Cindy and I went to the game Monday. But supposing you told us at 6 pm that the A's would hit five (5) homers and their starter would Feir a lockdown game?
Only way you win that is if your pitcher actually throws well aside from the solo HR's, and you get to their pen. Which we did. The average homer yields 1.7 runs, so x5 that would usually be 8.5 runs; the A's scored 5 total runs for the game on their 5 homers. How marvelous. Yusei Kikuchi is accelerating into an easy #2 starter. His and Marc-O's ERA are #17 and #14 in the league, Kikuchi's with a bullet.
Speaking of bullets, the GTRBI was 205 MPH down the left field line by our player do jour, Domingo.
Three more homers by the Mariners, this time off Brett Anderson who had coughed up just one previously. Daniel Vogelbach swatted a screaming ace return-serve down the RF line; it hit a seat halfway up and caromed madly into the concourse. I got your HR/f stat right here, brother.
Tim Beckham hit a ball 425 feet, or something, to his off field in right center. He's hitting .476 and the last four years combined at SS, his UZR is neutral. How many times have the M's needed a SS at the trade deadline and been unable to come up with anything? Word is there are few bats around this year ... maybe Dipoto needs to find somebody like Washington, who has Wilmer Difo at short with a -0.2 WAR.
Haniger leaned into another upper-deck blast, Mike Leake had his A+ command (6.2 5 1 1 1 6) and ...
Fanned 5 men in 7 outs to close out a 2.1-inning save. See his movement chart in the picture above. Elias seems to wear the faddish "tunneling" movement in which his changeup (85-86 MPH) starts out on the same vector as his fastball (94-95 MPH). You could see by the hitter's reactions that they were having 132 kinds of problems seeing the ball.
In 20+ innings, Elias sports an 8.9 / 3.5 / 0.4 slash, easily good enough to pitch the late innings. And even his lifetime slash, thrown before he jelled (?), is 7.5 / 3.5 / 0.9. But if he's going to throw the stuffing out of the ball like this, I'd sooner have him take the Scot Shields / Chris Devenski role, going 2-3 innings as needed or closing/setting up in a pinch.
If I'm going to watch the M's PLAYERS this becomes one reliever I want to see come in, along with Brandan Brennon. Supposing that Elias maintains this performance, and the Mainframe does love his arsenal, let's see if we can make Elias an 80-, 90-IP reliever on a pennantwinner?
Two nights in row into the upper deck. WAY into the upper deck. Has been in a bad slump the last two weeks, .191 even with the last coupla days, but is still batting .229/.318/.488 for the year. Included in that is a .269 BABIP -- it was .335 the last two years -- and the 100 points of OBP.
Been surfing around a little and the writers all complain there are no bats for the trade deadline this year. Come to think of it, that probably means the reverse is the case ... do you remember playing roto and there was always one guy who asked about your stars and then OFFERED YOU EVERYBODY HE WAS GOING TO CUT ANYWAY? :- )
Players not in the M's plans anyway: Jay Bruce, Tim Beckham, Edwin Encarnacion with 12 homers, Ryon Healy, maybe Domingo. And those are all guys with OPS+ way over 100. There's also Mike Leake, a stoploss SP with a 1+ walk rate and a playoff disposition. How many times have the M's needed a stoploss #4 or #5?
You could say three of them are plus regulars and three more are average regulars, or close to it. Well, Jay Bruce isn't average, though this is one of his 30-homer years. There's got to be a market for a few of 'em.
A few days ago, he and Servais said the key to his fix was to take a 40%, 50% swing. That's true in golf, right, how an easy swing can produce line shots into the bleachers?
In less than 1/4 of a season, he's got 26 walks and the most diamond-hard strike zone you'll ever see (22% chase rate lifetime, but the stat doesn't do the eye justice). A player with 100 walks would, and 'Bach of course has got the HR fangs to force lots of walks, that would finish top 10 in both leagues. And 100 walks, anywhere near that, would put the kibosh on all discussion of whether he's a regular at DH.
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