In last night’s victory over the Rays, Jose Bautista played like a team leader. He went 4-4 with two homers and all 4 of the team’s RBI. And he didn’t whine once about the strike zone.
Bautista, who got off to his second slow start in the past two seasons, has stopped complaining about every borderline call that goes against him and is focusing on playing solid baseball. It’s about time.
This trend started a few weeks ago and the attitude change (probably brought on by a talk from John Gibbons) is paying dividends in Bautista’s game. He’s hitting .412 with 4 homers and 10 RBI in his last 10 games.
I hope that this new, positive attitude Bautista is bringing to the field everyday will eventually rub off on guys like Brett Lawrie. You can already see J.P. Arencibia’s attitude changing for the better at the plate (although we now need the results to follow). It’s easy when guys are cold to complain about borderline pitches. But real pros hardly ever complain or sulk when they make an out because their attitude is that they will get the next one. Lawrie can’t say that right now – he is a walking temper tantrum. And here’s a tip for you Lawrie: Don’t call people out on social media networks when you’re hitting less than your listed weight. Just focus on playing the game. He’s late on almost every fastball and early on breaking pitches. He’s just stuck in between right now. Arencibia must also be feeling the heat lately (in the words of Dirk Hayhurst yesterday “Happy 1 month anniversary, J.P. It’s been a month since your last walk). In fact, he has 2 walks vs. 55 K’s so far this season. His obp is now .239. Yikes.
With J.P. slumping (which will happen – he’s a streaky hitter that can carry a team when hot and be non-existant when cold) and Lawrie still yet to find his groove after 122 at bats (hitting .180), it’s nice to see Bautista step it up.
But we’re going to need guys like J.P and Lawrie to pick it up. Bautista won’t hit .412 for the rest of the season.
Let’s get 3 of 4 from the O’s. With Brandon Morrow and R.A. Dickey both pitching this series, I feel good about at least a split. Let’s hope one of our fill ins can steal a game and the offensive helps take the pressure off.