Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's a Hoodoo

I've decided:  The TinCaps own the Lugnuts, pure and simple.  That's all.

Weird things happen when these teams play each other.

Surprise flash floods leading to game-winning wild pitches.

That sort of thing.

Today, after a resilient Lugnuts offense fought back from 2-0, 3-1, and 4-3 deficits (well done, Kevin Ahrens, A.J. Jimenez, Sean Ochinko, Ryan Schimpf, and Jake Marisnick), it was a seven-run 7th inning featuring a hit parade against Brian Slover and Nestor Molina.

So let's talk about something else instead:

Ryan Schimpf.

Schimpf went 2-for-4 today with a single, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.  Those base hits raised his batting average... to .229.

He's been, frankly, disappointing.  He would tell you the same.

Schimpf's monthly splits (batting average, on-base pct., slugging pct.):

April - .257, .398, .443
May - .245, .333, .412
June - .145, .299, .242
July - .247, .272, 455

First things first:  Ryan was simply awful in June.  No getting around it.

Wait.  Look at that drop in the on-base percentage in July.  He'd been doing so well at getting on base early in the season despite a sub-par batting average.  In July, however, Ryan Schimpf walked only twice while striking out 26 times.

Twice.

In April, Ryan had three games with two walks apiece -- and another game where he walked three times (and also had a two-run double).

I think that tells you all you need to know about what happened to him this year.  He's out of whack at the plate and it's entirely in his head, same as the TinCaps are in the Lugnuts' head.

I'm of the opinion, then -- and I've heard this from someone else as well -- that Schimpf is going to be just fine... as soon as the season's over.  He needs to get away from the low batting average, get away from the Midwest, and get back to a comfort zone where he can put back his swing and his confidence back together.  Then, next year, we'll see the real Ryan Schimpf, the one who pounds the ball all over the place.

But maybe... maybe we'll still see hints of the real Schimpf, the LSU star, the scout's delight, before the year's done.

There's time left, after all.

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