That speed is a major weapon...If he's really going to hit the ball this crisply all year, he could easily BABIP .380 and wind up with a .340 BA. In his career to date, he has hit the ball more weakly than just about every starter in the game...And had a .300 BA based solely on unbelievable speed. Add that to harder contact and oh dear Lord, Katy, bar the door.
DEE GORDON - where do we start. The entire Mariner offense was the X's and O's you draw up on the chalkboard, the events you are trying to cause to occur during play, but which never happen that way.
Gordon is our centerfielder, leave us not forget. Anybody remember when we wanted to bid on Michael Bourn and Denard Span and stuff like that? Anyway. Gordon starts the game with a leadoff walk :- ) and then draws several throws over to first. On the first throw home (IIRC) the catcher threw an absolutely perfect pop-and-fire to the bag ... too late for the headfirst Gordon.
Next play, Jean "Sudden" Segura fists one over the 2B's head... the CF runs in on it, scoops it on the short hop, Gordon runs through a stop sign! the CF literally turns a somersault on the throw home -- a somersault! the likes of which I have never quite seen and THAT's a perfect throw.
1-0 Mariners. Turns out Gordon can execute a Ty Cobb slide also.
I think Dr. D is going to cry.
For the sake of completeness, let us add that Gordon lined out to deep OF, and hit safely for a single... on a ground ball to the second baseman. The 2B took four steps to his right, flip-fired as hectically as he could: no way.
As a community, how are we going to characterize this guy? Mini-Ichiro? the Safeco Lofton? Jerry Dipoto's Lou Brock, in honor of the clever heist? Gordon is probably going to turn out to be roughly as good a player as Brock, but ... what do you think of his chances of doing it through age 37. If he did, he'd be on the M's Mt. Rushmore.
Everybody had a hit, Cano had two base hits. Did you catch the funny procession in the 8th? Robby Cano banged one back up the middle for his 2nd hit, an RBI that made the score 4-1 .... a pinch runner came in and he jogged off with a big smile.
Kyle Seager banged one back up the middle to make it 5-1 ... pitch runner came in, Seager jogged off with a big smile.
Mitch Haniger ripped a lined drive on one hop to the left fielder, making it 7-1 ... you guessed it. Pinch runner, Haniger jogs back to the bench grinning. It was quite the processional.
You know, I coulda sworn the same thing happened with Segura... ah well. Even Dr. D's memory hallucinations are becoming greedy.
Is it just me, or is the "We acquired Ryon Healy to play every day" -- in response to Dan Vogelbach's .388/.508/.878 spring with an 11:10 EYE and snake-tongue HR bat -- does that Healy shtick have a lingering scent to anybody else like "We have to show the league we poached one here?"
It's probably just me.
Zuumball was 1-for-2 and the hit was a savage 1-iron, barely clearing the 3B's head and barely clearing the LF's head -- how it stayed low enough to rattle the fence, was the mystery. He hit that ball SO hard. Wonder if there's anyplace to look up the velo, same night.
...If he isn't pulling his weight after several weeks and Vogelbach is still crushing, I sure do hope Servais continues his proven willingness to swap in the hot hand. But...what do the Mariners do if they both hit? Are they willing to gamble Cruz's health out in LF? I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Cruz is starting to show an increased fragility even as a DH...battling frequent bouts of neck spasms, leg cramps, stuff like that. That's...a big gamble, like running Edgar out to first base was...(He promptly got hurt back then)
But I think they're best off keeping both into next off-season. I love Cruz but he's not the answer at DH indefinitely. It's also not a bad thing to always have a hot bat on the bench who's ready to be deployed. Just platoon mainly at 1b. But if Healy and Vog are hitting, it makes sense to utilize that occasionally by putting Cruz in the field. If Cruz did get a scrape you have Healy and Bach at 1b/DH for a few days, or a week. If something more serious happened, maybe you're previewing next year's 1b/DH starters for awhile. Healy can play a game or a few innings at 3rd occasionally as well. If only Bach could play catcher...