Game 121, Mariners at Athletics: Welcome Back, Robbie

marc w · August 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Mike Fiers, 7:05pm

Mike Fiers makes his second start in Oakland green tonight, five days after a very solid debut against the Dodgers. Fiers is undersized and his fastball velocity is still well below average, but exceptional backspin gives his fastball very good vertical rise, enabling him to miss more bats than you’d think. He puts that spin to good use with his primary breaking ball, a huge diving 12-6 curveball thrown in the low-70s. With nearly 12″ of vertical drop compared to a ball thrown without spin, it’s a remarkable pitch. Fiers is fairly consistent, but his results have been more volatile recently, as his up-in-the-zone approach made contact with the juiced baseball. If he keeps the ball in the ballpark, he can be a very effective FIP-beating, low-BABIP middle of the rotation guy. When a few fly balls turn into HRs, his ERA/runs-allowed suffers. Dingers, Mariners…Dingers.

On the other end of the FIP-vs-ERA spectrum is James Paxton, who’s been excellent by FIP since he became, y’know, JAMES PAXTON back in 2016. But his ERA’s lagged behind a bit. 2016 seemed like horrible BABIP luck mixed in with some strand rate weirdness. A lot of the noise has fallen away since then, but in 2017 and 2018, his actual runs allowed is stubbornly higher than his FIP would predict. I’m not ready to put him in the Javier Vasquez group of pitchers whose ERA was always worse than their FIP, but we’re at the point in the year where I’d love to see some zeroes on the board. More games like that breathtaking start against Houston in Seattle, James! Less of the 5 2/3 with 3R allowed type things like your last start!

Robinson Cano has sat out his 80-game suspension and is ready to rejoin the club. He’s in the line-up at 1B tonight, giving Ryon Healy a night off. It sounds like the plan is for Cano to move around the diamond a bit, but I think he’ll get most of his time at 1B. He played a bit of 3B in Everett, so he may give the scuffling Kyle Seager a breather as well.

1: Haniger, RF
2: CANO!!!, 1B
3: Segura, 3B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Span, LF
6: Seager, 3B
7: Zunino, C
8: Maybin, CF
9: Gordon, 2B
SP: Paxton


5 Responses to “Game 121, Mariners at Athletics: Welcome Back, Robbie”

  1. WTF_Ms on August 14th, 2018 7:22 pm

    Why can’t we have nice things?? Why???

  2. LongDistance on August 14th, 2018 8:00 pm

    Happy Felix Day-ish.

  3. Stevemotivateir on August 14th, 2018 8:41 pm

    How does a guy, 34, 180 pounds, who hasn’t hit more 16 dingers in a single season, which was in Houston back in 2012, post an ISO equal to his 2012 season and actually have more dingers with more than a month and a half to go–and in a pitchers’ park?

  4. WTF_Ms on August 14th, 2018 8:56 pm

    Me thinks he slipped past that “control” that Robbie didn’t?? 😉

  5. schwingy on August 14th, 2018 9:36 pm

    God I hate the As

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