To be clear, this Twins team is highly unlikely to pull off the type of historical four-month winning spree that that 2006 squad pulled off, for a variety of reasons. While it was a great game, yesterday's win represents a few of the reasons that the Twins can hardly be considered a sustainably great team. They scored seven runs while managing only one extra-base hit (a "double" by Delmon Young on a fly ball that the left fielder lost in the lights) and got another strong outing from Livan Hernandez, who allowed only one earned run despite surrendering nine hits and a walk over seven innings of work. The offense is unspectacular, the rotation is inconsistent, and the bullpen is far from dominating. Certainly, this Twins team lacks many of the elements that made that 2006 unit a great one.
Nevertheless, this group holds some similarities to the 2006 team that raise some eyebrows. Back in '06, Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett came onto the scene and replaced dead weight (Tony Batista and Juan Castro) with surprisingly strong performances that gave the team a major boost both offensively and defensively. This year, Alexi Casilla and Brian Buscher are on their way to doing the same thing. In 2006, the Twins got unexpectedly great years from several members of the bullpen, most notably Dennys Reyes and Pat Neshek. This year, hurlers like Jesse Crain and Craig Breslow have been yielding surprisingly impressive numbers -- though it's still quite early to declare either one a success at this point.
Of course, one of the key aspects of that 2006 team's magical run was the emergence of Francisco Liriano as a dominating force in the Twins rotation. There's almost no chance of Liriano repeating that performance this year, but certainly he could return to the rotation and give this team a boost if he can continue to progress in Triple-A.
This isn't an instance where history is likely to repeat itself. But it's not totally unthinkable that the same ingredients which led to success for that 2006 team could manifest this season. And if that happens, who knows what is possible.