For a big portion of the season, the Minnesota Twins actually contended for the top spot in the AL Central division.
Until recently, the division was always up for grabs because no team appeared to build a sizable difference in comparison to the rest in the standings.
That changed in September, as the Cleveland Guardians have gone 18-7 in the month and wrapped up the division over the weekend.
The Twins, unfortunately, were on the other side of the spectrum.
“#MNTwins have an MLB-worst 7-17 record in September. They started the month 1.5 games out of first place. They’re now 12.0 games out of first place,” The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman tweeted.
#MNTwins have an MLB-worst 7-17 record in September.
They started the month 1.5 games out of first place. They're now 12.0 games out of first place.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) September 25, 2022
It’s hard to imagine a contending team collapsing so badly over the course of a full month, yet several factors combined to the Twins’ fall from grace.
It’s Hard To Stay In The Race Without The Team’s Star On The Field
The most important of them is that they haven’t had their best player, Byron Buxton, since late August because of injury.
He was nursing a hip injury.
Now that the Twins are out of the race, Buxton is undergoing arthroscopic, clean-up surgery in his right knee.
However, as it usually happens on a team that only wins 7 out of 24 games in a month, the pitching and the offense both tanked.
Minnesota has a strong young core to think about contending next year, and some money to spend in free agents.
If they play their cards right, they might challenge for the AL Central again.
As long as Buxton is healthy, the team will always have a chance.
There is no denying, however, that their 2022 collapse was of epic proportions, and fans will enter the offseason with a sour taste in their mouths.