We’re all inspired by different things. Some of us thrive on positive reinforcement, people shouting our names and reminding us that we can do it! Others power through adversity, rising nobly to challenges and challengers time and again. Then there’s the vindictive victors, the cantankerous cranks fueled by those who have wronged them.
Chris Flexen, despite his disarmingly wholesome visage, courtesy of individually dainty and diabolically protruding ears, appears to be the latter. Assuming, of course, that he reads Lookout Landing dot com, and saw the recap where I compared his last start to the passage of intestinal gas. (We should all be reading Lookout Landing dot com.)
The Big Baby, as he appears to be aptly nicknamed, rebounded from his atrocious St. Patrick’s Day outing with a very nice line indeed: Five innings, three hits, no runs, four Ks and a single walk. It felt quite pleasantly LeBlanc-ish to me, and there are far worse Mariners pitchers to be compared to.
Joyously for many of you nerds, this game also featured functioning Gameday and Baseball Savant data!
He deployed his slider frequently in two-strike counts to reasonable success, including that swinging strike beaut at the top of the zone to get Trayce Thompson in the second. I call that one Betty.
Like every low-to-mid 90s pitcher and their mother, he focused low in the zone, though did seem to be either toying with some upper-left quadrant offerings or missing consistently high. 0/10 recommend peppering the top of the zone with 91 MPH room temp camembert during the regular season.
Elsewhere on the mound, Keynan Middleton continued to tap dance gleefully on the Rodney Line of erratic and effective, Erik Swanson pretended to be interesting by throwing four (4) sliders, Will Vest said FASTBALLS 4 LYFE and Closer Casey Sadler had the most aesthetically interesting pitch chart of the day (even if his sinker refused to really sink tonight).
The Mariners bats cobbled together three runs on eight hits, and this whole endeavor felt very...standard. Like this could have been any old Tuesday night game in the dregs of June. Maybe it was?