The sleepy Seattle offense (that works on so many levels) now features the hottest hitter in baseball. Ichiro Suzuki has a temperature of 105 degrees, according to Bill James Online. In his last five games, the Mariners’ right fielder is 12 for 21, with two doubles, a triple and a home run. Plus, he has walked three times and stolen four bases without being caught stealing (and not striking out). The Mariners’ offense continues to struggle, but they can’t blame their erstwhile leadoff hitter.
The second hottest hitter is some kid named Brennan Boesch. Boesch is a lefty-swinging left fielder who has put his 60 major league plate appearances to good use. After batting .379 in 15 Triple-A games, the Tigers brought the kid up to play left against right-handed pitchers, and the results have been remarkable. He went two-for-three with a double and home run in last night’s 6-0 victory over the Yankees and is now batting .368/.383/.684.
And although the Houston Astros are playing at room temperature by BJOL’s methods, they did just sweep the Cardinals, 6-3, 9-6, 4-1. Which brings me to the latest “old” thing I’ve been working on: pennant race graphs. A week ago, there was quite the chasm between first and last in the NL Central. Now, well, there’s still a chasm—it’s just not what you’d call “gaping.”