I think I have accurate stats to the right of the site now, I’ll check with my advanced stats and with the counter later to see if it’s working properly. Also, I put in a search bar above that so you can search for a specific word if you want (if you’re searching for articles on a certain player, clicking their name under the Categories feature is probably easier).

I don’t know how the division looked on June 8th, when the Twins started the hottest streak of the year (34-8 since then), but I do know how it looks now:

Detroit: 68-33, 0 GB

Chicago: 59-41, 8.5 GB

Minnesota: 59-41, 8.5 GB

Some would say the streak is caused by the heart of the order, where Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, and Justin Morneau have pounded the crap out of everything thrown their way since the All-Star break. They have combined for a .337 batting average with 8 homers, 35 RBI, and 27 runs scored (and, surprisingly, Joe has struck out less than Justin).

Others might say it’s the starting pitching, where main starters Johan Santana, Brad Radke, and Francisco Liriano have combined to go 21-4 since the beginning of June with an average combined ERA of 2.45.

I read in ESPN The Magazine today that when the Giants were scouting Liriano in 2000, they scouted him as a centerfielder; he’d never pitched in his life. They asked him if he wanted to, he said no, but they put him on the mound anyway. He threw 10 fastballs and they signed him right there.
The truth of it all is that it doesn’t matter, because whatever it is is working in good order, and we’re winning.

Friday, Satruday, and Sunday (day game) are games at the Dome versus the Tigers and 61-year-old manager Jim Leyland. I think it’s pretty safe to say that all 3 games could be touted as pitching matchups, with Francisco Liriano going against fellow rookie Zach Miner on Friday, with Brad Radke and Johan Santana throwing on Sat. and Sun., respectively. The Twins’ probable starters are a combined 33-14, while the Tigers’ probables are 26-12.

Random stats about the probable starters for each team:

Twins’ starters are 19-3 at home this season, each of them giving up less than one hit per inning.

Tigers’ starters are 15-2 away this season, but have given up 13 runs in 23 and 2/3 innings on turf. They’ve also walked 11 on turf this season.

Saw these stats over on Gleeman’s site, thought I would share.

Johan Santana after the All-Star break, since becoming a full-time starter:

GS      W     L     WIN%      ERA        IP      SO
47     33     3     .917      1.99     318.0     332