Saturday, July 7, 2007

Bloggers Are Coaching the Mariners

M's pitching coach Rafael Chaves approached Felix Hernandez before his start against Oakland today and said, "Felix, I've got something to show you."

That something was a June 27th post from USS Mariner where the boys once again made their case that Hernandez' first inning pitch selection was too predictable. A sampling:

10 straight fastballs last night. 10 straight fastballs the start before. 9 out of 10 in the start before that ... This is taking “establish the fastball” to an entirely different level. This is predictability beyond comprehension, and every team in baseball has caught on.
According to Chaves, Hernandez read the post and told him, "I got what you're saying."

Then he went out and followed the post to the letter. According to the MLB Gameday data, Hernandez threw three breaking balls in an 11-pitch first, and he didn't throw a single high-90s four-seamer. He mixed pitches all game--and he allowed two hits in eight innings and got his fifth win of the year.

Over at USS Mariner, where you think they'd be doing whatever the blogging equivalent of a locker room champagne bath might me, they are showing a tremendous amount of restraint:
That Chaves was able to use the the open letter from the blog to help drive home a point he’d already been making, well, that’s just the cherry on top. But Felix deserves all the credit in the world for this.
Maybe not all the credit. Three cheers for USS Mariner!