Game 109, Jays at Mariners: Do Not Go Gentle

marc w · August 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Jaime Garcia, 7:10pm

Happy Felix Day. I want to write that, because I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to do so again. The M’s are in a playoff race, and Felix has struggled, as the M’s point out at every opportunity. Hey, gotta be ruthless, right? Team over individual.

I’m not denying the logic of the M’s tough love approach here (though the love is currently below detectable levels). What I’m really angry about is the way 100% of the blame is directed at Felix. What possible use is a peak performance team, a mental skills team, multiple pitching brains on the coaching staff, if not to help in this precise moment? For better or worse, the M’s built a coaching/development/culture group to interface with players, and they seem unwilling to acknowledge that, if Felix is cooked at 32, then all of those people failed along with El Cartelua.

This is where the game is going. The M’s aren’t behind the Astros because they didn’t have as high of draft picks. They’re behind the Astros because Justin Verlander – with the same miles on the odometer that Felix has – is suddenly an ace again. Because Gerrit Cole uncovered previously unknown levels of ability, just as Charlie Morton (years older than Felix) did. Not all of these changes were implemented in Houston, though they did a few. It’s that they can encourage and maintain progress, they can identify flaws, and work toward improvement. There’s nothing magic about that. It’s hard, hard work, but it can be done. This is, in short, the M’s vision of their own approach. And the M’s are getting their clocks cleaned, comprehensively, at their own approach.

I have always hated the idea of Felix coming into Safeco wearing some unfamiliar gray and dominating the M’s. There’s a reason “Felix is ours and you can’t have him,” was such an effective rallying cry for a woebegone fan base like this one. After the past few weeks, I don’t think I’d hate it anymore. It’d make me happy, angry, sad, hurt, and uplifted all at once. Love is strange like that.

I don’t want Felix to go out with a good game. I want to change the trajectory he’s on, not forestall impact. Yes, yes, that all sounds like a naive little boy who can’t accept the reality that’s screaming as loud as the HR ball off of Mike Trout’s bat, but the modern game is about more than Ks and HRs. It’s about ignoring population-wide stats like aging curves or HR/FB. And if that makes me a naive little fanboy, well love is strange like that, too.

1: Gordon, 2B
2: Segura, SS
3: Span, LF
4: Cruz, DH
5: Haniger, RF
6: Seager, 3B
7: Healy, 1B
8: Zunino, C
9: Maybin, CF
SP: King Felix. Siempre.

Give ‘em hell, Felix.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.


13 Responses to “Game 109, Jays at Mariners: Do Not Go Gentle”

  1. Stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2018 7:16 pm

    I suppose it doesn’t really matter how we got here, it is what it is and we have to deal with it.

    Perhaps the bigger question now is what to do with him if it isn’t pretty. Move him to the bullpen and get rid of who?

    Maybe they should be trying to stretch out Nicasio after a DL stint? Felix hitting the DL would seem insulting, but I guess everything is in play.

    Still, I can’t help but wonder how much of this was his stubbornness/unwillingness to try new routines and adjustments earlier and how much of it is just the miles on his arm.

  2. mrakbaseball on August 2nd, 2018 7:46 pm

    Yes, “rosterbation” is frowned around here, but Robinson Cano, 2019 Mariners third baseman?

  3. Stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2018 7:58 pm

    ^How would they unload Seager’s contract?

    Unfortunately, that would probably mean more Healy at first. I’m still hopeful Cano will slide over to 1B next season if they’re done with the Gordon experiment in CF.

  4. mrakbaseball on August 2nd, 2018 8:25 pm

    Good question and he’s signed thru 2021. Ouch.

  5. schwingy on August 2nd, 2018 8:39 pm

    Tonight, feels like. death

  6. HighBrie on August 2nd, 2018 8:51 pm

    Marc, I love your post tonight and I am grateful for your writing throughout. Sunshine and lollipops, man.

  7. Stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2018 8:51 pm

    Not a terrible outing at all.

  8. WTF_Ms on August 2nd, 2018 9:20 pm

    I just tuned in. Why is it 2-2 in the 7th?? Wake up offense! Meh outing by Felix?

  9. WTF_Ms on August 2nd, 2018 9:30 pm

    Juan f’ing Nicasio. Well done.

  10. WTF_Ms on August 2nd, 2018 9:42 pm

    So, the clown show continues. This team was teetering on horrible, and it looks like they just went over the edge.

  11. MKT on August 2nd, 2018 10:55 pm

    When will they stop putting Nicasio on the mound in high leverage situations? He’s a walking save-blower and tie-breaker.

  12. heyoka on August 3rd, 2018 6:00 am

    Refuse to win.

  13. Stevemotivateir on August 3rd, 2018 2:29 pm

    Anybody else think a swap of Nicasio for Shawn Kelley makes sense? We know Washington kicked him to the curb and would probably prefer to get something out of him. Nicasio still has an excellent K/BB. If Seattle sent cash with him, which we know they have, maybe a change of scenery for both could benefit all parties involved?

    Kelley only gave up 1 earned run over 14 innings prior to his end-of-July meltdown.

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