A stands for April. A stands for August.
A stands for Anderson.
Just as Tim Anderson torched pitching in the season’s initial month, he’s at it again here in late summer.
Anderson’s 30 hits in 17 August games are tied with Gio Urshela for the MLB lead (entering Monday), and he’s hitting a remarkable .411 for the month. What makes it even more remarkable is that the .411 includes an 0-for-8 in a doubleheader last week against the Astros. If you took that away, he’s hitting .500.
Anderson is riding a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games; it’s the third time this season he had multiple hits in at least four straight games. He had four straight multi-hit performances earlier this month as well as from March 31-April 7.
Whereas Tim took home American League Player of the Month honors for March-April, he’s even ahead of that pace for August in some respects.
But how is he doing it?
He’s cutting down on his strikeouts.
2019 strikeout rate
And when he’s swinging at balls in the zone, he’s not missing.
Contact% of balls in zone
|Zone Contact %|
He has been particularly deadly against breaking stuff.
2019 vs. breaking pitches
And he has returned to his lefty-crushing ways.
2019 vs. lefties
When Anderson suffered a high ankle sprain on June 25 in Boston, it was uncertain as to whether he’d be able to build on a breakout 2019 season. He showed signs of rust when he went 0-for-7 in his first two games back July 30-31 against the Mets. But it’s looking more and more like he just needed a few games to shake the rust off. Conveniently, his return to form coincides with the change of month. Let’s be honest, the fact that it’s August has nothing to do with anything.