Thursday, September 9, 2010

Owning the Royals

This picture is worth 1,000 words
This recently ended home-stand for the Twins had to be one of their better ones of the last few years. They went 8-1 and that lone loss was an extra-inning debacle in a game which they had several leads. Not only that, the 8-1 home-stand coincided with a similar hot streak by the White Sox, AND the Twins managed to gain a game in the standings...amazing. But on to what I really wanted to talk about.

So far this season, the Royals and Twins have hooked up 15 times and the Twins have absolutely dominated the Royals going 12-3 and outscoring them 117-63. To put that in perspective:

*On a per game basis, that's an average score of 7.8 to 4.2

*The Twins have scored 685 runs this season, 17% of those runs have come against the Royals despite the fact that games against the Royals have only accounted for 10% of the Twins schedule.

*Dating back to 2007, the Twins are 45-24 (.652) against the Royals which is the most wins they've had against any other opponent during the stretch. In other words, if the Twins played the Royals every game of a 162-game season and won at that pace, they would win 105 games. Interestingly enough, the team that the Twins have beaten the 2nd most times since 2007 is the Chicago White Sox; the Twins own a 41-29 (.586) record over that stretch.

*Dating back to the 2000 season, the Twins are 122-73 against the Royals. Going even further back (if you're curious), since 1995, the Twins are 154-104 against the Royals.

I was trying to do some research on whether the Twins recent domination of the Royals was in any way 'historic' but I was unable to find any "streak-finders" on that tabulated such things between teams. Needless to say, the Royals have been a punching bag in the AL Central for many years and the Twins have taken advantage of that fact. The Twins have currently won 6 straight against KC and have one last 3-game set with them 9/27-9/29. Hopefully those games will be meaningless by then, but in the event they aren't, it sure is nice to have them on the schedule late in the year.

Other Random Notes:

+ Twins starters have won 5 straight games
+ Over his last 4 appearances, Matt Capps has a 6.75 ERA, 2.75 WHIP, 1K and 2BB...but he has 4 saves.
+ J.J. Hardy is 8 for his last 20 with 9RBIs, 7 runs, 1 HR and a 0/3 K/BB
+ Matt Tolbert raised his batting average by 22 point during the homestand filling in admirably for Danny Valencia
+ Brian Duensing has been excellent since rejoining the rotation and for a 2nd straight year has provided a shot-in-the-arm down the stretch for the Twins. His ERA stands at 2.02 but his FIP suggest there may be some regression in store. Jack Morris over at FanGraphs had an excellent article about his value to the Twins rotation. From ESPN Stats, opponents have a .116 average against Duensing's offspeed offerings and last night, the Royals were 0-18 on swings against his offspeed pitches.
+ Joe Mauer (9 for 22), Michael Cuddyer (10 for 31) and Jason Kubel (12 for 31) have all had a great deal of success against Friday's starter Fausto Carmona. In Carmona's last start against the Twins, he surrendered 10 hits and 5 runs in 7.1 innings.
+ The Twins have a 5.5 game lead in the AL Central which is the biggest lead they've had this season.

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