M's 5, Royals 2
hang loose when I'm on the bases, Dept.



Jacob Faria twirls a gem for the Rays, 6.0 IP and 4 hits being the same as Paxton Friday, with 1 ER and a 2:9 control.  But the Rays waste three hits from the unstoppable Logan Morrison and they lose to the Brew, 2-0.

Royals +4 games over, Rays +3, Mariners +1.



Dr. D was a little annoyed that the beat writers sold this RBI hit as "bailing out" James Paxton.  I mean, talk about no margin for error ... six wins, then you give up two runs in the seventh game and it was an off night...

The M's site pointed out that Dyson was batting only .138 this year Left On Left.  But he put quite the swing on that line drive, didn't he?  My dad always said he loved singles to center that the outfielder caught on a hop or two.  :- )

It could be that some Denizens had not noticed Jarrod's stolen base percentage this year, 26 of 31 which is 84%.  Dyson is 202-and-35 for his career, 85%.  League average is 70-72%, break even around 68-70%.  This makes Dyson #3 among active players for stolen base efficiency.  Scott Servais for some reason never uses him as a late-game pinch runner in a tie game, that "some reason" probably being the 15 pitchers he keeps on his roster.  But Dyson has contributed +7 runs this year with his legs alone.  

This means he's worth 1 WAR per season, merely running the bases.  A 2 WAR player is a valuable average-solid fulltime player.  Dr. D is not a fan of "soft skills" 5 WAR players like Chone Figgins, but a "soft skill" 3 WAR player is another matter if he pops a parachute behind himself running down balls in center field.  Dyson's 1 WAR on the bases, 1 WAR minimum above the average center fielder, and it's not like he is Brendan Ryan at the plate.  You can safely pay Jarrod Dyson, and other true speed burners, for three wins.  Dyson's speed changes the scoreboard.

Dyson makes baserunning look easy, but we're guessing it's probably not.  Jean Segura was supposed to be motoring too.  There is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.


Nelson Cruz has been tweaked and out of the lineup for a few games.  How much had you noticed?  Layering, baby ...



Factoid:  43-for-56 strikes with the fastball.  League average strikes is 45%, so that's a little bit like DeAndre Jordan going 43 hits, 13 misses from the foul line.  Interpretation:  Paxton dealeth his fastball with complete impunity.

Subfactoid: lots of swings (34) but only (2) hits off the fastball.  Interpretation:  Sully may have been correct about hitters getting lousy results on balls in play.

Factoid:  23 total curves at -15 MPH and -12 inches drop.  Fifteen strikes and an astonishing 7 swings and misses, 30% whiff rate on it.  Interpretation:  Kershaw

Factoid:  17-of-23 first pitch strikes again, this time a pretty good mix of pitches.  10 swings, 2 hits.  Interpretation:  Paxton is getting a whale of a lot of pitcher's counts.


Something that had never quite jelled for me:  they have to try to take Zeus types "early in the count."  With two strikes they're at his rather questionable mercy.  But!  If a batter does swing at the first pitch he guarantees* a pitcher's count for the at-bat.  In that sense a first-pitch swing is a big gamble against a 10K pitcher, because they have to hit it hard on that swing.

And the gamble rarely pays off against Paxton anyway.

We've got very little choice but to conclude he's good at baseball.


Dr D




...that in the AL, the Yankees and Astros are the only two teams that have better offenses than we do reliably. Not too shabby.


At 106. We are at 100. Surprizing, isn't it? They're doing something right over there. For one thing, they pulled another first baseman off the scrap heap. LoMo at 145? You can't be serious!


We've got 6 batters who are well above average for the year, and 4 more who are solidly average.  The M's will field an above-average lineup tonight against Duffy.

I don't know whether the Motters and Martins and ? have pulled it down unduly, or the Safeco park index is a little wonky this year, or what.  But 100 doesn't really represent the nature of the situation very well IMHO.  At least in terms of who is playing now.


Tampa has a nice OPS+ but is significantly below league average for runs per game, so perhaps Matt's *impression* of the situation was on target.  After HOU and NYY really it is CLE a level or two down from that, and then I'll take DET and SEA as other offenses I like.

:: shrug ::


Well Matt, that explains why Felix looked off his last time out. Hard to get comfortable when your arm is in the process of falling off. Explains why his stuff was worthless mush, too.

That means Marco is up for the start... so much for giving him a soft, carefully timed landing. Doc just called this a playoff series, but, uhm, no pressure kid.


There's a reason I said something was wrong with him either personally or physically...he looked way...way off...demeanor and stuff. If your arm hurts, you won't have that spritely disposition either. :(


To try to correct my past error...

Bat loves Marco, and the whole story that is Marco.

Zoom loves the Cardinals pitching depth.


Yes, Tacoma, it's me that likes Marco, and I have liked him since Gonzaga. The interesting thing to me is all the "13.50 ERA" comments around the 'Net about his callup. I've had some issues in my life that required some rehab, and I currently have to go to PT to maintain my ability to walk and stand even a little bit. For Marco, coming off TJ surgery and not pitching at all last year, getting built up in April, then pitching a few games in Memphis and then getting called to pitch in a DH for the Cardinals is actually quite good progress.

He got hit. OK. The Cardinals are among the best at developing pitchers. They didn't DFA him right there. The sent him back down to Memphis, where he pitched lights out for 6 games and then got traded. Two more games in Tacoma to get used to things and settle back into the NW (his home is Seattle, even when he was with the Cards). Now we get to see him.

Yes, he's a LH pitcher who throws a change-up. But word is his FB is back sitting 91-92, touching 93 again - and maybe better movement than before TJ. And, he's known for a first-class brain and iron determination. We're not talking an 85 mph fastball here (though he struggled to maintain 90 in his Cardinal call-up). We're not talking razor-thin margins to BP pitching. This guy was pitching in the majors for one of the best-run clubs in baseball a year out of college and doing so in the playoffs with LOTS on the line. And he's hitting his stride after rehabbing for over a year.

I thought Tyler O'Neill was the high end for Marco in a trade; I thought something less (a rental?, an AA guy ++?) might get him because the Cards had a need at OF and have several top prospects knocking on the door. But I'm not sorry Dipoto made this trade. O'Neill still has trouble making contact, even though the contact he makes is LOUD.

Is Gamel a better bet than Tank going forward - less power but far more contact? In my mind, yes. And his defense and ceiling once he gets his base-running going full-bore adds considerable value. Gamel-Heredia-Haniger-Dyson-Martin until Lewis is ready (with Gamel as the back-up 1B)? Yeah, I'll take that, especially when Haniger gets a real reset (although he's hitting ~.800 OPS over the season in any case). Maybe not the Series this year. But I can't remember liking the roster quite this much in a LONG time.

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