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5/21: Open Game Thread

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First Pitch: 1:05pm PDT

                   

Roberts LF Ichiro RF Cameron CF Lopez 2B Giles RF Ibanez LF Piazza DH Sexson 1B Greene SS Everett DH Bard C Beltre 3B Blum 3B Johjima C Gonzalez 1B Reed CF Barfield 2B Betancourt SS ---------- ----------

Park (2-1, 3.27)            Hernandez (2-5, awful)

Going for the sweep, and Raffy Chaves thinks he knows what's wrong with Felix:

Chaves said he thinks the team found a flaw in which Hernandez's "effort level is leading to overstriding" as he finishes his pitches. That, in turn, is leading to some of his problems with control.

"Hopefully, trying to fix one thing will take care of the rest," Chaves said, adding, "You never know for sure until game time."

Still, he said Hernandez, who will pitch Sunday, seemed energized by the session.

"Let's put it this way: He left the bullpen on a good note," Chaves said. "What happened in that bullpen is a positive towards the next outing."

I had a whole post all written up and ready to publish when I realized that I completely misread Chaves' quote. I had rambled on and on about how fixing a guy's stride length is akin to treating a symptom instead of the disease, and that it really isn't the proper approach for any qualified pitching coach to take with one of his pupils, but that's not what Chaves is talking about at all - he said that Felix's high-effort delivery leads to overstriding, and hints that a minor adjustment early on may serve to smooth things out, having a cascade effect that eventually results in a shorter, more balanced stride. I don't know what that minor adjustment is, in this case, but this still strikes me as absolutely the right idea. There's clearly a difference between this year and last year's Felix, and to me, this sounds like a step in the right direction when it comes to figuring out what said difference is, and why it exists.

On another note, remember when Aaron Sele spun that complete game shutout on a Sunday afternoon against the Padres last year? And how the Mariners then traveled to Baltimore and were promptly swept? Yeah.

LET'S GO MARINERS!