Ahhh, what a winning streak will do to the bridge jumpers! Amazing what an 8-2 run will do. of course it "looks" much better early in the year.
We are in first place tied with Tampa who is coming in tonight!
As I stated our pitching is too good to be as bad as everyone thought.
As for last night's game against the Mets, The Mets played terribly. I believe they had 4 errors and they also had a base running blunder not knowing how many outs there were. The announcers were driving me crazy harping on Eovaldi and how he can't hit any spots...over and over again. It then began a justification of that position. When Eovaldi did nail his spots it was never mentioned...That being said, he was missing a lot but I think the real issue is that he is not throwing inside effectively or accurately. One pitch he got in there produced a weak pop up. He has to throw inside and I didn't like the pitch selection. They waited until the 4th or 5th inning to use what looked like a splitter or changeup and it helped him. So for clarity, I think his main issue is that he is not throwing inside enough and nobody is uncomfortable. It is also possible he is tipping his pitches at times because I will say that I agree that the swings are too good against the stuff he has. I am not concerned, I like his stuff and he is young.
While on the announcers, they kept saying how ARod is nothing but a guess hitter now and then after they announced that ARod could not get around on two fastballs he obviously guessed right when he hit the curve ball for a right center HR??? So if he is such a guess hitter now and he was late on two fastballs; why would he be guessing curve ball? He wasn't. What happened was he was out in front of the pitching (probably looking more fastball) but kept his hands back and off a bent front leg still had enough power to hit a curve ball (on the outer edge of the plate) for a HR the opposite way. It was a good pitch and an excellent job of hitting. now I am not saying he doesn't guess, but every hitter does at times. He probably guesses more than he used to as well, but he has shown a very good eye at the plate walking 14 times already this season (leading the team). I don't think he will keep up a .989 OPS, but if he can give us .800 plus and right now that seems reasonable, that would be very good.
Tex is another that is off to a hot start. 1.044 OPS is fantastic, but he will drop as well because most of his OPS is from his 8 HR's and that will cool down some. Chris Young is doing great as well (made a nice running catch as well) with an OPS of 1.042. In limited play JR Murphy has a .900 OPS and has looked good and may get more playing time if McCann doesn't get his OPS up from .643 (his OBP of .286 is putrid)
Of course, if ARod and some of the others will cool down, we need some guys to pick it up. The key guy is Beltran. Like I stated before, it is very odd for a player to drop off so precipitously without an injury, but when we talk about Gregorius hitting so poorly (OPS .513) and Beltran is below him (.494) that is crazy. Beltran has a career .845 OPS. In his last 2 years before coming here he was .840 and .830 playing every day. A reasonable expectation would have been .800 and maybe .780 this year. Instead, his .703 from last year would be very helpful right now. his bat speed does not look lost to me, I just think he is in a funk and will straighten it out to be at least usable and I hope more. I mentioned Gregorius and outside of his transition, it is hard to think he would get worse than his .653 OPS last year. My concern, and I had stated this before, is I think he needs to be platooned. Maybe he learns to hit against lefties, but before this year his career OPS against lefties was .490 (.743 against righties), this year it is .453 (righties is .531). Headley at .661 is below where he needs to be and Ellsbury has to do better than .722. I hated his contract, but he is a good player; he needs to show that at least as he will never make his contract a good one. When they signed him, I said that he is a slightly better version of Gardner and I wanted Gardner for the price. Gardner was very close to Ellsbury last year (Jacoby was better though) and this year Gardner is outplaying him. Jacoby need to give us an OPS before SB's of at least .750 and his SB's should give him at least 35 points of value. just for some of the newer readers, I take the successful SB's and subtract twice the amount of caught stealing and then divide buy AB's. So for Jacoby, if he steals 40 and gets caught 9 times he gets and additional 22 bases (turning singles into doubles) and in a season of 600 AB's, that equated to 37 points. That is how I value the speed of runners stealing bases, although I don't value the speed of taking extra bases (and it does have value), but I don't put it into my OPS number.
We swept Tampa in Tampa; I would be fine with 2 of 3 at home. With Whitley going game 2, that is good by me.
One other item, the other day I really liked the fire I saw out of Tanaka. He missed badly on an 0-2 pitch and he was really ticked at himself. Now look at how poor CC did as he does not have a put away pitch when he gets 2 strikes on a guy and he got creamed in that spot in his last outing. Eovaldi by the stats is very bad with 2 strikes as well so as a team we may want to look at our pitch selection in that spot.