Re: Lind as playoff hero, I was thinking the same thing after his blast yesterday. Though he may not come through as consistently as some others, and though he may frustrate you often in big situations (who DOESN'T?! even the best fail more than half the time), he is a legitimate change-the-game-with-one-swing threat. If you get even one of those it the playoffs, or in a game that decides whether you get to the playoffs, that's huge. I think he has some big moments ahead in that bat.
A few random thoughts and, in Dr. D's dream world, one comment sentence from every Denizen towards the joy of victory Sunday. :: anthony hopkins smile :: Don't forget that your best way to reinforce the shtick is to volley a little of it back each day. Love love love seeing comments, to go with the Shouts.
Meaningful games in September. If your very life depended on it, would you rather chase down one mediocre team from -5 behind, or two good teams from -2 behind? Well, that oversimplifies it. But Fangraphs gives us a 27% chance of catching the Rangers and an additional 20% chance of being a Wild Card entrant.
Is the Wild Card one game this year or three? ...
Brad Adams asked Robinson Cano, a pennant-chase veteran, what the appropriate mindset is for the ballplayers right now. He said, nothing. Just play hard. It isn't September yet and the Mariners aren't leading. So keep winning and see where you are later.
Which is counterproductive from a blogging standpoint :- ) but the very personification of the aikido state of mu shin, "no mind." Did you see the movie where Tom Cruise was a samurai? He kept getting beaten down and finally a samurai clued him in. "Too many minds! Mind on people watching. Mind on enemy sword. Mind on pain." If the Mariners aren't thinking about the standings much, maybe they are thinking about taking 3-2 paintballs the other way.
Adam Lind got the bat head out in front and Light Tower Power'ed that solo shot 440 feet. It was 113 MPH off the bat; imagine if you were a pitcher and got hit by a shot like that -- a batter in the same situation would be bent over weirdly, no helmet, no ability to duck, etc, while being hit by a Sidd Fynch heater. Get that plexiglass screen up in front of the pitcher.
Sorry about that. We meant to say that Lind earlier this year hit a home run for us longer than that one, 449 feet. And he hit another one that was 435. And another one that was 425, and another ... he's got 17 home runs in part-time play and their average distance is exactly 400 feet.
Interestingly, he's hit all of his 17 homers off tomata cans. No Verlanders or Darvishes on the list. Bunch of Luis Podermos and Zach Neals on the list. Well, pretty much. It's a funny list. (Link-er-oni once again.) Lind does strike you as more of a mistake hitter than, say, Seth Smith much less Robinson Cano. But that's okay. In a long lineup full of rawhide-tough hitters, I'll take one guy who loves to go 418 feet off Vance Worley.
Also, I love arena baseball, with 11-6 scores. The M's lineup looks stacked to the rafters, especially compared to our recent legacy of clever little 513-run rosters. Adam Lind could be the playoff MVP, right?
We meant to say too that the M's were down 1-0, with their number 7 starter on the mound, when Lind notified Air Traffic Control of UFO's in the flight pattern. Dr. D fancies it was the kind of home run that told the A's it was going to be a long day. At least, back in the 1988-92 Bash Brothers days, when the M's were up 1-0 and Jose Canseco hit one 440 feet to level the game, I used to put my emotional transmission in neutral for the rest of the evening. You knew what was coming next.
Chris Iannetta is one whale of a backup catcher. Slap me silly. Ever since Scott Bradley and Dave Valle, I've loved having two starting catchers on one team. It's like putting suet in chili. Gives the roster a thickness.
Mike Zunino has flashed some bat speed lately. Earlier we wondered whether he could be quick to the zone as well as powerful through it?, and whether this could have been his fatal flaw the last few years.
But lately he's flicked the bat and pulled several 90-92 fastballs down the LF line. And looked explosive doing it. Just amending our earlier cornball guesswork.
Wade LeBlanc is a topic for discussion at our second site, D-O-V Mainframe. Well, he would be if any of you discussed him.
Kyle Seager has gone from batting .260 with 20 homers and solid walks, to batting .285 with 30 homers and really good walks. This year's batting line wouldn't be out of place on George Brett's baseball card. Neither would that Sunday double have been out of place on George Brett's highlight reel, the bases-loaded gapper that rolled to the wall and cleaned 'em off. Which left Edwin Diaz fresh to lock down Felix' start Monday, baby.
Brett had 4 seasons way better than Seager's 2016, 4 seasons noticeably lesser than Seager's 2016, and eight seasons about the same as Seager's 2016. Not counting his age 38+ seasons. And of course we're not saying Seager is as good as Brett was. But right now, Seager is as good as anybody who wasn't as good as Brett. Which is everybody.
But you know what, with Seager's penchant for 95 MPH fastballs and his swing shape and his playing for one team at third and everything else, he does remind me of George Brett. He'll never hit .390, I don't guess.
On the TV broadcast, they gingerly predicted that Zeus will be ready to go on Tuesday. Now, that's what I call enjoyment: 8-of-9, Texas' lead crumbling, and you got Felix-Paxton up next.
...and that is the kind you face in the playoffs
Re: Winning is fun. It sure IS. I dig it.
We ain't won nuttin' yet except more games than we've lost, but we've sure putting ourselves in a position for meaningul September games. And who knows what can happen once you do that. I'm hoping this team has more staying power than the 2009 team that took a similar position and lost a buch of games in a row in early September to make the last half of the month much less exciting.
I think they do have more staying power, but momentum is only as good as your pitching. This club needs the starting pitching to hold together from here on out. (So tell me sumpin' I didn't know already, DaddyO!)
Assuming Zeus is okay, and with Felix scratching his way back into Extra Quality Start status, and with Iwakuma's shoulder okay ... seems they've got several draws at the #4-5 SP deck. Or not?
LeBlanc is fine against the angels and athletics, but make him face a real lineup and you won't like the results. Ditto Wieland, Miranda, and the other filler arms. We have got to get Walker in rhythm and Paxton healthy if we're to Gabe any real staying power.
I am enjoying the run, and being able to keep football on the back burner for a few more weeks... and hopefully several more after that!
I am also dreaming about what September may bring, when the rosters expand.
It is given that Karns, Cishek, Walker and Rollins are back... but the M's also have Cook, Zych, and Scribner throwin' on flat ground now.
Plus, Clevenger, Heredia, and Vogelbach... and maybe a couple others... hey Dipoto might even surprise us and grab a guy or two from the minors like Moore, Yarbrough, or Tank...
It should be fun.
It would be pretty blinkin' cool to see him used, a righty or two at a time.
Everybody's mad at Nate Karns, but find me another young SP with 270 K in 265 innings who turned out to be nuthin...
My first thought as I was reading the article pretty much mirrored DaddyO. Then SABR Matt chimed in, and I'm thinking "Hmmm..." That's like asking youself "Einstein or Tesla?"
This mook thinks that while SABR Matt is right in that you don't face too many tomato cans in the playoffs, you still need to GET to the playoffs, and there are plenty of tomato cans to be faced in the regular season. You guys can probably name them on the teams we have yet to play off the top of your heads, and some of those teams will have more than a couple of them. Let him mash the 'taters off the tomaters, win some games and get to the dance.
Once we get to the playoffs, as has been stated, it's the pitching that will carry us. You don't see too many 11-6 playoff or World Series games.
much less the current run. We wanted 15-8 or 16-7 against these weaklings, and they've started it 8-1. Lind has been part 'a dat.
On all the callups is finally OK. Now anyone on the 40 man roster or ML DL (bereavement, etc as of midnight Aug 31st)are eligible for postseason play. Heredia, Tank, Vogue and Zych being eligible for the postseason are things I've been thinking of. September can better decide who to bring than having to figure it a month early.
The recent 11 man pitching staff might have previewed a possible playoff bench. Carrying Heredia would fill both late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner,depending on game situations.