So, uh, that Felix kid
He’s not bad. 73 of 100 pitches for strikes… and he got screwed by a ridiculous strike zone at times. Take a look at the Pitch F/x strike zone data from tonight’s game:
Two green squares in the upper central area show balls that are, for all intents and purposes, right down the middle and below the belt. Five more on the lower line that are borderline are balls, as are two that are just a fraction outside and are usually called strikes. He threw 73% strikes on a night where the strikezone was smaller than usual. Yea. All hail the king.
Also, I wonder what the probability of Branyan and Betancourt combining to go nine for nine (to start with, I know Yuni finally made an out) in a game started by John Danks was. We could take a crude stab at it with a binomial distribution and a guess at their combined “true average” against this particular medley of pitchers… ah, heck, why not.
Nine hits in nine at-bats for hitters with a .260 true talent batting average, the odds of it happening are .000005. That would be one in every 200,000 or so. So, yea, don’t count on ever seeing that again.
I love that one of the excuses for still carrying 12 pitchers is that cold weather in April can force you into unexpected doubleheaders which burn through the pen quickly… and the bullpen threw one inning.
Also, on the heels of my “I like Wak” post from this morning – Chavez starting (and hitting 2nd!) against an LHP while Gutierrez sits on the bench? I get that Endy’s been having better at-bats lately, and that Gutierrez looked bad on some hacks in the first game, but if you want to get Gutierrez’s bat going, let him build up some confidence by whacking lefties. And Chavez isn’t exactly still on fire; going into the second game, he was 8 for 36 with a .592 OPS in his last 10 games. We knew the Chavez hot streak wasn’t going to last, and it hasn’t – he shouldn’t be playing over Gutierrez against an LHP unless there’s an injury or something.
In reality, it’s time for the M’s to start giving Chavez a bit less playing time. We’re obviously huge proponents of the new and improved outfield defense, and Chavez should still get the majority of the innings in LF, but it’s okay to pinch-hit for him in high leverage situations, and he shouldn’t be starting against an LHP unless Washburn is on the hill. Everything is a balance – Chavez is a valuable player in certain situations, and in others, the team is better off with Balentien. We’d do well to get back to more of a 70/30 playing time split between Chavez/Balentien, rather than the 95/5 it’s been so far.