If it's not one thing it's another.
At the end of May and beginning of June the Twins starting pitching was fairly solid. Phil Hughes was making a case to be an All-Star, three of every four Kyle Gibson starts were gems, Samuel Deduno hadn't train-wrecked yet, and Ricky Nolasco had one of his better stretches.
Last week found the team with the opposite problem: decent run support and sketchy starting pitching.
Kyle Gibson began the week with his occasional bad start in Anaheim, giving up seven runs in two innings (he bounced back yesterday with eight strong in Texas). After his impressive debut Johan Pino fell down to earth, lasting only three innings after surrendering five runs. Correia and Nolasco each had their trademark sub-mediocre starts and on Friday Phil Hughes pitched seven strong against the Rangers before the wheels came off and he gave up five in the eighth.
The Twins decent offense this week (they only scored under two runs twice in six games) is surprising considering that two important pieces of their lineup, Trevor Plouffe and Danny Santana, are both on the disabled list. The unexpected offensive surge of Kurt Suzuki has also died down. Then there's the black hole called Pedro Florimon. Yikes.
Based on the season so far Twins fans still have reasons to be hopeful. Their starting pitching has shown that it can be solid and their lineup has produced in a lot of different ways. They just need it all to come together.
They have a make-or-break week ahead, though, hosting the suddenly hot Kansas City Royals and a New York Yankees team that is a lot better than they were when the Twins made easy work of them in May. Although their recent losses have taken a lot out of them the Twins need to bounce back quickly. If they don't, and they find themselves more than eight games back in the Central approaching the All-Star break, it'll be increasingly more difficult for them to make something happen in 2014.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.