Over at PB, Jay Jaffe looks at Brett Gardner’s turnaround:
Gardner has reached base in 10 out of his last 11 starts. As hitting coach Kevin Long said last week, “He’s turned it around. He’s had several good games as of late, and he seems like the Brett Gardner we saw last year. Getting on base, causing havoc, playing great defense.” More specifically, Long noted that Gardner had shifted in the batter’s box: “Basically he moved up closer to the plate. In a nutshell they were pitching him away, and he was coming out of his swing and not able to stay tight and compact on the outside pitch. So he’s moved up on the plate, and that’s helped him a great deal.”
Tellingly, Gardner’s strikeout-to-walk ratio in those two small samples has improved, from 14/4 in the first to 10/10 in the second, and so has his rate of pitches per plate appearance, from 4.13 during his cold spell to 4.46 in his hot one. Overall, he ranks eighth in the league in P/PA at 4.30, down from last year’s league-leading 4.61, though that figure had more than a little something to do with his midseason wrist injury. Interestingly enough, the remade Curtis Granderson currently ranks a surprising second in the AL at 4.48 P/PA.
[Picture by Joseph Holmes]