It’s certainly not a news flash that Felix had 15 strikeouts in 7.0 IP on Sunday, so no need to recount much of that here.
We can say:
- Felix’ velocity has been over 94 on average for the first time since 2012 (per Brooks).
- That little bit of extra oomph might be enough to make the change even more devastating than before, if that’s even possible.
- Brooks says the Rays swung at the change 19 times, and 13 of them were swing-and-miss. That’s just preposterous.
- He finished with a total of 20 swinging strikes out of 100 total pitches.
- The Rays are surely in a collective funk, as not only their season, but their “window-of-David-Price-as-ace” is fading away.
And yet, there were the Rays, behind Chris Archer, matching zero-for-zero with Felix, even if not strikeout-for-strikeout (Archer only had two).
This Mariner offensive engine is still powered by two-thirds of a vintage Robinson Cano, plus whomever happened to be hanging around Tacoma (hey, you, um, what’s your name again … Andy? Endy? yeah, you, they need you in Seattle …)
But its two-outs-in-the-9th rally, fueled by re-emerging Brad Miller and the unlikely veteran combo of Endy Chavez and Willie Bloomquist, before decisicive blows from James Jones and Kyle Seager, was all the pitching staff needed.
- Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com boxscore here.
It may not be fashionable to have hope for this offense, but — now that Brad Miller seems to be in recovery phase, and Mike Zunino has an established level of performance — this team has three difficult defensive positions filled with guys who will contribute.
Seager will be a solid supporting player no matter what.
Dustin and Justin? Well, I still don’t rule out that they can be valuable supporting-cast members. But if not, LF and 1b are the easiest places to patch and fill.
Take Cole Gillespie, for example.
And just know that even with all the problems, there are still only two Wild-Card contenders with positive run differential (and Texas, Baltimore, Boston … not among them). Just the Angels and the Mariners.
- Mariner affiliate scoreboard here.
- Abe lives! Just when it looked like Xavier Avery had supplanted one-time Pencil-favorite Abraham Almonte, here comes Abe with a three-hit game including his 2nd AAA homer. Journeyman catcher Humberto Quintero also went deep. But the Rainiers fell short thanks to a two-run shot from another former Seattle center-field project: Trayvon Robinson.
- Rehabbing Logan Morrison had two hits and two walks: .298/.394/.439. Approaching footsteps for those of you in the anti-Justin Smoak camp.
- Jackson got offense up and down the board, including the third AA homer for Dario Pizzano, who’s been pulling himself off the mat. Jamal Austin had two doubles, a single and three steals. His walk rate is what keeps him from rising on the charts.
- Victor Sanchez was solid (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but usually reliable Stephen Kohlscheen gave up a three-run homer.
- High Desert got an unlikely homer from struggling Tim Lopes (his 2nd) on its way to a win.
- Clinton got swept in a double-header, though Austin Wilson pounded his 9th homer in the opener and had three walks in the nightcap.