In "Hey Bill" there was an, um, Jamesian idea this week. Rooted in Farmers' Almanac-style command of baseball history, grounded in logic, and characterized by enjoyment of baseball rather than of numbers.
Dr. D doesn't like the cliche either, but he knows what (uniformed) baseball people are getting at. Earl Weaver said once that he could have used 3 pitchers in April, with the off days back then, but ... it's a long season and April ain't a great month to ride your pitchers hard and put them away wet.
Still, you and I both have seen teams take command of pennant races in the first 30-40 games of the year; happens all the time. And LOSING them in April ... isn't that what the Mariners normally do? :- )
The '18 Rangers are 16-25, .390, which is -9 games under .500. Not coincidentally they're -9 games behind Houston. What chances do you give them of catching Houston, us, and Ohtani?
The White Sox are 9-27. I think they lost it in April, don't you.
Baltimore is 12-28, a shellshocking -16 games behind the Red Sox and Yankees.
16 ... ?
You don't have a long lineup without hitters at SS, C, and CF, or some combination thereof.
Dee Gordon, him being JeDi's immaculate conception.
Mike Zunino, him being the cake that Jack Zduriencik baked while JeDi did the eating thereof.
Jean Segura, him being (at the time) a 2-for-1 "overpay" by a GM very determined to get some reliably impactful players onto his roster.
Chessplayers call that last one “consistency” and praise it highly.
Going 3-for-3 in hitters and none of them are glove butchers ... I think we can relax; it's a real good team. John Gibbons manages the Blue Jays, plays against the Red Sox and Yankees, and just finished with the M's. He sez you aren't going to find a lineup better than the M's. Dropping our slide rules just for the moment, sitting back in our chairs ...
Probably a fair number of you feared for the M's pennant lives in April.
On TV they were talking about how Jean Segura "doesn't need a strike to hit the ball hard," reminding them of Puckett and Vlad. I continue to agree with Mo' Dawg that Segura reminds me a little bit of Clemente-lite, with the slashing way he attacks the baseball suddenly.
At the moment, Segura's 106 OPS+ has him at #11 among 30+ shortstops, not jaw-dropping but plenty 'nuff to bridge the [cruise missile] to the [HOF'er] and long the M's lineup. He's batting .304 with 48 hits already, generating the "traffic" that JeDi craves and pressurizing the enemy pitching. Had you noticed he is second to Maniger with 25 RBI?
|Sea||22-16||That's not counting Zeus' win Sunday|