Nothing April Fool's in here. Our fave ball players have been giving us that, on the field, for a week.
Normally you would have the right to expect a postgame with a Think Tank "favorite moments" to include a little obscurity, some weirdness and checked-swings and dives back to a bag. Unfortunately for you, your lazy author is going to do little more tonight than to ... describe the hits he liked. Ah well, isn’t that the accepted postgame convention anyway ...
Pile on bulk numbers for another week, let's say a 4-3 record against two weakies upcoming, and the M's record will be 10-4. At which point people will be noticing. Well, could be.
M's RECORD GOES TO 6-1: FAVE MOMENTS IN DA BALLGAME
MALLEX SMITH led the game off with an absolutely perfect line shot on two hops into Trout's glove. There is no more clinical way to lead off a baseball game. And then, second inning, he did it again. It looked like a master portrait of Augusta's 14th hole.
So he's batting .294 with a normal .333 BABIP and a .588 SLG.
when did this guy start his spring training again?
150 words wasted. Not to my fave moment yet. That was in the 8th. Drew a BB, took off for second on a model "unintentional pitchout" (a fastball that missed two feet outside). The catcher was late but tossed it into CF anyway. Mallex took off for 3rd and made it, one out. Here the M's sat with a manufactured run and their boppers next. How sweet it was.
Last year the 24-5 year old Mallex was .296/.367/.406, playing a plus CF per John Dewan. The cap on his ceiling has not yet ruled out "major star." If he's gonna be a certified .300 hitter with plenty of walks, gap power and plus defense, he's going north of 4.0 WAR.
MITCH HANIGER in the 5th inning fired a shot into LF that was crazy: low and away, he practically got on his stomach to reach the pitch and BARRELLED that baby into a 95-MPH scrreaming grounder. Made me smile broadly. This is the kind of 60-70 HIT tool that has had SSI labelling him a Best Bet.
Und take zis mit you: I like having a team's best hitter in the 2 slot. As the Angels do.
(Later that inning Edwin Encarnacion walked. The only thing that gave a 5x5 roto player pause about him, was his age times his EYE ratio. The EYE had been slipping a bit, from (e.g.) 104:133 two years ago to 63:132 last year. So far this year it's 5:5. Great news.
They're not pitching to him ... why? But his OBP is .429 the first week and he's hardly flailing.
Theories solicited, though, as to why Boomstick is in Minny for $16M and EE is here for $20M. Wouldn't it be sweet to have Boom in the middle of all this ruckus.
Jay Bruce is off to a slow start generally (.200 AVG on a .133 BABIP), but he hit a loonngggg homer into the power alley. Giving him 3 HR, 8 RBI, along with 7 runs scored in 7 games. This is the guy BaseballHQ gave a nice chance for getting back into the 33-36 homer range of 2016-17.
Let’s meander back to the 1st.
With the score at 1-0, two on two out, OMAR NARVAEZ smacked one into RF to extend the lead to 2-0. ... setting the stage for Beckham's double next AB and a gameflow starting at 4-0.
You gotta love Mike Zunino, but right now I'm thoroughly enjoying Omar's OBP-dense lefty bat. He doesn't kill rallies; he extends them. Or at least that's what he's doing now. He hit .275/.366/.429 last year; who ever heard of .366 OBP from a catcher? He's 'only' .227/.261/.500 a week in, but this is about what *I* like. What *I* like, is to watch this catcher swing the bat.
Funky stat of the day: last year he batted .297 with a .466 SLG vs righties and a .53 EYE. He hit a pathetic .159 against lefties, with a .227 (??) SLG ... but his EYE was .79. Can't hit 'em, but he can see 'em.
THE MARINERS have 7 players slugging over .500. Everybody but EE and Dee. That'll work.