Out of town here for a coupla days amigos. Imperative to manicure the SSI grass for the afternoon's cricket match, what say. Cheerio.
Brock and Salk ask, "What do the Mariners have now in Felix Hernandez?" They lament the possibility (?) that he's not Ultra King Felix (TM) any more. :: blinks :: The question at SSI has been, for about a year, whether he's going to be a quality #2 (top end) or whether he's going to limp along as a #4.
Felix' last outing, and his season-long 7:1 control ratio, give real hope that he's got some years of #2 in him. Dr. D has always bet the over with Felix, if the wagering pertains to where he'll fall in the #2-#4 territory. His offspeed is (still) way too good for a #4 starter. And he does a great job using his large muscles. He'll get it figured out.
THAT SAID we've always had an inkling for the Justin Verlander career path: (1) Cy Young (2) a couple years of soggy arm from the rain (3) once given a chance to bounce back, Opening Day again. The Felix we saw last outing had a wipeout change back, mostly, and his paintballs back, mostly. 'ere's 'oping, lads.
The M's now have 12 games, mostly at home, against bad-or-beatable teams. They'll be using their Big Four :- ) which means K-Pax in three of those 12 games. It also means 9 tough hitters and a superstar closer each day in those 12 games. Jim Moore has an article.
DaddyO and I have talked about how this team reminds us of the 1972-76 Reds, stylistically -- tag-team lineup, scary bullpen, questions in the rotation. If the Big Red Machine had gotten a long string of quality starts, whew. But Felix and Miranda are both looking hopeful, we've got Andrew Moore in there ... any day now, mates .... (?)
Ryan Divish's twitter feed has a nice video of Kyle Lewis tripling off the wall in his first AB. It also retweets the kewl Mike Curto, noting the Rainiers' comeback from 8-0 in the 6th Sunday night.
If you set the qualifiers to 220 PA's, the first two players in the AL for batting average are Jean Segura and Ben Gamel, who hit 1-2 in Safeco tonight. Maniger #7. Admittedly, if you drop the qualification to 200 PA, Mike Trout sneaks in between the two. Probably just a lucky couple of months for Trout, though.
Mike Zunino's season batting totals leave him as, basically, the #5 hitting catcher in baseball. Not the hot Zunino. That's the Zunino since callup, the Zunino of early travail, every Zunino in a blender and hit frappe' - he's #5 in both leagues.
Russell Martin is #6 for OPS/wRC+, batting .220. The bar for catchers isn't real high, so when Zuumball's a threat the M's definitely have a uniquely deep lineup. Them and the Yankee$, Astros. ... Zuumball needs 4 more RBI this month to catch Edgar and Blowers for most RBI in a Mariners month, ever.
K-Pax had two games there where his long-arc golf swing got out of rhythm, but he was 70% back to form last outing and hopefully it will be 80-90% tonight. 80% or more of James Paxton is a cakewalk victory. Here's tonight's preview..
See you at the ballpark,