For What it's Worth: Trying to score, Brew Crew and Bubba
The 13 runs the Shockers scored yesterday at Evansville is the same number that they’d scored in their four previous games combined. After being road kill for the last two weeks, the Shocks return home for 4 straight and 13 of the next 17…can they reclaim their season?
The Shockers are off to their worst start ever, well at least since baseball really mattered at Wichita State in 1978. 3-6 in the Valley and 17-18 overall represent the worst starts for any Shocker team in either category. They pitch and defend well enough to win, as it has been for quite some time at WSU—it’s all about whether or not they can figure out how to score some runs.
Is there an echo in here?
The Royals aren’t even averaging three runs a game in a 4-7 start; they’ve hit one solitary homer in 324 at bats and have two mainstays, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakis, hitting so far below the ‘Mendoza line’ that Mario Mendoza himself doesn’t want to be associated with either.
How ironic is it that former Royals great George Brett is credited with the phrase ‘Mendoza Line’, which describes the offensive history of Mario Mendoza who had a career average of .215, but had numerous seasons under .200, which, today, is the generally accepted ‘Mendoza Line’.
The Royals are the only team in the American League without a road win, which isn’t good when ten of your next 14 are away from Kauffman Stadium. Fortunately, the Royals starting pitching is keeping them in warm water instead of hot.
Don’t look now---
---but the Milwaukee Brewers are the hottest team in baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers? The Brew crew has won nine straight and is off to a major league best 10-2 on the strength of great starting pitching. They finished off a three game sweep of the Pirates yesterday, not allowing more than two runs in any of the three games.
Chris Davis, who hit 53 homers last year for the Orioles, finally hit his first of the season yesterday. It was his first blast in 47 at bats which, at the back end of the steroid era, makes you wonder a little and that’s what really irks me about PED’s. One can’t help but be a little skeptical about big power numbers in the game. We shouldn’t have to wonder whether we believe what our eyes are seeing.
The Yankees took three of four from the Red Sox in New York in a series that will be remembered for the use of instant replay. At the risk of sounding like I have an agenda, Boston was hosed on two calls this weekend, one of which made no difference in the outcome, but another, yesterday, which clearly did. I am for increased replay in Major League baseball, but for goodness sakes---can we please get the call right? What good is instant replay if it’s not correctly interpreted by those watching it?
For all of the breathless anticipation of the back nine at the Masters on Sunday, of Amen Corner and the like---the first major championship was a bit of a dud. Jordan Spieth finally remembered that he was just twenty years old, when there was, essentially, a four stroke swing at the eighth and ninth holes and Watson was simply left to manage the inward nine. I’m hard-pressed to remember a less dramatic closing round to the Masters.
Bubba Watson has his second green jacket in three years , he didn’t do much to back up his first title at Augusta, it’ll be interesting to see how much his game has evolved and whether he can move on as one of the players to beat in golf.