GRRRRrrrrrr what's this?! No F/X data on the Wednesday Giants game?! Off with their heads! The F/X culprits cannot be found, you dare to whine at Us? Off with YOUR HEAD!
At least there was videotape evidence that the game occurred, and it showed:
FACT 1 - Felix' curve was way down to 77-81 MPH and was killer
FACT 2 - Felix' slider was 81-83 and very effective (VERY IMPORTANT THE CHANGE-SPEED GAME WAS MORE DIVERSE THAN PREVIOUS YEARS)
FACT 3 - Felix' changeup/dry spitter was 86 and pretty decent
FACT 4 - His 88-89 fastball was wild in the zone
FACT 5 - His 86 fastball was very well located (cf Jered Weaver, Jamie Moyer)
FACT 6 - Felix was willing to "pitch backward," starting with a breaking ball, tossing his slider on 2-0, etc
Saw it time and again. Felix would accept the 86-87 velocity and hit the mitt with his fastball. He would "hump up" to 88-89 and miss the catcher's glove by 2', within the zone. On this particular day it worked out for him; Zuumball would set low-away, Felix would 'hump up' to 89, miss with a jam pitch on the hands, and get the K. (Prince Fielder isn't going to miss that horse puckey. Adrian Beltre isn't going to ... whoop, sorry.)
But if only Felix would settle for 86, he could be fifteen kinds of Jered Weaver 2014 (18-9, 3.59) and Jamie Moyer 1918-1984. Of course, he won't. It's like asking Jason Verlander to see himself as Greg Maddux.
2017 - This Felix who pitches backwards "humps up" to a wild (mushy) 89 fastball, that's a 2-3 starter. All the breaking stuff is THAT good.
2016 - That Felix hadn't begun to accept himself. He'll be better than that this year.
2018 - We can only hope he arrives sooner than later.
ROTATION SCHEDULE the Mariners have taken a Sweet Lou-type approach to matchups and don't we love it
@ HOU Tue, Apr 3 = Felix
Apr 4 = Iwakuma
Apr 5 = K-PAX which sets him up to throw the M's home opener
Apr 6 = Gallardo (better make sure Gamel is in the lineup for this Arenaball game)
@ LAA Fri, Apr 7 = Drew Smiley
Apr 8 = Felix
Apr 9 = Iwakuma
SEA vs HOU Mon, Apr 10 = JAMES PAXTON YEAHHHHHH BABY
Apr 11 = Gallardo (better make sure Gamel is in the lineup for this Arenaball game)
Apr 12 = Drew Smiley this is important
This is a bodacious schedule and it positions the M's to (1) start their TRUE number one at Safeco on Opening Day, so that they can win that day. And it (2) positions them to throw two lefties at Houston in the three-gamer. Houston's lineup hit Smyly to the tune of a feeble .143/.217/.286 line the last two years, for what that's worth, whereas the Angels racked Smyly up.
(3) Iwakuma was about the same against Houston and LAA last year, in the neighborhood of .250/.300/.400 each. He did have a 28:7 CTL ratio against the Astros' greedy swingers.
In anime', the word "TRUE" is used apocalyptically, as in "To date you have not suspected. Now behold the TRUE power of a Super Saiyan." It is in this sense that James Paxton is the TRUE number one of the Seattle Mariners, whatever the "reputation" and chitchat might allow.
DOUBLING DOWN ON BEN GAMEL
Not that it's an argument on SSI, but: Dr. D likes Ben Gamel. He just watched the SF tape and noticed, again, the loosey-goosey stance and the aaaaaahhhhhh-inducing way that Gamel connects his hands and left shoulder to his CG. Sooooo wonderful. David Ortiz is another guy who connects his hands to his hara like this, not that we expect Gamel to hit 600 homers. Probably only like 400.
Here is a predictable jack into the RF seats yestidday. No, Heredia definitely has the inside track from where we sit, but we likes us some Gamel too.
HEREDIA AND HANIGER
Think that's the 1-2 against the Royals Thursday, right? Nice OBP and HIT tools considering they're your "Team B" table-setters.
Who da 7-8? Your guess is as good as mine, but suspicion is that Dan Altavilla is encroaching the 8th inning. Can't chase him out of the strike zone. Like Diaz.
Me personally .... Diaz. Altavilla. Scrabble only if he sees 2/3 or at least 2/4 lefties in a game. Scribner very happy with that. SiiiighhhhhVincent that's 5.
Probably Miranda and Pazos both as the 6-7; who said Ariel Miranda cannot throw pitches to right hand hitters?! Get out of the ruts you feebleminds. He goes to the pen and suddenly he is a bad matchup against the league's RH's? Casey Fien: nada. Dillon Overton, mebbe. Without a doubt the 4th benchie rather than the 8th reliever, who can be summoned overnight if you need him anyway.
Zych or Cishek or Simmons, whoever arrives first, to replace the 3rd lefty.
Thass' just me.