Road Trip Roundup
There's more to discuss about all of this than just what we saw on the field, however. For starters, how about checking up on how the team is doing in terms of the "par" system, which I introduced in this post a while ago. Remember that to finish with a par on the road in a three game series, it's necessary only to win 1 game. The Twins came into this road trip at even par on the season, and proceeded to blow away the system over the last six games. For the first time all season, the Twins jumped above par, in effect getting an "eagle" in the Pittsburgh series and a "birdie" in the Houston series. The team is now 3 over par (or under par if you want to be true to the golf analogy...but I favor the idea of having OVER par as a good thing in this context). Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see where the other AL Central teams are both in terms of .500 and "par." Here's what I found:
Detroit / 23 over .500 / +11 par
Chicago / 22 over .500 / +9 par
Minnesota / 1 over .500 / +3 par
Cleveland / 7 under .500 / -4 par
Kansas City / 27 under .500 / -13 par
Now, if you ignore the Twins, you'll notice that there is very approximately a 2-1 ratio from the absolute value of games away from .500 and the par number (23-11/22-9/7-4/27-13). For the Twins, however, the relationship is 1-3, which is completely inconsistent with what it "seems" the par system should yield. The question, then, is what this signifies. The simple answer would seem to be that it means the Twins have played significantly more road series as opposed to home series, and in fact, that's the case; the Twins have played twelve 3-game road series as opposed to just seven 3-game home series. This should mean that the Twins have a good opportunity to improve their record significantly.
Incidentally, the White Sox have exactly the opposite situation going on; they've played significantly more of their 3-game home series than have the Twins. Therefore, the Twins have a pretty good opportunity to gain some ground on them. Unfortunately, the Tigers have 9 road series to 6 home series, so they have a bit more legitimate of a record going on. The Twins may be better off concentrating on that Wild Card after all.
A couple of other quick notes:
* Shannon Stewart will be starting a six-game rehab assignment on Saturday
* The Twins signed first-round pick Chris Parmalee and assigned him to the GCL Twins
Hopefully the next couple of series can be as fantastic as the last 4 series have been, and that the White Sox and Tigers start losing a few games.