M's 2, Padres 4
Some games are just James Shields games


Just a morning conversation thread, really.  Not that there's much point since the Shout Box became The Monster That Ate Cleveland er, SSI.

Which raises a baffling question.  If the Shout Box is that peachy keen, so peachy keen in fact that it can obviate the very blog it is on ... and that being the best sports blog extant ... why don't we see this Shout Box all over the interwebs?

With a resigned air, the Editor's Choice shouts from last night:


IcebreakerXM's strike zone fun! https://twitter.com/MarinersUmp

And that's just what it is, "strike zone fun."  In the sense that it's fun to think about the kid who kicked your butt in the third grade.  But yeah.  Thanks Ice.  Please do link us up again whenever it looks good.

The strike zone has been maddening this series.  Is that a general tendency in NL-AL games?  But Dr. D has to admit, when he saw James Shields' name on the probables, he wrote this one off.  His fear of James Shields knows no bounds.  What his ERA is after a couple starts, I don't care.  If the Mariners are going up against James Shields, I'm staying home.

Under the circumstances, the M's put up a tremendous struggle.  Okay, back to tasks of non-Shields magnitude.  The Red Sox rotation appears to be badly lacking in James Shieldses. 


SABR MattBut, more realistic...why the heck is Ruggiano not being given these starts? Let him face some righties...when he comes in for defense, Ackley moves over, so why can't he play CF full time for now?

Yeah, why isn't Ruggiano being given more PT?  I got nuthin', man.  And I'm usually not shy about political opinions from two planets' distance.

Miller taking over DH is ... weird.  Playing there sometimes?  Fo' sho'.  Becoming the regular DH, when presumed McClendon NL vet cronies are seething on his bench?  Did not see that one coming.


MtGrizzlyHow predictable was that Ackley AB? Was there an M's fan anywhere that didn't know he was going to hit into the double play?

It is actually alarming, this predictability factor.  Alarming like hearing unexplained music, or your cat going "Halloween pose" at something tall in the kitchen, or like waking up, looking into the mirror and seeing nothing.  

Dr. D had a friend who was haunted by nightmares and she learned how to manipulate dreams ... yes, you can learn that.  The first step is to lock in "triggers" to remind the sleeping you that you're dreaming -- if you fire a gun at a bad guy and nothing happens, "Oh yes!  I'm dreaming!  I think I'll turn the bad guy into Ken Griffey III!"  

Since Dustin Ackley is 1-for-20 with runners in scoring position (.059/.053/.118) and Dr. D cannot see himself in a mirror, he can safely conclude that he has transitioned to a weird afterlife.  Can you think of any way to convince him that you are not all protocols in his matrix?  I thought not.  HAS Moe ever told us the names of his daughters?  Of course he can't.


SABR Matt:  they just showed that Morrison's average batted ball is going 94.6 mph...HOLY CRAP! sixth in baseball in that category.

Yes indeedy, albeit this is based on a 40+ ball in play 'sample.'  LoMo is hitting the ball real good.  

If you got a 1B who is hitting the ball harder than Jose Bautista, you gotta allow this as good-and-sufficient-cause to let him play.  Raise your hand if you feel as sheepish as Dr. D about your April 28th comments on the subject.


Justynius:  K-Pax threw 94 fastballs last night, a modern-day record (non-Bartolo division).  Now Taijuan throws 80 more tonight, 87 if you count cut fastballs.

Last night we thought this was funny.  Did you see the Padres yanking 97 MPH heaters foul down the 3B line?!  About the 3rd inning of Wednesday's game, it stopped being funny.  K-Pax and Taijuan have obviously been given V-E-R-Y complex instructions here.

Then again, maybe Rick Waits is a step ahead of us.  We did get two Quality Starts from the rooks.  And maybe this is a way station from Omsk to Tomsk, where "Omsk" is a 12-0 loss and "Tomsk" is the 2014 versions of the kiddie korps.

Okay, so "Justynius" is Dr. D writing under an assumed name.  If everybody else can write their own Letters to the Editor, why can't I.



Chris Miller pickin' it at shortstop and Brad Miller floating around the diamond -- SS, CF, anyplace and everyplace -- now Dr. D knows for sure he is in a lucid dream.  If he can change an assailant's knife into a dip cone, surely he can change a 15-18 record into ... hm.

See you at the ballpark,

Dr D







Actually Doc it has been found that batted ball velocity is more stable than normal statistically. Morrison isn't going to keep hitting it at 94.6 mph because no one in baseball his that hard for a whole year but it takes 50 batted balls to get the same expected regression factor that occurs with ops at 400 pa. That is to say. ..the R squared on the correlation between two consecutive samples for a batter is 0.5 at 50 batted balls and at 400 PA the R squared is also 0.5 for OPS.


Yep Doc...sometimes the Shields bullet is too tough to dodge.  That was the case last night certainly.
Walker wasn't chopped liver btw.  Nice throwing kid!  I thought the Paxton-Zunino affair with fastballs was due to the fact that whenever Zunino put two fingers down in the 2nd inning the big guy had no clue where it was going.  So they adjusted and just gave 'em a large dose of the Ryan Express. dancing with the one that brought him as it were.  It was good pitching and catching.  Gullett and Bench couldn't have done better.
I think The Skip is going to continue to roll Miller out at DH as long as he does what he's been doing.  Something is working and he's not going to mess with it.  Which I applaud btw.  Eventually Miller will get his LF start pending Van Slyke's evaluation and Cruz's leg fatigue (if any...which I'm not noticing btw).
Ruggiano is CF is what should happen but won't until we see a lefty.  Doc a while back you wrote a great thread on the fact that some players can hit playing part time but get exposed playing fulltime; it was  year ago or so maybe....
Well that is Ackley I think.  As I said a year ago he's a mental mess and can not find himself.  He has zero approach at the plate and playing him more won't help him find it.  Sitting him might actually help.  I think the more he plays the more pressure he places on himself and the more he crumbles.  The answer is to take advantage of his versatility (LF/CF/2B/1B) and play him like a utility player.  Not a Zobrist mind you but as the 24th guy on your roster.  Ackley as Bloomquist is the much better option for know (until we trade him) and I think you get more real value from him that way in that you replace him with an everyday bat who will bring something that helps.  If Miller is CF-ready then I would have NO problem plugging Romero/Kivlehan/Guti into a LF platoon with Smith.  Or Weeks which is what we've been doing sort of.  Weeks bty is (SSS) atrocious vs. RHP .077-..250-.077 but he's mashing lefties.  You might get an overall better performance from one of the guys in AAA with the added bonus of your not being so platooned out.
I wouldn't be surprised if the last two weeks ( .333-.447-.821 w/5 homers) wasn't the best fortnight of Morrison's career.  Let's ride him like he was Man o' War because there is no way in hades that he keeps it up like this.  None. But it has been fun hasn't it.  Atta boy LoMo.


The dude is hitting the ball 95 mph on AVERAGE. :) I don't see why he cannot continue to hit well (maybe not quite THIS well...but well). I would flip Seager and Morrison in the line-up until Seager gets into a groove.


Because he's running an ISO of nearly .500 over the last two weeks (career .176) and he's a guy who hasn't been above .262 in 6 years. Going into the  last two weeks he had hit 54 home runs in 483 career (1746 AB) games.  He's hit 5 in his last 11 (39 AB).
It isn't sustainable.  The Babe approached a .500 ISO only twice in his career.  Unless he's become the Sultan of LoMo it isn't sustainable. 
He's probably always been a guy who hits the ball hard btw.
I like this LoMo a lot.  It matters not he will regress some.


...that LoMo will not slug .800 you are uttering a truism. If you are saying that LoMo will not continue to be a highly productive hitter I will respectfully disagree.


Logan will always be the Sultan of LoMo! For what that's worth. Anyway kudos to the front office for swapping out Smoak for him - on the cheap.
Now if we can figure out a way to find guys like Stephen Voigt Brandon Moss Josh Reddick...


What I said was that LoMo is likely on the hottest streak of his career (or near to it).  This level of hot streak can not last.  He is still by far our best option at 1B right now.  He will remain a productive hitter when he regresses.  It is unlikely that his whole career template has changed because of a bat switch.  He may have a near career year however.  120 OPS would be just ducky for a year.  'Tis possible. 


And Morrison's career has thus far been masked by a series of injuries that have interrupted his playing time and a blizzard of bad luck to go with it. The guy hits the ball hard and yet carries a low BABIP...that isn't likely to continue.
As for whether a bat switch can change a player...you might want to consider that similar moves have worked in the past. RJ made a tiny mechanical tweak and became a flaming stick of death. Raul Ibanez bloomed late when he slightly increased his bat length (yes really) and got a little regular playing time on the heals of a hot streak. Morrison is also not that far into his career...nowhere near as far in as Smoak was when we gave up on him. He's at an age where breakouts are common.


He might be a new player.  I just said it was unlikely.  A pretty safe statement I know.....


And I hadn't noticed before you brought it up but Miller's off to a real hot start as DH -- .294/.429/.706 with 4 walks in 5 games.   And that is from the #2 spot where they can't get anybody to hang in there.
Whether we sabes buy that on 5 games it certainly explains why Lloyd is running with "#2 Miller DH."  Good catch bro'.
Ruggiano:  fo' sho' he would die of exposure in the sun.  He sure does stay sharp in rare AB's though.  That's a valuable skill too right?  
Ackley:  a Ben Zobrist role would sound pretty tasty to me if I were him.  And it would kick the can down the road as far as his time to develop.  The Zobrinator himself was a bench player until age 28.  I like eet!  We've talked about Miller and Franklin in the Zobrist slot but maybe we've been talking about the wrong guy?
Could rejuvenate Ackley's whole career.  Thing is his best infield time would be at 2B and then also at 1B.  He'd need a small-market team maybe ...
Yer prob'ly right about K-Pax.


A lot of times with hitters they find the 'magical' tweak right about the time their developmental curves were headed for the plateau leap anyway ...
It would be an interesting discussion wouldn't it Matt? whether the bat switch (and handsy approach) caused LoMo to be able to exploit his pitch recognition or whether his pitch recognition (subconsciously) told him to get more handsy or how it jelled exactly...  
Assuming it did of course.  But yeah.  Plateaus happen and hitters often give credit to a position switch or magic stride length or choking up an inch or whatever.  In reality it is the convergence of things.
Less' hope that LoMo found his...

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