Felix Shelled…AgainOctober 1st, 2012 by terrybenish
Five innings pitched, twelve hits, including a double and a triple by Mike Trout and a rocket double by Albert Puhols. The TV gun had Felix in the second and third inning touching 94 and 95 a couple of times, but in the first inning when he was shelled it was 90-91 in the middle of the plate, game was over then.
In his last six games he’s 0-4 and while the TV guys, Dave Sims and Mike Blowers were talking about a lack of run support, the reality is he’s been terrible. At least collectively that is what it shows. 35.33 innings pitched, 53 hits, 10 walks, 8 doubles, 1 triple and 3 bombs. OPS against is .852.
Obviously in August he throws a perfect game. In September against these Angels he has a lead through seven innings pitched and 108 pitches and then Wedge runs him out for the eighth and nobody warming up and he gets shelled. He has not pitched well since then.
Tonight after getting hammered in the first inning, he settled down for a bit and Wedge ran him out in sixth with a high pitch count, especially after huge number of pitches in first inning and he left him out there to die, only to get replaced by Josh Kinney, Wedge’s favorite reliever.
He was bad last September too and returned to do the madness that was Japan in March and spring training redux and then the restart against the same As and an extra start for him and Vargas.
Going into September the run differential for the Mariners was positive. Its now a negative 51 runs as I write this. The Mariners scored 79 runs in September which is terrible. Horrible maybe. Jaso, Carp and Wells hardly played.
Top of the order was Ackley and Gutierrez night after night. On base percentage of .267 and .278, respectively. Your top two guys have a sub .300 onbag and you are going to lose and lose ugly. They played night after night and really if they are in the line up next year, it is depressing to consider. Gutierrez is fool’s gold and now he falls into the Ichiro, Figgins and Olivo camp.
I need to suggest that the horrible handling of Felix by Wedge to the point he’s probably hurt and this lineup crap all month is not something that breeds optimism. Ackley has been bad since August of 2011, with no appreciable relief. He is there night after night and is the biggest indictment about the rebuilding effort.
There is nothing to suggest that the hitting coach and video coordinator is doing anything effective when you watch Ackley or Montero for that matter. Michael Saunders paid for his own hitting coach and has had a breakout season. I would suggest that the fact he had to do that speaks volumes about how they are trying to “develop” players. Players DO have to put the time in and plow through the plate appearances before you know anything, but right now Ackley has not made adjustments that show him as a guy that should get 652 more plate appearances as he’s over 1,000 plate appearances, now.
The latest brain cramp amongst big time bloggers is that Smoak should begin the season in Tacoma to cement the “swing shortening” effort he has done. When I read that earlier today, I said it out loud, try it your self, “Swing Shortening”, capitals make it better. Your swing is long because your stride is late, when it is not the things that make your swing long, mostly self correct. That’s not all, but it falls into the 80/20 rule. You can’t fix anything if you’re late.
But if you start anybody in Tacoma, it would be Ackley. I have been a big proponent of Zduriencik, but this last month and the obdurate behavior around Smoak and Ackley and the absolute waste of Wells and Carp leave me concerned. There are guys in the Arizona Fall League that I am optimistic about. Games start next week. There are guys on the major league 25 man roster that have made progress, but are not named Smoak or Ackley and have more upside than either. It’s passed time that the special treatment stop.