The GRIZ lead the Less Filling’s Central Division, for now. The GRIZ usually get off to a good start because they play 30+ home games during the first block and then their record tends to deteriorate as the road tends to eat them up.
This year is not much different, at this point. GRIZ jumped out to 18-13 home record that should keep them at or above the .500 mark for the first block. Pitching has worked better than even Coach Howard planned.
1. Bartolo Colon is 5-0 in seven starts. Coach Howard loved Colon for Grand Canyon Natural Field with the park’s 1-2 BP homerun rating squeezing Colons 8 BP chances vs LHB down to 1.6 in 108 dice roll chances. Colon has 3.8 outrights against LHB, but that is probably the worst thing on Colon’s card. Colon is tough on RHB, and his overall OB is balanced under 22 chances per side. Colon has a home ERA of 2.18, he has given up 2 homeruns in 53 innings and only walked 7. His home whip is just over 1.0.
2. Josh Beckett has upstaged Colon by throwing 3 shutouts. 3 complete games without giving up a run in 6 starts. Coach Howard would have bet against Beckett collecting one shutout this year. Beckett’s home ERA was under 1.00 for the longest time and sits at the end of Block 1 at 1.03. Beckett has given up 29 hits in 44 IP and has a 1.0 WHIP at home. This was better than Coach Howard could imagine. Beckett’s 2012 MLB 4.65 ERA was not good and his Boston ERA of 5.23 in 21 starts is horrible. Coach Howard stated, we figured Beckett to be a launching pad. Beckett, like Colon, will probably not see much road action.
3. JJ Putz, the GRIZ closer has 6 saves in 7 games, a 1.04 ERA and a WHIP under 1.0 over his 8.2 IP. JJ has done what we have asked of him, said Coach Howard. Coach wants to save JJ’s innings for the road, so he has given opportunities to other firemen in the GRIZ pen who have also recorded a total of 3 saves.
4. Team ERA for 31 home games is 2.64. Besides Beckett’s masterpieces two team efforts led to shutouts, and Kevin Correia, the last player taken in the 2013 draft by the GRIZ has one. Correia’s role is a spot starter to give the team’s top staters extra rest at home so they will have more road availability. Correia will eat up innings as the teams’ last road pitching alternative.
Coach Howard knows his 2 BP chances in 20 erases a lot of the team’s power, but it works both ways. It helps our pitchers, he said. GRIZ batters have suffered at home, however. The highlights are:
1. Alex Gordon’s .339 batting average. (Danny Espinosa is second on the team in the batting leaders race at .278).
2. Miguel Cabrera’s 14 RBIs.
3. Opponents have hit 20 homeruns to the GRIZ 14 Home blasts.
4. Team batting average at home is a dismal .240.
Fielding has been good. GRIZ error totals 16 in 31 home games. This has to be an improvement over previous GRIZ teams during the Dan Uggla and Jhonny Peralta years. Colon leads the team in one more statistic – 5 errors.
So went Block 1. On to Block 2.