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5/5: Open game thread

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James Paxton Vs. Garrett Richards

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to build on the momentum from last night's Felix-Fueled success the Mariners are throwing out James Paxton against the Angels best pitcher from a year ago, Garrett Richards.

Paxton has had a rocky start to the season, with his 5.74 ERA and only averaging a shade over 5 innings per start. But he's been victim to a lot of poor defense, an absurd 55.6% strand rate and some questionable changing of scoring decisions on certain plays that should have been made by a certain Bloomquist.

Paxton's K% is up from a year ago, his BB% is down. His ground balls are down (or up?) a few ticks but still good at >50%. But fancy new Baseball Prospectus pitching metric DRA has him at 5.18, one of the worst in baseball. For completeness StatCorner has his xRA at 3.56.

Along with the unsustainably low strand rate the major results based difference for Paxton in 2015 has been his rate of allowing dingers. In 26.2 innings in 2015 Paxton has already allowed more home runs than in his 74 innings in 2014. I think every single one of those home runs has been to center field with two outs and Paxton has pointed to the sky upon contact like he's indicating where a pop up is to a catcher. It's cute. It's bad because it causes home runs.

Paxton Dinger 1
Paxton Dinger 2
Paxton Dinger 3
Paxton Dinger 4 Getty Images

Stop pointing James.

Garrett Richards was terrific last year for the Angels prior to a horrific leg injury. Thus far in 2015 he has a wonky 5 BB/9 in a very small sample. The Mariners are one of the worst teams in baseball at drawing walks. Again. So today would be a nice day to show some patience.

Goms! Hail Dadgut!

Game info

  • Mariners @ Angels, 7:05 PST Angels Stadium
  • TV: Root, Radio: 710ESPN, Online: MLBTV

Today's Lineups

SEATTLE MARINERS LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Seth Smith - DH Kole Calhoun - RF
Justin Ruggiano - CF Mike Trout - CF
Robinson Cano - 2B Albert Pujols - 1B
Nelson Cruz - RF David Freese - 3B
Kyle Seager - 3B Erick Aybar - SS
Logan Morrison - 1B Johnny Giavotella - 2B
Mike Zunino - C C.J. Cron - DH
Dustin Ackley - LF Carlos Perez - C
Chris Taylor - SS Collin Cowgill - LF
James Paxton - LHP Garrett Richards - RHP