After three games the Minnesota Twins are 2-1, but don't get carried away and start believing that general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire have figured it out and have turned things around after two seasons with 90-plus losses.
Still, the Twins have a wining record. Sure, it's only been three games, but the last time the Twins were on the positive side of the win-loss ledger was Sunday, October 3, 2010. Even after losing to the Toronto Blue Jays that day, the Twins finished the season 94-68.
That was 914 calendar days ago. That's just over two and a half years.
The Twins won their first series of the season, taking two of three from the reigning American League Champion Tigers. Perhaps it was the cold weather from the extended winter that cooled off Detroit. On a very positive note, the first three starters for the Twins, all new additions from last year, opened the season 2-1. Over the last two seasons Minnesota starters have an 85-146 record—that's a .367 winning percent.
Vance Worley, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey pitched a total of 18.3 innings yielding only five earned runs—an ERA of 2.45. That's less than half where Twins starters were last season. Once the Twins get their ace Scott Diamond back, things can only get better. In his first year as a starter, Diamond led all Twins starters with a 12-9 record and a 3.54 ERA. What makes that more—or perhaps less—impressive, is that last season the Twins had nine different pitchers start at least 11 games.
The Twins outscored the Tigers 13-8, and the rebuilt pitching staff held Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder without a home run, while Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe restarted their home run battle. The Twins' leading home run hitters from last season continued their knack for smacking them in the same game.
Even the M&M boys have started the season hot. Joe Mauer has caught all three games and is hitting .308 after moving up one spot in the batting order. Justin Morneau, who is hitting Mauer's third spot in the order, is hitting .400. Both even have an extra base hit so far this season.
Sure, it's only three games, but after how the Twins opened the last two seasons we need to take a minute and enjoy what happened. At no time over the last two seasons were they ever two games over .500.
Quick, raise a toast to the Minnesota Twins before they finish their next series in Baltimore. It could be the start of a losing streak that leads to another 90-plus season, and we will be stuck looking forward to the opening of Vikings' training camp.
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