Somewhere about the 7th inning, Brandon Maurer showed up at Safeco. Wearing cleats. Dr. D can honestly say this is the only Best Bet he's ever regretted. Now and again he wonders what happened to Maurer, without looking it up, of course -- that could threaten to make Dr. D a "smart mark" or "smark" for the people who sell baseball. They like him just as he is, a pure "mark."
Anyway, Maurer blew down the first 2 hitters on a 94-MPH fastball for a weak groundout, and a crackling 82-MPH overhand yakker for a called strikeout. THIS is the type of occasion that gets Dr. D wondering about BB for BM, as opposed to wondering about it while he's driving down the road with a Skittles Freeze. (Maurer like walked the next two guys on borderline "nibble" pitches and gave up an RBI hit, explaining a lot of things.)
Dr. D does remember that he got his Best Bet down in time on Mitch Haniger, "in time" being --- > before most Denizens were confident he would be an impact player.
He was wayyyyyyyy in time on Marc-O Gonzalez, obviously; one of the few flame wars in recent SSI history was over Marc-O, after his 3rd and 4th starts this season. But! Dr. D never strictly labeled him a "Best Bet." Curse it all, anyway. Dr. D often likes to picture his keyboard and monitor on fire, which juuuussssst almost occurred two weeks ago, and which will again occur if you mooks fail to throw your potatoes into the hobo pot.
C'mon, what's the trouble with a sentence giving your own personal reaction to a story. Hold it, this was going to be about Marc-O Gonzales, wasn't it?
Giving impressions inning-by-inning: pregame it was YOU BETTER LOCK DOWN THESE FEEBS, YOU IDIOTA. The Royals have scored like 59 runs this MONTH and should be prey as easy for a Marco Gonzales as Dr. D would be for a pack of Rottweilers.
Marc-O came in 7-5, 4.04 with a 7.9 strikeout, 2.0 walk ratio and a BTA 1.0 homer rate. Of course Safeco also has a BTA homer rate. Dr. D wanted to see a game that would glitz up the stats a little - at bare minimum, reducing the ERA to 3+ where the Mainframe insists it should be.
Marco opened up by firing two 90 MPH paintballs, odd for him generally but even for him to start a game. Whitfield smoked the second one into CF. Dr. D's impression of this: Marco had no time to get into anyone's head yet.
KC bunted Whitfield over and then Marco spun and picked Whitfield off 2B, which says a lot about the Royals -- as well as the fact that Marco looks and moves a lot more like a right fielder or a third baseman than he looks and moves like James Paxton.
Moustakas took a jam pitch for a ball and then rolled over a 90 MPH paintball outside, easy groundout.
IMPRESSION: Ummmmmmm ... Marc-O had thrown 5 pitches, 4 of them located fastballs, so whattaya want from me anyway.
(Probably, a cute stat. Okay, in 9 innings the maximum pitch count he had was ---- > 13, in any single inning. The average # pitches in a baseball inning is 15-16 so lemme know the next time you see 9x13.)
As he took the mound, Dr. D wondered about Marc-O's "Pitch Mix" and when it would start. (He finished with 25-28-26 along with 17 cut fastballs. If you need to know whether fastball, curve, or change associates with 25-28-26 you haven't been paying attention to what SSI is, brother.)
Gonzales fanned Salvador Perez on 3 pitches: Curve outside, painted fastball away, change jusssst low-away. Prettt-ay. The exploitation of a shrill, jumpy hitting star in a slump.
At this point Dan Wilson started talking about 1st-pitch strikes. Apparently MG is #5 in all of baseball for 1st-pitch strikes. Lessee .... WHAAAAAAT!!!! :: looney tunes sproingy eyes :: It's 68.1% ?!
Sixty-eight percent first strikes, and he's giving them nothing to hit. Those first strikes are curves at the knees, or cut fastballs on the hands, or ...
SECOND INNING IMPRESSION: Vast, complete satisfaction as Dr. D basks in his hero's perfect second inning. Marc-O is grooving it and we're talking Mega Quality Start.
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