Michael Young is about to rake.

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(Sabermetricians: Tune out.)

 

(Appropriately) lost in what was an energizing win was a
feeling I had early in the game about a possibly significant moment for Michael
Young. 

 

After Young, who came into the game mired in a 1-for-20 skid
since a home run off Randy Johnson on Friday, had bounced into a double play
and walked in his first two trips tonight, he extended the rut to 1 for 22 with
a one-out comebacker in the fifth, with Ian Kinsler on third (after a double
and an Omar Vizquel sacrifice bunt).  A bad
at-bat, with one of several pitches down and away that Young had unsuccessfully
offered at on the night, trying to jerk it instead of going with the pitch the
opposite way like Young always does when he’s locked in.

 

Right after Young’s tapper to the mound, Andruw Jones
delivered a mammoth two-run blast over the left field fence, extending what had
been a one-run Texas
lead to 5-2.

 

Here’s an Instant Message conversation I had with someone the
moment after the Jones home run:

 

  [22:07] gjsneaker1: prediction: Michael
gets hits in his next 2 AB

  [22:08] gjsneaker1: I just know that
there can be a cloud lifted in someone really hard on himself (I can relate on
my much smaller level) when a teammate picks you up like that

  [22:09] gjsneaker1: I bet he goes to the
plate in a much better frame of mind than he’s had in a while

  [22:14] _________: you could be right

 

[two innings later]

  [22:38] gjsneaker1: there’s 1 (infield single rifled up the middle,
deflected by pitcher Jon Garland
)

 

[two innings after
that
]

  [23:23] gjsneaker1: there’s 2 (opposite-field double to deep right center)

 

What followed for Young was the opposite-field flare to
right in the 11th, caught by Justin Upton, that Vizquel or third
base coach Dave Anderson chose not to attempt to score on, and a 12th-inning
strikeout.  But I have a good feeling
about the chances that Young is about to get on a very good roll.

 

Speaking of which, tonight was obviously Chris Davis’s
night.  Single the opposite way with a
man on first.  Double to deep left center
on a full count.  Single to center.  Strikeout looking.  Five-pitch walk with a man on first.  And the big two-out, two-run shot on a 2-2
count in the 12th, crushed to straightaway right.

 

Davis
filled the box score with those four hits, two RBI, and two runs, and only two
of his teammates saw more than the 27 pitches he saw on the night.  He got himself into good counts, and good
things happened.

 

Why did the Diamondbacks call for an Esmerling Vasquez changeup
on the home run pitch, considering Davis’s
season-long trouble with the fastball? 
He’d swung over a Vasquez change earlier in the count, and had fouled off
a fastball on the previous pitch.  He was
ready for Vasquez to come back with the change, and punished it.

 

Nice couple wins, this time with the offense carrying its weight.  If Young is ready to get hot, and if Davis,
five spots down in the order, can get into a groove where he’s not an automatic
out, those two things could make this lineup work a good bit better, and maybe
the offense can start to get healthy with these three against San Diego before
the Angels get to town.

 

Millwood and Holland
the next two nights.  I’ve got a good feeling
about this series.

 

OK.  You can let the sabermetrics
camp back in.  

 

 

 

You can read more from Jamey
Newberg
at www.NewbergReport.com.

 

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