SHORT N SWEET Dept.
Your bleary author will keep this one tight, whattaya say. That was the best we've seen Felix look in months if not years.
His CTL was 4:0, he gave up no homers, his strike vs ball count was 60:32, and his #5 start spun us back around to Marc-O and Kikuchi unscathed. I seen worse :- ) and I seen worse box scores than 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, and 4:0 CTL.
Going back over the game again at this link ... https://www.mlb.com/gameday/angels-vs-mariners/2019/04/01/566376#game_st... ... Felix was taking the fastball INSIDE with command, and then later was coming back outside to paint with it. This allowed him to locate his two breaking pitches away.
Needless to say that's classic sequencing -- make the bat start early, so as to get the barrel to an inside pitch -- which has the batter out in from of a changeup. The great thing was to see it actually executed with authority.
His change was cutting hard for some reason, coming back to the centerline as opposed to the fastballs which swerved armside 5-8". The curve ball was of course very tough to square up, and he mixed them at a 45:15:29 ratio.
Felix had a "pitchability" to him tonight that said "I'm taking this game to the other team, starting with Up-and-In, and if they don't like it, that's their problem." Maybe he stewed over the #5 placement in a positive way?
RP IMPRESSIONS Dept.
Zac Rosscup it sez here is a very feasible weapon, as long as the target is a left hand batter.
Chasen Bradford threw a perfect inning; good on him. He's a fringe MLB pitcher with a 66:28 CTL in 89 innings and if you're turning to him for a save -- as the M's did in one of the Sox games -- your desperation level is at maximum and then some.
Roenis Elias, who can ramp up for a 95 lefty fastball, seems a more viable short-term solution for the 9th.
Eyes slideways on Brandon Brennan, who is already getting important innings. I hadn't caught it before, but Monday he was throwing a 94-95 fastball with an 85 change ... and they were "tunnelling" together.
See the chart at top. The fastball cut inside, to a 3" "inside" spot on the target, and hops nicely to 11". The changeup cut to 0-1" with another 11" hop. (How do you keep the hop the same with a 10 MPH difference in velo?
That is a Mark Melancon nuke-m-off strategy and it hits you that it is probably the reason we Rule 5'ed him. That was Melancon's R/X precisely: try to get the change on a tunnel as similar to the FB as possible. If you can, the batter is "helpless" in Melancon's view.