Tuesday's game was different.
You went into the game happy that Figgins and Lopez were now used to their new guitars, were rockin' and rollin', and had their amps turned up.
You went in knowing that Ichiro was swinging great, that Gutierrez is storming the walls of Castle .400 OBP, and that Sweeney and Bradley were capable of driving in tough runs.
All of a sudden, you knew that if the bottom of the lineup happened to get on base, that you would probably see some 3-run rallies. You felt confident that you were going to score, and as a matter of fact you did score.
When I was a kid, I used to love the day the fever broke. You felt weak, but you felt better, and you got the bonus day in bed with comic books. The M's fever has broken, and at loooooong last we are now staring down the barrel of a Lee-Felix-Fister trrrriple gunnsssss salvo starting tomorrow.
=== Cranklin ===
Now that he has me fascinated with his .385 OBP -- this translates to .418 outside Safeco -- we took to re-evaluating his swing.
Maybe it's just my joy in his evolution, but all of a sudden he looks very quick, very short to the ball, and very torque-y.
On the topped infield hit in the first, he unleashed the bat as if launched by a Soloflex band, went short to the ball, and if he hadn't topped it he might have gone upper deck.
SSI has always given Cranklin a lot of credit for his balanced, torque-y swing, but pegged him as having Mike Cameron's mediocre hand-eye coordination. Maybe not. Maybe this guy is going to be a MOTO.
Baseball-reference translates his stats thusly:
- .294/.388/.439 - Safeco
- .330/.418/.505 - If playing elsewhere
Remember, that is NOT a prediction that he'd slug .505 in a different park. It is a statement that, in 2010, Gutierrez' .439 SLG wins as many games as a .505 SLG would in a park like Cleveland or Milwaukee.
The translated stats tell you what Gutierrez' stats are "worth." 100 RBI won a whale of a lot more games in 1906 than it did in the Kingdome in 1994. Right now, Gutierrez is on pace for +6.0 wins over a good AAA player, and in this case SSI accepts the number.