When there’s not a whole lot to say about a ballgame – what CAN I say, we lost and played like shit – I turn to the box score to see what’s new with the team.
When things are going good, I tend to stay away from the box score. If we’re winning, I’m happy, and I don’t care how we got there. I don’t care who’s struggling. I don’t even care all that much who’s on fire. But, when we start to lose, I want scapegoats! I want names! I want numbers to point to so I can say, “There, THAT’S why we’re losing!”
I want a big, fat, sweaty finger to point, and right now it’s focused square on #9.
I’m just about a month away from writing the “Chone Figgins Is A Collosal Bust” post, so I won’t bore you with too many details. But here’s a guy who’s batting .207. His on-base percentage – what’s SUPPOSED to be his fucking specialty – is only 40 points higher. He’s consistently sucking the life out of this team at the top of the order night-in and night-out … and the guy’s only missed 4 games all year.
Now, I don’t remember the circumstances of those 4 days off, but I’m willing to bet the majority – if not the entirety – was due to some minor injury or illness. WHAT’S IT GONNA TAKE TO SIT CHONE FIGGINS??? Are you telling me NOBODY on this team can play third base? I know it’s a bit of a difficult position defensively, but come ON! You’re telling me we can’t get Luis Rodriguez in there a couple days a week?
I know guys aren’t going to break out of their slumps by sitting on the bench. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for giving the fans a fucking break. We’re sick and tired of watching him dog it out there! Watching him feebly swing at mess, rolling balls over, NEVER beating them out for infield singles. NEVER seeing him steal a bag if he DOES manage to get on base. He’s got 7 stolen bases and it’s been nearly two months; what’s the deal?
If I find out Figgins has had some nagging injury this whole time, I’m going to call for management’s head. It’s irresponsible to play guys who are injured just because they want to look tough in front of their teammates.
Anyway, just to break up the venom a little bit, here’s some happy news: Brendan Ryan’s batting average is up to a whopping .250! With a .319 on-base percentage! He’s been absolutely redonkeylips on this road trip, going 10 for 18 with 2 doubles, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored.
I shit you not: he’s raised his average exactly 50 points in 5 games! Where did THIS come from?
Back to the darker side of things. Justin Smoak is having a real dog of a month of May. Ever since his high point on May 6th when his line was .315/.413/.576, he’s fallen all the way down to .268/.368/.470. It’s a little unfair, because he’s only gone hitless in 6 games all month; but we’re seeing quite a bit of 1 for 4’s and 1 for 5’s. His RBI totals are down, his walks are down, and he’s already got more strikeouts than he had in all of April.
It’s odd because this is happening just as other guys around him are picking their games up. Olivo hasn’t been a complete trainwreck lately, and Jack Cust appears to be turning it around a little bit (or sucking me back in only to be crushed later). This looks like it’s just Smoak having trouble because the rest of the league is adjusting. I don’t know what his weakness is at the moment, but I hope he figures it out and gets back on the horse.
Finally, I’m just going to end with this: I can’t wait until Guti can start playing everyday. Michael Saunders is sucking my will to live like you would not BELIEVE! He’s GOT to lead all of baseball in striking out to end an inning. If I see him slam his helmet down in disgust one more time, I’m going to throw the remote through the TV.