Game 37 + Minors Rewind: Home Run Derby

7543529444_173385f252_z== Five dingers, but different worth ==

In non-home-run scoring, Seattle topped Kansas City 3-2 on Sunday.

And they added four more tallies on two Dustin Ackley solo shots and a two-run long fly from Kyle Seager.

But KC got seven runs on just two swings of the bat, and that was the difference.

The first one — a grand slam — tallied four runs mostly due to questionable glove-work (from Seager).  He was only charged with one error, but could have had two.  Of course, he’d missed the prior game with the flu, so maybe he wasn’t 100%.

But after the Mariners clawed back to a 7-5 lead, the thus-far-reliable Danny Farquhar struggled though an ugly 7th.  After ground-rule double and a pair of walks, Farq offered up this cut fastball to recently promoted infielder Johnny Giavotella:

37-1The cut fastball is supposed to have “gloveside break,” meaning Mike Zunino should be reaching over in the direction of his red elbow guard.  He’s not.  The ball is settling in right down the old pike, and …

37-2Giovatella (career SLG .338) knew what to do with it.  Scoreboard-changer.  In the wrong direction.

===

You can see below that, generally, Farq’s cutter does have that extra horizontal break (this chart is for 2013-2014, and is from the catcher’s view [therefore, the opposite of the center-field camera]):

Brooksbaseball-Chart37Since he has that funky up-and-over delivery, the “zero” horizontal movement is actually movement of a couple of feet right (from the catcher’s view) from Farquhar’s release point.  Sunday, not enough of the cutters were getting that kind of movement:

horzspeed.php37The cutters mushed together with the straight fastball, including the one that Giovaletta sent packing.

===

I honestly haven’t noticed this before, but maybe he does it all the time.  Check out how Ackley is grinning on the follow-through on both homers.

37-337-4I suppose it could be a grimace, but it looks like a grin to me.

Let’s hope it’s a sign that he’s figured something out.

Three homers in three plate appearances is a start.  Don’t get cocky, Kid.

===

Daily Prospect-palooza

  • No Pencil issues in Tacoma.  Abraham Almonte was sent to bat 9th after going 1-for-16.  He got a single and a walk, plus a steal, in that spot.
  • Chris Taylor got on base four times (two hits, two walks) and got his 8th stolen base.
  • Jordan Pries had another solid start (except for the walks), but his bullpen faltered.  He left with a no-hitter but it didn’t last long.  His line: 5.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
  • Maybe folks in the Southern League thought a Mother’s Day crowd might like a lot of offense?  Jackson fell to the Tennessee Smokies, 17-13.  Not much pitching and defense on display with the teams combining for 29 hits and 5 errors.
  • Ketel Marte had four more hits, including a double.  His speed, glove and plate skills are going to get him somewhere.  And soon.
  • And in California … Deeeej!  D.J. Peterson finally bust out, with two home runs Sunday for High-A High Desert.
  • Plus a good starting outing for Jochi Ogando: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
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