Dr. Detecto is here to tell you something, swee' pea. He is one, maybe two Marco Gonzales starts from declaring him an established star in the major leagues.
I mean, of course everybody will consider him a minor star after he finishes this year 18-8, 3.32 and then goes into next August 11-5, 3.32 with another 104:23 CTL. But Seattle Sports Insider is about tomorrow’s news today and not yesterday’s news today.
It was kind of funny watching him convert Ryan-Rowland Smith. Hyphen finally, at long last, allowed today that it was "old school" to establish heater-change early in the game and then start to mix in the third pitch later ... But both Gonzales and LeBlanc, he confessed, were mixing their pitches from the jump and such was working to their advantage.
Gonzalez wound up with 27 "clamshell" precision fastballs, 23 two-plane yakkers delivered consistently to the knees, 13 changes and 15 cut fastballs/hard sliders that broke over 7" gloveside and at only -2 MPH off his fastball.
I mean, Marc-O is #10 in league ERA, he is #5 in Wins (!!) (Severino, Kluber, Snell, Carrasco) and check out this guy's pitching game logs. He has thrown lockdowns (0-2 runs) in 9 of his last 12 games and has given up more than 4 runs in only 2 of his 20 starts. Look at it this way. If Jerry deals for an 11-5, 3.32 pitcher at the deadline how would that be?
Jumping back to the offensive side of things for a second, Greg Johns had this fascinating quote from Ryon Healy:
"I'm not a guy that needs to try harder; I think I almost try too hard at times. … I want to help this team win every single day, whether I'm in the lineup or not, and I'm going to find a way to do that. When [Robinson] Cano comes back, or whatever, I don't care. I want to compete, and I want to win, and I want to go where this team hasn't gone before, and I know I'm going to be a big part of that, so I'm excited for that opportunity and my job is to make their job as hard as possible when that opportunity comes." -- Healy on reports that suspended star Cano will likely play first base when he returns in mid-August
JAMES PAZOS came in and rather than throwing 96 MPH fastballs, threw 91-92 located to get a single righthander out. A left hand ROOGY? He's got an interesting velocity chart, down to 92-93 the last six times out after a good 94-98 MPH the rest of the year previously.
JUAN NICASIO came in and looked like an $8 million pitcher. He threw three fastballs, effectively wild, to go 2-1… But then threw a perfect strike on the black for 2-2 and when Zuumball signaled for a letter high fastball he hit the mitt and got a garbage swing to end the seventh inning. Who knows: if Pazos can't regain his velocity, somebody's going to have to take the seventh. Or maybe they'll go a batter-at-a-time?
THEY SAID IT
Though Zunino went 0-for-4, manager Scott Servais praised his catcher postgame.
"Zunino had a really good day, even though it doesn't show up in the box score," Servais said. "What he does behind the plate -- not just with Marco, obviously they work really well together, he knows him well -- but the relievers, coming in, reading swings, reading the bat, knowing when to stay with the fastball or go to the offspeed. Really, really important part of our team and nice to see him. … Big impact in the game today. I thought he had a lot of energy today and it really helped."
Let's talk about him at my D-O-V site, what say.
MY OTHER SITE
If you enjoy this article and prefer to see the Think Tank sur-vive and thr-ive, you may wish to check out Dr. D’s fundraising shtick. Or if you know you’re ready to join the Ownership Committee, here’s a direct link to the sponsorship page. Already over 25% to goal after a mere 3 days. Thanks amigos!
BUT WHETHER YOU CAN HELP OR NOT please don't forget to throw a potato into the hobo stew pot. Funds are necessary, but the back-and-forth is the fun part.