You can't stop the Twins' pitching staff, you can only hope to contain it

Knock on wood, but the Twins pitching staff has the best ERA in baseball.

Twelve games into the season and the Twins' starting rotation has been about a billion times better than it was last year.

It's way too early to get overly excited, but we've seen some promising stuff.

Ervin Santana has been nearly untouchable. He's allowed a total five hits in 22 innings and just one earned run. After seven shutout innings Sunday, Hector Santiago has given up a total of three earned runs in 18 2/3 innings. Kyle Gibson has been pretty bad in both of his starts while Phil Hughes and rookie Adalberto Mejia are coming off starts in which they allowed just one run each.

Overall, Minnesota's 2.46 team ERA is the best in baseball. Last year, Minnesota's team ERA was 5.08. Only the Rockies (5.09 ERA) were worse.

Opponents are hitting a paltry .180 against Twins starting pitchers. That's by far the best in baseball and more than 100 points better than last year when opponents hit an MLB best .288 off Twins starters.

The bullpen has been tough to hit, too, limiting opponents to a .217 batting average while issuing only 11 walks in 38 1/3 innings. Of the 30 hits the bullpen has allowed, only six are for extra bases: 1 double, 1 triple and 4 home runs.

Has Minnesota's pitching staff been great or is their hot start more so a factor of playing nine games against two of the worst-hitting teams (Royals and White Sox) in the league so far?

We'll probably learn more when the Twins play seven straight at home this week against two teams that can hit the ball, Cleveland and Detroit.

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