Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Twins haven't had a 1-2 punch this good since memorable 2006 season

It's been more than a decade since the Twins have had a 1-2 punch like Santana and Berrios.
Author:

Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios might be the best 1-2 punch the Twins have had in the starting rotation since Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano were dealing in 2006.

Eleven years ago it was the combination of Santana and Liriano that fueled a dominating second half of the season, including a stretch from June 7 to July 26 where they won 34 of 42 games. Santana won the Cy Young Award that season while Justin Morneau was the American League MVP and Joe Mauer won the batting title.

That team was awesome. The 2017 Twins are showing signs of being awesome.

"They’re not going away," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the Twins swept the Orioles on Wednesday, via the Star Tribune. "If they continue to pitch, they’re going to be tough. That’s the team I thought they were going to be last year."

Best 1-2 punch since 2006

Liriano was a 22-year-old spark with the Twins in 2006, just like Berrios has been a 22-year-old spark since getting called up from Triple-A Rochester a couple of weeks ago.

In three starts, Berrios has pitched 21.2 innings while allowing just 8 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks and 22 strikeouts. And now he's lined up in the rotation behind Santana, giving the Twins a potentially dominating 1-2 punch.

Look how similar the first three starts of the season are for Berrios and Santana.

  • Santana: 22 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, 15 strikeouts
  • Berrios: 21.2 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 22 strikeouts

Santana leads the AL with a 1.80 ERA and he's allowed two hits or fewer in half of his 10 starts. Batters have a .134 average against Santana, the lowest for a pitcher through 10 starts since 1955, according to ESPN.

Opponents are hitting just .111 against Berrios so far.

The ride might not last, but Santana and Berrios have potential to be the 1-2 punch the Twins have been missing for more than a decade.

Twins top two starters since 2006 (based on stats)

  • 2007: Johan Santana, Carlos Silva
  • 2008: Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey
  • 2009: Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker
  • 2010: Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano
  • 2011: Carl Pavano, Scott Baker
  • 2012: Scott Diamond, Cole De Vries
  • 2013: Kevin Correia, Sam Deduno
  • 2014: Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson
  • 2015: Kyle Gibson, Tommy Milone
  • 2016: Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson

Next Up

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Deputy injured when fleeing suspect crashes into his vehicle

The 34-year-old deputy was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Vineeta Sawkar

Vineeta Sawkar named as WCCO Radio’s new morning host

She succeeds the legendary Dave Lee, who retired earlier this year.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, December 7

The latest from the state health department.

no dancing

Footloose! Duluth scraps Prohibition-era ban on unlicensed dancing

Establishments had to have a license to allow the public to dance.

ted mann concert hall - university of minnesota

2 armed suspects rob victim at U of M concert hall

The two suspects pointed guns at the victim.

West St Paul, Minnesota - June 2019

Nine police agencies called in for crowd control after 2 shot in West St. Paul

Police say a large group "attempted to take control" of part of the crime scene.

Brooklyn Center police, Daunte Wright

Brooklyn Center approves $1.3M public safety budget, including policing reforms

The city will use some money from the police department for the new programs.

snow, slush

Snow impacting morning commute across southern Minnesota

A quick inch could make a bit of a mess on the roads.

40636734693_0ec9b711a6_k

Minnesota United star allegedly hit teen with gun in Argentina

The 26-year-old could face charges in Argentina.

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Related

Twins haven't had a 1-2 punch this good since memorable 2006 season

It's been more than a decade since the Twins have had a 1-2 punch like Santana and Berrios.

Since Joe Mauer in 2001, about half of MLB No. 1 picks have busted

The Twins have the No. 1 pick in a sport where No. 1 picks fail as often as they succeed.

Since Joe Mauer in 2001, about half of MLB No. 1 picks have busted

The Twins have the No. 1 pick in a sport where No. 1 picks fail as often as they succeed.

3 players critical to how the Twins will do this season

Byron Buxton, Trevor May and Jose Berrios are critical pieces to the puzzle this season.

3 players critical to how the Twins will do this season

Byron Buxton, Trevor May and Jose Berrios are critical pieces to the puzzle this season.

Here's the pitching staff the Twins will use to start the season

The pitching staff looks a lot like last year's.

Here's the pitching staff the Twins will use to start the season

The pitching staff looks a lot like last year's.

Santana twirls MLB-leading 3rd shutout of the season

Santana's numbers are nearly identical to Clayton Kershaw's this season.