Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins celebrates his solo home run with Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins in the second inning against the San Diego Padres on June 18, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Twins dug themselves a very deep hole this year, largely due to injuries and the failure of a bullpen that had to be revamped this past offseason due to the departure of several key parts via free agency.
Before May was over they had losing streaks of four, six and nine games and after the nine-game skid they found themselves in last place, 16.5 games behind the high-flying Indians, and 20 games under .500 at 17-37.
That should pretty much dump anyone's season, right?
Maybe not if you are the Twins, who have made the postseason six of the last nine years under manager Ron Gardenhire. Since that bottom, the Twins have cut more than half that first-place deficit -- they're now just eight games out of first place -- and have won 13 of their last 15 games. Still nine games under .500, they could move out of the AL Central basement with a win on Sunday coupled with a Royals loss.
So do the Twins have what it takes? The AL Central doesn't seem to have a dominant team, and of Minnesota's 93 remaining games, 49 are against division opponents (White Sox: 14, Indians: 13, Tigers: 13, and Royals: 9), plenty of chances to make up ground.
So, can they do it? Vote in our poll.
Can the Twins overcome their 16.5 game deficit and win the AL Central this year?
Yes. They're the Twins -- they know how to win. (323 votes)
No way. From 20 games under .500? Impossible. (47 votes)
370 total votes