Morse has been a breath of fresh air for a team in need of just that, recording a hit in every single game thus far, leading both the M’s and the majors with five home runs (Atlanta’s Justin Upton currently has five home runs, as well), and bringing an infectious personality to a ballclub that has very much lacked infectious personalities over the past few years.
Morse’s hot start to the season has produced a number of intriguing statistics — anomalous and otherwise — that deserve to be highlighted. Math nerds get your abacuses (abaci?) ready.
1. With five home runs in seven games, Morse is currently on pace to send 116 baseballs over the outfield wall this season. The all-time record for homers in a single season is 73, set by Barry Bonds in 2001.
2. With 10 strikeouts over that same span of games, Morse is on pace to go down on strikes 231 times in 2013. The single-season strikeout record is 223, set by Mark Reynolds in 2009.
3. Morse has a total of nine hits in 2013, putting him on track for a 208-hit season. His career high for hits in a season is 158, set in 2011 while with the Washington Nationals.
4. Those nine hits have been spread out over all seven games the Mariners have played this year. In addition to working on a seven-game hitting streak in 2013, Morse recorded hits in his final four regular-season games of 2012, giving him an active 11-game hitting streak.
5. With eight RBI on the year, Morse is on pace to drive in 185 runs, which would be the most ever by a Mariners player and good for second place on the all-time single-season list (the long-standing record is 191, held by Hack Wilson).
6. With 19 of his 31 plate appearances resulting in hits or strikeouts, Morse hasn’t had much time to draw walks. With just one base on balls this season, Morse is on pace for a mere 23 free passes in 2013.
7. With a current OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.182, Morse could become the first full-time Mariners player to record an OPS over 1.000 since Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez both did it in 2000 (Rodriguez posted a 1.026 OPS, while Edgar finished at 1.002). Interestingly enough, Morse was one of the most recent part-time players to post a 1.000-plus OPS for the Mariners when he notched a 1.056 line over just 18 at-bats in 2007.
8. Morse has scored five runs in 2013. Every single run Mike Morse has scored is the result of a Mike Morse RBI.
Sure, few if any of these trends will likely continue over the course of the season. But it’s fun to pretend, right? Here’s to Mike Morse continuing a very promising beginning to 2013.