An NBA player once said he watched Larry Bird miss two foul shots to blow a game. "It was like watching the sun rise in the East," he chortled later. A's fans had much the same experience, watching the Orcs score 5 runs off James Paxton. It was a perfect storm of:
(1) a slimy game plan by the orcs
(2) a day off from foshball command by K-Pax
(3) several other factors converging on the game at the same time
During the game, we thought the A's were "tipping their caps" on anything below 95, and taking "pepper" half-swings on any fastball down. Almost right; the data the next day show that the Orcs were "tipping their caps" on anything below 95, and taking "pepper" half swings on anything exactly at the waist. Here is the damning evidence.
No hits off the curve, "no hits" meaning none. No hits off the foshball, "no hits" meaning zero. All hits but one were stinging little pepper-shots off centered fastballs those nassssssty Orcses were cheating on.
Unfortunately Paxton threw a grand total of 18 curveballs and sliders in total, on the day. Since he wasn't hitting his spots on the fastball, they got some liners and the liners mostly fell in. He just needed to be aware that they were stalking fastballs waist high, center cut. It's not much of an adjustment to throw the fastball a bit outside the hot zone, or start an AB with a fosh, or what have you.
Leaving Paxton's season total at 25.1 IP, 17h, 5bb, 30k, 1.78 ERA. It will be a learning experience. All superstars, Sale, Kershaw, Syndergaard, you count their "disaster" starts on one hand for a season's worth. You don't assume them at zero, but they should stay under 5. Checking David Price... Shandler has his DIS% last year at 23%.
MOTTER'S HOMER UP THE MIDDLE lowered his average launch velocity to 97.98 MPH on the season. His slash line is .282/.349/.718. Hey, you could amputate a full hundred points off his SLG and I'll still play him.
If you just joined us, but are nevertheless curious who is seeing the ball early out of the pitchers' hands ---- > the very first thing you look for is few swings on pitches outside the zone. Motter, Maniger and Ruiz have cut norms by 1/3. Then you look for Zone % compared to OOZ% - is the guy pulling the trigger when the ball's there. Danny Valencia has a tragic lack of difference between the two stats. He physically looks fine; he just looks like he's got cataracts. He has since March 1st.
'Bach is raking in AAA; Segura is back soon, freeing Motter for 1B; Danny Valencia was our "pride and joy" of the winter so we've got a cognitive dissonance here.
LHP tonight meaning Heredia is in there, correct?
Last time WBC-san pitched, we all covered our eyes and watched through the openings in the fingers. Anything other than a train wreck will be a big plus tonight. But then again, the last 7 days the M's OPS+ is 132, so we're fine with outscoring 'em. Our OPS+ has sailed up to 98 and tonight, presumably, it clears the 100 bar never to look back again.
Hey, first the lineup was a shambles and the rotation couldn't get anything right. Now we get a week of the reverse. Pretty soon we'll have Moore and Povse up here and put it all together ...
You probably saw that MadBum wrenched his pitching shoulder in a dirt bike accident. That's who these guys are, jocks. You kinda take the good with the bad; if Bum didn't have an extra X chromosome then he would also not be winning you World Seriouses. Not sure that's how the Giants' attorneys are going to feel about it, though.