Game 51, Mariners at Twins

DMZ · May 27, 2006 at 2:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

LHP Moyer v RHP Boof Bonser. 4:10.

I noticed something interesting while looking into today’s game to see what Jamie’s 3-year road split in Minnesota. Moyer hasn’t pitched in the Metrodome in years. And looking through the press notes, I found a tiny note at the bottom of the page that mentioned he hadn’t pitched there since 8/29/02.

You’d might guess the results were so disastrous that the team might have been working to keep him off the mound there, but he threw 7 innings, struck out 7, walked one, and no runs scored (the Retrosheet box score).

Fortunately, the Twins have looked really bad against left-handers this year: they’re hitting .263/.334/.369, according to ESPN’s splits.

Worst team in the majors against southpaws? Your Seattle Mariners, hitting .220/.289/.314 against them. Oww.

I’ve harped on this before, but when a team’s hitting that badly against one side, and it’s not sample size but what looks like an exploitable weakness, I would do everything I could to use it against them. The M’s batting split L/R is worth about 1 1/2 runs a game. That’s not worth benching your best right-hander, but at the end of the rotation, if you’ve got some lefty arms in AAA hanging out, call them up and watch them look like stars for a game each. But then I’m a big fan of doing whatever you can to exploit the other team’s weaknesses to win games.


294 Responses to “Game 51, Mariners at Twins”

  1. argh on May 27th, 2006 7:26 pm

    Hargrove in the post-game dismisses lineup change as any sort of solution: “Move Lopez to 4th? It just wouldn’t fit.”

    You just don’t get deep thinking laid out like that very often.

  2. Phoenician Todd on May 27th, 2006 7:26 pm

    Were the runners in motion during the triple play?

  3. msb on May 27th, 2006 7:27 pm

    just as Reed was starting to show some signs of life, he had his at-bats taken away from him, because in the eyes of his manager he needed to hit against right-handers before he tackled left-handers…. how is he going to hit anybody if he isn’t given a chance to????

  4. Phoenician Todd on May 27th, 2006 7:28 pm

    In a way I am glad that Hargrove is acting an idiot. Maybe by the time I get up to Seattle in a couple weeks I’ll get to see a new manager and a better lineup. But I won’t get my hopes up.

  5. Xteve X on May 27th, 2006 7:28 pm

    #249 I just think that Grover honestly can’t concieve of a different way to set the lineup.

    If he doesn’t understand WHY changing the lineup is a smart move, then he needs to be fired immediately. I’ve had it with the guy.

  6. Rain Delay on May 27th, 2006 7:30 pm

    I’m really trying to wrap my head around the fact this guy still has a job at the major league level. Being so set, that even the suggestion of tinkering of the line up, sounds just crazy to him..has to tell you something. I was all for cutting Grover a bit of slack, maybe cause I’m a ole softy or something.

    But after his post game interview…he just lost me. What a blockhead.

  7. Xteve X on May 27th, 2006 7:31 pm

    #250 According to Grover, Lopez at 4th wouldn’t make sense, but he’s got no problem batting WFB second vs. RHP? Explain that one to me Mike.

  8. Jim Thomsen on May 27th, 2006 7:33 pm

    Just because we need to feel better about SOMETHING: Ryan Franklin has now given up six home runs in 23.7 innings.

  9. msb on May 27th, 2006 7:36 pm

    and the Rainiers are up 6-2…..

  10. Jim Thomsen on May 27th, 2006 7:37 pm

    It’s clearly time to bring up Michael Garciaparra. He’s hitting .312.

  11. Rain Delay on May 27th, 2006 7:38 pm

    254 – Preaching to the choir.

  12. Allen Jacobs on May 27th, 2006 7:41 pm

    Bavasi should send a message. Fire Hargrove. Sexon to the bench in favor of Petagine, Morse in for Beltre. Snelling at DH w/Green back to Tacoma. Changes are clearly needed.

  13. John in L.A. on May 27th, 2006 7:42 pm

    Reed has a .759 OPS in May… he’s not the problem right now. Not even in the top ten problems. No idea why anyone would fixate on him.

  14. true_slicky on May 27th, 2006 7:42 pm

    How can this team be this horrible? I went back through the box scores the past couple seasons, thinking that the offense futility has been consistent in 2005 and ’06. I was looking at so-called “pitcher’s duels”- games with 5 runs combined- and the M’s record, trying to identify any trends. What I found was surprising.

    2005 results in five-run combined games:
    18-15 for a .546 winning percentage (!!!!).
    Most team in these ‘duels’: Oakland, who won 4 of 6 (I think this is the essence of why I hate the A’s).
    Pitcher with best record in these games: tie between Aaron Sele (wha??) and Gil Meche, both with 3-0 records.
    Worst record: both Pineiro and Harris had 0-1 records, but Ryan Frnaklin, he of little run support, had eight decisions and lost 5.

    2006 results in five-run combined games:
    2-11 for a .154 winning percentage. Un-frickin-believable! (The M’s were 5-8 through their first 13 pitcher’s duels last season.)
    All three games against the Red Sox in April at Fenway was the most unlikely stretch of pitcher’s duels.
    The pitcher to win both games in these situations? Joel Pineiro, if you can believe it.
    Both Felix, Moyer, and Washburn are 0-3

    In fact, when it comes to Felix, he is now 3-5 in his brief career for the M’s in these situations. Considering he has 22 career starts that means that more than a third have been involved in “pitcher’s duels.”

    This team is pretty much the same one as last year, (heck, Hargrove was the manager last year too) for three major differences: Everett, Lopez, and Johjima. Take from that what you will. Lopez is our most productive hitter, even if he’s from the #2 hole. Everett has been supplying the most sock. So that leaves Johjima.

    Considering he’s the one who’s behind the plate for most, if not all, of these games while also at the plate, could it be that we’re fooling ourselves with this guy? Was that thre-year contract a mistake? Or was the mistake dropping Aaron Sele?


  15. msb on May 27th, 2006 7:46 pm

    Putting Morse at third sends no message to anyone.

    hey, Derek, Drayer just said that Texas has swapped pitchers so that the M’s don’t see Padilla, they see another left-hander.

  16. JIMINEDMONDS on May 27th, 2006 7:46 pm

    #262: Because he is not the long-term answer in center field. How can this team continue to carry a .214 hitter who has 4 Mariner home runs, none of which has come at SAFECO Field? He just does not get the job done, no matter what his May OPS is.

  17. John in L.A. on May 27th, 2006 7:48 pm

    263 – I don’t know what you’re saying.

    Tell me if this is right – your data is about games that are low scoring – for both sides… how does that lead you to judge pitching? Wouldn’t the NUMBER of low scroing games be more relevant?

    I don’t understand why you would go to Johjima, just don’t get why you would make that leap. He’s certainly hitting much better than our catchers last year… so what are you suggsting his problem is?

  18. Coach on May 27th, 2006 7:50 pm

    msb: you follow this team about as close as any of us. Aren’t you about ready to lose your sanity?

  19. true_slicky on May 27th, 2006 7:52 pm

    266- calling games perhaps?

    I’m just trying to figure out why the M’s are playing so much more lousy in low-scoring pitcher’s duels this year as opposed to last year (and I thought they played poorly in them last year, but it appears they didn’t).

    of course, I’d have to go further into the box scores and see who produced for the M’s last year. how much of a role did Beltre and Sexson play towards getting that .546 winning percentage in such games, for example…

  20. John in L.A. on May 27th, 2006 7:53 pm

    265 – Reed has had 661 major league at bats with a .691 OPS. Great? No. Disastrous? No.

    And almost everybody agrees he is playing below expectations so far.

    He ain’t the problem. And it is way too soon to say he isn’t a long-term answer in center. Way too soon.

  21. John in L.A. on May 27th, 2006 7:56 pm

    268 – That’s what I don’t understand. You blame his game calling for losses in which we pitched WELL? How does that work?

    I don’t know what the big difference is between this year and last, but I can tell you that we have run ourselves out of close games with this ridiculous aggressive baserunning philosophy.

    And Eddie imploded.

    And the bullpen usage has been terrible.

  22. billT on May 27th, 2006 7:58 pm

    He just does not get the job done, no matter what his May OPS is.

    That’s always an effective argument: “You’re wrong and I don’t care what the actual numbers say!!!”

  23. msb on May 27th, 2006 8:00 pm

    #267– I have no sanity. Or fingernails, hair, clothes without rents….

    #268– wouldn’t the fact that it is a low-scoring pitchers duel lead one to believe that the catcher is doing his job,and the hitters are not doing their job?

    #269–FWIW, Drayer has pointed out before, that this is the first level of baseball where Reed hasn’t hit and he is baffled (and prob. pressing) to figure things out. Add in the on and off wrist injury… I’d rather have him in the outfield– there isn’t anyone to plug into the position who is going to bring much more offense…

    Blow is baffled as to why Hargrove doesn’t give Richie or Adrian a day-off for a mental break; Drayer wonders (after watching how AB ran the bases) if Beltre isn’t hurting and not saying anything.

    so, if they lose 2 out of 3 to the lefties Texas is throwing, does that finally make them take a look at Hargrove’s job?

  24. Rain Delay on May 27th, 2006 8:01 pm

    272- I think it’ll take loosing a series to KC before the FO wakes up…I’d hope they’d wake from thier coma before that..but this is the Mariners front office we’re talking about.

  25. dw on May 27th, 2006 8:04 pm

    I’m just trying to figure out why the M’s are playing so much more lousy in low-scoring pitcher’s duels this year as opposed to last year (and I thought they played poorly in them last year, but it appears they didn’t).

    Sexson 2005: .263/.369/.541
    Sexson 2006: .209/.282/.368

    Clearly, Johjima’s the problem.

  26. billT on May 27th, 2006 8:06 pm

    Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t all the research show that changing around lineups makes very little difference over the course of a season?

  27. msb on May 27th, 2006 8:06 pm

    apparently, Piniero has the flu, and they aren’t sure just how long he’ll go tomorrow– which, if bad Joel is out there, could be a good thing I suppose….

  28. dw on May 27th, 2006 8:14 pm

    No more Reed. He hits like he is using a rolled-up newspaper. Just send him packing.

    JIMINEDMONDS in the alternative universe where Reed is waived, 2007:
    Why the hell did we release Reed? He’s hitting .355 for the first-place Brewers. Adam Jones is clearly not the answer.

    JIMINEDMONDS in the alternative universe where Reed is waived, 2008:
    No more Jones. He hits like he is using a rolled-up newspaper. Just send him packing.

    etc. etc.

  29. Rain Delay on May 27th, 2006 8:15 pm

    275- Most likely yes. But with that said, you can’t just sit back and let your 4,5 and 6 hitter be a vortex of suck.

  30. Coach on May 27th, 2006 8:28 pm

    Hargrove’s post-game comments/responses were stunning. Notice that he said “they have a history of producing in those lineup slots”. That fits very well with the characterization offered here previously that he is very much beholden to those that have paid their dues. It’s as if he doesn’t understand the concept of the present.

  31. plivengood on May 27th, 2006 8:32 pm

    #145, erin:

    I didn’t mean to jump on you (with or without Derek). My subjective impression of Beltre (admittedly, over a shorter term than you’ve been watching him) is he is consistently inconsistent, with 2004 being the one exception. Looking at his splits only confirms that.

    That said, your point about moving him down in the order is well taken.

  32. mariners23 on May 27th, 2006 8:38 pm

    i would really love to see every bench player all play at once and win, that would be a dream becasue at least the bench players dive some effort occasionally!

  33. Rusty on May 27th, 2006 8:41 pm

    Hargrove’s post-game comments/responses were stunning. Notice that he said “they have a history of producing in those lineup slots”.

    And Hargrove has a history of being fired as a manager. I’m just sayin’.

  34. Rick L on May 27th, 2006 9:52 pm

    I think the sample size is now big enough to say that Betancourt is not a #9 hitter. He is often involved in getting clutch hits to drive in runs. And he gets on base. I think he (and Johjima) should be moved up in the order and bat Reed 9th.

  35. Panev on May 27th, 2006 10:16 pm


  36. true_slicky on May 27th, 2006 11:14 pm

    274: I said Johjima was just as “clearly” the problem as was dropping Sele.

    I was looking at the variables, trying to put my finger what’s different on this year and last. the new batters in the line-up have been productive, that is obvious. so I guess the data I threw up about the M’s futility in pitcher’s duels can be construed as simply more evidence that our offense sucks. (for what it’s worth, as if we needed any more #s to back it up.) its hard to say that our lousy year can just be blamed on the inept production by Sexson and Beltre- Guardado’s struggles didn’t help any either- but that appears to be the case.

    also of note, the M’s were involved in pitching duels roughly 20% of the time last year. this year it’s up to 27%. considering the frequency and won-loss records, the difference between last year and this can be summed up by saying that a year ago you’d expect one of these games a week with the Mariners have a good chance of winning it, and this year you can expect two close games a week with the Mariners having no chance in winning them.

  37. mickysfriend on May 28th, 2006 5:13 am

    CAlling from England.
    Well our batting is atrocious and I can’t help feeling that it is the management that are affecting our performance.
    Do we have any stats on how well players have done since leaving the Mariners over the last 5 years?
    I imagine they are doing rather well!!

  38. Paul B on May 28th, 2006 7:57 am

    What was the third base coach doing when Cretaceous Carl was wandering around between third and home on that infield out that Carl turned into a triple play?

    Can Grover take the coach with him when he leaves?

    Through the magic of TIVO I rewatched the triple play, and as near as I can tell the third base coach was standing near Carl while Carl was wandering around, and the coach had his hands on his hips.

  39. Paul B on May 28th, 2006 8:00 am

    #263, are you actually saying that the trouble with this team is that they signed Johjima and that they let Sele go?

    The mind boggles.

  40. mariners23 on May 28th, 2006 8:20 am

    New Mariners Batting Order: (should be)

    1. Ichiro
    2. Kenji Johjima
    3. Raul Ibanez
    4. Richie Sexton
    5. Jose Lopez
    6. Carl Everett
    7. Adrian Beltre
    8. Yuniesky Betancourt
    9. Jeremy Reed

  41. joser on May 28th, 2006 11:05 am

    Uh, yeah. Put a slow guy right after Ichiro. And leave a
    (.209/.282/.368) hitter in the cleanup spot (though maybe “Sexton” is some slugger we pick up off waivers?) If you’re going to radically revamp the lineup, you might want to put the fast guys together and the guys who hit together. Slipping Sexson between Ibanez and Lopez doesn’t accomplish that.

  42. pablothegreat on May 28th, 2006 11:29 am

    290: I think it’s funny you criticize the author of post 289 (mariners 23) for not grouping the fast and slow guys separately, when he did, in fact, group them separately. There are only 3 guys in his lineup who clog up the bases. Those guys are Johjima, Ibanez, and Sexson. Notice that they are grouped together. Three of the fastest guys in the lineup (if not the fastest), Betancourt, Reed, and Ichiro are also grouped together. The only time a problem (in terms of speed) occurs is when a really slow guy is in front of a really quick guy. The only time in the proposed lineup this occurs is with Sexson and Lopez. Lopez is leading the team in RBIs, so I have no problem putting him in the five slot. It seems to me that the lineup in post 289 is pretty solid.

  43. Eugene on May 28th, 2006 11:38 am

    I don’t know. That homer Lopez just hit from the 2 spot looked pretty good.

  44. true_slicky on May 28th, 2006 5:55 pm

    289- No I am NOT saying that. My Sele comment was meant feciously, which I know hardly translates well in computer land.

    I was trying to find an answer in the data, but perhaps it simply backs up the point that this offense STINKS. I find it hard to believe that the lousy production by Beltre & Sexson cancel out the improved production provided by Lopez, Betancourt, Johjima, and Everett from their positions last year, but I guess that’s the case…

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