Had his B- game going. (1) When you come into the game walking 1+ men per 9 innings, and then walk 4 in 6+, that tells you that you weren't having your best day. (2) Turning from the Esteemed Skeptics to the rest of the crowd: if you didn't see the game, trust me. Marc-O missed with several curve balls by 2-3 feet, failed to "teacup" many of his fastballs, and threw maybe 2-3 changeups to the low-away corner all day.
He just wasn't sharp.
Let's not make 4 walks and 4 strikeouts the end of the world, though. For one thing, it was really 5 K and 3 BB; he fanned one Ranger on a 2-2 count and the ump made a really outrageous non-call, one of the five worst you'll see all year. Blowers described the center fielder Heredia as running off the field; he could see it from a football field away, but the ump couldn't see it from 3' away. Marco then missed with the bogus 3-2 count and that was the 4th walk.
For two things, he threw 61 strikes in 102 pitches, including 9 whuffs.
For three things, it ain't like Jamie Moyer never had a 4/4 day.
For four things, if Marc-O were to continue this ridiculous 8.3 / 1.8 / 0.8 shtick, he would finish with one of the 5 best xFIP's in the American League. That wasn't going to happen!
SO LIGHTEN UP YA MOOK. We mean it in a good way.
Marc-O gave up 4 hits all day. Actually he only gave up one hit. Of the four official hits, one was the catch Haniger made, an out if the M's challenged (which they didn't because the runner was thrown out going for 2nd). Another was an Odor BUNT hit. And a third was an infield hit by Odor.
No extra-base hits all day and nothing close to one, except a single liner down the LF line which was 6 feet foul.
So, you're having a tough day and you run your scoreless streak to 19+ innings, not counting unearned runs. Which leaves you where? Which leaves you with vicious stuff. It is a necessary inference. Well, it may not have been vicious in the James Paxton sense, but it was vicious in the Mike Marshall sense. See the last section.
Marc-O's xFIP and ERA were always going to converge; his ERA is now 3.60 and his xFIP will have gone up to ? from 3.22. So he's 5-3, 3.60 -- which I gingerly expect the rest of the season. Fifteen(ish) wins and a 3.60 type ERA.
It was March 17, precisely, that the Big Declaration was made on him. And it was after starts 2 and 3 (both early KO's) that we had the big flame war on SSI, during which Dr. D published a bunch of F/X strike zone graphics trying to prove that he pitched in horrible luck both times.
Like Servais said Monday: "A lot of people had questions on him ... I'm happy for him." Well, sure people had questions. If they didn't, then SSI wouldn't be Tomorrow's News Today. :: big wink kiddies ::
All that said, if you're holding judgment on Marc-O until the end of the season, you're probably wiser than Dr. D :- )
But that shtick you're hearing today about "Marc-O's newfound ability to go deep into games," that was always feebleminded and as Erudite Denizens, we trust you know exactly why. We'll say only that (1) Monday was his 17th start as a Mariner, and that (2) baseball people have been grouchy about starters "showing they can handle the workload" for 100 years. (3) Many other things could be listed.
One hundred years they've been sneering at the "Five and Dive." Nolan Ryan made it the corporate philosophy when he was running the Rangers: Can you go deep into games? That's what makes you a Real Pitcher, like Nolan was.
But, of course, no starter has a mystical inability to go six innings, unless he's mystically lousy. Maybe Ariel Miranda can't get through the 3rd AB; if so, that's cause he's lousy.
A few of you probably noticed that Marc-O was throwing a routine 92 in the early going. Check out this bittersweet velo chart rat cheer.
But maybe he WILL build velocity, sit 92, touch 94, and those amigos who were thinking Cliff Lee, well ....
Marc-O threw 34 fastballs, 27 curves, 26 changes, and 15 true cutters (which bent 10 inches gloveside vs his fastball). Check out the bite on that curve.
PAZOS, COLOME, DIAZ
Twin closers, and .... Marc-O jusssst missed handing them the ball. Servais took his pick of 95-MPH candidates to finish off the last scraps of the 7th; he selected James Pazos to blow away a single lefty coming to bat, "bridging" from Dr. D's pet starter to --- > the twin closers.
2002 was the last time Dr. D witnessed a game take this particular form.
Since Dee Gordon hit the DL, the M's have played 8 pitchers' duels in a row and won 7 of them. Sherminator, at D-O-V, opines that our rotation is as fragile as lace china and we shouldn't get too used to winning 87.5% of low-scoring games.
He's right, obviously. Minor-ly, nobody should get used to winning 87% of anything; Dr. D doesn't expect to get along with his cat 87% of the time. Major-ly, this rotation IS fragile and I'll go Sherm one better. The odds are, You just saw the best 8-game rotation stretch you will see this season. That was it. Hope you enjoyed it.
Needless to say, the rotation doesn't HAVE to be as good as it's been the last two carousel spins. Nobody's does! We're just hoping that Marc-O and LeBlanc save our bacon, by posting 100+ ERA's. We were going to go as far as the offense took us, remember?
Colome's out for Tuesday, I assume. Mercy sakes alive, there's such a thing as getting tired of winning ...
For shtick on the pennant race proper, see my satellite site, Detect-O-Vision.