The Angels came back on a 1000:1 shot Sunday, or the M's would be 3-5 despite themselves. Remember than any batted ball has a 70% shot of hitting a fielder, and you need like 8 balls to fall in to come back from 9-3 in the 9th. In a sense that's not really the M's fault. It woulda been if they'd blown a 6-3 lead, mebbe, but not at 9-3.
Anyway, Dr. D likes Felix' 12:0 strikeout ratio and his chances to adjust as a legit midrange #2 starter. Iwakuma's stuff seems down a tick, as is his CTL ratio, but he'll always have his pitchability as long as his shoulder is okay.
In baseball there really is a game the next day. Life Is Sports. There is one way to approach an embarrassing situation, and that is to overwrite it with positive actions ... :- )
Dr. Detecto promised not to rub it in about Yovani Gallardo when his ERA is 6+ after April, or gloat about Drew Smyly's ERA at 2+ if he followed up his WBC victory. He made absolutely no such promises not to bask in James Paxton's majesty. That, you can count on from here to 150 victories.
It is slightly aggravating that the pro's -- other than Bill Krueger -- needed to SEE these two starts before publicly acknowledging Paxton's "really special" upside. Now everybody [offsite] is jumping on K-Pax' bandwagon so hard they're breaking the deck boards. Bah humbug!
It is funny how Randy Johnson also had his PERSONAL MAKEUP changed from "head case" to "Doberman Pinscher" as soon as he found his TECHNICAL FIX. This is what Bill James has grumped about since 1975, that guys in uniform are a little too quick to assign wins and losses to character. Earl Weaver was always two steps ahead of James, writing that players became "winners" as soon as they got in a good situation (equals, on the Orioles' roster!) and reverted to "head cases" as soon as they were put in the wrong scenery.
If you think it's bad here, though, try following the Premier League. EVERY goal vindicates a man's worth as a human being and EVERY loss calls it into question.
But Dr. D won't stay on that point long. It's a little too sour for the situation.
Paxton was CASUALLY dominant. I mean he was striking guys out and taking the ball back like So. What. Did you think was going to happen. The 7 4 0 0 2 8 line is what we used to assume before a Unit start, LOL. Notice that this was against the Astros, back to back. Anybody know Paxton's ERA just off the top of his head?
Even in Unit's prime he did not throw 96 MPH with an arm motion that looked like a telegraphed changeup.
His yakker has been Kershaw-reliable the first 2 games, with 13-for-25 strikes every one of which was low in the zone, it looked like. About 7 of the balls were intentionally in the dirt. And the foshball too, thrown harder than Iwakuma's fastball, moves hard gloveside.
You can't even count the weapons the first two games. Zeus just mortified Josh Reddick with a 2-strike "slider" thrown at his rib cage which slid inside and caught the plate. ... Even watching the postgame now, Paxton is large and in charge talking about the ballclub overall. His vibe is like he has 100 wins already. If he doesn't get hurt, he does have them.
Boomstick rifled a single up the middle and rifled another one to right-center. If you just joined us, this was Teddy Ballgame's classic fix to a slump, line drives up the middle until you're back in rhythm. Cruz' takes looked way better - as though he's starting to see the ball. Good on him.
Matty pointed out the topspin on Seager's first sac fly. He pulled two balls hard in the air and also took sucker pitches easily. You noticed how Charlie Morton went 2-0, 2-0 on the MOTO guys even in a crisis, with men on base. That is the book after one week, that the M's are shrill in the batter's box. But with yesterday's 9 runs and today's performance it looks like the 102 degree fever might have broken.
You gotta let a guy try to play through it, but Martin's OPS+ is like -50. Literally. Guillermo Heredia has got to be chewing glass in the dugout watching the horror swings. With Earl Weaver it would have been axiomatic to get extra bats in the lineup when in an offensive slump. You've got to change the games from 1-2 losses to 5-6 losses, and then you can get to winning as soon as a starter has a good day.
Servais himself has stressed "a win in April counts just like one in September." Dr. D is moved to protest on 3 AB's for Heredia after 8 games.
Everybody else in the lineup has been standing there watching our 1-2 hitters, apparently too dazzled to help out. Wouldn't you know it's one of our two MVP's that tweaked a hammy. Looked day-to-day though, and that's what the report was after.
Motter needs a start anyway, right?
Kyle Seager is gazing blankly and afar-off into the TV and telling the truth like in Liar Liar. "Motter is a very capable player at shortstop." Not "super player" and whatnot for TV consumption. I love eeet :- )
One of my fave TV personalities anyway. But then today a guy offered her a fried grasshopper on TV and she didn't even blink. Ex-pro baseball player, likeable, defers to major leaguers even though she is a much better baseball player than any of the beat writers who are more hesitant to do so.
Gotta love Ang :- ) she's got more guts than any of us guys do, and she doesn't need anybody to know it. She's become a regional treasure in SSI's virtual world.