Game 90, Angels at Mariners

marc w · July 10, 2021 at 4:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Patrick Sandoval, 7:10pm

Last night’s comeback win was one of the most enjoyable of the year. It had one of the most majestic HRs I’ve ever seen, an upper-deck shot from Shohei Ohtani, but also the M’s scoring 7 unanswered to win. Plus, there’s no cooler way to win/take the lead than a grand slam. That’s just science.

Tonight, the M’s face young lefty Patrick Sandoval, a change-up specialist who’s enjoying a breakout year. He’s been able to miss bats in the past, and like several lefty cambio-meisters (Jamie Moyer, for one), he suppresses BABIP. But issues stranding runners and with home runs have made him less effective than his raw stuff would suggest. This year, his change has become a true weapon, and with some good regression in his strand rate, he’s having a solid season.

His four-seam is around 94, and the change comes in 8-10mph off of that, averaging 84-85. He’s not doing a whole lot different than he did last year, but it looks like he’s dropped his arm angle just slightly. Whatever it is, the effectiveness of the change is way, way up.

He also has a slider and rarer curve, but he may be a rare pitcher who has true-talent reverse platoon splits; this may be a better match up for JP Crawford or Kyle Seager than Mitch Haniger.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: France, 1B
5: Torrens, DH
6: Fraley, CF
7: Murphy, C
8: Moore, 2B
9: Long, LF
SP: Flexen


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