SIGH, SIGH, SIGH and THE PENNANT CONTEXT
As we've all known for about three weeks now --- > if the Oakland A's continue to play .800 baseball, they're going to not only beat the Mariners, but the Astros too and then pull a 1976 Reds clean sweep of the playoffs. In other words, our rooting investment depends completely on the proposition that a .500 roster will eventually start playing .500 ... with maybe a losing streak in there.
Dr. D continues to man the crow's nest and wait, wait, wait for that A's stumble. He'll let you know if they lose ten in a row. I think they're watching in Houston, too.
In the meantime, at D-O-V we did a little once-over on which M's pitchers are doing their jobs. Plot spoiler: the 1-4 starting pitchers and the 1-2 closers. Which, now that we look at it, is the ideal formation for a playoff power dive. Which brings us back to the A's losing a few... anyway, now here's a quicksum of the M's bats that have been doing their jobs the last two weeks.
Hey, it's the 1-5 starters once you get Zeus back and if Erasmo is going to continue the shtick he's pulled the first two starts.
Denard Span has bashed out a .333/.386/.564 slash line with homers, RBI's, iso, and .4 WAR in just that half month. We knew his plate discipline was good, and his chase rate remains tops on the ballclub except for Heredia's couple of at-bats. We've got two questions about Span, though:
1) Who knew he could attack the baseball with such enthusiasm? He sits back there like Robinson Cano, studies the pitch, and then throws his entire little self into his snap-swing. Ever since he got here he's been attack, attack, and attack some more. Which brings us to:
2) Since when does a hitter come to Safeco Field and decide to show us his best? This guy was a SALARY DUMP - the Rays gave us their closer if we'd take over his $10, $11 mill or whatever it is.
We continue to ax, is the Moore - Colome/Span trade now Dipoto's 4th Big Coup?
Mitch Haniger slashes .339/.356/.571 the last couple weeks. He continues to show that schizophrenic hitting attitude: low-away is a low hot shot into right field; mistakes are dives over the plate to golf it into the bullpen.
SHOULD the M's fall out of the pennant race .. and -4 is not the same as -9 ... we watch guys like this for 2019 in lieu of watching standings.
Boomstick continues to boom, with an OPS+ of 129. He's not "Mitch Hot" but 129 constitutes "raking."
Jean Segura, when he's here, also has played like an All-Star with his usual slash line of .347/.373/.429. For the season he's .314/.343/.437 so where's the difference? He's using his sudden swing to let the ball get deeeeeep and then he just takes his little two-hand fungo swing to smack it once it arrives. As O-Sensei said, "Let the ball arrive at its own pace, and then be there to greet it. Truer words never spoken, Jean...
So the hitters who are pulling their weight in August are the usual suspects. Question becomes, what happened to that "long lineup" that we saw in April and May when the M's were top half of the league... let's hope Robinson Cano kicks that off and then Zuumball, Healy and Gordon decide to have big Septembers?