On June 6, Mark Teixeira wrapped up a three-game series in Toronto having gone 1-for-14. He’d struck out five times the day before, his batting average was down to .211 and there were plenty of calls for him to lose his No. 3 spot in the lineup. It was arguably his low point of the season.
“Stats are what’s fun about this game,” Teixeira said that day. “But as a player that plays 162 games a year, you don’t live and die with every good game and every bad game. You guys saw me play last year. You saw me be consistent all year. When I hit three home runs, I go about my business. When I strikeout, I go about my business. If you got to high when you’re going well and you get too low when you’re not going well, you’ll be done by July. You’re not even going to be able to play.”
Yesterday, Teixeira wrapped up another three-game series in Toronto. He had five hits in the series, four of them in one monstrous game. He hit his seventh home run of the month and scored his major-league-leading 94th run of the season.
“Our fans live and die on every game,” he said. “While we can put a bad game behind us, they’re going to talk about it until the next game. So-and-so didn’t pitch well. So-and-so didn’t hit well. So-and-so made an error. That’s fine. That’s what being a fan is all about is being able to talk about that game and living and dying with every pitch. But as a player, when the game is over, whether good or bad, you have to put it away because you’re playing the next day. It’s not like football where you get a whole week to enjoy a win. You’re back out there the next day.”
Given two months apart, those two quotes say more or less the same thing. They were given by the same player, in front of the same locker in the same visiting clubhouse, but they come from two very different times in Teixeira’s down-and-up season.
His stats on June 6: 57 G, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 35 R, .211/.326/.363
His stats since June 6: 68 G, 20 HR, 57 RBI, 59 R, .301/.397/.610
“We all expected that he was going to hit,” Joe Girardi said. “We weren’t surprised by the month of April, but we were a little surprised when he had it in June, too. He had a great May for us, but since then, he’s been tremendous. All the talk we had about Mark and his struggles, he’s leading the American League in runs scored and he’s up there in RBI. It’s hard to believe. These months that he’s been good, he’s been really, really good.”