Michael Bourn carries a big stick
Ray Robinson | 7/30/2013, 7:26 p.m.
Michael Bourn is having a pretty good season, swinging the pine for the Cleveland Indians.
At press, he is second on the team with a .290 batting average and seems to be picking up steam. Only Jason Kipnis is ahead of him with a .295 batting average. The 30-year-old Texan, who plays center field, also has a great glove to go along with his stick.
He was involved in two games last week where his bat helped clinch the victory. He scored the first run on Sunday as the Tribe routed the Texas Rangers, 6-0, at Progressive Field, and he smashed a lead off solo home-run on Saturday evening to score the game’s only run as the Indians downed the Rangers 1-0. The home run, which he got off of Rangers pitcher, Yu Darvish, was his seventh career lead off home run.
The Indians eventually swept the weekend series.
Although he is having a decent time right now, his numbers are a bit down from last year. Still, no one is complaining about his production.
In his last 10 games, he went to the plate 37 times, got 11 hits and scored seven runs. During the same stretch, he had 12 RBI and 2 home-runs.
The seven-year veteran got hurt early in the season, as he attempted to slide head-first into first base. He missed several games and his numbers show it.
Still, he has found a nice groove and has settled down a bit. In 2011, Bourn was listed among the top 25 players in the NL in the area of batting averages (.294). He was ranked as the 20th player on the list.
In years 2009, 2010 and 2011, he lead the NL in steals.
The slugger signed a four-year deal with the Tribe and thus far, the dividends that the team has received makes the deal look like a good one. However, the 21 games he missed because of a lacerated finger in the above mentioned head-first slide hurt the team tremendously. Who knows where they might be right now. The Tigers are only up by 2.5 games and Bourns' presence could have certainly made a big difference in the outcome of a few of those close games lost during his down-time.
He has been getting good wood on the ball. He hit his first career grand slam recently, in a 10-1 beat-down of the Seattle Mariners. He has hit safely in the last five games he has played.
When asked what he is doing differently to get the production that he has, he was rather humble. "I'm not doing any certain thing. My job is to try to put the bat on the ball. Sometimes you just get the right pitch and it is the pitch that you are ready for. When that happens, look out," he chuckled.
He said that he loves being an intricate part the scoring machine. "Outside of being able to get a hit, I like to mix it up a bit trying to get a steal. That can keep a pitcher off balance and keep the game interesting. Oh yes, I love trying to steal bases. I just love it."
So far this year, Bourn has played in 77 games and has had 312 plate appearances. He has 90 hits, 45 runs and 13 stolen bases. Unfortunately, he has gone down swinging 74 times. Bourn has 26 major league home runs to his credit.