On June 1, the Minnesota Twins were 20 games under .500 at 17-37, and 16.5 games out of first place in the American League Central, going through as bad a stretch of baseball as we've seen in Minnesota in a very long time.
Now, as we take a break for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Twins may have put themselves in a position to win their third consecutive American League Central title.
Here is what the current American League Central standings look like:
AL Central Standings
|Kansas City||37||54||.406||11.5||Lost 1|
(updated 7.11.2011 at 7:27 PM PDT)
The Twins find themselves 6.5 games out of first place after 89 games. As Twins fans know, this is certainly not an insurmountable deficit. In 2009, the team's final season at the Metrodome, the Twins found themselves seven games behind the Tigers on September 1. In case you may have forgotten, here's how that whole thing ended.
Overcoming a 6.5-game deficit in 73 games is not the craziest thing anyone has ever heard of. . .particularly when you figure that the Twins are still waiting for the returns of Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, and others. Figure in the fact that the Tigers have never finished over .500 in the second half of the season in the Jim Leyland era, the Cleveland Indians are still pretty young, and the White Sox have never seen a second half of the season that they couldn't fall apart in, and it should make for a pretty interesting second half of the regular season.
Bet you couldn't have imagined yourself saying that back on June 1, could you?
I know I certainly didn't expect it.