Updated 4:23 p.m.
McClendon didn’t announce a starter for Thursday and he did say tonight’s game won’t dictate that decision. My guess would be reliever Tom Wilhelmsen making that start over Erasmo Ramirez.
McClendon on hitting against a knuckleballer: “Try to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it. They’re tough. They’re different. What the hell you going to tell them?”
“They’re only human I guess,” he said. “Everybody wears down this time of year. It’s hard. That’s why we do what we do to protect them. I don’t think that’s the case with Paxton, he just had a bad game.”
On some level, the pressure of this may be wearing on some of the players. They simply haven’t been in this position with the exception of Cano and Austin Jackson.
But it’s also difficult to tell when the last three games were basically two or three innings into each of them.
No Blue Jays lineup quite yet. The Mariners will be facing knuckleballer and all-around good guy R.A. Dickey today. They will send Felix Hernandez to the mound.
Here’s the wild card standings …
So the Mariners need some help. The A’s and Royals have shown their not above playing just as poorly as Seattle down the stretch. The Mariners need a win tonight or they’re pretty much done. Mathematically they’d still be alive, but psychologically, it seems like it would it would finish them off.
A few reactionary people on the social media that rhyme with glitter were trying to suggest that the Mariners aren’t trying hard enough or not taking this too seriously. They haven’t changed all season. I can’t tell if they are pressing. It doesn’t seem like it. But they were basically taken out of the last three games in the first few innings by their starting pitching.
I felt bad for Paxton last night. He’d never had a start like that in his young career and it was clear he couldn’t understand why it happened. I think the pressure of the playoffs, pitching in Canada with some friends and family in the stands and going against the team that drafted and he grew up watching all combined to get to him mentally. He admitted he was too pumped up and had no feel. One of the easy signs was his curveball which was either hanging or bouncing in the dirt. He was due for a subpar start after 15 pretty good ones to start his career, the Mariners just didn’t need it last night.
Here’s the Mariners numbers vs. R.A. Dickey from Baseball Reference ….
Here’s his splits from Baseball Reference though I don’t how much they matter with a guy who throws the knuckle.
Official game notes
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