MINNEAPOLIS — The bats carried the 2019 Twins to an incredible record. With 9 games to go, they’re poised to win their first American League Central title since 2010, they’ve already broken the MLB home run record, and they’re challenging triple-digit wins.
It comes as no surprise, then, that another offensive record has fallen at the hands of the mighty 2019 Twins.
The club on Wednesday tied the all-time Twins record for runs scored in a season, with 877. (Ironically, on a night when the bats failed them and Minnesota scored just 1 run on 3 hits against 7 pitchers on a White Sox bullpen day.) On Thursday, they picked the most Twins-y way possible to surpass the record. They put two runners on base and watched 39-year-old slugger Nelson Cruz put one in the seats for his 38th home run of the season, knotting the contest at 3-3.
The bats make it seem like they’re rarely out of games; Nelson Cruz might never age or stop hitting home runs; and the club now has scored more runs in a season that any other team since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961.
Oh, and Cruz is two home runs shy of No. 400 in his incredible career.
That 877th run pulled them dead even with the 1996 Twins — the Paul Molitor, Chuck Knoblauch, Marty Cordova Twins. As a few people have pointed out over the years, that club might have scored more runs if the centerfielder hadn’t had vision problems in spring training, prematurely ending his Hall of Fame career.
That ’96 club, for what it’s worth, also gave up 900 runs, so their minus-23 run differential is nowhere as impressive as the 2019 unit’s +168.
So, assuming the Twins don’t get shut out in each of their final 10 games of the season (against the Tigers and Royals), they’ll be alone in first place in Twins history. That’s a nice addition to the trophy cabinet that already includes the current high-water mark for team home runs, and the distinction of the first team in MLB history to have 5 players hit at least 30 home runs. The Bomba Squad has delivered on its self-appointed nickname.
If you like drama and numbers and records, here’s what I’ll be watching from here on out.
The ’96 team might have held the Twins record, dating back to 1961, but the franchise record technically belongs to the 1930 Washington Senators (remember those clubs? Joe Cronin led the way with 13 home runs that year). That group scored 892 runs in a 154-game season.
So if Minnesota wants to break the all-time Twins record, they’ll need to score one more run.
If they want to break the franchise record, they’ll need 16 more to top the 1930 Senators (5.79 runs per game).
If they want to get really fancy and set the true franchise record for runs scored per game played, they’ll need 57 more over their final 10 games. It’s only fair to set a higher bar when they get 8 extra games to break records.