By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Sept. 3rd last year, the Twins were 51-85 on their way to 103 losses.

Today, they’re 71-65. Roll your eyes, but Brian Dozier says he totally saw it coming.

“If I didn’t think, I’d be at home hunting right now,” Dozier said. “So absolutely. Anytime we strap it on and get ready for a season, we think we’re going to be in this spot.”

A month ago it sure didn’t seem so. The front office sold off some pieces, and then a weird thing happened – the Twins started winning. It was a clubhouse motivated largely by those trades.

But that was a month ago. What’s driving them now?

“It’s the thought of champagne in your eyes and that kind of thing, that’s what motivates you,” Dozier said. “And you don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but it’s fun baseball. When you think about what might be, and what could be, we keep playing like we are, that’s what kind of motivates us.”

With 26 games to go, the Twins are — right now — in line for a playoff spot. They lead the Angels and Orioles by 1.5 games for the second wild card.

The season ends four weeks from today, so the stretch run is definitely on. And there’s a lot of confidence in the Twins clubhouse that when it’s all said and done, they’ll be a playoff team.

“The vibe’s awesome,” Dozier said. “Playing really well right now, energy’s good. Wish we were a little closer to Cleveland, but still got a lot of baseball left.”

“It’s not a lot of games but it’s enough where a lot of things can change,” manager Paul Molitor said. “So all you can do is try to go out there, and thankfully we’ve been playing good baseball, road, home, whatever. We’ve just got to get it going against Tampa.”

“What it boils down to,” Dozier said, is “people like to (say), you can win at home, break even on the road, all this crap — you just gotta win. No matter how you do it. And we’re doing that right now.”

The Twins depart on a seven-game road trip starting Monday, and by the time they get back the wild card race could look different. But right now, they’re contending. And enjoying the ride.

“Our fans have been so awesome this year in how they supported us,” catcher Chris Gimenez said. “And especially now that we’re really making a good run at this thing, I hope that more of them continue to show up, because we feed off stuff like that. And like I said, that’s something that everybody wants to have. If you can have meaningful games in September, that’s why we do what we do.”

If only they can keep doing it, right?


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