PLAYOFF CHANCES = 17%
Glorious victory in Houston in extras, once again keyed by our Star at second base. This leaves the M's with only the Orioles in front of them, 2.0 games' difference with 6.0 games left for each team to play. I fancy the scenario in which the M's go 4-2, the Orioles 2-4, leaving two Wild Card games in succession.
In another scenario, the O's go 3-3 but the M's win 5 of 6, seeing as we get the Orks for four games and the Orioles play the mighty Jays, and the Yankee$ ... both on the road.
Some friendly denizen might do us a great kindness by lining up the six pitching matchups remaining to both us and the O's? One thing Dr. D had noticed, though ... if the M's get a Wild Card game, it is Zeus scheduled for that game. If I recall.
Hey, we are inside one week left in the season. And the Mariners have got a big game Tuesday night. How BOUT dat. :- )
Part of DiPoto's broadcast, he spoke of certain ML pitchers (Beuhrle, Fister, Iwakuma) who throw the ball "in tunnels." He meant, on a string, front and back of the strike zone. He also spoke about the high fastball, so that if a pitcher is pulling the string, and using the top and bottom of the zone, "East and West isn't as important for those guys." Read, you don't have to live on the inner third and outer third of the plate.
This gladdens Dr. D's heart, which had many years ago tired of "keep the ball on the ground" dogma. The M's are also encouraging Taijuan to throw the high exploding strike, and slap me silly if Felix hasn't even used the top of the zone a few times lately.
Fast 'Kuma facts: his next start will take him over 200 innings; so much for the 150-IP Ferrari idea, at least this year. ... He is 16-12 in 32 starts, so only four starts in which the bullpen got the decision, of which Monday was one. ... he hasn't had quite the same stuff, with K rates and SwStr% rates down, but his 6.5 strikeouts per game are still comfortable for a Doug Fister-type pitcher.
Felix has climbed an impressive mountain in adjusting to the fact that he has minus velocity... WBC-San has a little less zip on his fastball too, but he has made his adjustment on the fly. The fans in the stands have barely noticed that Iwakuma had an adjustment to make. It's partly because he never did throw the ball by anybody, but still.
Happy Felix Day,