5 Back Leg Specials
get outta here with that slop, kid


At D-O-V we have the graphix to support this post.  Pictures are a bit wonky here.  At https://drdetectovision.wordpress.com you can find the locations of the 5* back-leg specials the Mariners hit Tuesday.


Q.  Was Sale just lousy on Thursday?

A.  In my opinion he had a normal game.  He was sitting 93-95 mph; his pitch mix was 32-20-31; Chris Sale is Chris Sale.  Were you expecting to come in and score 12?

Visually he looked about a 4-5 on a Chris Sale scale, which is to say a Randy Johnson scale, which is to say he was a whale of a lot better than you, me, or our home team pitchahs.



This sequence went CHANGE ... FASTBALL ... CHANGE ... then pitch #4 on the diagram is a 93.4 mph, up-and-in fastball.  Jam pitch above the hands.

At this Mariners page there's a convenient video link to all 5 homers last night.  As we've always sermonized :- ) there is a difference between (1) a popup/long fly ball that is an HR/F roll of the dice, and (2) a pitch where the batter sets his back foot and launches the ball into the power alley with a golf swing.  Beckham's were the latter.



A second Back Leg Special, this one off the batter's eye (!) and a second bat flip.  It was a first-pitch fastball up, 92.1 MPH.  True that you have to be careful about up-and-outside but 92 MPH from Chris Sale is another conversation when you're dealing with the "tunnelling" on his slider.



A blast to straightaway center.  And a great 7-pitch AB, going

  • Change outside for 1-0
  • Change away for a swing-thru, 1-1
  • 76 Slider misses, 2-1
  • 83 changeup down the middle, swingthru, 2-2
  • 79 slider high, fouled off, 2-2
  • Tease fastball up over the zone, 3-2
  • 84 changeup, say hello to your friends out on the patio



Two straight curveballs, one in, one out.  Jerked over the LF wall like a 3-iron.  OK, maybe this one's not quite a BLS.  If you want to use HR/F to argue it coulda been just a double, then fine.  The ball was still barrelled up, pulverized, and into the power zone at a premium launch angle.



Sequence:  CURVE down middle 0-1 ... Fastball on black, high ... Fastball high ... Curve on knees 2-2 ... Curve juuuuust inside for a ball but WHOOOOOPS Domingo swung at the ball and check the video if you want to know what we mean by Back Leg Special.  The little bit of extra load, the extra lift, the intentioned spray direction, etc.


Q.  Are the Mariners going to average 8.7 runs per game and thereby exceed 1,400 this season?

A.  Maybe the league will hold them to 1,200 or so.  But it's pretty sweet to see Healy and Beckham (and Domingo for that matter) laying down the artillery fire that they are.  

I also enjoyed the Smith double where the CF took the ball off the wall, fired it back in to 2B, the camera shows.... NOTHING on second?  A few seconds later, they figured out where to point the camera :- )

The ballclub netted another 2 doubles, a triple, and 8 base hits are very respectable in a Sale game.


Q.  How'd Marco do?

A.  B- in a vacuum; the curve wasn't dangerous and the whole game was a FB-cutterfest.  Consider the enemy and his game management, A-.

Hope to do another post during the day but ... preferable would be a 12-point bullet list of addenda, best/worst things in the game.  Posted in the comments below :- )


Dr D




Sale was consistently missing his targets by a wide margin, leaving pitches out over the plate. The M's were not taking defensive swings.

It was a whale of a lot of fun to go from a first-inning sense of doom (Marco didn't look sharp initially, and Sale looked like Sale) to the rest of the game, where the M's were giving Sale whiplash and Marco righted the ship. For me the question after it went to 7-4 was how the M's bullpen would hold up. As it turns out, it held up just fine against the mighty BoSox, who might have been suffering from the initial game of a 3-hour time zone difference.

For three games, it's been fun, fun, fun! Break up the M's.


That Sale was frequently missing by 6+ inches only to hear a call of "He's missing by 2 feet" a couple minutes later.  45 strikes on 76 pitches (59%) isn't the 67-8% career that has seen 67. something most individual years. 

Elias came in and couldn't locate his curve, giving up an RBI to Benintendi on his third miss with it to the first batter faced.  So he ditched it.  Betts got 94.8 jam, inside 86 change then flied out for one of his 2 outs on the night, 86 change low away.  He then hit Devers who was so fooled that he swung at it.  Elias didn't miss the opportunity, going after Devers to strike him out on 2 more 93.8's, down the middle then just above the zone.  Releiving Kikuchi I'm the previous game he got the first 6 outs (7 if you count the bobble at 1st by Bruce that scored the inherited runner, followed by a K to end the 5th).  With 2 outs in the 7th he gives up a single and a walk, then is relieved by Altavilla who gives up all the inherited runs without a fight.  Festa and Brennan 17 K /24 P have had promising showings as well.  The bullpen isn't a disaster, there's the 1 big worry being hurdled. 

That was the most runs anyone has put on the defending champions on opening day ever.  Wire-to-wire in '19?


They showed a graphic on the ESPN telecast wherein his fastball velocity went from 93.2 in the first to 92.0 in the second to 91.2 four batters into the third. Maybe the velocity came back up after that?

But I also think Sale was missing up in the zone with his offspeed pitches, which is uncommon for him. He usually gets the whipsaw going with high fastballs low sliders and change ups.

Still agree that you've gotta give the mariners credit for having an actual gameplan against the Red Sox and executing that plan perfectly and it has to be seen as highly encouraging that the mariners are getting such a show from the secondary offensive pieces (along with their best hitter, Santana. :)  ).

I'm very...VERY fired up about Domingo. I like him at least as much as Haniger and y'all remember how high I was on him when we traded for him. I think Santana is .900 OPS standing still.

tjm's picture

Sale was all over the place. Had the same movement as ever but couldn't locate at all. If you fall behind with the offspeed, then the 92-mph heater ain't so hot.

tjm's picture

My brother texted me: Break up the Mariners. Oh, wait, they already have.

tjm's picture

Read his comments after the game? He knew Sale's pattern against him. Changeups low to put him in a hole, then wipe him out with a fastball up. He just sat the4re and waited.

I fear the Jay Bruce plan - let him play, restore value, then trade - might backfire into let him play, lose even more value then eat cash. Free Vogs!

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