Baseball’s worst Opening Day team since 2009? You know who – Press


Fans shouldn’t panic after the Twins’ season opening defeat Monday in Baltimore.

Dropping the season opener has become a team tradition of sorts.

The Twins have now lost eight straight season openers dating back to 2009 — the only MLB team to lose all eight openers during that stretch. The last time Minnesota won its first game of the season was in 2008, when it beat the Angels 3-2, with Livan Hernandez earning the win.

The list of Opening Day starters since then isn’t a who’s who of MLB aces. The Twins’ past eight Opening Day starters were Ervin Santana, Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Vance Worley, Carl Pavano (twice), Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano. Felix Hernandez had led Seattle to seven straight Opening Day victories during that stretch, before Seattle fell 3-2 to Texas on Monday.

Still, the primary Opening Day problem for Minnesota recently has been its offense. The Twins are averaging two runs per game over their past eight openers, the same number of runs they scored on Monday. The schedule also hasn’t been entirely favorable. Including Monday’s contest, six of the Twins’ past seven season openers have come on the road.

Last year’s start was historically bad for Minnesota, which was swept by Detroit to open the season and was shut out for the first 24 innings of the campaign.

Of course, Opening Day success is essentially meaningless. The first game is still just one of 162 and winning it is not a prerequisite for seasonlong success. But for the Twins, it has been a bit of a barometer for how they will fare. Since 2001, the Twins are 6-9 on Opening Day. In the six seasons when the Twins won the opener, they’re a combined 528-444. And when the Twins won three straight AL Central Division titles from 2002 to 2004, they won their opener each time.

In the nine seasons in which they dropped the opener, the Twins are 708-751, including the past five seasons when they missed the playoffs each season. But the Twins also lost on Opening Day in 2006, when they won 96 games — their highest regular-season win total since 1970.


2016: Baltimore 3, Minnesota 2

2015: Detroit 4, Minnesota 0

2014: Chicago White Sox 5, Minnesota 3

2013: Detroit 4, Minnesota 2

2012: Baltimore 4, Minnesota 2

2011: Toronto 13, Minnesota 3

2010: Los Angeles Angels 6, Minnesota 3

2009: Seattle 6, Minnesota 1