Mallex Smith and his manager Michael Collins talk a lot about Smith playing “his game.”
That, of course, entails Smith putting the ball in play, preferably on a line drive or ground ball, in order to capitalize on his speed.
Smith has 14 stolen bases this season, second-most in all of Minor League Baseball.
But in Saturday's 15-10 win over Peoria, the TinCaps leadoff man nearly did something historic, a feat typically pulled off by skilled hitters.
With two triples, a double and a single, Smith spent his final two at-bats chasing the cycle. It didn't happen, though, as he grounded to second in the sixth and flew out to center in the seventh.
“I just stayed within my game,” Smith said. “I know I'm not a home run hitter. I wasn't going to try. Maybe (inside-the-park). That was my best bet.”
Smith has homered just six times in 558 at-bats in his professional career.
No Fort Wayne player has hit for the cycle since Rene Lopez did so on May 27, 1993, the franchise's first year in town.
NUMBERS GAME: Baseball is a game of many things – inches, strategy, conversation, skill, concentration.
More than anything, though, it's a game of numbers.
In that spirit, let's examine Saturday's game from a numerical point of view.
8 – extra-base hits by the TinCaps on Saturday, a season-high
15 – season-high in the runs column
18 – season-best in hits
6 – batters who had multiple hits
9 – errors by Peoria over the final two games of the series