Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Back to .500

First off, sorry for not posting earlier, but as I wrote, I've been real busy. But that's not important right now. What is important is the riding a 7-game winning streak (and a sweep of the Red Sox and Pirates), the Twins are back to .500 at 34-34.

The biggest reason for this turnaround is that the Twins staff has regained its form from last year. The bullpen has been really good, plus the starting pitching is starting to come around - Brad Radke is finding his groove, Carlos Silva showed signs he might be back, Francisco Liriano is in the ROY discussion, and Johan Santana is once again in the Cy Young race. All in all, this now puts the team ERA at 4.62, which is 7th in the AL.

Now, the Twins have exactly been able to make up much ground during this streak, and they sit 11.5 games behind Detroit and 9.5 games behind Chicago, but this is a definite start. The Tigers can't stay this good, I wouldn't think, but there's still a lot that needs to be done. However, if the pitching gets back into form, and the young hitters keep improving, anything can happen.

For now, the Twins start a 3-game set with the Houston Astros, with Brad Radke taking on Roy Oswalt in the opener. The prime jewel of the set will be Thursday, when Francisco Liriano will pitch against Roger Clemens, making his frst MLB start of the year. In the second game of the series, Carlos Silva will take on Wandy Rodriguez.

The Houston Astros record stands at 36-33. I wouldn't mind sending them down to .500.