Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Let's look at the first six games of the season and compare them to Games 1-6 for the last three years:
Games 1-6 (2005): 6 XBH’s (3 2B, 3 HR); .483 OBP; .960 SLG
Games 1-6 (2004): 1 XBH’s (1 2B); .440 OBP; .401 SLG
Games 1-6 (2003): 2 XBH’s (2 2B); .250 OBP; .240 SLG
Games 1-6 (2002): 3 XBH’s (2 2b, 1 HR); .292 OBP; .524 SLG
(I'm not including last night's 1-for-4 with a home run in these numbers.)
What a difference two years make! Burrell is off to a fast start, getting 15 RBIs in just 25 AB's. This is the best start Burrell has had (pre-2002) and a marked contrast to last year, when he failed to hit a home run for his first eight games. Burrell 2005 is mashing the ball like it is nobody's business: a .960 slugging percentage is Barry Bonds territory. Last year we were all relieved to see Burrell hit again, but surprised he hit for so little power. This year feels different. Burrell looks like a 40 HR, 120 RBI guy.
Burrell has also keyed the Phillies to their impressive start at the plate: the Phillies are leading the NL in runs scored with 43. Note that Burrell did this against a team with better than average pitching, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Random note: I was looking at The Hardball Times 2005 stat page on Monday and I noticed that the Braves were averaging just 2.7 runs a game. I know they've faced off with some decent pitching, but this backs up something I said in the preseason: these guys are going to have trouble scoring runs in 2005. They need Hudson and Smoltz to have good seasons or they are in trouble. Despite the Marlins record, I still think they are the toughest team in this division, bar none.
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