Four players from our One2Watch4 series (which kicked off the TMI blog in March), had impact performances on Sunday.
Rays ace Matt Garza improved to 3-0 by dominating against the Red Sox on Sunday. Garza, among the best right-handers in baseball against left-handed hitters, held Boston lefties to a 1-for-11 showing in the victory.
THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
Pitchers since 1990 to have three consecutive starts of 8+ IP - with 1 ER or fewer - to start a season:
* - Won Cy Young Award
Shin-Soo Choo went 11-for-19 with three home runs and 11 RBI this week, leading the Indians to a 4-2 record in that time. Of note is Choo's early success against opposing pitchers' sliders. Sunday, Choo's decisive grand slam came off a Gavin Floyd slider. Last year, Choo struck out 30 times against sliders, walking just eight times. Already this season, Choo has four walks against the pitch, with only one strikeout.
CHOO THEM UP
Here's a look at how Shin-Soo Chin has done vs. sliders since 2009:
Jay Bruce, struggling all season, hit his first two home runs of the year, giving him six career multi-homer games. The two RBI Bruce had matched his total from the first 12 games of the season.
Carlos Gonzalez was a would-be hero for the Rockies, hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning before Jason Heyward stole some of his thunder. Gonzalez has made an impact all year with his bat, though this was the first time he’d done so for power. He’s played in nine games this season and had a hit in eight.