As the first half of the season comes gradually to a close, the Minnesota Twins are still struggling to find some sort of foothold that could possibly propel them to the near top of the AL Central Division.
And June has not been a friendly month for such a case to happen. The longest win streak the Twins have had was four games, with the most recent coming off a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox. The longest losing streak has been five games, which has happened twice in just the last two weeks alone. In fact, the losing streaks have both come in their last two road trips, which marks the second longest streak since September 2011 when the Twins racked up 11 consecutive road losses.
Since June 13, the Twins have gone 6-10, and are 12-15 overall in the month of June. Seven of those losses have been by one run.
With such a rough month, the Twins now find themselves currently sitting in last place once again in the division, a half game back behind fourth place White Sox and eight games back behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers.
With such a depressing month riding on the Twins’ shoulders, Manager Ron Gardenhire has decided to try uplift the team through a couple of messages in hopes that things can quickly turn around.
The first message the Twins’ skipper gave was that “it’s fun to watch them play. They didn’t quit, they haven’t quit.”
And despite coming up short in so many one-run loss games, Gardenhire has said that even though they can be frustrating and hard on a team, it just shows that Minnesota is not ready to quit that easily, especially in the later innings of the game.
The second message Gardenhire gave to his team was that if they keep playing as hard as they are, they’ll win plenty of baseball games later on down the road.
Not only has Gardenhire expressed encouragement toward his team overall, he’s also expressed encouragement in first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales.
In his short time with the Twins, Morales has had 17 hits in 75 at-bats, which includes five doubles, one home run and nine RBIs. Despite a .227/.263/.333 average over 19 games this season, Morales just went 1-for-8 in the Twins’ last series against the Texas Rangers.
And that one hit ended up coming at a time when the Twins needed it the most, as it was Morales who drove in the winning run in Sunday’s game with a line drive to left.
“I like his enthusiasm, I like the way he goes about it. I like his presence, his whole package,” Gardenhire has said about Morales. “We need him in there. I’m not too worried about Morales. He’s got fresh hands, as they say.”
Ever hear of the phrase, “Easier said than done”? Even though it is easier to express encouragement than actually doing what needs to be done, at least there’s still some hope flying around. And who knows. There’s still three months of the regular season left to play. Something can still possibly happen.
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