Nelson Cruz went 1-3 last night as the Mariners beat the Orioles, 6-5, in 10 innings. The hit? His league-leading 34th home run that extended his hit streak to 21 games. Take a look at this shot, a laser to CF off former Mariner prospect Chris Tillman.
While you may know that the “Boomstick” has a 21-game hit streak, you may not realize this:
Is Nelson Cruz a realistic Triple Crown candidate? Yes. The stats say so at least. Cruz has been unbelievable. He was unbelievable in April and some of May, the slumped in the middle of the season, and now is the best RH Mariners hitter in 10 years. He’s quite honestly, the best Mariners offensive player since 2009 Russell Branyan, but Russell Branyan didn’t hit for average like Cruz is. He had 31 home runs in just 116 games that year. But he also only hit .251.
Savor it Mariner fans. You may not like Cruz’s PED past, and neither do I. But he’s been what the Mariners paid for and more. Consider this:
That’s pretty darn impressive. Schoenfield also says Cruz doesn’t have a shot at the Triple Crown because Cruz “has nobody to drive in.” And that may very well be the thing that holds Cruz back in this chase. But if Kyle Seager can start to get hot again in front of him? Then the possibility exists.
Cruz left the game yesterday with neck spasms. Hopefully, he’s back in the lineup soon and continues to rake. It’s been a pleasure to watch.