Aaaaaaaand ... the M's own a clear playoff spot!
it's over now. Good thing Dr. D has been carrying his ski goggles around



The M's bats-and-pen 6, their rotation 3 - check.  √

Balmer gets pole-axed by Sosh's Scrubs and is no longer front of the WC pack - check.  √

Royals get smoked again by NL rivals - check.  √ 

Rays and Jake Odorizzi fall prey to a 5-and-14 Red Sox pitcher (Porcello!) - check.  √

And so in the space of two days, the M's go from -1 outside the playoff pack to +1 in front of it.  And the madding SSI crowd, which had chuckled good-naturedly over Tuesday coffee, at poooor toothless Dr. D's suggestion of a James Paxton play-in game, sits up with a start at its Thursday coffee:



We're now two games' margin short of everybody asking Scott Servais if he could please oh please manipulate James Paxton into a survival game.  Well, they would be asking it 40 days and 40 nights from now :- )  And by two games short, we mean one game short.  "He Who Must Not Be Annoyed, Eh" has the mound Thursday.

Tomorrow's news today, babe



Who is your fave #2-5 rotation scrub, when it comes to lending James Paxton a hand the next month?

MARCO WOOD - see these intriguing remarks from Mal and Bat

ARIEL MIRANDA - The M's are in fact 13-10 in his starts so far, and we can hope that a light will come on for him (7+ strikeouts, 2+ walks)

ERASMO RAMIREZ - Poor debut for the M's but 104 and 108 ERA+ for Rays last two years

YOVANNI GALLARDO - The vet in the mix, as saith the Counselor:


Don't Look, but HWMNBN is pitching another mediocre two or three run five n' dive to propel the Mariners to another typical victory.  Dare I say that you know who is the most trustworthy arm behind James Paxton?  We should revisit this issue at the +3 post mortem tomorrow.


Honestly could see any of the four stepping up, though asking any particular one of them to step up would be tough.  As Mojo says, "stepping up" means a 5 IP, 3 ER start or three.  Would be gratified to hear which of the scrub SP's ye noble Denizens fancy to do so.

Enjoy Muchly,




Also, that's my favorite graphic from a post-game breakdown for some time.

Returning to the rotation... the guy who has my greatest confidence is whichever established vet JeDi brings in. I wonder if we're at the point you could go for a rental like Estrada, or if we're still looking only at the likely unavailable Ervin Santanas of the world.


JeDi's been so opposed to the rental... will he change his tune now? It WOULD be now, if ever this year...

All respect to G-Money, who is WAY smarter than me on these things, but I still take Gonzales as a plus 3 next year, and I like his odds of reaching 2-ness (31-60SP in MLB by Your Favorite Big Picture Metric Here).

I just wish we'd gotten Gray instead. Even if Marco hits his upside next year... THIS year we have a pennant run.


The bullpen is good, and both of our long relievers are, IMHO, capable of holding a deficit in check, but we can't run it into the ground. We need at least one other pitcher besides Paxton to go 6 innings consistently. The guy most likely to do that is Miranda, even though I hate watching him pitch. He is very pitch efficient. He very efficiently gives up 2 homers per nine innings. :\

At some point, we are going to have to trust the offense and let starters stay out there until they've thrown 110 pitches, no matter how many runs that means they gave up.


He is very pitch efficient. He very efficiently gives up 2 homers per nine innings. :\ 



BREF has a standings chart that includes a number they call SRS, which is a schedule-waiting run differential. It tries to measure what the team's run differential would be against average opponents.

The division leaders have risen to the top of the pile this year (mostly):

Houston: 1.3 (and dropping rapidly...the Astros do seem to enjoy fading badly in August)
Yankees: 1.0 (like I said...they're gone)
Cleveland: 0.7 (despite multiple high impact pitcher injuries over the course of the season)
Boston: 0.6 (despite a down year for the offense)

The WC2 contenders:

Seattle: 0.0
Tampa Bay: 0.0
Anaheim: -0.1 (-0.8 other than Trout (only half kidding). :) )
KC: -0.2 (and now without their best player)
Baltimore: -0.3 (and fading)

Texas: 0.0 (but they just traded Darvish...unlucky win/loss record and they waved the white flag)

So this Angels series is actually VERY important...they're 2 games back and they're our second-best rival. Intentionally walk Trout every. time. he. hits. with runners on base. 'sall I'm sayin'.


The Indians lost Brantley and Chisenhall to the DL and promptly pick up Jay Bruce...I think that's a wash for them for now...but when Chisenhall gets back, they become a much tougher postseason opponent


That's even more lopsided than I pictured. Both of those teams are scary to face in a one game playoff. The Yankees would use Gray and have the best bullpen in baseball history (not kidding). Man...brutal choice there


And much better than Boston...that's the thing. Paxton is great and can shut down anyone at any time, but I like my chances of Paxton murdelating the Sox and us entering the eighth inning in a tie or up by a run or something even against Sale.


The hated Angels are 11/9 in the last twenty games and they just buried Balmer deeper than the Witch-King.  Think they wouldn't mind spoiling Seattle's first playoff appearance in 16 years? We certainly have a new most important series of the year.  Win two games, we tread water.  Win three games, we K.O. a hated enemy and pad the win total for those other guys.  Win four games, we make a statement.  Go 1-4 and we start talking about next year.  


...this is the sort of series we have to win if we're going to get to the post-season. They're a decent team with a seriously depleted lineup, minus one superstar (and their second best full-time hitter is on the DL right now) and a very good bullpen. We're a decent team with a seriously depleted rotation, minus one superstar (and our second best SP and sixth best hitter are on the DL) and a very good bullpen. :)

They are very poor defensively and we are outstanding...that may be the difference-maker.


There is no defense against the home run and base on balls, which did us in Thursday.


Verlander is not a rental...He's a two plus year asset making reasonable money given the value of a win and the desperate need we have in the rotation note and in the future.

Iwakuma and Smyly come off the books, taking about 20 million of the payroll...about what Verlander makes. You're rotation becomes Paxton/Verlander/Felix/Miranda/Gallardo this year (Ramirez returns to awesome swing man status) and swap out Gallardo for Gonzales in 2018. We won't have to spend money on hitters...what's wrong with that plan?


Your plan is sounding better to me all the time ... per Billy Zoom it would swap in to replace a run at Shohei Otani - being 1 of 1 teams on JV may be more realistic than being 1 of 31 on Otani ...


The bidding is going to be hilariously ridiculous...and Dipoto doesn't like signing expensive free agents. No...our only hope of getting a TOR starter is to trade for one...and we're not going to be able to do that in the offseason. It's now or not until next August.


The rules have changed. The guys who have overspent their IFA money are out. Those who haven't, Ms included, only have to convince Mr. Otani that they will be the best fit for him and will make it up to him after he turns 25. So, minimum 2-year contract at whatever the Ms can spend UNDER THE IFA RULES (everyone bound by that), promise him a chance to go two-way, and *assure* him (no commitments allowed) that he will get a very large paycheck at the first opportunity. So, with the Ichiro/Iwakuma/Sasaki/Jojima reputation to go by, I'd say the Ms have a decent chance.


The new CBA no longer allows "blowing by" the limit. It's extremely strict until the IFA is 25 - then it simply goes away. Otani is treated no differently than, say, Jair Candelario - he must sign under the bonus limit or wait 'til he's 25. That evens the playing field considerably; then all the teams that are under restriction are as of now ineligible to sign him until their penalty time, carried over per the CBA, is up. I believe both the Yankees and Red Sox are restricted right now, as well as the Dodgers. AND, it all hinges on making him comfortable you WILL give him the big paycheck when the time comes. I think Seattle has a good chance.


I thought I had remembered hearing something like this, but had no time to go research and didn't have the guts to throw it out there. Thanks for the info, Bat - that is indeed a seemingly hopeful scenario for the hometown 9...


I think this team will really blossom and become something of a behemoth in September with the roster expansion:  There will be a 5-Man Outfield, Danny Espinosa, Shawn O'Malley, Taylor Motter, and 3 platoon First Basemen; pinch running, hitting, and fielding galore.  Meanwhile, add Shae Simmons (finally), Dan Altavilla, and maybe Ernesto Frieri to the bullpen, bring back Felix and potentially Hisashi, and add Gaviglio and Moore to piggy back Gallardo and Gonzales' starts.  If everything works out, maybe the team is even well rested at the end.


We have some decent bullpen options that could keep everyone fresh if they can survive the next three weeks in the guys you mentioned. Having Haniger/Motter/O'Malley back will be nice but I'm curious if they'll add an Ian Miller type just to steal a bag/baserun late innings since he's pure speed. 

The problem of starting pitching is such a killer and I can't tell you how excited I was after watching Smyly pitch that game in the WBC. Hopefully adding Moore/Povse/Gaviglio will give us enough innings to make up for all the potential short starts.


That would send Tony Larussa smiling into the night, if we had a couple of rotation slots with 3/3 IP or 4/3 IP job sharers...

Everybody note Malcontent's hunch that Sept. 1 will give the M's a feasible hance to hit another gear :- )


I, for one, will not even think of betting against the idea of Felix coming back in September - in a pennant race -  and re-establishing that Safeco is "his house". He still can rise to occasions, and this might be his chance for the post-season. Don't count him out.

Not that I'm opposed to getting Verlander and making Marco the #5. Paxton - Felix - Verlander - Miranda - Gonzales with either Miranda or Gonzales going to the 'pen in October sounds good to me.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.