Dear Kevin: I’ve been Missing Youk
Posted by athomeatfenway on September 2, 2008
Sept. 1, 2008
Kevin Youkilis is feeling better and playing tonight. He rebounded from a 24-48 hour bug that kept him out for the last two games of the ChiSox series. We missed him yesterday.
Phew ! Just in time for September baseball and the pennant drive.
Though the buzz has justifiably been about Dustin Pedroia lately, Youk’s stats rival the American League’s elite this year.
In the AL, Kevin ranks:
4th in OPS at .953
5th in B.A. @ .318
6th in slugging @ .565
7th in RBI @ 94
8th in OBP w .388
9th in doubles @ 36
He’s a key for his team’s success.
The Sox are 38-12 in games when Youk had an rbi.
The Sox have a winning pct. of .597 when he’s playing, and .417 when he is not.
Hey, we really need this guy !!!
A NEW YOUK
Youk’s career BA through July 1 is .314 — and just .240 career the rest of the way.
Kevin’s has a .326 BA since July 1 this year.
Even more enlightening, he batted .351 in August.
Even before this dramatic 2nd half improvement, there was already so much to like about this guy. He gets his uniform dirty filthy. He hits, he walks. He’s an OBP trophy. He crowds the plate, gets his share of HBP’s, but never backs off. He’s tough. He’s the best fielding first baseman in baseball history, surpassing Stuffy McInnis and Steve Garvey. Sure footed and smart, he’s a bulky combination of intellect and grace.
The second half batting excellence is a new achievement.
If Youk has found personal inspiration and focus that took him to the next level, let us celebrate, Soxaholics.
If it is just that he’s now 29, the year a man hits his physical peak in life, let us reap the benefits and think about the parade route for October.
I’ll take it.
Perhaps the break will do him good. Ted Williams chipped an ankle bone in Spring 1941, thus missing the first few weeks of the season. He batted .406 that year.
I’m hoping Kevin’s 2-day bout with the flu, which started on Ted’s 90th birthday, foreshadows a September to remember for the bearded one.