His rhythm had been 1-2 on a scale of 10 the last two games. In this one it was a 5 on average ... 4-5 to start the game, 7 in the second, 3-4 for a couple innings after, 7 again later. Blowers pointed out you don't see a lot of 7-foot golfers; it's too much area to control on the arc. Same reason you have to let a miracle lefthander slowly figure his career out. Good thing is, the trendline on the rhythm is "up" and quickly going up.
Paxton fanned 8, walked 2 and gave up 3 earnies. Against a less right-handed power team he'd have given up, oh, 2 runs in 6. But give the Tigers (and the ump) credit. They cobbled four runs against our ace; we wound up doing the same to theirs.
- Paxton GOOD = could throw a 97 fastball for a strike. Brooks gives 96.6 average MPH, with 52/79 strikes.
- Paxton GOOD = could throw his hook for a strike could keep it down.
- Paxton BAD = missed the mitt almost every time. Fastbaall was wild in the zone
- Paxton BAD = couldn't throw the foshball
So this was K-Pax, the rookie who came up for 4 starts and blew away four playoff teams. With an unpredictable near-100 heater and a curve he would only throw in spots. Such a pitcher would be about #10, #12 in the league. But of course Zeus -- the one who hits spots with his fastball and works ahead 1-2 all the time -- will be back.
Having a tremendous year, of course, the M's best reliever after Sugar. A very good career setup man, having a career type of year with his command.
On TV they had a long discussion about the crazy SwStr% on Vincent's 89 MPH fastball. (Vincent is #2 in baseball on fastball whiff rate, to Aroldis Chapman. The other guys in the top twenty throw 95 or more.)
Servais said he stood behind home plate in Arizona - real competition - and said "You know, you stand back there and you just can't pick the ball up out of his hand until he's let it go." Which, Blowers said, is equal to 90 MPH becoming 96 MPH, or words to that effect.
Watch the video now: is it that the baseball remains behind his body during the windup? Maybe hitters are used to catching a flash of the ball to start their clocks, and Vincent doesn't give them that?
It's funny; he's 2nd in M's pitching WAR to James Paxton :- ) :: get those SP's in here Jerry ::
His FOURTH game in a row. He threw 97-98 MPH. Is it just me who remembers Diaz throwing 94-95 in second games last year?
In any case. The M's have their young superstar closer back. And a tough setup crew behind. The M's bullpen is in playoff shape, easily. Let's go to war.