Texas Rangers Mike Napoli (25) hits a two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning, during Game 3 of baseball's American League division series, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in St.Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Last I checked, Napoli, translated loosely from Italian to English means "baseball adonis."
Oh just re-checked my facts, and yes, it's definitely true.
Mike Napoli continued his recent tear on Monday as the Rangers eeked out a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. And it was all thanks to Napoli.
Continuing his dominance (well, relatively speaking) with two strikes against him, Napoli ran an 0-2 count against David Price to 2-2, fouled off a few pitches and sent an offering over the left-field wall that turned a 1-0, seventh-inning Rangers deficit into a 2-1 Rangers lead before Josh Hamilton added a couple of insurance runs on a two-run single.
Napoli hit .291 with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs this season in a two-strike count, which was good for second in the league.
He wasn't just getting done at the plate, but also behind it. He called a great game for Lewis, and in the midst of an eighth-inning Mike Adams meltdown, Napoli threw out B.J. Upton at second on a perfectly timed pitch-out to eliminate one of Adams' four mistakes (home run and three straight walks in easily his worst outing ever).
No one can convince me that Michael Young isn't the Rangers MVP this season, but Mike Napoli comes in a close second with the torrid second half of the season he had and his performance in big games, such as Monday's and last week's homefield advantage clinching win over his former team, who gave up on him, the Los Angeles Angels.
He's been phenomenal, he's made Jon Daniels look phenomenal and the Angels look bad. Rangers fans couldn't ask for more.