August 2018

the joy of sports (and of life)
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/18
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. ... and that's part of the joy of sports, that it's as unscripted as life is - that sports IS life.  At the very moment we thought the M's would never give us another dopamine hit, BAM!, they roar back to life and put all the pressure back on the A's. Sure, it's only one game.  But the M's back-channel characterized themselves as "excited" about the series, "excited" for the chance to put the pressure back on the A's, and slap me silly if that's not exactly what they done. It's as if the M's shook the cobwebs out of their heads with a violent sideways shake, blinked their eyes several times... Read More
various and sundry
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/18
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. The M's lineup seemed 9 stone-cold killers long, and I'd forgotten about one of them until they showed a shot on the bench.  Of Mitch Haniger, after his 4th-inning blast into the LF stairs, sitting on the dugout bench chatting with Jean Segura (who couldn't make the starting 9, apparently....) ... Mitch Haniger was hitting .359/.419/.641 (!) in the leadoff spot, before Monday night when he crushed a long line drive single to RF and a long home run to left.  Dr. D isn't much for batting lineup strat-er-gees, except for one thing.  Sometimes players LIKE a particular spot, or don't. Most of... Read More
you don't play with less life than that, kiddies
Posted by jemanji on 08/30/18
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. GAMEFLOW The M's in the top of the 1st inning looked like they wanted to make up for the humiliation of game one.  Segura smacked a single and stole second, and then Robinson Cano smoked a long single to score Segura easily.  1-0.  Even after that, Boomstick racked a menacing line drive and then Ryan Healy singled.  Seager struck out, looking every bit the 70-single man that Mo' Dawg sez he is, but still it looked like all the makings of a nice comfy 8-3 win vs. a 100-loss team. Erasmo Ramirez quickly gave the lead back, though, in the bottom of the first for a 1-1 tie and then in the 2nd,... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/18
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. And by "watch their playoff chances vanish" we don't mean in the sense of the old sportswriter cliche.  Well, we do mean it that way, but more we mean that the Seattle Mariners stood out on Petco Field and watched the San Diego Padres play baseball. ... sorry we weren't around as much last week, kiddies.  Circumstances intervened.  But we're here this week, even if the M's aren't.  The A's came from a 3-1 deficit to beat Charlie Morton 4-3, so the standings are: WC Team W-L GB NYY 84-48 Oak 80-53 Sea 74-58 DOA or -5.5 depending TB 70-62 -9.5 . It woulda been one thing if the Mariners got... Read More
or can we call it Dodger Neoplasticism
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/18
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. BJOL provided us a little puzzle, if you're looking to use a cup of coffee's worth of time to figure something out about baseball.   Earlier he had flatly stated that a good SEQUENTIAL offense is superior to one that's based around "everybody let's hit home runs together."  Now he runs into an offense that is both of those things: ..... Hey Bill,      an LA Times article from a couple of days ago on the Dodgers struggles this year noted that they were 1st in the National League in home runs but 21st in the majors in homers with men on base.   Even acknowledging the switch in terms, league... Read More
4 of 8 .... it's a start
Posted by jemanji on 08/24/18
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. Trevor Cahill took the mound and blanked the Twinkies for the first couple of innings while the A's took a 2-0 lead.  But in the middle innings, the Twins ralled.  Two walks and two singles tied it 2-2 and then in the next inning, two more singles and then a blast to CF by Mitch Garver put the Twins up 4-2; Joe Mauer singled him in and it was a 5-2 lead the Twins hung on to.  Bringing us to Hou 77 50 WC Contestant W-L GB NYY 79-47 Orcs 76-52 Sea 72-56 -4.0 TB 67-61 -9.0 . The A's have lost 2 in a row, 3 of 5, 4 of 8 following a long hot streak.  Hey, you take what consolation you can get... Read More
We weed so you don't hafta
Posted by jemanji on 08/23/18
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. Site's been down for half a week, guys.  Sorry bout dat.  There's an "extra" post up at D-O-V. . MLB's Jane Lee points out that not only is Edwin Diaz the 2018 MVP, but also consider While teammates Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, Mike Leake and Dee Gordon earn a combined $103 million this year, the Mariners can least afford to lose the 24-year-old Diaz, who is taking home the MLB minimum $570,000 while racking up saves and strikeouts at a record pace. . There's something royally fouled up about this system, in which players are paid for past performance as much as... Read More
and some mixed signs from the King
Posted by jemanji on 08/23/18
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. .... have now hit life support.  The standings, with 36 games left: . WC "Contender" W-L GB/shticky remark NYY 79-47 Oak 76-51 Sea 72-56 -4.5 TB 66-61 -10.0 ... it adds a bit to our chances that the Astros are 77-50, just one up on the A's, and could theoretically! drop back into the pack with some bad play. It's not that 4-5 games are too many to overcome with 36 games left; it's that the A's look less and less likely to throw us the losing streak that we need for them to have.  Scoreboard-watching for M's fans are comprised totally of watching A's scores and waiting for a 6-game losing... Read More
A "walk-off" balk is a surreal ending, kiddies
Posted by jemanji on 08/18/18
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. GAMEFLOW In the top of the 1st, the Dodgers scored a bit of a tough run on an Erasmo Ramirez that had not yet found his starter's rhythm.  A leadoff walk, a grounder moves him over, another groundout for two out, and then a ground ball finds its way up the middle to score the leadoff man Joc Pederson.   With our offense, you had to wonder how long that early lead would hold up. But in the bottom of the first the M's went nuts.  Haniger with a walk, then an out, then Robby Cano singles sharply off the glove of the 3B putting men on first and third.  Boomstick showed his 60 HIT tool with a... Read More
round up the usual suspects, Bogey
Posted by jemanji on 08/18/18
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. SIGH, SIGH, SIGH and THE PENNANT CONTEXT As we've all known for about three weeks now --- > if the Oakland A's continue to play .800 baseball, they're going to not only beat the Mariners, but the Astros too and then pull a 1976 Reds clean sweep of the playoffs.  In other words, our rooting investment depends completely on the proposition that a .500 roster will eventually start playing .500 ... with maybe a losing streak in there. Dr. D continues to man the crow's nest and wait, wait, wait for that A's stumble.  He'll let you know if they lose ten in a row.  I think they're watching in... Read More
with the Mainframe, I'm in, I'm out, I'm up to speed
Posted by jemanji on 08/16/18
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. Jerry Dipoto explains that Ben Gamel (slashing a cool .354/.427/.600 in Tacoma) was sent down, rather than Guillermo Heredia, because of short-term platoon matchups.  When we get past starts by Dodgers Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw, Gamel is likely to be back up: “Ben will factor in again very quickly,” Dipoto said. Dipoto said Heredia gives the Mariners “an opportunity against left-hand pitching,” but also acknowledged that it’s been a tough season in the batter’s box for the 27-year-old defensive specialist, who has a .219/.299/.313 slash line. “He had a terrific start and really it’s... Read More
M's find their baser nature in desperate win
Posted by jemanji on 08/15/18
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. Mike Leake had a 2-hit shutout to had the ball to Alex Colome in the 9th.  Line score:  8 2 0 0 1 6.  This guy is a #4 starter?  It pushes the M's record in Leake starts to 17-8 and Leake's ERA back down to 3.90, that being #20 in the American League. This leaves the M's starters at #17, #19, #20, and #21 in the entire league, with the Twin Closers, so it's not going to take that many runs.  As it is, the M's sit 70-52 which is no record to sneeze at. For the second time this year Dr. D writes the game without having seen it, which is Jamesian in the sense that he's spent his life... Read More
but we got 42 games left, pokey
Posted by jemanji on 08/14/18
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. The M's lose two games in a row to an Oakland team that, upon inspection, is playing as if they deserve to go 38-12 or something.  They are taking pitchers' pitches to right field, the pitchers are sequencing with purpose and intent, and the confidence is sky-high.  Right now Oakland has a collection of 25 average-solid players who are all playing at the very tops of their games. I ground my teeth through game one and had that feeling like the Blazers were going up against Houston.  Will candidly admit that I checked the score, fearfully, before scanning the DVR on game two.  Alas, even a... Read More
ka-ching yet again
Posted by jemanji on 08/12/18
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. GAMEFLOW Sunday’s game was brought to you by the word SKEPTICISM.  Even supposing that Erasmo Ramirez was to outpitch Dallas Keuchel, a 4:1 shot against, a bigger problem loomed.  The Twin Closers had gone back to back to back, and the Mariners usual formula for eking out improbable victories was unavailable. Inning after inning drained by with the Mariners ahead 1-0 and Dr. D got further morose about the strategic landscape of the game.  After Zuumball broke a pane of glass in the 7th, we finally saw a dice roll's chance of crawling across the wire with a fantastically lucky victory.  But... Read More
beating Houston? Nothing easier
Posted by jemanji on 08/11/18
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. Five things that occurred to the Mainframe about the M's dentist-chair-easy victory over Charlie Morton on Saturday night: . GAMEFLOW What happened, in a general sense, was that Wade LeBlanc gave up 2 easy runs in the second, seemed like it was 4, and Dr. D spent the next hour or so suffering.  However, later in the game, with nobody out and two on (?!) the Mariners whacked four consecutive bullets to take the lead 3-2.  LeBlanc finished his dentist-like five and dive :- ) and then Scott Servais went a-batter-at-a-time to get to the Twin Closers. Somewhere in there about the 8th, Guillermo... Read More
any guesses about what lives in my hair
Posted by jemanji on 08/11/18
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. MITCH HANIGER You can play in major-league baseball without being able to hit 98 mph fastballs. I would argue that it’s more usual to do so than not; hence Edwin Diaz. However, this asterisk to the ML resume requirements seem to matter little when you are "Mitch Hot"; he got a Gerrit Cole 98-er and pulled it down the LF line to tie this particular baseball game -- taking it from a predictable 2-0 Astros lead to a weird 2-2 tie in strange circumstances. Even more surprisingly, the Mariners wound up this far from going ahead 4-2 in the 6th inning and as the ball sailed through the air, he was... Read More
4 of which are new ... we hope
Posted by jemanji on 08/10/18
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. Oakland A's Last stat I saw, a couple of days ago, had the A's winning 34 of their last 45. Any playoff race presumes that they start playing normally.  Since they have extremely normal players, Dr. D is going to take this as the prime computation. Even better than seeing them slow to a .550 pace would be one seeing them hit a bump in the road, a losing streak along the lines of 4-9 or so.  Then, bang, the M's are back in it presuming they play to their abilities. One thing that does impress, though, are the marginal improvements that Jerry Dipoto has accumulated in his cheeks like a... Read More
Now that he's been removed from the rotation?
Posted by DaddyO on 08/10/18
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On the Slack SSI general chat Ice used the term "make a path" as a way of describing how the M's should approach dealing with a broken Felix, who has one more year on contract at about $27 million. I like that phrase as a guideline. You present Felix with as generous a path as you can, one that preserves his dignity as best you can. If Felix takes it and acts the part, good. If he doesn't you have a plan B that is not as attractive to him or to you. The cost of Felix is sunk. Even a traditionalist like me understands that. You have to decide if he's a potential asset in any capacity. If you... Read More
If hitting is contagious, then....
Posted by jemanji on 08/09/18
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. So in the first few innings, Mitch Haniger, Denard Span and Jean Segura got caught monologuing, bragging to Justin Verlander how feeeeeeeble he was and how inevvvvvvitable his defeat was.  He didn't have much of a reply and the Mariners began their predictable charge back into control of the AL Wild Card race. It’s not like Verlander was having an off night, either. The Mariners were hitting bona fine Verlander pitches; his fastball was averaging 95.3 miles an hour in the first two innings and have a 12 inch hop to them.  He was on an 8-game roll and last time out he fanned 14 men. For... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 08/09/18
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. Hey amigos.  Sorry for the absence.  As per usual, it was health-related.  So what else is new :- )  siggghhhhh..... like my T-shirt tells me, "Pain is your ally.  Pain tells you that you have been wounded but you know what the best thing about pain is?  It tells you that you are NOT DEAD YET..." - Vegeta So obviously Marc-O is not dead yet, judging by his pain level.  Of course there's a level of pain, namely Felix', that indicates you're still alive but might not be for much longer .... And the A's can't continue their redonkulous 34-11 streak or they'll overtake Boston, right?  At the... Read More
some guys look like a 0+ ERA standin' still
Posted by jemanji on 08/06/18
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. It’s a funny thing about the way we feel after watching a sports game. Take the NFL.  If the Seahawks come out after their first game and win 35-10, we'll all be dissecting that 12-4 season. Or if they tanks, you know what we'll be thinking then… Scott Servais put some X's and O's out there for the M's, whereupon they came out on Sunday afternoon and played a game the way they had played about 50 games earlier this year: . BOOMSTICK BAB-EH Here is his first RBI, a topspin grounder that left the SS little chance.  Boom now has 69 RBI, putting him on schedule for 99.8 RBI and putting Jerry... Read More
Q: What is the value of a limping Dee Gordon?
Posted by moethedog on 08/03/18
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A:  Not much, really. OK, pure speculation here, since hard-fast injury data is still not in, but Gordon didn't look good coming off the field:  You have to admit, even if it wasn't a "they shoot horses, don't they? type of injury, it didn't look likely that Gordon was going to be his normal race car self today. Or tomorrow.  So let's suppose he's dragging an ankle around for a few days.  True Stuff: Dee Gordon doesn't walk: Didn't I just read that he had the lowest walk percentage of any leadoff hitter in decades?  His BB last night was his 7th of the season.  He's come to the plate 434... Read More
Dr. D is having wayyyy too much fun with this free fall
Posted by jemanji on 08/02/18
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. Ah, well.  The M's fall -0.5 out of the WC2 lead.  Six weeks ago, who'da thunk it.  Still, Dr. D reminds:  it's called a "pennant race" and in the absence of better things to do -- clean the garage, fold the laundry -- he is all for pennant races. . WAS FELIX SOLID? The M's website advertised him as such, saying: ... on a night when he was fighting to keep his spot in the rotation of the only team he's pitched for in a sterling 14-year Major League career, the veteran right-hander did what the Mariners asked. He kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win with five innings of two-... Read More
gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Posted by jemanji on 08/02/18
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. ... which exactly nobody noticed, since the headlines fixated on the Dodgers and Yankees as always.  But: Contenda + - GB NYY +68 -38 Sea +63 -45 Orcs +64 -46 Tampa +55 +53 +8.0 Back on June 15, the Orcs were 34-36 and I for one thought they were hanging in pretty well even at that.  The problem is that they were going to hang a lot better.   Since June 15, they've gone +30 -10, a cool .750 which is a pace for 121 wins and 41 losses over the course of a full baseball season.  Dr. D continues to remind that nobody plays .750 ball, even if they have a great team ... well, the Red Sox at .... Read More
A battle that's over before it starts
Posted by jemanji on 08/02/18
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. Sorry to make you bounce back-and-forth between two (and even three) sites to get a glance at each player's defense.  D-O-V handles graphics better.  If you open a second window at D-O-V you'll see the at-a-glance defensive charts.  We assume you put these side-by-side with the text at SSI. First is Heredia's, second is Maybin's.  Up-and-down the left side is hang time; at the top of the graph is an 8-second popup.  Side-to-side at the bottom is the player's distance from the ball's landing spot, so at the far right is a 140-foot run.  Obviously you can't run 140 feet in 2 seconds, so the... Read More