SEATTLE -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler has 57 walks against 43 strikeouts this season and entered Sunday's 3-1 win over the Mariners with a 12-game hitting streak.
Kinsler said one led to the other. While the perception remains that he has not had a good offensive season because of a low batting average, he still entered the afternoon sixth in the league in runs scored and eighth in walks. His on-base percentage of .367 was the second highest on the team, behind Endy Chavez.
"My season wasn't that bad," Kinsler said. "Obviously it's magnified by the low batting average, but that wasn't affecting my game. I've just been waiting for the day when I got back to feeling comfortable. This game can humble you fast, so you just have to keep your head down and keep playing baseball."
In his first four seasons, Kinsler had 206 walks and 291 strikeouts. Last year, he cut that down to 56 walks against 57 strikeouts. The last Rangers player to have more walks than strikeouts in a season, with a minimum of 50 walks, was Rafael Palmeiro. He had 84 walks against 77 strikeouts in 2003.
"I think it's a lot of things ... better discipline, better recognition of pitches," Kinsler said. "That's the way they pitch to me. They don't want to give me anything good to hit, so you take the walk. Once they start throwing the ball over the plate, you have to be ready to hit. That's the cycle ... it just could have started earlier."