Bad Felix

DMZ · August 31, 2005 at 10:55 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Well, that’s what a bad King Felix start looks like. Ill control, weird pitch selection, hassled by inconsistent umpiring. I don’t particularly care if you want to call a wide or a small strike zone, though I’d like to see someone call the rulebook strike zone once… but if someone puts the same pitch in the same spot three times, it should be called either a ball or a strike each time. Nobody’s happy if down-and-in is randomly a strike.

Anyway, the unhappy totals:

15 ground balls, 2 fly balls. 7 strikeouts, 4 walks, 2 home runs.

Wait.. that’s pretty sweet. Just using game score, which is, of course, imperfect, that’s better than any start made by Pineiro this year. Gil Meche had one better, as did Franklin.

Game score: 50
+2/each inning after 4
-2/unearned run

Kinda dopey but amusing random stat to play with. Anyway, our best pitcher when bad is as good as our bad pitchers at their absolute best.


98 Responses to “Bad Felix”

  1. paul on September 1st, 2005 1:12 pm

    is your projection system complete?

    Can you give us any early indications of ERA projections for Felix and Moyer?

  2. westfried on September 1st, 2005 1:14 pm

    I think the question about 33 versus 37% balls that Dave D was asking is better put this way:
    Over 108 pitches, 33% translates into 36 balls, while 37% means 40 balls. Thus, the difference is 4 balls, over the course of a game.

    Now, I’m not saying Felix was at his best last night. He wasn’t, and it was still pretty damn impressive. And I’d be happy with that from any M’s pitcher any game.

    But, for us less-informed folks, I think the question is really how much of a difference 4 pitches makes. It’s like my not understanding how a great player is worth 5 or 10 VORP over another, which translates into 2 wins, or however all that works. Sure, 33% is better, but how much impact does 4 pitches have? Etc.

  3. Colm on September 1st, 2005 1:28 pm

    So Felix threw, what, 108 pitches last night? 60 strikes, 48 balls. Doesn’t that work out to 44% balls? Where’d the 37% figure come from.

    The difference between 44% and 33% is 11 or 12 pitches, whereas the difference between 37% and 33% is only 4 or 5 pitches. I think the ump probably squeezed Felix by four or five pitches, but not 12.

    (I was there too, and like so many others, I think that RJ was getting the inside calls on righties that Felix wasn’t; but then umps are human too. The Yankees had a future hall of famer facing a line up of rookies; the Mariners had a rookie facing a line up of future hall of famers)

  4. Colm on September 1st, 2005 1:31 pm

    Nonetheless, I still like Felix. He had Matsui’s number last night. Godzilla never looked comfortable out there.

  5. David U on September 1st, 2005 1:38 pm


    You post beat mine and expressed my feelings exactly. I would think that 4 pitches for balls out of 100+ thrown would almost be in the noise level. However, 4 home runs in two games at Safeco worries me more. Having said that, he still is the best Mariners pitcher that I have seen since the other pitcher last night left Seattle.

  6. paul on September 1st, 2005 1:42 pm

    This is micro-analysis and superflous and it’s great.

    It gets me excited about Sept 11 again.

    When Randy was entering his prime years, were the discussions of his starts also heated? Was the analysis fond of hyper-statistcial indulgences? Were the conclusions bloated?

  7. Russ on September 1st, 2005 1:43 pm


    Russ’ suggestion #2 for the FO:

    Study and understand what OBS means. Find players have one in the range of a very good to great player.

    I guess I’m stupid, I’ve never even heard of OBS.

    Well…you haven’t heard of it because either Russ just made it up or he did it wrong. You can chooes for yourself but I’m going with Russ doesn’t know what hell he is talking about.

    Please see OPS for what he really meant. That Russ guy is an idiot.

  8. Zach on September 1st, 2005 1:46 pm

    Umm…is there gonna be a game thread today? I mean, I know Joel isn’t as inspiring at Felix, but still…

  9. Metz on September 1st, 2005 1:55 pm

    Yes Felix was wild(er) last night. Honestly, this is the pitcher I expected to see when he got called up from AAA. He was having control problems in the minor leagues with his fastball. I never expected him to be dominant this year or even consistently get through 7 innings given his pitch count. It’s amazing what he showed in his first 3 starts.

    Randy was getting the high outside strike called all night which had to throw off the M’s already anemic hitters. No way any other pitcher gets that pitch called a strike.

    Has Morse even had an putout in his 2 games in left field?

  10. paul on September 1st, 2005 2:00 pm

    Oakland and California are going to decide the title on the last game of the season!

    Finley will be the hero once again.

    As a Mariner fan, I would prefer the Angels to win since our rival is Oakland. I don’t like the Angels but if the A’s win we have the payroll disparity issue rubbed in our face constantly.

    Who has a prediction for AL West champion?

  11. msb on September 1st, 2005 2:01 pm

    Chuck Finley?

  12. paul on September 1st, 2005 2:07 pm

    Was Chuck Finley ever a hero?

    Steve Finley

  13. goodbye baseball on September 1st, 2005 2:08 pm

    I’m going with Oakland. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the Angels’ bullpen has been overworked, and it’s showing even with the win last night. Also, what’s wrong with Garrett Anderson?

    I might add that Huston Street is becoming a place no opposing team wants to go in the 9th inning. The Yankees may find that out this weekend.

  14. Long Suffering on September 1st, 2005 2:12 pm

    Anyone know who accurate CBS gamecenter is on velocity? It’s showing Joel’s fastball as between 91 and 94, which is encouraging if true.

  15. paul on September 1st, 2005 2:14 pm

    “Street…no team wants to go.” Clever.

    In one game, anything goes. There is great pitching depth on both sides.

    GA has had injuries again this year. I have tracked him because he is on my fantasy team. Age relates to his decline as well.

  16. Benno on September 1st, 2005 2:15 pm


    would it be possible to show those percentages for each of the M’s starting pitchers? (%bb, %K, %Flyball etc…). Or is this something that you have been doing only for Felix? Thanks,


  17. Colm on September 1st, 2005 2:18 pm

    Morse caught the second flyball that went his way in leftfield last night (Giambi off Thornton). He flubbed the first one badly(Sheffield off Nelson).

  18. Dave in Palo Alto on September 1st, 2005 2:18 pm

    Posting here because the Game Thread is MIA, is it just my rig, or does MLB.TV really blow today?

  19. benny young on September 1st, 2005 2:27 pm

    Chuck Finley was my hero he got to sleep with miss white snake video everynight until she went nuts!!!So yes he is a

  20. Dumy on September 1st, 2005 2:46 pm

    Joel has 5 K’s through 4.

  21. James in CA on September 1st, 2005 2:55 pm

    So I take it the overhead windup experiment with Joel is over? Has this been reported before now?

  22. LB on September 1st, 2005 2:57 pm

    #71: Those of us in Seattle don’t get to see the game unless we go to the ballpark (even if we shelled out for MLB EI — grr), so we won’t be able to report it.

  23. bilbo on September 1st, 2005 2:58 pm

    Is it possible that whatever was ailing Jo-el is now healed and he is getting his velocity back? If so, I hope they are working on getting his arm slot back to where it used to be to make that curve nasty again.

  24. Brian Rust on September 1st, 2005 2:59 pm

    I hope DMZ wasn’t waylayed from his turn starting the game thread by a mob of angry Willie Bloomquist fans . . . .

  25. James in CA on September 1st, 2005 3:08 pm

    #72 – That’s about the only reason I’m happy I don’t live up there anymore. I get to watch every single televised M’s and Hawks game. Of course, when I attend here, I have to be the screaming minority.

  26. Senor Mateo on September 1st, 2005 3:12 pm

    Seriously, Ichiro needs a rest. Dude somehow got poisoned by hitting next to Bloomquist for so long, or something.

  27. Paul Molitor Cocktail on September 1st, 2005 3:19 pm

    Pineiro has 6Ks… sweet.

  28. Evan on September 1st, 2005 3:25 pm

    Good old Sturtzie.

  29. Karen on September 1st, 2005 3:27 pm

    RE: #9. RJ himself said that his 7 innings had drained him completely and that he was really looking forward to a very quiet day off. He said he planned to do just one thing: “I want to meet Hernandez. Tell him he has a great future in front of him”.

    He better have the best of intentions in wanting to meet King Felix, as in a mentoring kind of way. ‘Cause if he says anything like, “Hey, kid, come to NYC and sign with the Yankees when your 6 years with Seattle are over with,” in the same way A-Fraud tried to convince Boeing to relocate to Tom Hicks’ Arlington TX business complex, I hope someone kneecaps the Big Unit (and that might remind some people why A-Fraud is still getting booed here in Seattle).

    Just kidding.

    Yeah, sure….

  30. k-factory on September 1st, 2005 3:45 pm

    can’t believe hargrove just pulled pineiro. he was so sharp. his best game of the season. just give him one more hitter to see if he can qualify for the win (whether or not that stat is overrated)

  31. Evan on September 1st, 2005 3:47 pm

    112 pitches, with Matsui coming up? I’d use Sherrill, too.

    I see no reason to choose a suboptimal approach in order to pad Pineiro’s stats.

  32. bilbo on September 1st, 2005 3:48 pm

    yes, but Sherrill is the man! 3 pitch strikeout to Matsui to end the threat.

  33. James in CA on September 1st, 2005 3:48 pm

    We’d probably be lambasting Grover if he’d left him in there for one more batter. Joel had reached 113, after all.

  34. bilbo on September 1st, 2005 3:50 pm


  35. k-factory on September 1st, 2005 3:51 pm

    i think we often overlook the psychological boost a win for a struggling pitcher can have. its not like we are in a pennant race or anything. and the runner was not in scoring position.

  36. Colm on September 1st, 2005 3:51 pm

    Blimey, who saw that coming.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have catchers who could hit?

    2-1 Mariners

  37. Red Ed on September 1st, 2005 3:52 pm

    79: Well, for that to happen, Randy’d have to pitch till he was what, 48?

    …uh oh.

    In other news, how bout that Pineiro? 7 Ks through 6 2/3 today against just one walk. With absolutely nothing to back it up, I’m declaring that a post-Felix hangover.

  38. bilbo on September 1st, 2005 3:54 pm

    hey, you play to win. grover did the right thing, and they may win as a result. Pineiro pitched a great game, 6.2 5h,1bb,7Ks!. Maybe he is coming around after all?

  39. DC Mariner on September 1st, 2005 3:56 pm

    Hey, just got in. Checking the boxscore, Joel pitched 6 2/3. He’s not eligible for the win how?

  40. DC Mariner on September 1st, 2005 3:57 pm

    I mean decision, as it was tied when he left. Hargrove couldn’t have known we’d take the lead in the bottom half of the inning, giving him the W

  41. k-factory on September 1st, 2005 3:59 pm

    i’m just saying other than the wild pitch its not like he was showing signs of losing it.
    and as far as playing to win, i’m just considering the potential long term value of having a pitcher feel real good about himself and feel good that his manager trusts him versus essentially a meaningless win/loss in september.
    and 113 pitches is not the end of the world imo.

  42. k-factory on September 1st, 2005 4:02 pm

    of course he couldn’t have ‘known’, but they were tied and all it takes is one run to break the tie.

    whatever, perhaps it doesn’t matter to pineiro. i’m just glad to see him pitch so well.

  43. Jason B on September 1st, 2005 4:03 pm

    There’s a game thread now…

  44. Deacon Blues on September 1st, 2005 4:04 pm

    Pineiro probably does feel good about himself. He pitched more than 2 2/3 innings and gave up fewer than 5 runs.

    I hope he tells Meche what he did.

  45. John D. on September 1st, 2005 4:39 pm

    GAME SCORES (at the very end of each ESPN pitching summary). Here it is as once laid on me by Dave Steinberg.

    Game Scores – (James)

    Game score is a metric devised by Bill James to show how dominating a pitcher was in any particular game. To determine a starting pitcher’s game score: (1) Start with 50 points. (2) Add 1 point for each out recorded, so 3 points for every complete inning pitched. (3) Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. (4) Add 1 point for each strikeout. (5) Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. (6) Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. (7) Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. (8) Subtract 1 point for each walk.

    The top game score in the history of baseball was Kerry Wood’s one-hit, no walk, 20 strikeout performance against the Astros on May 6, 1998. His game score was 105.

    As Derek said, this is quite arbitrary. [e.g. If low number of pitches counted for something, RED BARRETT (1945) might have the best game score ever.]

  46. Mat on September 1st, 2005 6:36 pm

    Great link, John D. 58 pitches in a complete game is amazing. I was pretty amazed when Carlos Silva managed to finish off the Brewers in 83 pitches this year, but 58 is 2 pitches per hitter (it looks like he gave up 2 hits, no DPs, and no BBs). I have a feeling that is one of the most unbreakable records in baseball, given the fairly prevalent “take and rake” philosophy amongst many modern hitters.

  47. Bela Txadux on September 2nd, 2005 5:04 am

    I wouldn’t call it inconsistent umpiring: Kulpa was calling a personal strikezone for Randy Johnson all night. I was there, directly behind home plate. The ump consistently called down and in to righties a strike all night—wa-aa-ay in, like over the batter’s box line; it was a sick joke. To be fair, he called the pitch most of the time for Felix, too, although this spot is far more important for RJ. The ump also called the high strike for Johnson most of the night, and would even throw in a few high-and-away-out-of-the-zone strikes for Randy. Now, he might have been willing to call those for Felix, too, but El Gato keeps the ball down, so those aren’t spots he threw to. Now, early in the night, Kulpa wasn’t calling some pitches for Felix which were _manifestly_ in the strikezone, but I saw less of that in the later innings; that might be a matter of adjustment. Felix was way pumped up in the first three innings, though, and his fastball was riding out of the zone, so it’s hard to say for a fact that the ump had it in for him. But the guy behind the plate might as well have had a meeting with Johnson or Torre before the game, and asked them what they wanted. I’m not accusing him of anything deliberate or overt in that regard, I think that this was just his decision.

    . . . I’ve rarely been so steamed at an umpire. Kulpa knew exactly what he was doing. Randy threw a good game, but Kulpa ensured that he got to throw a ‘great’ game. The Ms batters were giving him constant looks of disbelief, but if that said anything, or hung around, the ump was right up in their faces. I’m not an umpire baiter, and most arguments with the umpire are better off not made, but this was one night I wished to God that Hargrove would come out and let the guy have it. His zone was an _insult_. Not to Felix: if El Gato could hit the spots, I think that the ump was prepared to give him the call, more or less, but the Mariners hitters had sand kicked in their faces. By the hired help. *Eecchhhh* But that’s what happens to chump-ass teams sleep walking through two losses to every win, a Cadillac zone for the opposing famous name, and a see-you-later-and-keep-your-mouth-shut to the Seattle Losers. Or so it looked. Hargrove knows how this game is played, and where his team stands right now, i.e. in the queue to the rear of Coyote Ugly; I guess that’s why he didn’t say anything.

    After his initial adrenalin wore off, Felix pitched extremely well for the last three+ innings. Really, he didn’t do anything wrong. The pitch Sheffield hit out was definitely a mistake, right in the middle of the plate, belly high, but Felix was on game after that.

  48. Bela Txadux on September 2nd, 2005 5:09 am

    Say, are the Mariners allowed to hit home runs in this sport? I mean, damn, those other teams get runs by, you know, hitting the ball over the fence, and the umpires don’t make them go back to third, or anything. The Ms don’t seem to think that’s legal, and so they hit all these singles to, um, get a run or two.

    —But wouldn’t it be worth trying to hit the ball over the wall, a few times at least, to see if they could keep the runs, too, hey??

    I miss the long ball. It makes the game interesting, and sometimes you get to win when you do it. Well, maybe next year. (Or maybe not.)