MLB Today: Adrian Gonzalez Shaking Off Slow Start
Kevin Millwood reached the 2,000-strikeout mark Sunday.
Boston’s awful start this year has plenty of culprits behind it, including a sluggish start by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez – especially in the power department.
Well, after dropping the opener against Cleveland on Thursday, the BoSox won each of the final three games.
A-Gon figured prominently in the series, recording multiple hits in three of the four games and flashing some extra-base pop, with five doubles among his six hits.
After career highs in runs and hits last year, Gonzalez still has a long way to go to get back on track, but this weekend’s performance was a step in the right direction for both him and the team.
The big question is where has Gonzalez’s home run stroke gone? Last year, the shoulder he had repaired in 2010 continued to bother him, but he says that’s fully behind him now. In other words, there’s no reasonable reason why Gonzalez isn’t going yard lately. Let’s hope the doubles barrage is a precursor to some long ball exploits.
- Kevin Millwood, who somewhat revitalized his career in Colorado last year yet was overlooked as an option for the Rockies’ rotation this winter, had only looked useful in two of his first six starts this season for the Mariners. On Sunday, however, he wound up tossing a pretty good outing to earn his first win of the season and spoil the return of Andy Pettitte. The wildness – he’s walked nine batters over his past two starts – makes Millwood a tough pitcher to recommend as anything more than a spot starter in deep AL-only leagues. On Sunday, it’s highly doubtful he would have stuck around as long as he did without the aid of three double plays. And while it was nice to see the 37-year-old go over the 2,000-strikeout mark in his career, it’s clear he’s just keeping a seat warm for one of Seattle’s big pitching prospects (such as James Paxton or Danny Hultzen).
- The Mets had a ninth-inning meltdown Sunday, giving up six runs to the Marlins en route to a crushing 8-4 loss. The late uprising by the Fish was highlighted by a Giancarlo Stanton grand salami, part of a three-hit game – his third straight multi-hit effort. Stanton is now batting .289, but given his strikeout rate (which, while improved, is still quite high), it’s highly doubtful he maintains this BA. By the way, those of you that were worried about his lack of pop in April (one homer, nine RBI) can relax. Stanton is up to six dingers and 13 RBI in May – with two and a half weeks still to go!
- Need a little help in the stolen base department in your deep AL-only league? How about Elliot Johnson of the Rays? He’s playing more with Evan Longoria out and has actually been somewhat useful at the plate lately, hitting safely in five straight games including a 3-for-4 effort Sunday with three runs, a homer, two RBI and a steal. The switch-hitter can’t be counted on for much offense, but he’s got some speed and seems to be making decent contact lately, so there are probably worse options on the wire. At the very least, put him on your watch list.
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