The icy days of late winter are gone. Major League Baseball games are no longer being postponed because of snow. Okay, some are still postponed, but at least it isn’t as cold.
Week seven has been another cracker. We’ve had sparkling pitching, some stupendous hitting and a fair few meanders. Teams are picking themselves up from slow starts, while others are regressing to somewhere closer to expectation. Our awards walk through the most notable moments of the week…
Performance of the Week
Ian Desmond has had an awful season. His batting average has barely reached the Mendoza line, despite the Rockies’ decent start. Positive performances are rare, which made his four-RBI showing a real treat at AT&T Park this week.
The first baseman homered and doubled in Colorado’s win over San Francisco that made sure they wouldn’t lose the series against their division rival. Who knows, it could be the start of something.
Start of the Week
Jordan Lyles rode a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Rockies this week. The Padres’ starter was dominant with a nasty curveball that the Colorado hitters found near-impossible to leave alone.
Lyles’ 10-strikeout, 7.1 innings dragged his season ERA down to 2.53. San Diego remain waiting for their first ever no-no, but Lyles’ brilliance gives optimism to a rotation that is short of innings.
Defensive Play of the Week
Ender Inciarte is one of baseball’s most underrated players. Atlanta’s centrefielder is often forgotten in the Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna excitement, but he reminded everyone of his brilliance with a magical double-play against the Cubs this week.
That’s a huge ????? grab for @enderinciartem!
— #Statcast (@statcast) May 14, 2018
Inciarte flew across the outfield grass to complete a diving grab that registered at a mere 11% catch probability.
Nightmare of the Week
Jose Bautista‘s time in Atlanta came to an end on Sunday. Bautista was given a chance by the Braves a few weeks ago, but his 143/250/343 slash line did little to convince anyone that he was still a competent major leaguer.
This might (should) be the end of Bautista’s 14-year career. His steady decline since his six straight All-Star seasons made this outcome almost inevitable.