...those first three ABs were a thing of beauty. We have GOT to find a way to keep the pedal to the metal in innings 1-6 before going to late-game desperate 'come back' mode... this is just a proof of how great it can really be when it's all clicking!
FIZZLERS - MIKE LEAKE
The kind of guy who when he's on, you think he's a "gamer" who's going to go 12-11, 4.01 every year. (I cheated; those are his actual lifetime 162-game averages.) When he's off, he's nibbling and picking with 87 MPH and you think he doesn't dare throw a strike in the zone.
Tuesday, he faced an Angels team overly-familiar with him and coughed up 11 (!) hits in 4 innings. This drove his ERA to 4.36, his ERA+ to 91 and his FIP/xFIP are no different. His 5.5 strikeout rate is way under budget, but then again his SwStr% is 7.9%, well ahead of his lifetime rate.
He'll be fine. But what I don't get is that he's got one weapon -- an 80-81 MPH slider -- and he throws it only 15% of the time. Whassup with that?
SIZZLERS - M's ROTATION FINALLY MISSES A START
Greg Johns, in his Mailbox, reiterated that the Mariners will indeed go to a 6-man rotation in August. Marco Gonzales has gone from 40 innings in the majors last year, 126 overall, to a prorated 190 this year. Paxton's up from 136 to 210. Wade LeBlanc, from 68 IP to 150. Bear in mind that Ron Shandler's #1 question for asking about a pitcher's durability this year, is his innings increase last year.
It's one of the biggest reason that the M's are 57-35 this year - no missed starts. Dipoto could feasibly complain that last year's result would have been similar to this year's, if only he'd have had escaped the DL pain they got in 2017.
Similarly in the Mailbox, Johns predicts an SP trade or an RP trade and/or both.
SIZZLERS - MITCH HANIGER
Doesn't make any difference to you or me that Haniger goes for 32 HR and 114 RBI and makes the All-Star team. Nor does it that he'll have 4.8 WAR, in a year when his D and running are slightly negative; we knew who he was last year. But it makes a whale of a difference in the national press, who will now view him as Jayson Werth.
A huge performance in the All-Star game, a strike-out-the-side type inning with 100 MPH fastballs from a pumped Diaz, will have its effect in the national consciousness, too.
FIZZLERS - STATS PAGE
1. Zunino .130/.186/.278 the last 30 days, and then a DL trip.
2. That's purty much it for position players!
3. Ryan Cook had thrown 3.1 IP the last month.
4. Juan Nicasio has coughed up an AVG of .375 and a WHIP of 1.88. Safe to say he's not going to be worth $8M.
SIZZLERS - STATS PAGE
1. Somebody at LL pointed out that the M's are 17-13 the last month, the Orcs 18-12. bwahahahaha
2. Boomstick with an OPS of 1.042, and a SLG of .644, the last 30 days. See "SeetheZee"'s comment. That'll do for us too. Except to say that Dr. D is a big believer in "lineup legimization." He would compare Boom to Paul Konerko for the White Sox in the old days.
3. Haniger is just not going to let up with the OBP, is he? .380 the last month with a 900 OPS that is essentially from a 300/400/500 line.
4. If I were Jean Segura, I'd be a lot happier with this photo than I would be with an All-Star appearance I didn't fully deserve (there are players better than him on the Last Call). Where's that photo ... the one where he came out to the plane, and everybody on it had a Send Segura T-Shirt. LOL! Now THAT was a MegaKudo.
SIZZLERS - ROBINSON CANO
Johns also laid it out neatly that the Cano "addition" will be similar to a deadline trade, even if he can't play in the postseason. With a .385 OBP and a 133 OPS+ as an infielder, he could be the best player "traded" on July 31. His tentative return date is August 14. So take that, Orcs.
Re: 6-Man Rotation In August:
1. Necessity is the mother of invention.
2. Sometimes invention doesn't solve the problems of necessity.
3. The M's might try it, but if it doesn't work out well they will quietly drop the idea and say it was only intended to be temporary. If it works, DiPoto and Servais are geniusi (my made-up plural form of genius, pronounced, jehn-YOU-see).
Holy crap, what happened to Ryan Cook?! One minute he looked like death on a stick, the next he disappeared and Nick Rumble-Bro was doing mop up work... and I didn't even notice until just now!
People calling for a #2. We got one. He cost us O'Neill. Im looking for a salary dump innings eater. Maybe the Twins? Odorizzi or Lynn could be an adjustment away from useful as our "#6." I'm sure there are others, but I'm saying we need not mortgage the farm for Hamels.
That's the cumulative ERA our five main SPs have given us so far this year. The way I see it, JeDi has three options:
- Acquire a pitcher we can expect to provide less that a 3.96 ERA. This would be all in on a depth/health move. We dilute and diminish the team's good pitching in exchange for a better safety net. It assumes we can coast to the playoffs, and our goal is to be healthy/rested when we get there.
- Acquire a pitcher we can expect to provide somewhat better than a 3.96 ERA. Say, 3.50-3.80. This would be both a safety net, and a credible attempt to improve the staff. This assumes we have to put a little work into fending off the A's (or someone).
- Acquire a TOR, likely a #2. This incidentally helps us in the regular season (effectively ending the WC race), but is really a move for the postseason. It assumes that we need a third starter to go with Pax and Marco if we want a prayer of beating any of the superteams in a longer-than-one-game playoff series.
So whether you want Hamels or Lynn is partially a matter of how much you believe in this year's team. Should they go for it, or coast in with a high chance of losing and plan to come back stronger next year? Personally I'm still undecided. Both sides seem to have their merits. Being responsible is usually the right choice, but I can’t shake the fear that we’ll make the WC game this year, lose, and spend another 40 years wandering in the desert because Mariners, wishing we’d given it our best shot this year.
There exists but one enemy between the Mariners and that sweet sweet post season: The loathsome Orcs. In 2002, the Mariners lost their berth to the Orcs on August 22. In 2003, they lost their berth on August 26.
The Orcs, despite our best efforts, are good again this year, and live to antagonize the Mariners.