Considering the turnaround that Stratford grad Justin Smoak has seen recently in Seattle, it's fitting that the Mariners' ballpark was handing out a Justin Smoak child's growth chart as a promotion on Sunday.
Smoak struggled earlier this year, but has found his grove in recent weeks. Last Sunday, The Seattle Times recognized the improvement with the headline, "Justin Smoak steadily increases batting average." In 10 days, Smoak had gone from a .173 batting average to .218.
"I'm back to playing every day and being ready to hit when I'm up there," Smoak told the paper. "That's the key — don't wait for certain pitches. Look for the fastball and then adjust."
This weekend only cemented the positive trend, with Smoak up to .224 and providing what little sunshine came from a series of losses to the Los Angeles Angels.
On Friday, it was four RBI's for Smoak, including a two-run home run. He followed that up with his seventh home run of the season on Saturday.
On Sunday, Smoak had two hits, including the team's sole RBI as he singled to right field in the 4th inning, bringing in the Mariner's first of only two runs.
The Post and Courier ran an in-depth profile Sunday on Smoak's Stratford classmate.