Ben Zobrist Day: The Day | The Process Report

Ben Zobrist Day: The Day

Beginning play on April 28, 2011, the Rays were 12-11. Being a game over .500 may have seemed like a disappointment; however, considering the team’s 0-6 start, the sudden “retirement” of Manny Ramirez, and an oblique injury to Evan Longoria, 12-11 seemed pretty good. With their star player on the sidelines, Tampa Bay would have to rely on players like Ben Zobrist to navigate through the rough waters. Zobrist entered the day hitting .205/.272/.482 in 92 plate appearances. He was whiffing on a quarter of his swings which threw his strikeout-to-walk ratio out of the normal order.

Strange things can happen early in the season. With sample sizes being scale models of what they will be in September, a bad start can be erased quickly with a good week or in this case, a really good day. By the time Zobrist’s head hit the pillow that night, his slash line jumped to .258/.314/.602. A 7-for-10 performance with five extra-base hits (two home runs) and 10 RBI will do that.

The Rays stomped the Twins 15-3 in game one of the double-header. All Zobrist did in that game was go 4-6 with a home run, two doubles, and drove in a team-record eight men. In the second game, Tampa Bay cruised to a 6-1 win to sweep the day. The time in between games did nothing to slow Zobrist, who went 3-4 in game two with his second home run of the day, another double, and two more runners driven in. He became just the fourth player in major-league history to record seven hits and 10 RBI in a single day. A switch-hitter by trade, Zobrist was an equal opportunity offender against the Twins.

As a left-handed batter, he went 4-7 with both of his home runs and six RBI.

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As a right-handed batter, he belted three doubles in three at-bats, picking up an additional four RBI.

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For the overall view, here’s what 7-10 looks like from both sides of the plate.

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As mentioned above, Zobrist entered the game swinging and missing on 25 percent of his swings. On this day, he saw 43 pitches and took 19 swings. He made contact on all 19 swings.

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Of course, Zobrist followed up his king-for-a-day performance by going 3-11 in his next three games. Such is life. Such is baseball.

Data and images provided by ESPN Stats & Info.



One Comment

  1. I was AT those games in Minnesota (actually been at both Rays DH sweeps). It was pretty amazing to see.

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