It starts, finishes, and ends with "Hard RBI." Boomstick's mortar shot in the 4th, to open the M's account and bring a McCullers sneerfest to a screeching halt, was one such.
The M's keeping the score right at 3-1, with some pretty defense by Dee Gordon in various and sundry formatons, was another such.
The Segura-Maniger-Stick trifecta in the 6th, to cut it to 3-2 and end McCullers' night, was loosely speaking in that category. On the one hand balls found holes, but on another hand Maniger took an 0-2 low-away pitch and swoooooooooon away I'm suffering the vapors here he got down on the ground like lawn pool and raked it into center. And Jean Segura is a hard RBI in the on-deck circle.
Denard Span(ked) the first pitch he saw in the 7th to tie it up and again the Astros were going, who ARE these guys. But the more so when Heredia walked -- check his leveraged (late & close) stats) -- and then took 3rd on a clever kick-away of a pickoff move. Heredia scored on an RBI single by guess who, "Sudden" Jean.
The Moral of the Story is simple. This team asks no quarter, not even from Lance McCullers, and gives none. Speaking of, they had many many MANY takes off McCullers' curves that they wouldn't have had in years past.
If you watched the last two games, and are still thinking Run Differential and Pythag, check your shirt. Remember how Marc-O's ERA and xFIP were going to converge? This is a team that's going to have an RD over +100. Maybe a hunnerd-and-plenty.
In the first semblance of playoff-atmosphere baseball the Mariners have played in a decade or two, Dr. D fancied the makeups of:
Every single offensive player except perhaps Zuumball and Healy - and those are in doubt either way. We could tick them off on our fingers but you can spend a very pleasant ten minutes ruminating on Dee Gordon's instinctive denfense, on Nelson Cruz' launch velocities, on Denard Span's jobsharing propensities, on Heredia's late-game zeal and enjoyment of the game, ...
Both starting pitchers, Pazos for sure, that RP8 for sure, a glimmer from Ryan Cook. Wade LeBlanc is going to need some umping, no doubts there, but when he gets it, he's gonna win us a few ballgames.
Has 27 hits through 61 games, done six other times, all by one player. There was a moment or two last year when we all wavered a bit as to whether he is a "very good" shortstop" or a "franchise" shortstop. The things he's doing right now? the fliners to right center, the jam pitches taken deep to left, the flurries upon flurries of 2- and 3-hit games? and NOT coming off Artie Lewicki ...
... well, a franchise shortstop is a whale of a good start on a
The M's hit six -- count them, 6 -- homers against two All-Star starters, one of whom (McCullers) had not coughed up a home ding yet this season ... another of whom (Keuchel) has done little but mulch Seattle teams since he cut the edges of his beard like Dusty Hill when he was 14 years old.
UP WITH A BULLET
We've got to go back to it. Well, for a few days. It is what, Leake (BJOL 50's) - MarcO - Felix (BJOL 50's) - Paxton against what, four "Openers" as Blowers aptly termed the Rays' Johnnie Bullpens? This is a team in Tampa that just quit on itself, and Dr. D would like to see a 3-1 result down in Florida. Call him cwaaazy.
||+40 -18 =0
||+38 -23 =0
||+35 -28 =0
||-4.0 after winning 4 in a row
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||Nobody else plus