-us-only-lose-89-games-this-year Twins we were all expecting) turn up soon, I may actually become optimistic.
So I try to keep myself calm by slowly negating all the positives of the team so far this year:
- We're more patient! With a .335 OBP that has us ranked 2nd in the AL. Yeah, but...a lot of that has to do with the pitching the team is facing. And the more pitchers realize that they're pitching to Aaron Hicks and Eduardo Escobar rather than Denard Span and JJ Hardy, they're more likely to attack, so that will drop and soon.
- The pitching doesn't totally suck this year! Yeah, but...it would be kind of amazing if they were worse than they had been lately. The starters are the third worst in the league at allowing runs, and the bull pen has the second most lost leads in the whole league. So hold on hard to Phil Hughes while he lasts, it won't stick around.
- They don't quit, and we actually have some clutch hitting this year! Yeah, but...clutch play isn't a real thing, just like "grit", and "stick-to-it-iveness" aren't things. Besides they are below average at driving in or advancing runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs...if you can't do that, and you get lucky enough with two outs, then whoop-de-dang-doo.
- We've made do despite a bunch of injuries! Yeah, but...only for six weeks. It's real nice that Jason Kubel hasn't been a disaster, and Chris Colabello's been heart warming, and Casey Fien/Brian Duensing have effectively shut down others, and Kurt Suzuki has been strangely effective. But none of them have a track record that bodes well for the long term; worse still, the minor league calvary (Misters Buxton, Sano, Arcia, Rosario et al) are in varying degrees of pain and unlikely to save the day any time soon.
- We've held tough against the best teams in the league! Yeah, but...uh, wait, really? Yeah we have a winning record against the AL East and the Tigers. But umm, interleague... Yankees...oh screw it...