We know that the Minnesota Twins have been losing a lot in 2011, but there's a stat that illustrates exactly how bad it has been for them this season.
This weekend's series against the Los Angeles Angels is the eleventh series of three games or more that the Minnesota Twins have played in 2011. In the first ten series of that length, they have one split (a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles), and that's as good as it has been. The Twins have dropped the other nine series of at least three games that they have played this season, whether it has been losing two out of three, three out of four, or a three-game sweep.
So, this afternoon at Target Field, the Twins have a chance to win their first series of 2011 when they host the Angels. They are coming off a 1-0 victory on Saturday night, highlighted by an absolutely brilliant performance by Anthony Swarzak, who pitched 7.1 no-hit innings and kept the Angels off the board completely. The Twins were just hoping for five or six innings out of Swarzak, who was plugged into Francisco Liriano's spot in the rotation because of Liriano's shoulder soreness, but they got much more than that.
Today, the Twins will attempt to remain in the winning track when they send Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.28 ERA) to the mound to take on the Angels. Pavano is still looking for career victory number 100, as he was denied it his last time out. He allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings against the Seattle Mariners, but the Twins' bullpen allowed the Mariners to come back, and the Twins wound up losing 8-7.
The Angels will counter with right-hander Dan Haren (4-3, 2.13 ERA). You would think that a guy with a 2.13 ERA would have more than four victories, but the Angels' offense has basically disappeared whenever Haren has been on the mound in 2011. In the twelve games that Haren has started this year, the Angels have averaged just three runs a game. After going 4-1 in the month of April, Haren is 0-2 with three no-decisions in the month of May, including a 6-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics in his previous start.
First pitch for this one is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time at Target Field. Be sure to check our Twinkie Town's Game Thread for your in-depth discussion of today's game, and we'll have the recap right here for you when everything is done.