K-Pax vs the NL's Aaron Nola


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,





The league-wide standard.

EVERY team has a Zunino-esque hole in their lineup, with super-rare exceptions. This doesn't take into account that, whether you believe in him COMPLETELY or not, Zunino has taken large steps forward since his beginning to the season. His hole is significantly less profoundly deep than the average.

I don't need Mike to hit fifth in the Seattle lineup (which is a greater challenge than it would be on the average team, by the looks of things). I just want him to be worthy of hitting 7th instead of 9th, wherever he actually ends up.

Good thoughts, Doc. I've heard the point stated before, but it hit me on a different level this time. Maybe I can 'trust' Zunino a little bit.

Guatever's picture

Admit it, Doc. You just linked that Moore article to remind us how little insight other writers contribute to the discussion. 


Well, I would have to admit that with all the Denizens here, I wouldn't have to venture far off SSI to get my baseball news and opinion... between the group here and its camera angles, it's pretty well covered from my standpoint!


Up to Miranda to replace him.  Up to Andrew Moore to step us up.  K-Pax, Felix, Miranda, Moore and #5 SP still plenty for a big 2H sez the Mainframe.


Why am I not surprised? You could see this coming a month or two ago. Expect the same or similar for Iwakuma.

The return of a healthy Smiley would have been huge for this team, but it was not to be.

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