In Saturday's 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, Nick Punto provided three hits, including a double and a home run.
It was, to say the least, atypical of his performances-to-date.
How atypical? So much so that it boosted his OPS by a full third, from .417 up to .557. His slugging contributed the biggest difference, shooting up by more than 100 points.
That his power should rise so dramatically can be no surprise. Before Saturday, after all, Punto had just the one extra base hit--a double coming all the way back on April 8 against the Tigers. Not only did he replicate his double, but he added a homer, tripling the figure from one to three.
There's no question that Punto has been a wreck for the Sox thus far this year. His failures at the plate have not been mitigated by impressive play at the field, and it had been getting to the point that he was not only failing to reach base, but aiding struggling opposing pitchers out of bad siuations be it with a double play ball or by swinging away when the pitcher was clearly struggling to find the zone.
But should we now be expecting this to start the turnaround? Simply put, no. Punto has done this before on some level. He did it in Detroit when he last had a two-bagger, going 3-for-6 with his double against Detroit as he made a rare appearance in the leadoff spot. He would get one more hint in the month of May.
It''s possible Punto is feeling it now. The hits were hardly the bloopers that they were the last time he was effective. But for now, let's keep him batting ninth if at all, shall we Bobby V?