M's 6-4, after Rox 5-1
Edwin Diaz "swims" through the air to the tune of 14.9 / 2.5 / 0.4

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Q.  Would the M's be in Panic Mode if they'd lost Sunday's game?

A.  I saw this in three major places, different major places, so I guess it must be a sentiment with some gumption to it.  Let's see, would mean old Dr. D need to bust out his yardstick, and go "do a study of" (actually, grab several examples of) 93-win teams losing 3-of-4 games at any point in their seasons?  Or merely saying it out loud, can we cashier this one right away?

The fact that M's fans (elsewhere) were jittery, on a 3-of-4 "losing streak" (!!) goes to show that M's fans (elsewhere) flat-out do not believe in this team, not for a second.  In fact we can "measure" our own "belief" in the ballclub by asking that, "How nervous did I get when we lost a series?"

Personally I do believe in this team.  Stepping back to "thumb-view" the painting from three steps:

1) Major ace

2) Wrecking crew for the 8th and 9th innings, Closer and then Mega-Closer

3) Deeeeeep offense, including three guys worthy of All-Star consideration

4) A rotation that has three squinty-eyed "gamers" behind the major ace

But I'm sure that it's 4) that has people not believing in the ballclub.  Ah, well.  Even with just the first three, we'd be big faves for a WC game and that's Paxton throwing that game.  But me, I'm leaving 4) on the canvas as well.

Returning to home plate, if the M's did stumble into a 10-of-13 loss stretch, they'd still be fine.

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Q.  Paxton's game.  Is it really possible to "make only one mistake"?

A.  We've mentioned before, if you look at scatterplots much? it is impossible to think of pitchers as centering only one pitch per inning, much less per game.  Here's Wade's last night.  He only made 21 mistakes, I guess.

But Paxton's game was (1) the closest thing we'll see to 97 great pitches and then one lame, high foshball ... and (2) a good reason for why this cliche' should be reserved for rare games, the games when superstars give up one big hit, as opposed to being used for every game all season long.

Pax had his usual 7 ip, 6h, 1 r, 1 er, 1bb, 9k game except then he threw that one lame, high foshball to Cuevas with two men on.  Good way to "stalk" a great pitcher, hope for that one pitch.

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Q.  LeBlanc had 6 IP, 4 ER.  Any nerves beginning to jangle there?

A.  I loved his comment after the game, the 2-run shot to RF, "I'll let them take their chances out there."  Head to M's.com for a good interview. Jeff Fassero broke out of an early-season slump this way one time, "I had forgotten to pitch to the ballpark."  LeBlanc is such a brainy guy.

No, he had a good game, taking them front-to-back of the zone and no runs other than the two decent HR's and the one odd HR.  His CTL was 3:0.  The three specific pitches for HR's were:

TO BLACKMON:  Deep count (6 pitches) jam pitch, upper third, inner third fastball.  GREAT pitch

TO CARGO:  0-2 change, middle-middle, just missed with it.  TERRIBLE pitch

TO STORY:  0-0 fastball, 1 baseball above the knees and centered, taken out to RF.  GOOD pitch, take a million of 'em

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Q.  Mariners worthy of the All-Star team?

A.  You know, somebody said "Worthy of All-Star CONSIDERATION" and that caught my fancy.  Which guys MIGHT make the All-Star team in SOME year SOME time.  Just noodling...

SEGURA, HANIGER, CRUZ, obviously.  They're all 130+ in the OPS+ and have calling cards like .330 AVG, 62 RBI, or .549 SLG.

DEE GORDON possibly as a gold glover SB man but did you know DENARD SPAN has a 123 OPS+ for the year.  Span no, but still.

PAXTON and SUGAR of course, COLOME quite feasibly if he'd stuck with Tampa.

It's worth mentioning that Marc-O is 9-5, 3.64 - that used to get you in sometimes when I was a kid - and Wade is 5-0 (!), 3.39 in 85 innings.  Could that be right?

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BABVA,

Dr D

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Comments

1

I'm not too concerned about the Colorado series. I mean, unless you're the Astros or the cheatin' Red Sox or the buy-your-pennant-off-the-shelf Yankees, you're going to have some rough stretches. 

For the M's either the Astros are going to have some rough patches and give you a chance at the division title or they won't and you won't have a chance. The M's need to play well enough to (1) stay ahead of the Pesky Rodent...A's (!), and (2) keep close enough to the Astros in case they stumble. 

I don't expect Seattle to run down a streaking Houston. A stumbling Houston, that's another matter. Either way, they should be able to stay ahead of Oakland.

Don't fall out of your chair just because DaddyO is retaining a cautious optimism.

2

Consider my chair fallen out of ...

To follow up on that, even the Astros this year have *two* "losing streaks" of +1 -5, another of +1 -4, and four (4) different +0 -3's.  That's for a team on a 108-win pace.  Am sure you'd find the same in Bos and NYY.

4

Never longer than six out of seven or four in a row, but this is hardly the first slump.

The wildcard is unfair this year and the Mariners do not match up well with the Yankees or with Chris Sale. I wasn't them to win the division.

5

Who do you think we match up better against in a play-in game, the Red Sox or Yankees? I'm rooting for the Yanks, I think. Severino may be having a beastly year, but for my money Sale - Kimbrel sounds like the worst buzzsaw we could conceivably face while playing for our lives.

6

The Yankee offense pounded the tar out of mariner pitching at Yankee stadium, where this game will likely be played if we don't take the division. That includes Paxton.The Red Sox doesn't scare me nearly as much.

7

I guess we played Boston well and got splattered by NYY. And I hate the Yankee$ stupid little stadium with a fiery passion. But who's to say Mitch, Nellie and Kyle can't take advantage of that ridiculous right field porch as well as the evil empire can? Or Zuum and Healy for that matter, if we get lucky. Our guys have the pop to ride it out the easy way, if it comes to that. And what about the Sox and their Green Monster? I'd point out that at this moment, the Sox team offense has the edge in each of BA, OBP, SLG and OPS. Are those bashers any less scary than the Yanks?

I get it though, we looked good against the Red Sox while the Yankee lineup looked downright unfair all series long. At the end of the day they're both awful matchups, on account of the fact that they're way better than us. I dunno if I'm willing to pick my poison based off one midseason pair of series though.

8

The Red Sox have slightly better total numbers, but their line-up is more unbalanced. There are higher highs and lower lows. I think it's easier to pitch strategically to the Red Sox than the Yankees...the Yankees have zero holes in the lineup.

9

I suppose I should've been giving you more credit that that. I dunno if I'm as worried about the relative height and width of their talents pyramids though, for a one game play in. In a longer series, where at some point people like Leake/Felix/Marco/Leblanc need to try to turn the lineup over a couple times? Yeah, facing a top-heavy Boston sounds better. But Paxton-Colome-Pazos-Diaz for one game? I dunno, I'm just as worried that Betts or Martinez will beat Paxton on a pitcher's pitch as I am that the Yankees will beat him with continual pressure. If Paxton brings his A game (kind of a requisite for us to win, right?) then I might even prefer a shorter, thicker talent base for him to tower over.

10

The lopsided Boston lineup runs your pitch count less. JBJ and Vasquez and their utility infielders make a ton of quick outs. There's literally no one in the Yankee lineup that you can count on swinging early and often. They don't all draw walks, but they all grind ABs

11
SeetheZee's picture

Can't tell you how tossed up I am about the end of Nellie's contract. It's a blog and indecisiveness isn't a plus, but it's a poser.

Cruz is the THREAT of our order and it sure seems like he's going to David Ortiz the end of his career. The exit velocities are downright terrifying. Plus he's clearly a glue guy as a teammate and seems like an admirable person (despite having made at least one major mistake like most of us).

His roster spot and paycheck would be awfully handy, er, on the other hand.

Vogelbach and a $16MM starter or scaring the snot out of opponents 4-5 times nightly?

12

Really Doc, just one bad pitch? You and I must've been watching very different games. It seemed to me like James came out with an A fastball and A movement on his bendy stuff, but only D grade control of the breakers. Seemed like he spent the whole night alternating crackling foshes of death with hanging meatballs centered in the bottom of the zone, just barely getting away with them because everyone was running scared from his heater. When he gave up that three run shot, my very first exclamation was "Well he had that coming all night!"

You picking up what I'm putting down, or am I the only one who thinks James got beaten on his tenth identical bad pitch of the night?

13

Can't decide who I'd like to face. I lean toward NY because it'll be extra rewarding knocking them out of the playoffs, but conversely annoying should they knock us out. 

14

Too many years of futility.

Intellectually I'm on board, though I think we need a #2 SP.

Emotionally I want another ace, another pair of ace relievers (Colome and Nicasio aren't cutting it for this part of my psyche), a thumping 1B who can actually come to the playoffs with us, and Something Else Unrealistic. Even then, I wonder if I'd be content.

Our lineup at the beginning of the year was a terror from start to finish. We've lost that, with Cano out, and I fear we'll fall short in the playoffs as a direct result. I also trust our bullpen to break down at inopportune moments, and Felix is just a sad concern for me.

We're better than I feel right now. And I *am* enjoying the ride, mostly. But not quite to the degree I'd like to, and the first two games in Colorado brought that to light for me. Game Three was way too mucha sigh of relief, rather than a simple celebration of another victory.

Doesn't help that the bums lost the game on the 4th, one of two I've been able to attend in the 2015-2018 seasons. Seriously you guys, lose one of the 10 games up to July 5th inclusinve... and I pick the ONE loss to attend?! What's that all about?!

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