There was a sequence in the middle of the game, about the 5th, that captivated Dr. D's feeble attention. The game had the starters in, and it was tied 2-2.
Blake Parker was on the mound, ferocious and hectic and max-effort the way Parker always is, and the Angels' announcers were on and on about what a find. Will close, probably. Ferociously Parker mowed down ... two deep minor leaguers.
With 2 out and 0 on, Parker ferociously came after Dee Gordon. Gordon took a swing back, an arm swing, but one with acceleration and intent. He got the bat head out, and the ball sizzled down the 1B line.
Gordon accelerated into 2B, feet barely touching the ground it seemed like, and careened around it to take 3B as if the bases were Little League distance. It was absolutely unsurpassable speed, Ichiro speed, you wonder who would win a race HP-3B between Ichiro as a rookie and Dee Gordon right now. Who'd win? It's worth a ticket price, watching Dee Gordon jet-ski out a triple.
The Angels' announcers praised Gordon, and then went back to swooning about Blake Parker. Jean "Sudden" Segura went right back at Parker, taking a few tough ones, and ... worked a walk.
Tie score, 2-2, men on 1B and 3B, two-out "clutch" situation. (Yes, of course it's March 3rd.) Parker, and Robinson Cano, were staring at each other June-style. Parker reared back and Cano waited, looked, waited..... FIRED the bat and smoked a hot grounder into left field. Mariners win.
JEAN SEGURA has several times this spring given Dr. D the impression that he's taking a lot of pitches, is interested in his OBP. His EYE is 3:1 in 5 games thus far. He's batting .400/.500/1.000 the first week-plus.
Just giving you impressions here; you give me yours back, in the comments. Jean Segura, with a star ahead of him and a MOTO behind him, looks very comfortable, like he's relaxing into his game.
ROB WHALEN threw a tight-spin overhand slider that, at times, looked like a putaway changeup. His overhand change curve is also hitting the side of the barn. 5 IP, 1:7 CTL. Does he have a chance to jump onto the Cheney Carousel? Or the Tacoma Trolley, or whatever we call it? Well, Dipoto's invested in him. You remember we grabbed him from the Braves in the Max Povse, Alex Jackson, Tyler Pike deal and here is Dipoto discussing the two of them at the time.
Perhaps that lady the M's hired for cutting-eged performance mentality can (continue?) to help Whalen stay positive and focused. Good on the M's, sticking with this kid after last year's mental crisis. Dr. D is rooting for him.
Odds-on, 60-40, he jumps the Tacoma Trolley.
Speaking of MAX POVSE, he came in and twirled that big 12-6 yakker for a called strike, first pitch. Then, second pitch, he threw one and the hitter's knees literally buckled, as he dove out of the way of the pitch. Strike two. (It's about once in 10 or 20 games that you get to see a hitter bail, unless you've got a true Kershaw or Sale on the mound.) He then fired two fastballs for 2-2 and lastly he went up the ladder for a foul tip strikeout. Love the high fastball / 12-6 yakker whipsaw. Povse can bring it.
Povse transcends the Cheney Carousel; he's separated out to form the #6-#7-#8 staters with Miranda and Moore. I flat-out enjoy watching Max Povse pitch. He offers us the chance to see Tom Wilhelmsen in another incarnation. Hopefully this time, starting and running an impressive ERA.
It so happens that Povse is also off to a brisk stats start, 4.0 ip with a 2:5 CTL ratio.
Sadly, Shohei Ohtani will indeed be the finest pitcher to come out of Japan, which is saying a lot, of course. I'm not crushed about his bat in a 93 OPS+ lineup, at least not yet. But as an SP ... :: shudder :: you will find this video truly depressing; venture if you dare. Or here's a Japanese YouTube with all pitches from the game. David Cone on steroids times three. Ohtani is as good as Paxton, maybe better. Fortunately the SP's around him do not impress.
You might take comfort in the fact that Bill James (oddly) does not buy into Ohtani. He has made several ironic comments about the hype and last week's Tweet was, "will make the world forget Brooks Keischnick." Tempting to ask a Hey Bill on what's your problem with him. But who knows, maybe James' instincts are right about the difficulty of doing both things in the real majors.
Here's an article on DAN VOGELBACH that begins to credit him for "attitude." Dr. D doubts very seriously that his attitude has morphed since 2017, but when the managers and coaches begin to say stuff like that, it means they're beginning to give you your fair chance.