Monday, May 01, 2006

The Klim Factor

Alex McPhillips dedicates his notebook to some awards campaigning:
“I absolutely love having him in the lineup,” said senior starting pitcher Matt Brunnig. “He’s in the three-to-five hole, and every time he’s up, there’s people on base. Having his bat there makes all the difference in the world.”

Klimkiewicz has never been named to the Ivy League’s first or second team. The senior may soon cash in on the league’s most prestigious honor—its Player of the Year award—with his well-timed terror campaign against Dartmouth pitching.

In ten plate appearances over two games yesterday, Klimkiewicz reached base eight times, drove in four runs­—he finished with 41 RBI, the most in the league—scored five times, and hit one high, arching home run onto the street beyond the left field foul pole. He went 4-for-5 in the second game with two hit-by-pitches. The home run, his seventh of the season, came in the sixth.
Whether the coaches listen to Alex is an open question. Well, it's not, they won't, but whether the result matches with his desire is an open question. Paul Christian and others loom as potential candidates--as does Steffan Wilson. And my sense of the postseason awards has always been that the coaches conference and haggle over this stuff, so Klim's candidacy may wind up going as far as Joe Walsh wants to take it (especially since he arguably has more than one deserving candidate. I wish that the League would post separate stats for league games only online, as it once did. This would make this a useful exercise. I'm not about to disaggregate Brian Tews' league numbers from his non-league numbers on my own.
Then there's this about Matt Brunnig's power display:
His second two-bagger hit the base of Dartmouth’s deep centerfield fence, approximately 400 feet from home plate.

“That was pretty well hit,” Walsh said. “It might have been the only ball that [Big Green centerfielder Will Bashelor] didn’t come close to and that [right fielder Damon Wright] didn’t come close to.”

“[If] those two guys don’t get to a ball,” Walsh added, “that thing’s gotta be hit.”

Brunnig gave the credit for his newfound power to a fortuitous recent purchase: a set of contact lenses, which he had never before used.

“It’s definitely helped,” he said. “I’m definitely a lot more comfortable at the plate. I thought my eyes were fine before…[but] I picked up off-speed pitches a lot faster.”
Contact lenses! A ridiculous story gets even better. How 'bout we get him Lasik surgery Wednesday and bat him fifth Saturday?

Jon Lehman's recap features this line about the breakout inning:
“That’s the kind of team we’ve had most of the season,” Klimkiewicz said. “We play our best when we’re pushed up against the wall, it seems. I think a lot of other teams would crumble and throw the game away, but we came in the dugout and said ‘We’re going to score at least four runs this inning.”


Chris said...

Player of the year for Klim? Hate to say it but he might not even get 1st team ... Sawyer from Yale hit like .380 and led the league in hits, and I always hear about his defense, too. Klim has some better power numbers I guess but I dont know if that's enough to outweigh it.

mb said...

This is a great point, and it would be interesting to take apart league specific stats if the league still posted them and get what we can out of them... Meanwhile, Tighe Holden of Columbia, a second-teamer last year ahead of Josh, only played five games this year. Jeff Dietz of Brown, assuming they view him as a first baseman, is also in the mix...

Anonymous said...

Sawyer is no where near him on the stats that count for a power hitting 1st baseman..... Klim is still leading the league in RBI's, home runs, walks and OBS even having missed a few games this week. I saw both play and Klim was a much more dependable and defensive 1st Baseman. Maybe not as much of a showboat. Ask anyone that saw them both. The difference is that Stuper "sells" Sawyer and Walsh doesn't sell Klim. Check the numbers in all three years for Sawyer or four for Klim.....Klim out does him. For once it should go to the guy who deserves it.

chris said...

Agree about the power numbers ... but Sawyer leading the league in hits is something that might get Klim burned. Also I disagree about Klim's D after having seen Sawyer for 8 games in the past two Yale series'. Not that this would be much of a factor anyway. Maybe they'll give one guy DH and the other one 1b??

mb said...

In the past few years, they've actually awarded both a "DH" and a separate "Utility" spot on the All Ivy First Team, which may create even more flexibility.

Brian said...

I'll take a stab at going over the numbers of the relevant parties. Check back tomorrow-ish.