Was only able to stop by the 'puter for a jiff, so here's a July 31 chat stub. As y'know, we live to serve.
1. This was the kind of mechanical, soulless victory that Paxton --- > needs to be able to give his squad.
He had easy velocity, and he was throwing strikes, but it says here that (first 2 times through anyway) his yakker was not really a danger and his slider/cutter wasn't much of a threat either. So he used the Red Sox fastball attack to much lesser effect. He had to settle for what, 6 ip 6h 0 r 0 er 0 bb 8 k. In its own way that is more of a $200M performance than when he's feelin' it.
Asterisk, late in the game he started landing his knuckle curve. That's where he started padding his strikeout totals like LeBron in the 4th quarter of a Warrior bashing.
Double asterisk ... Matty, do you know of any way to quantify "easy velocity"? Heh! The kind Verlander had when he was young, Clemens had, Scherzer has, where they're throwing 95 and can go to 98 any time they like. I'll bet if you could somehow take pitchers with Paxton's "easy velo" and study them you'd find something that ... wasn't unpleasant.
As y'might be aware, Paxton went 6-0, 1.37 in July (46:6:0 fip line) as he lifted the M's into the majestic glory of an Erasmo Ramirez trade. The M's are -3.5 back to KC at seven games over, with just the Rays between us and them.
2. Boomstick was the American League's #1 RBI man even before his game-winning blast in the first inning. He's got 79 in 101 games. Formulae are nice and all, but changing the scoreboard is nice in its own way, too.
Here's the video of Cruz' shot, which had an apex of 128 feet on its way out to the deep left-center upper tank. Niagara Falls is 167 feet high, so it's not like Cruz' ball was that impressive compared to Niagara. And that's nothing compared to the Pyramid of Giza, which clocks in at 455 feet. On a list of high things, Cruz' homer was only okay. On the other hand, the ball would have easily cleared the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (look it up).
Seeing as James Paxton was pitching, it also cleared the Mets' heads of ambition at an exceptionally early hour of the day.
3. Leonydas King of Spalding with the great RF dive and let's remember he hasn't seen that ball slicing away from him down the line. It's a funny thing, but as a 4-to-make-3 outfielder I like him pretty well. If he's hungry and has to fight for his time, keep the zone tight and give an intelligent at-bat.
His homer was on a high pitch, which is good since his problems come when he gets loopy and late. Almost better: his single was a fliner the other way, to left-center. Mebbe it did him some good to visit the old AAA digs, like Rocky III. Maybe Leonydas did some pull-ups down there on the water pipes under the stands?
4. Gallardo did throw nicely but Dr. D is dreaming of a Zeus-King-Miranda-Erasmo-Marco rotation down the stretch. Andrew Moore will stuff those info seeds in his cheeks like a squirrel and he'll be back.
5. Silver linings Dept. Guillermo Heredia is 7-for-his-last 18 with a 1:1 EYE, two doubles and a homer. For me Heredia is a dynamic, exciting young player and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's got.
6. Zoom says the M's will offer 2/$21M to Dyson which would be extremely happy middle ground for Dr. D.
6a. While he's at it Zoom also sees a legit Dipoto run on Shohei Otani this winter. And I'll just bet you that this forward-thinking org he-ah in Seattle would let Otani get in some platoon outfield. Hey, next best thing to a Brooks Kieschnick situation, what? ... Baseball would be a pretty fun hobby if Otani were involved in any way. The Legend of Typhoon Irabu, this time for realz.