The M's First Three Pitchers Felix, Warren, Duke
Dr. D is having wayyyy too much fun with this free fall


Ah, well.  The M's fall -0.5 out of the WC2 lead.  Six weeks ago, who'da thunk it.  Still, Dr. D reminds:  it's called a "pennant race" and in the absence of better things to do -- clean the garage, fold the laundry -- he is all for pennant races.



The M's website advertised him as such, saying:

... on a night when he was fighting to keep his spot in the rotation of the only team he's pitched for in a sterling 14-year Major League career, the veteran right-hander did what the Mariners asked.

He kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win with five innings of two-run ball, though that formula went south when Kendrys Morales and Aledmys Diaz launched two-run homers off the Mariners' bullpen...


Sounds okay at first blush and Felix even gave the M's one solid inning among five (that being the 5th) but there were some lizards in the cellar:

1.  He was constantly in trouble, with a reliever warming in the 4th, a mound visit from Stottlemyre, various and sundry;

2.  He threw 32 of his first 62 pitches for balls, winding up with a poor 51-41 ratio;

3.  If Denard Span hadn't caught a ball 2' short of a home run, Felix gives up 5 in 4, not 2 in 5;

4.  Up until the 5th inning, we're talking a pitch count of 48 in 2 IP and 79 thrown in 4 IP;

5.  We could go on but you get the point.  No, it wasn't "Felix solid and bullpen blows it."  It was "same old Felix" against a Jays lineup lacking Donaldson, Tulo and everybody else they've had recently who puts the fear of condemnation in a pitcher.

Just saying.



Liked what he showed.

He's a guy who throws 45% sliders at 85 MPH, and 35% fastballs at 92 MPH.  That's cool because MLB hitters are swinging dead red 100% of the time.

There were a couple of little pests in HIS cellar also, though, because he had some trouble throwing strikes.  I suppose that goes along with the 3.5 type walk rates he has run.  That said he's a Yankee-caliber major league pitcher and he'll help.  There will be nights when he goes strike one, strike two ... hey, that's what he did to batters 1, 3, 5, wasn't it ...and when he does he's major help in the 6th and 7th.



Funny guy.  He threw 5 of 6 curve balls / sliders to a left hand Curtis Granderson, struck him out, and then left after one hitter.  The FIRST pitch was a bender.  And in the 7th, right there preceding Juan Nicasio.  Hey, whattaya know, Jedi mighta landed us a real life LOOGY.


Dr. D believes in the talent of the 2018 M's, especially relative to that of the A's.  Here's to two makeup wins coming from Marc-O and Zeus the next two days.

Thanks to those who have supported SSI/DOV.  If you’d like to join the ownership group here is the link.  And we always appreciate the potatoes in the hobo pot just the same.






He was mostly terrible.  As I wrote in my Felix appraisal a few days ago, it was almost all smoke and mirror stuff.  I just never felt he was in control or was gong to find it.His fastball does not exist other than he can throw it below the zone.  It was almost as if his heater was his waste pitch.  Although it was coming up there at 90 MPH much of the time, it left me wondering if he has lost all movement on it.

As to the M's, there was always a bit of smoke and mirror stuff to them, too.  Example #1:  From May 20-June 11, the M's were 11-2 in one-run games. That put us at 19-7 total.    Now for the season we're still a really hot 27-14.  But if you exclude that one smoking 20 days, we're only 16-12.  Our run to the top of the WC race was fueled by one-run wins, a statistic that Bill James established long ago was largely a production of luck.

Speaking of which, we're 8-1 in extra-inning games. 

Finally,  Pythag concludes that we should be a 53-56 team.  We're 10 games above those expectations.

And as I think about it, Dipoto's entire near-the-deadline trade strategy seems to have been to win more one-run games.  I suppose bullpen trades always have a bit of that to them, but......see above.

We rolled a bunch of 7's and 11's through early June and now we've doubled down on betting that strategy.  Last night the announcers pointed out that the M's scored fewer runs in July than any team in the majors, didn't I hear that right?  Maybe our one-run win luck has clouded up the M's real deficiencies.


tjm's picture

. . . Gordon, Seager, Healy and Zunino. If two of those four ain'[t gonna hit, we ain't going to be playing October baseball.

Speaking of which, did you all notice the MLB schedule released earlier this week. It leaves three days between the end of the regulat season and the wild card game, meaning, I guess, we have room to manipulate Marco or Pax into the WC game.

Last night was the worst defensive performance from Seager I've ever seen - the ground ball under the glove, the wild throws.  Wild throws from Seager! I didn't even think that was possible. I know he just had a kid, buit still, what's going on there?

tjm's picture

Even I'm getting tired of beating this one, but Felix's two-seamer has got to go. I've no idea whatsoever why he's throwing it ever.

Slugging percentage against this season by month according to Brooks: .125, .568, .595, .553, .708, .556.

If he was my kid I wouldn't let him throw out of the sheer terror of an imminent mortality event. He ain't shuffling off this mortal coil, he's sprinting. 

Taro's picture

Also his K rate for the sinker is around 6%.Its been a disaster pitch every year since 2015.

All sinkers should be replaced with changeups, the velocity in general isn't even that different anymore.

To be fair his four seamer gets creamed too, but at least it gets Ks. Also his fastball rate should be 30% at most, probably even 25%.

Felix can still be effective but he needs to start pitching solely off of offspeed like Tanaka. And no more sinkers. Ever.

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