On Pushing It

hitters - Otto Greule Jr

Perhaps you watched last weekend's Seahawks playoff game. Perhaps you did not watch it, but you did hear about it, since it's probably been almost impossible not to. Perhaps you were so unaware of the Seahawks playoff game that this is the first you've learned of its existence. I realize now this doesn't matter, because while the poll below is inspired by something that happened in the game, you don't need any knowledge of the game or its events in order to read and then answer the poll.

Presented below is a hypothetical. It involves the Mariners in the playoffs, or at least in the pseudo-playoffs, so please go right ahead and suspend disbelief. The roster, let's say, is not substantially different from the roster right now. The rest of the roster is not that important; the rest of the roster is not what this is about.

You have the Mariners, and the Mariners are pretty good. Felix Hernandez, as usual, is amazing, and the team's ace. Quick backstory: in August, Felix spent a few weeks on the disabled list. He had inflammation, and a shoulder strain, but he came back, returned to the rotation, and made every scheduled start. He was successful, and he helped the Mariners get to the Wild Card playoff -- a one-game playoff that Felix would start.

Now it's the first inning in the Wild Card playoff, and there are, I don't know, two outs, and there's a runner on first. Felix came out of the gate strong. Finishing the last at-bat, though, he threw a fastball at 89, from a lower arm angle, and shook his arm a little bit after letting go. The ball was a strike, and it was grounded weakly to short.

The coaches go out to take a look at Felix, and talk to him. Felix insists that he's okay, that he can keep pitching and keep pitching effectively. He doesn't seem to be in any real pain, although he could be hiding it. Felix throws some warm-up pitches, with the coaches, trainer, and umpire looking on. His arm angle is low, although it recovers on the fourth pitch, and the sixth pitch. Most of the pitches are fastballs in the high 80s. One reaches 91. One reaches 93. The movement looks about normal, to the naked eye. None of the pitches sail or bounce.

Eventually Felix stops throwing practice pitches. He once again assures the onlookers that he's okay, that he can get batters out. The Mariners' bullpen is alert but no one is throwing. The bullpen is not completely rested, but it also hasn't been taxed in the days leading up. Some starters are available, too, since this is an all-hands-on-deck playoff situation. The other team, for whatever it's worth, is very good, and has its own ace on the mound. Let's call them something like the "Blue Jays". With the home-plate umpire growing impatient, the Mariners need to make a decision on what they're going to do.

Please answer the poll, and please leave a comment explanation, if you feel like your explanation is a good one or an interesting one. Do not leave a comment explanation if your explanation is "butt".

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