Twins struggle after promsing start

Joe Mauer at Target Field
Joe Mauer warms up before a game versus the Colorado Rockies at Target Field on June 16. Joe and his shadow helped the Twins win 2-1.
Abby Geraets

Tuesday's All Star game marks the traditional midpoint in the Minnesota Twins' 2010 season, and they seem to need the break.

After leading the American League Central Division for most of the season, the Twins have seen their luck disappear in a two-month slump.

"Pitching is really to blame," said Aaron Gleeman , a blogger for NBC in an interview with MPR's Cathy Wurzer. He added that pitcher Nick Blackburn is in danger of being dropped from the team's starting rotation if he doesn't improve.

But Gleeman says there's plenty of blame to go around.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

Defense has been suffering and so has the hitting . Gleeman compared the first two months of the season to the recent slump, and found that the team has been scoring fifteen percent fewer runs since June 1st .

Even Joe Mauer, who will be representing the team at tonight's All Star Game, hasn't been living up to the sky-high expectations he set last year with his MVP season.

"I basically think this is the Joe Mauer you're going to get when he's not having the best season of his career," said Gleeman. "You're going get a .300 hitter with limited home run power, but with plenty of doubles, plenty of walks, good defense, and who gets on base."

But in spite of that, Gleeman thinks the Twins still have a decent chance to win the division.

"They have four or five series in a row against fourth or fifth place teams," Gleeman said. "That sets them up really nicely to make a run. If they play well during that time they're in a position to be back in first place by early August."