Twice as nice
He’s been on a roller coaster inside of the roller coaster the M’s have been on.
On Saturday night in Baltimore, Saunders went yard twice at the Yards, capping another hump in his up and down season.
It all started with his hot start (including the WBC), then came the injury, and upon return a homer in his first at bat. Then he followed that with a few months of Brendan Ryan numbers at the plate.
So, it’s always nice when a guy who has been slumping hits two homeruns in one game. Especially when he is a part of the future of this team that is supposed to finally bring us home a World Series Trophy!
So, this weeks article goes to the one and only Condor, the pride and glory of Victoria B.C., just across the border (and ocean) from my hometown.
The first one
As I said above, Saunders hasn’t been the most consistent or the most reliable this season. So when he comes up to the plate with two runners on and a chance to add to the lead, we don’t hold our breath waiting for it to happen, especially when facing a south paw.
But Saturday night was different. In the 5th inning with runners at 1st and 2nd and a 2-2 count, he delivered.
Orioles pitcher T.J. McFarland left a 84 MPH hanger right down the middle of the plate that Saunders couldn’t help but jump on.
He sent the ball to the deep part of the outfield too, right center field about 8 rows deep into the bleachers. Not a wall skipper by any means.
The M’s were up 1 one at the time, but this shot gave them a 4 run lead and they never looked back. It was really nice after the previous 4 games in the week.
The second one
Almost as if he was out to out-do himself, Saunders’ second homer of the game came on a pitch in almost the exact same location.
This time it was the 9th inning and he was facing the O’s Darren O’Day, the side arm throwing right hander.
With a runner at second, and the Mariners still clinging to the 4 run lead that Saunders gave them in the 5th inning, O’Day came in with an 87 MPH pitch right down the middle at the knees.
Saunders was all over this pitch too as he launched it to the opposite side of the field, left center. This one too made it about 8 rows deep into the seats, but it had a lot more air under it.
He ended the day going 2-4, but he sure made the most out of his two hits. With 5 RBIs on the day, he upped his season total to 37.
A couple more games like this and it will be very hard for Jack Z to not start looking for his replacement this offseason.
Check out the video of both homers here, courtesy of mariners.com.