FELIX 7.1 6 1 1 0 3
It seems that Felix is getting the hang of his new incarnation.
To aiki-Doc, his body language and his pitching motion is much happier. For instance, he looked like he was standing with his feet a bit wider apart taking the sign - meaning that he was "chambering" his CG to tetherball around his right leg in a "fun, loose" motion. The acceleration of his CG around the tetherball pole - the point of momentum as he swung around and launched forward - had a swing feel rather than a muscular feel.
When he came off the mound in the 8th -- during the inning! -- he gave a happy little hop and fist pump. This is the sign of a man who is thinking, "I got this now!"
From an arsenal standpoint, Felix was throwing a CUT fastball to stay inside on lefties and not run back over the plate for the 440-foot rocket launch. He hit his spots with authority and the yellow hammer? He threw 19 of them and the strike count was -- wait for it -- 16. !
The run value on 34 cutters was -1.28 runs, yay goodie gumdrops. On his curve it was of course -1.08, or -5 runs per 100. He threw it to take control of at-bats, using it like Gaylord Perry's spitball to "nuke" any problem situation.
He did not throw many changeups and they were not the old Cheat Code changeups. Felix has only ever had one Cheat Code breaking pitch at a time. Personally am glad it is now the curve; it separates the velocities and creates a deeper front-to-back strike zone.
He only had 3 strikeouts but the groundballs came in bunches and only a very few times did a Ranger pull the ball in the air. Felix' stock is up, WAYYYY up, from January. As you know he sits at 15:0 for his CTL, over 18.1 innings. Better for me was the fact that he gave up 0 homers and deserved to give up 0 homers.
This velocity trend chart is a little weird. Welcome comments, amigos. Could be the many cutters, which they say are tough to throw at full velocity. Felix of course wasn't worried.
Anyway: you THOUGHT Felix would get it figured out, and that he retained plenty of weapons, but you didn't think he'd start this solidly this fast. First two games, he was a TOR loosely speaking, and yesterday he was a Stopper. Next stopper up tonight.
Yesterday "JeDi" confessed that the M's were embarrassed and then, as Corran noted, winked to the crowd about JeDi mind tricks in trade. Yesterday night, Zip made him look real good again. Servais brought him in for the $6M role, to bridge from Felix to Sugar, and Zip made two difficult LHB at-bats look
Which they are supposed to be. And which they in fact were.
It's interesting that Zip has 0 K, 0 BB and 0 HR in three innings pitched - which gives him an xFIP of 2.93. So if you hit every single ball into fair play, say 35 batted balls a game hit at average fielders, you would get a little less than 3 runs a game?
Way dominant again, after four days' rest, not that he was bad in the blown lead at LAA. At 150, 160 lbs., is he always going to be a closer who is better with a little rest? (1) If so, it's still okay to bring him in at 80%, as Weaver would say about Palmer "he's still better than the next guy."
(2) Lemme go check Billy Wagner, another tiny flamethrower, just for fun ... For his career, Wagner had absolutely no preference about pitching with 1 day's rest or none. We also suspect that a wide-ranging study would show little effect from rest for closers similar to Diaz. Mariano Rivera wasn't big, that's for sure.
Commentary on Zeus' dominance Saturday is best placed into the Shout Box below THIS post. :- )