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7/19: Open game thread

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Felix Hernandez vs Garrett Richards

Elsa

Happy Felix Day!

So you survived whatever last night was, and like a dog coming back to his own vomit, you're in the mood for more baseball. Hopefully the King can wash last night's dull taste out of our mouths with a gem to bring the M's back to where they were before the All Star break. They are fighting for lost ground now, and while it's pretty exciting to see these games matter, each loss turns impending wins into simple equalizers. I don't know who else I'd rather have on the mound for this one.

The M's will have their fair share of struggles against Angels' surprise story Garrett Richards, who really should have been an All Star this season. I love Rodney too, but come on. Richards' 11-2 record does a little to show how the Angels have become one of the best teams in baseball, and while his peripherals are downright confusing, his eventual return to earth probably isn't going to happen against this lineup.

Seriously though, what is happening with this guy? He's trotting out a .264 BABIP after hanging out around .300 in his two previous MLB seasons, which seems to suggest that something more complicated is going on. Okay then...his HR/FB has dramatically dropped from a terrifying 11.3% in 2013 to just 4.4% this year. He's striking out more batters than ever, but also walking more. He's stranding runners at about a 10% higher clip than previous years, but has dropped his groundball percentage considerably. His FIP and xFIP have been steadily declining throughout his career, and he's only 20 innings away from his total from last season.

Brooks shows that he has been tinkering heavily with his changeup, which he relied on heavily in the early part of 2012. And while he has stopped really relying on that--even abandoning it for stretches at a time--he has fun with, oh you know, an average of 97 on his fastball and a stupid slider that kills just about everyone in the process. The only hope the Mariners have is that their lefties can punish a few of these as they break in instead of away...which sounds great on paper, but did you see what these people did yesterday?

But enough of that. It's Felix Day, everybody. Reason enough to get excited, even with a 16 inning nightmare behind us.

Go M's.

Game info

  • Mariners @ Angels, 6:05 PM PST
  • Stefen Romero gets the start in RF, and Mike Zunino gracefully will be allowed to rest his knees as Jesus Sucre catches the King. Suddenly, the whole Buck thing feels just a little less silly.
  • TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: mlb.tv

Today's Lineups

SEATTLE MARINERS LOS ANGELES ANGELS
James Jones - CF Kole Calhoun - RF
Stefen Romero - RF Mike Trout - CF
Robinson Cano - 2B Albert Pujols - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Josh Hamilton - DH
Logan Morrison -1B Howie Kendrick -2B
Corey Hart -DH David Freese - 3B
Dustin Ackley - LF Efren Navarro - LF
Brad Miller - SS Chris Ianetta - C
Jesus Sucre- C John McDonald - SS
Felix Hernandez - RHP Garrett Richards - RHP