With the Atlanta Braves win over the Astros last night, the idle Minnesota Twins (0-4) became the last winless team in the Major Leagues. That is a dubious distinction that no team ever wants to have. But what really has to be scaring Twin fans right now is that they could remain winless for a lot longer than any of us would have ever thought possible.
Few, if any, expected the Twins to do much of anything this season. They are coming off a 99-win season and did little to improve their roster in the off-season, so early season struggles come as a surprise to absolutely no one. However, the Twins aren’t just limping out of the gate, they haven’t even really left it yet. Not only did they start the year by getting swept by a Baltimore Oriole team that most believed would be the worst team in the American League this year, but they have looked especially inept in the process, scoring just five runs in that three-game series and then one run in their opening game in their current series against the Angels.
What hurts most about their rough beginning, that sweep at the hands of the O’s in particular, is that Minnesota may have blown its best chance at getting that first win before the end of April. That might sound far-fetched, but just look at their schedule.
They resume their series against Albert Pujols and the LA Angels today and then the currently undefeated two-time defending AL champ Texas Rangers come to town. After that, the Twins hit the road for four games against popular World Series pick New York Yankees followed by three games against the Rays, who swept the aforementioned Yankees to start the season. If they don’t get a win by then, that would put them at 0-16. Umm, yikes.
Only then does Minnesota’s schedule get “soft.” The Boston Red Sox would be up next. They are a bit of a mess themselves right now, but they still have enough talent to be considered a pre-season contender in the American League. To snap their potential skid and avoid breaking the 1988 Baltimore Orioles’ record for longest losing streak to star a season, the Twins would have to hope that the KC Royals can lay down for them, but the Royals have looked strong thus far, so that may be easier said than done, putting an 0-22 start very much in play. Which brings us to the end of April where Minnesota would be heading out west to do battle with the Angels once again.
Will the Twins really lose 25 in a row to start the season? No, probably not. Baseball is such a random game that one would think they’d catch some team on a bad day and pull out at least one win before the calendar turns over. In fact, let’s hope they do win one soon because nobody wants to see a trainwreck of that proportion. But you have to admit, with a schedule like the Twins have laid out before them and their inability to score runs, 0-for-April could happen.