The 2023 Minnesota Twins might not have the most impressive collection of hitters, but they have something that not all contenders can brag about: an excellent pitching staff.
Pitching wins games in the postseason, and since the Twins made it into October by winning the AL Central title, they will have a nice shot of making a deep run.
Their pitching staff is deep, talented, and capable of missing bats like few other teams in baseball.
In fact, the 2023 Twins now have the most strikeouts in franchise history in a single season, according to insider Betsy Helfand.
“That was the 1,464th strikeout by a Twins pitcher this season. That’s a new club record,” she tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
That was the 1,464th strikeout by a Twins pitcher this season. That's a new club record.
— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) September 24, 2023
They finished the day with 1,477 punchouts and relegated the 2019 Twins (1,463 strikeouts) to second place in franchise history.
Pablo Lopez is leading the charge for this year’s iteration, with a whopping 228 strikeouts.
Then we have Joe Ryan (191), Sonny Gray (179), Bailey Ober (129), and Kenta Maeda (112), who has been limited to just 20 starts with health issues.
Even the relievers have been overpowering: Jhoan Duran has struck out 81 batters in just 60.1 innings.
Louie Varland (68), Griffin Jax (64), and Emilio Pagan (61) all have surpassed the 60-strikeout threshold.
It’s clear that the franchise has understood that pitching strikeouts are correlated with a lower ERA and, thus, more success.
The pitching additions/promotions made over the last two years have been made with missing bats in mind, and the results have been amazing: the team is sixth in baseball with a 3.87 ERA.
Minnesota is not a team that the favorites will want to face in October.NEXT: Twins Have Another Shot To Break A Shocking October Drought