While obviously things haven't been going right for the Minnesota Twins in the first nine games of the season, not everything has been going wrong.
Led by Ervin Santana (3.00 ERA), Ricky Nolasco (1.29), Trevor May (2.84), Ryan Pressly (0.00) and Fernando Abad (0.00), the pitching staff is putting up decent numbers. Minnesota's team ERA is 3.61, which is a decent seventh in the American League. The league average in ERA is 3.76.
Looking for more of a silver lining? That 3.61 ERA is among the best among team which have gotten off to 0-9 starts.
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LOWEST ERA THROUGH 9 GAMES SINCE 1913 FOR 0-9 TEAMS
Season Team ERA
1919 Boston Braves 2.90
2016 Minnesota Twins 3.61
1968 Chicago White Sox 3.69
1997 Chicago Cubs 4.56
1983 Houston Astros 4.81
On the hitting side . . . yeah, that hasn't been going as well. Minnesota's 14 runs are the fewest ever in the team's first nine games. The previous low was 20 in 1981 (also 22 in 1976 and 24 in 2003 and 2011). The fewest runs for Minnesota through 10 games (since 1961) is 23 by the 1981 squad.
But one player who has been hitting is Joe Mauer. Over his first nine games, Mauer has a .387 batting average, .487 on-base percentage, .581 slugging percentage and 1.068 OPS -- all those are his best marks through nine games since 2010 and also the third-best nine-game start of any season in his career (min. 24 plate appearances). Mauer's best opening nine-game stretch was his MVP 2009 season when he hit 485/553/848 with a 1.401 OPS.
Mauer is 3 for 10 with a double and two walks in his career of the Angels' Garrett Richards, who is Friday's starting pitcher.
-- Los Angeles' Mike Trout has done well at Target Field (among other places, of course). He has a .346 career batting average there, .444 on-base percentage, .692 slugging percentage and 1.137 OPS.
-- The Angels' ERA in their first five games was 5.20; in the last four it is 1.75. Last season, Los Angeles starter Richards had a 4.58 ERA and .273 opponent batting average in 15 road starts.
Statistics courtesy STATS Inc. and baseball-reference.com