....that Felix has found whatever he lost. 'Twould be extraordinary if he could lead the charge back into postseason contention, especially since he's been such a large contributor in the other direction. Perhaps lightning will strike and Felix will turn into Wonderboy once again. It's only the natural thing to do. *grins*
As in Game 1, the M's came out as though they were the ballclub with the $20M players and the four All-Stars. In the first inning they didn't score, but Segura whistled a single up the middle and then Robby stood up there twitching the bat menacingly before flying out hard. K-Pax was firing seeds, fanned two A's swinging and it looked like the overmatch it's supposed to be.
In the 2nd, the M's drew blood when Span walked, Healy ripped one into CF and then Gamel launched a 400-foot* double out to right-center-field. 2-0 M's.
The pesky rodent A's somehow managed to scrounge a run back based on some kind of pesky rodent baserunner who went to 1B on a strikeout - wild pitch and then came around to score. Bah humbug. 2-1.
But the M's bit back right away in the third, hard, with three runs: a Cano single, a Cruz walk, a hard Span hit up the middle, a Healy hit, and a Seager double* off the wall ?! that was scored a missed catch error by the 2B on the throw back in. The rodent A's had three such plays in the inning, outfielders bobbling balls and the like, but somehow totalled only 2 errors for the entire game.
Lou Piniella used to say his favorite strategy was to "get ahead and then play for one run at a time" and the M's, up 5-1, added to their lead in Sweet Lou fashion, driving it to 6-1 in the 4th and then 8-1 in the 5th.
They cruised from there until
.... goofy circumstances -- including a ball hit off a base -- got to Alex Colome in the 8th. Before it was over with, Edwin Diaz needed a 5-hitter save and the final score looked like it had been a ballgame. Well, it was during the 9th -- when, unfortunately for the A's, Edwin Diaz was pitching.
The M's remained a perfect 65-0 when leading after 9, which Bill James once compared to, suppose you had a racehorse who was 15-49 but 11-1 when leading ten yards from the wire. So what?
So nothing, but I can't wait for the M's to get back to their Twin Closers routine, I can tell you that.
So, if the hopefully-rejuvenated Felix can poach us one last win then we're within a series (-3.5) and get a breather against the 40-96 Orioles, followed by the (Astros) Padres and Angels. Time to make hay, but it starts with you, Felix.
PS the plan is still to add a post or two on D-O-V. Health rampin' back up and is just now towards normal gauge. Thanks for the patience amigos.
to Felix and your health both continuing to ramp up in the right direction.
Baseball is so odd that at this point, we really don't know exactly how the bullpen is supposed to line up. After all these games...stil unsettled.
In any case, Sunday seems like the first absolute must win of the season. Go Felix.
Split 2-2 and you have exactly the idea of "kissing your sister."
If we win this one then the post-game clubhouse is totally abuzz and 3.5 games back seems like 1.5.
We're 43 runs in the red, Pythaging out at something like 64-72, yet we're 16 games over .500. Alex Cora will win the Manager of the Year Award but Servais deserves some votes.
Speaking of Boston, have you guys checked out the twin monster years that Betts and Martinez are having? Mookie: .342-.431-.641 = 1.072 J.D.: .333-.404-.648 = 1.052.
Just wondering, when was the last time a team ended up with two guys north of 1.000 OPS?
101 OPS+, 96 ERA+ - we’ve been overachieving. Edwin Diaz is our MVP. It’s been an absolute delight watching him all season. Cruz as well.
Dee Gordon has been fun, but when his bat disappeared, it seemed our offense did as well. Mitch stepped up as leadoff, but maybe too late.
"Dee Gordon has been fun, but when his bat disappeared, it seemed our offense did as well."
That observation rings true.
.283-.301-.346 = .647 in the 1st half; .248-.279-.316 = .595 in the 2nd. Weirdly, the best month he's had has been July (.706) and the worst is August (.535).
In April/May he ran an OBP that was in the .327 range and was 16-2 in stolen bases. At that level, he was still a middling lead-off hitter, but really better suited for the #9 spot. He has hit better than .300 in 2 months and .291 in a 3rd.
What he's really been for us is Billy Hamilton without the great CF glove (Reminder: Cincy has been shopping Hamilton). Surely he brings that great 2B glove, but Servais has been pretty in love with Healy lately and really not willing to run Cano out at 1B for several games in a row. Healy has nosed his OPS up over 100 lately, almost all of it by feasting on RHP...not lefties. Weird. He's hitting .623 vL.
I am beginning to think that Gordon is facing a different mode of pitching attack. He's walked a total of TWO times in 194 PA since July 1st. TWO! Lefties have walked him ONCE (162 PA's) all season (But as I look at '17, he walked only 2 times in 194 PA vs lefties then) He's never walked much (his career OBP is only .034 above his career BA) but he's doing so a 1/3-1/2 the rate of his established seasonal rate. This Dee Gordon isn't very valuable guys, especially as a minus glove CF.
In his defense, he is leading the league in SB with 30 (with 10 CS) and this season is very similar to his .641 OPS '16, and he floowed that up with a 97 '17, hitting .308. We're paying him $27M over the next two seasons, let's hope he bounces back. Maybe a league full of "new" piters is messing with him, but he's such a slap hitter than I have a hard time believing that.
A question for all: What do you do with Cruz?
His '18 is only marginally worse than his last 3 seasons (defying time, there's that PED longevity boost) but we're facing problems where Cano/Healy/Gordon sort of run into one another's positions (unless Gordon goes to the OF fulltime) AND we've got to get more starting pitching. With the very same run differential next season, we could just as easily be 15 games under .500.
I don't think we bid big on Cruz. And I'm fine with that.
#Mariners are 76-61 with a minus-49 run differential. Mets are 61-75 with a minus-50 run differential.