I am irrationally more excited about the return of Matt Adams than I should be. Maybe I'm just drunk on the Big Mayo nostalgia. He is, after all, the Kershaw Krusher. And I'm not alone.
Matt Carpenter is so excited that he's offered to bathe the man in his famous salsa, which is a mental image I'm having a hard time mentally unseeing. Yet I also understand this is a more delicious alternative method than tomato juice when it comes to removing skunk spray odor. Ole'!
Maybe I'm excited because it's not every day that you get an off-the-bench power threat like Adams for nothing more than salary relief for the Nationals. And before injuring his finger, Adams was on the verge of a breakout year, hitting for a wRC+ of 147. That's not to say I believe that's his true-talent level, clearly, he's come back to earth in the second half. He hasn't really been the same player since returning from the DL with a fractured finger on 7/5.
In the second half, Adams has hit for an abysmal 41 wRC+. His line-drives are way down, his fly balls and most notably pop-up rate have gone up considerably. While I could dive into the reasons behind that, (as others have) it's just a mere 64 plate appearances. I just can't get worked up over that, in the same way, I would get worked up over the earlier woes of Dexter Fowler. As long as his finger is feeling fine, I have faith in the Budaska effect enough to help him get things turned around.
Adams slots well in a platoon with Jedd Gyorko, even if that means more of Matt Carpenter at 3rd. The Cardinals are hitting for just a .314 wOBA against right-handed pitching his year. Adams is hitting .373 against righties this year and .356 over his career. Gyorko's is hitting .307 against RHP this season, which is exactly in line with his career. He's murdering southpaws to the tune of a .412 wOBA, well above his .354 career average.
This is just one of those little moves that a smart playoff team makes, and yes, I still have to pinch myself that we're talking about the Cardinals as a potential playoff team after looking at where they were sitting just less than a month ago.
For a team that is already dripping with confidence, adding a popular player into a clubhouse atmosphere that is night-and-day different under Shildt is icing on the cake. It's under the radar moves like this in addition to all the mid-season shuffling that makes me have faith that GirschMo still really do have the magic.
I think the reason why I'm so goofy for the artist formerly known as Big Mayo (Big Kale Smoothie now? Big Pilates?...I dunno) is I just have warm fuzzy feelings for moments that reach beyond just his famous Kershaw moment.
Here's my top 3 clutch Mayo moments. Enjoy.
On September 4th, in a crazy game against the Reds, Adams hit not just one but two extra-inning home runs, becoming just the 7th player in MLB history to do so. You do not go inside on Matt Adams.
Just weeks later after his heroics against the Reds, Adams obliterated this ball in Miller Park to give the Cardinals a 6-4 lead in the 9th on 9/20/13.
Perhaps my most favorite moment outside of his homer against Kershaw, Adams hit a walk-off solo in the 16th inning in the wee hours of the morning to sink the Dodgers on 7/22/16.
It's moments like these that make me a little giddy to see Adams back in a Cardinal uniform, especially in the middle of this crazy resurgence we're all just privileged to witness.