M's 4, Angels 2
the ultimate baseball face, comin' right at ya


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.


Dr D




Watching the sequence starting with Dee's Triple AB.  It seemed for a moment that a bobble was going to make it an inside the parker.  A rising tide and contagious hitting is something I'd enjoy all year long.  How many times will Cano come up this year against a pitcher who's attention is split?  How often do they go to fastballs to give the catcher a better chance to throw out the guy baking to 2nd?  Could be an interesting breakdown.

Also immediately thought Povse could look pretty good as a long reliever but I've been focused on trying to point to anybody who could.  I hadn't previously seen him hitting spots that well so my second thought was that I need to see it again.  It does appear he may have already repeated but we can't see all the games.  I enjoyed the LL point that the Jackson return put up 5IP/8K today.  Whalen went 3 batters deep looking like garbage to start though.

Another thing I mentioned on Slack was Jabari Blash going on Freitas who looked perfect calm and smoothe popping up and gunning him down at 2nd.


I was glad to hear Dipoto admit that it was a stupid plan, and I (sort of) understand why he tried it - I mean it worked out great with Diaz unless you wanted him to be a starter.  I did want that, so moving him to the bullpen instead of letting him grow into being Chris Archer 2.0 was somewhat disappointing to me.  But he had that fastball weapon that Povse doesn't have.  The Ms wanted to give Povse a shot in the pen and see if it would boost his MPH - it didn't, and instead cost him his starter's rhythm and effectiveness.

Povse is a starter, and should always be a starter.  I suppose he could be a long man because it requires something of a starter's rhythm, but really I'd rather see him try to be a decent #4 than a long reliever. I would leave Povse right where he is - the Mariners could use a Fister-level surprise as a starter and I'd give Povse his shot at it.


Interesting point came up with a NPB fan I was talking with... Ohtani has never does both great at the same time.

For instance...

2015 - 160.2 IP - 11.0 K/9 - 2.6 BB/9 -> 119 PA - 628 OPS

2016 - 140.0 IP - 11.2 K/9 - 2.9 BB/9 -> 382 PA - 1004 OPS

2017 - 25.1 IP - 10.3 K/9 - 6.8 BB/9 -> 231 PA - 942 OPS

2016 is the closest he got, but well below a full season of starts (maybe close on a 6 man, but 5 days rest in Japan runs about 200 innings in ~142 games).

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