Mariners Analysis: Just how good has Mike Zunino been recently?

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Jun 19, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) hits a two-run homer against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) hits a two-run homer against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Simply put, Mike Zunino is playing out of his mind for the Mariners right now. We’ll get down to the nitty gritty of the stats in a second, but for now let’s relish in his best performances since his recalling on May 23.

June 7, 2017

Mike Z recorded his first multi-homer game of the year, in a 2 for 3 performance where he scored 3 times. But that second homer was the one that we so fondly remember. He squared off against the Twins right-handed closer Brandon Kintzler and took a pitch right back to deep center field, and with a little hop on his way out of the batter’s box, he won the game for the Mariners that night.

June 19, 2017

This is last night, so it should be fresh in your minds. Early in the game, he came up with the Mariners trailing, but threatening; bases loaded, two outs. Zunino swung through two middle of the zone pitches and chased a high one for strike three, prompting cries of “same old Zunino.”

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Well he must’ve heard that and taken offense, because he decided, with the Mariners tied 2-2 on national television in the bottom of the sixth, to change the trajectory of the game. A home run later and the Mariners were leading 4-2. Then he found himself up again in the 8th and put the game away with another blast.

Four RBIs and a win are good for Zunino’s second best performance of the season. It’s not the best however, because that spot is reserved for his performance against the Tampa Bay Rays.

June 3, 2017

Oh yeah, this game. This was the one where he almost hit the ball out of Safeco Field. Oh, and if that wasn’t cool enough, it was a grand slam. Oh, and he had 7 RBIs that night.

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Statistical look at his run

Just for maximum mind-boggling possibility, we’re going to look at his numbers since May 29, 2017 as he started his return from Tacoma an abysmal 1-for-16. Since May 29 (18 games), though, he’s hit .406 with a casual, no big deal, 27 RBIs. The AL-leading Nelson Cruz has 53 to put that in perspective. Zunino has raised his batting average in that span from .148 to .257.

These are unreal numbers. While there is no way he can possibly hit at a .406 pace the rest of the year, it’s surely an amazing boost to have him hitting like he is now.

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