If Matt and Wishiker are going to lead a game thread, I for one will definitely read with interest. After I'm back from the ballpark :- )
Originally published on March 13, 2017, after Moore's early spring training outing. - Dr. D
1 - ULTRA KING FELIX (TM) PITCH SEQUENCE
This was Andrew Moore's pitch chart to the first Reds hitter on Saturday, the LH Jesse Winker. Fastball HI for 1-0 ripped off by the ump hey ain't no thang, Fastball PAINTED for 1-1, Changeup / Splitfinger SHINS 1-2, Fastball POUND KNEES grounded through the infield for a base hit.
This used to capture the essence of a King Felix (TM) at-bat: four, five, six pitches and none of em nowhere near the center gridsquare -- and yet only one ball on the hitter when the AB is resolved. Felix didn't run 2+ ERA's by accident, amigo. When the batter has nothing to hit, he ain't gonna hit. The profs call that a TAUTOLOGY. The scouts just say, "Throw Sucker Pitches. Vlad Guerrero's Dead."
(1) By "center gridsquare" we also include half of the MID-AWAY square. And we include half of the MID-UP square. Capiche? Also for LH power hitters we include most of the LO-IN square. But the Mainframe just says "center gridsquare."
(2) The above is not actually a King Felix (TM) at-bat. It is an ULTRA King Felix (TM) at-bat, because nothing is in ALL NINE gridsquares. Yet Moore was ahead in the count. Ultra King Felix used to do this at. will. You'd see a 7-pitch at bat and four pitches would break outside the zone, and three would just nick the zone. It was unbelievable. Felix would do this all night long. The 8 IP, 1 ER nights were inevitable under those circumstances.
3 - KING FELIX (TM) PITCH SEQUENCE
The third hitter, RH Stuart Turner, actually got pitches inside the strike zone: 92 Fastball TOP KNEES, 84 Signature Changeup AWAY. (In fairness this changeup was higher than Moore wanted. First time he missed the very catcher's glove.)
4 - ULTRA FELIX (TM) PITCH SEQUENCE
The fourth hitter, RH Aristedes Aquino, saw a 78 MPH splitfinger on the hands (missed up and in a bit) and then saw a painted 93 fastball away:
What happened to the #2 hitter in the fourth? In fairness, that was a 93 challenge fastball that WAS out-and-over. First pitch routine fly out. I didn't emphasize it because (1) first-pitch challenge fastballs are absolutely part of a Felix (TM) game, and (2) it was quite literally the only out-and-over fastball I saw among 50 separate Andrew Moore pitches that game.
Go to MLB.com > March 11 > M's Game > GameDay > All Plays > click the location icon within each hitter, and you will see either 11 or 12 King Felix (TM) pitch sequences out of 13 batters. Depending on whether you count that first-pitch challenge fastball we just mentioned.
So that's the white meat on the bird. ... the potatoes, cranberry and sprig of parsley would be?
If not for a bad hop double, the one off of Seager's glove, Moore's game would likely have been 4 hits and 1 run.
Maybe somebody wants to put up a short post game this morning, or I will try to get to it on Friday afternoon.
My own talking points on Andrew Moore's gem:
1. The pitcher and his manager were giddy like it was a shut out, and appropriately so.
2. Excellent cutting action on the fastball, and a direct 12 six angle on the overhand curve – bodes very well for left-hand splits
3. True 4 pitch mix in Ray Miller style - change speeds, change locations, throw strikes. Leaves a young pitcher for less susceptible to being booked.
4. Special make up, which the manager underlined in the post game.
5. If it were roto and Moore were a Cleveland Indian, I would empty out my free-agent acquisition budget to grab him., This big red machine style team could leave him about seven and three in a couple of months.
Interestingly, he layed off the Changeup, until later in the game. That's supposed to be his Pitch #2. He was a bit waffley with his curve to LHB's, trying to backdoor it and missing outside. But he fooled a couple of RHB's with it and his slider was WAY better than advertised.
Of course, his FB was a weapon. It seemd like he was 0-1 consistently and then he threw it up and down, in and out, on the black.
The 3-1 shot given up to Kinsler? No worries, Kinsler had hit 220 of them before that pitch. He was a smart professional hitter knowing the kid would give him something to drive. Stuff like that happens in the Bigs.
Oh, I loved his rhythm: Get the ball, get the sign, rock and roll. He's a guy that IF's will love to play behind. Mark Buehrle, from the other side. About 60 lbs less, than Buehrle, however.
I am not sure I saw a 94 MPH FB, but I think he hit 93. He sat at 92 until the 7th. AS well, I can't remember a single time when the umpire jobbed a Tiger, not giving them the call on an actual Ball 4. He kept a lineup of really fine hitters off balance all night, his FB, at it's best, having more legs than the radar gun would indicate. He threw 69 strikes in 100 pitches. 16 lookers and 7 swingers. He gave up 17 FB's (9 were of the LD variety, only one out was a FB rocket; the one Heredia went straight back for), 5 GB's, and 3 popups. If I've added that right, then he allowed 21 foul balls.
If you said you saw a little bit of Greg Maddux last night, I wouldn't send you to the corner of the room, with the three-legged stool and the pointy hat. When we see more of the changeup, you might think he and Kuma pitch in the same language.
All in all, it was a heck of an outing. Probably the only guy not tickled by it in the clubhouse was Gallardo. He has no role now, it's official.
If rain was beer, and I could get all that I wanted, I would wish for another K or two. Next game he'll show us a few more.
Felix up today. Sammy G. up tomorrow. Watch that one carefully. If we get a "classic" (if such a thing is possible for a guy with 7 MLB starts) Gaviglio performance vs. the Mash-tros, then the brain-trust better start talking to Kuma about the bullpen option.
Honest to goodness, it's looking more and more like there isn't any rotational room for BOTH Kuma and Smyly. One, but not both, if everybody stays heaalthy. And if Moore keeps dittoing last night's effort. A nice dilemma to have, but one to be dealt with. By my count, Gallardo is now #8.5, tied nose-to-nose with Bergman. And I think I'm being geneous to Gallardo.
Andrew Moore? He was the best pitcher in the state, 3 years running in HS. He was the best pitcher in the Pac-12. He's been the best pitcher (or nearly so) at every stop along his minor league way. He looked pretty dang good last night. He was the best pitcher in the game. He won't Zeus you to death, but the kid is MLB-good. To paraphrase, ZZ Top, he has stuff and he knows how to use it.
38-37 has a wonderful ring to it. 39-37 is WAY more than .0065 better!
I think with this kid you are going to have a pitcher who throws strikes no matter what else occurs -- even in a scary debut against Miguel Cabrera in at three deckstadium – –
and… What is that worth?
Next turn round I'd have to pass on subbing in Kuma for Moore. Smyly I would. I expect a whale of a lot of 3-ER starts from Andrew Moore and this team can win that way.
maybe it's time to see if we have a Koji Uehara? :- )
I was beginning to think the M's were never going to shake the monkey this year. With Segura Hanniger back, the current lineup is just too good to hold down. Way cool.
Shake the monkey (LAA), and stomp the 'Stros. We'll never catch 'em, 'cause they won't go into a tailspin like the Halos did in 1995, when the M's came from 13 games back on August 3rd.
Right now I'm glad they shook the monkey you were referring to. Next stop, 5 games over .500. How long will it take? Then we'll see from there.