M's 14, Twinkies 3
Dr. D is feeling distinctly chill about the M's rotation



Sorry, Yovani backers, Dr. D's cable went out at the best possible moment and he missed the first half of the game.  Else the Mainframe would render appropriate homage to a 6 IP, 3 ER start that featured 5 whiffs, only 1 walk and (no real surprise here) 0 homers.  No, this is not an urban legend.  Documentation is searchable on the internet.  It includes a ton of hard 2" by 12" cutting fastballs thrown with a big lead.  Good on yer.  It's a beginning, somethin' to build on.

Edit to add, Bob Dutton relayed a Yo-Ga nickname.  Anyone who is able to chill during the flames of a 6.24 ERA richly deserves the nickname.  (Sorry, can't help myself!  Stop me before I bash again!)  No, after last night he is Yo-Ga for four days.  Hopefully he'll be Yo-Ga for four months ... well, for six weeks, anyway.  Dr. D sees positive Yo-Ga :- ) starts and thinks in terms of drawing hapless enemy GM's in.  Like a lurer fish with a dangly on its tongue.

Hey, we don't get anything else right, why would we get fish biology right.  What are those fish called again?



Mitch Haniger's 4-for-6 night left his OPS at a piddling 1.043.  For the Klat non-sports writers who gaze at SSI at an utter loss as to why we dominate, but who like baseball a little bit, here's a primer.  "1.043 OPS" means that Haniger is the 5th best hitter in baseball history.  This is considered very desirable and is not very usual for a Mariner.

We see that these last two games were plenty to charm Bob Dutton all over again:  "It's easy to forget he was the Mariners' best player" ...



Ben Gamel crossed home plate on three separate occasions ... by the fourth inning.  This leaves his outcome-based evaluation at .330/.400/.452 as he hits the 1/3 pole, exactly, on a full season's 525 plate appearances.  We were looking at Texas Leaguers and noticed the following hit chart:


Beautiful, is it not?  Also the chart makes it appear as if Gamel is 23-for-24 on fly balls pulled to the outfield.  That can't be right, but the eyeballs have confirmed something occurring in that general realm, at least.  If Gamel gets the ball airborne out in front, and the ball doesn't hit the first baseman or the second baseman, the pitcher is in deeeeeep deep trouble.  This may have something to do with Benji's BABIP.  This kid is tomahawking some SHOTS over there when he gets his pitch.

Of course, the reason we were at TL.com in the first place was to check Moe's complaint about Gamel and the way he gives away the first pitch every time.  Well, not EVERY time:  he swings at 13% of first pitches.  That's compared to the 46% that is normal for baseball and the 40% that is normal for Gamel.  He doesn't give away EVERY first pitch; he swings at one, like, every two or three games.  

This actually implies an ability to improve for the young Gamel.  Just gettin' started.



Zunino had yet another three hits and homer.  Zoom (not Zuum) offered that he looks like he's getting a bit more control of things at the plate.  Dr. D offers that Zoom looks positively QUICK at the plate; his early RBI single up the middle was swatted.  That's what Teddy Ballgame would growl at Yaz when Yaz was in a slump:  Be quick ... quick.

Honestly, Zunino looks quick to the zone.  Not just by his standards but by anybody standards.  ?Pitch recog?  That's another thing.  But Zunino is snake tongue quick right now, as if he's using a pepper swing.  Except his pepper swing is hitting the back wall.

You wonder why they stay on this guy.



The M's preview, linked below, points this out regarding James Pazos' fastball:

Entering Monday, Pazos had increased his strike rate (59.8 to 68.8 percent), batting average against (.400 to .221) and swinging strike rate (39.3 to 50.3 percent) dramatically on his sinker.

Give it up for Mel Stottlemyre Jr.  This is a big one.



Here is the text preview and here is the stats preview.  Here are the Shandler Pure Quality Start (PQS) totals for Bergman.  These break a pitcher's K, BB, K/BB, H/IP and HR into an 0-5 scale where 3 means a quality start.  It was used as a guide for fantasy baseball owners considering a trade and wanting to know if an SP had been throwing well the last month or so.  Bergman's:

  • 4 on June 8, missing only on IP and stamina
  • 4 on June 2, missing on HR mistake avoidance
  • 3 on May 28, missing on K's and CTL (hmmmm he got these scores all in different ways) (this was a shutout but not a lockdown in PQS terms)
  • 0 on May 23 when he was fricaseed for 10 earnies
  • 5 on May 17 vs Oakland when he had that 7.1 2 0 0 2 9 0 line
  • 2 on May 12 when he only allowed 3 runs but did little right in terms of K's or hit prevention

Overall it's the picture of a guy you'd trade for to help you as a 3-4 starter in the near term.  More than that you'd have to go to things other than PQS.  Anyway it's super cool that his ERA is only 4.03 in 38 innings despite that Toronto game.


Dr D




Re: Gallardo nickname, I prefer the one I came up with yesterday, "Go Yard-O." It better fits his more customary game.

But hey, give it up for Yovani. On a night when it was clear by the fourth inning that the M's would have won no matter how badly he pitched, he pitched fairly well. It would be nice if he pitched that way on nights when we struggle to get 4 runs.

Fun last night after noticing the game score on MyNorthwest to pull up the MLBtv "90 minutes after end of game" archived broadcast and just watch the top half of innings where they scored runs. It was the baseball equivalent of a one-sided fight from the old Batman TV series. Lots of "Wham!" "Bam!" "Biff!" "Boom!" If the M's had squared up any more pitches they would have had to changed their superhero identity. "Look! Up in the air! On the ground! Sharply hit balls by Super'Ms!"

Gamel may yet come back down to earth, but he's not showed any signs of it so far. Haniger took one game to adjust, then in his second game back again demonstrated that he is a REAL-LIFE Superman.

Gamel from the Left, Haniger from the Right. It's like the old political show Crossfire, except it's not political. Two complementary young M's outfielders break onto the MLB scene in a BIG WAY. Who'da thunk it?!


I preferred that one, Daddy.  Loved it, in fact.  Smart and issue oriented, respectful and thoughful.  Almost no shouting.  What a show. I miss it much.  "Bye Bye!"

Of course, Buckley's Firing Line blows them all out of the water.

Thanks for the Gamel stuff, Doc.  Great spray chart and thanks for holding me to the fire on the 1st pitch stuff.  I have to learn to stop exaggerating.  :)

Gamel's BABIP will certainly normalize, as I've said before.  But it isn't bottoming out, he just hits the ball hard in too many different directions to be shifted to death.  And the moment that he has back to back games where he cheap seats an 0-0 FB one game and then rockets one off the RF wall in the next, then P's are going to attack him a bit differently with the 1st pitch and that means he's going to have a few more 1-0 counts.  

He's had 181 MLB PA's this season.  He's 5-10 when putting the 1st pitch in play, plus 1 SH and 1 SF.   He's had 72 1-0 counts and 97 0-1 counts.  If I add all that up, it looks like he's seen 109 1st pitch strikes (including swining or bunting ones) and has had 5 hits.  

If you go to fangraphs, you find out his Pitch FX Value is +10.9 on FB's (Cano's is 4.9) and he see's them 38% of the time.  His PV/100 is 3.88 on heaters (Cano 1.6).  He hits FB's, yet he still watches a bunch of 1st pitch FB's go right down the middle. 

Man, CHEAT once in a while kid.  But he's learned.  If you notice, the preferred 2-strike route against him isn't the high FB, out of the zone, anymore.  He learned to lay off or foul it off.  Now the 2-strike attack seems to be inside, often with bendy stuff. He's getting some respect, isn't he?

21.5% O-Swing and 62.1% Z-Swing.  He's picky.  Only a 10% SwStrike rate, too. 

In the field, Inside Edge says he's got to every ball that he's supposed to get to.  He's had 6 opportunites at "Remote" (1-10%) balls but hasn't shagged any of them.  He needs 4 more chances.

And you know that Servais loves him to death, even leading him off vs. lefties. Don't you get the sense that for the time being we will see a (mostly) Dyson-Heredia platoon and with Gamel getting even the bulk of the LHP starts?

Re Gallardo:  Whenever he eats some innings he earns two more starts.  I am not optimistic about them, but I wasn't about this one, either.


His soft contact generation seems to have evaporated, and he's getting the highest rate of in-zone balls called of his career while simultaneously getting the fewest out of zone calls of his career, not that this is all the umpires fault when every third pitch misses by 6+ inches.  I still think he can string together a few starts that tug his ERA down from the clouds, but at this point it feels like Christian Bergman should be higher on the depth chart and that's not good for anyone's career.

On Gamel, I'm still of the opinion that he's taking the first at bat of the game (and at least his first pitch against most relievers) as a live study session, cramming on every pitcher he's never seen live.  He's certainly not like Ackley, clinging to his own image of the strike zone and hoping for balls, because Gamel's second pitch (0-1 or 1-0) aggressiveness is back in the mid-40's%, and his OPS on pitch #2 is somewhere around 1.500.


...we have Segura/Maniger/Cano/Cruz in the top four slots. Some arrangement of Seager, Valencia, and Gamel in the next three slots, and Heredia or Dyson/Zunino or Ruiz to finish it off. That's...DEEP

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