|Ibanez goes deep again
With his second inning blast against the Yankees this afternoon, Raul Ibanez now leads the majors with 17 home runs and the National League with 42 RBI.
He has gone deep in each of his last four games and ten times this month, the most of any month of his career. To put Ibanez's surprising power-stroke into perspective, while still very productive last season, he didn't hit his 17th home run until August 5.
His three-year, $30 million dollar deal with the Phillies in December was a rather under-the-radar signing. It actually signaled some concerns that the Phillies lineup would become too left-handed dominant, but it hasn't mattered so far.
He entered the day leading the National League in OPS and slugging percentage and was right up there among the league leaders in batting average, hits and runs. His ISO, currently a major league leading .385, is roughly double that of his career average.
While we marvel at his incredible start, Ibanez would rather focus on the task at hand:
"Even when we talk about this, I'm answering questions, but I'm not really answering them. I only want to think about the things that I can control. You know what I mean? My preparation, my attitude, my approach - I can control all those things. Everything else, I can't control. Where you are playing, who you are playing, the time of day, feeling tired, not feeling tired - all of those things are irrelevant to me. It's just kind of noise in the background. I try to focus on certain things and the rest just becomes noise."