You know how you can tell if it is too early to panic or make broad, declarative statements about a team or player’s season? When one weekend can reframe the entire conversation. When two wins turns early April struggles into “turning the corner.” When one good day at the dish turns a possible Jeff Francoeur into a regular Joey Votto.
That was this weekend for, basically, the entire league. Doom and gloom lifted after three game sweeps by Tampa Bay and the Angels. Parades canceled in Atlanta after losing three in a row to the Pirates ‐ the Pirates! The Padres go from sweeping the Dodgers to being swept themselves at the hands of the Giants.
It’s early. It happens. Stop trying to fight it.
April is a time of swings. A time of off-days and rainouts and really noisy slash lines. Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind drew four walks yesterday, raising his on base percentage by a whopping 60 points. His distended slash line of .222/.370/.306 tells us nothing about Adam Lind that we didn’t already know. One excellent day at the plate turned him from a liability to an oddity. It’s almost as if neither number means anything…
Such is the state of April baseball. One good series changes the entire fate of a franchise. No need to worry now, Angels fans. Three wins in a row and all is well. The disappointing Blue Jays avoided a sweep at the hands of the Yankees on Sunday, a victory that felt more important than it actually was. The Brewers are winners of seven games in a row, all without much in the way of contribution from Ryan Braun. The Rockies are in first place.
It’s April. None of it means anything. Unless, of course, it does. Maybe it’s just best to reserve judgment and hope tomorrow’s game is a good one, okay?
Lots of emotional and stirring stories out of Boston this weekend, from Daniel Nava‘s uplifting home run in the 8th inning to Neil Diamond’s amazing/terrible appearance (they couldn’t find an instrumental version of the song???) to the Royals ruining much of the fun, it was quite a weekend.
Leave it to Jonny Gomes to take it to a whole new level. His specially engraved bat honors the victims of the bombing by name.
Jonny Gomes bat today twitter.com/middlebrooks/s…
It might be a little premature for Mets fans to believe that Matt Harvey is a better pitcher than Stephen Strasburg, though the young right-hander continued his dream start to the season by pitching better than Strasburg in their much hyped matchup on Friday night.
When Mets fans, with so very little to actually cheer about this year, chanted “HAR-VEY’S BET-TER” it doesn’t actually matter is he’s better or not. Those cold fans had a blast as they well should – it’s a fun debate both for now and into the future.
Movin’ On Up
Two interesting prospect debuts over the weekend. The Red Sox played a doubleheader yesterday, calling up pitching prospect Allan Webster to make the start. Webster acquitted himself quite well, pitching six strong innings, allowing just two runs with five strikeouts and a single walk. One of the key pieces of the big Nick Punto trade with the Dodgers, Webster represents a significant piece of the Sox future.
The Nationals and the struggles of their third baseman Ryan Zimmerman received a decent amount of play here on Getting Blanked. His shoulder is balky and makes throwing with conviction very difficult and it was costing the Nats outs far too often. The Nats addressed this issue over the weekend by sending Zimmerman to the disabled list with a hamstring issue, calling up top prospect Anthony Rendon.
Rendon was one of the most talented players in the 2011 draft, though one with considerable injury concerns. As a professional, Rendon has done plenty to justify each of those claims.
The Nats called Rendon up to play third base in Zimmerman’s absence. Not that one brief cameo can decide the fate of the franchise but it will be interesting to watch how this situation plays out. Is Rendon the third baseman of the future, with Zim moving elsewhere on the diamond? Might Rendon stick at the big league level when Zimmerman returns from injury?
Game Chart of the Weekend
Over before it started edition
Mike Trout can still go and get it.
Round and Round