Game Three Recap

Dave · April 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Boo, 1-2.

Don’t worry, I won’t make a habit out of starting these things by talking about the opposing starting pitcher, but Justin Duchscherer was pretty interesting to watch tonight. He’s never been a hard thrower, with a fastball that averaged about 86 MPH the last few years, but that was his top speed tonight. The fastest pitch he threw was 86.2 MPH, and his heater was more regularly in the 84 to 85 range. To compensate, he just threw a ton of breaking balls, and while it worked okay, you saw the problem when he had to come over with a fastball to Bradley in the first inning. It’s just one start, and the first one of the season, but if Duchscherer is just a junk-ball guy now, Oakland’s shot at having a good year takes a blow – they’re depending on him to be average or better as a starter, but he won’t be with the repertoire he showed tonight.

As for the M’s starter, Rowland-Smith was his usual self, just with poor location, especially on his change-up. He left too many of them up in the zone, and the A’s ripped a lot of line drives when he got too much of the plate. He’s a guy that needs to put the ball in the right spots to succeed, and he didn’t really do that tonight. It happens. I wouldn’t be overly concerned.

Good to see Bradley put the ball in the seats in the first inning. I was on with Kevin Calabro on ESPN Radio today, and there were already questions being raised about his abilities after his first two games. The rope isn’t going to be as long with Bradley as it is with others, so a good start to the season would be really nice. I’m not worried about whether or not he’ll hit – there are enough other things to be concerned with from Milton.

Junior’s bat looks so slow. I’m not a scout, but yeah, there isn’t much left in that tank.

League’s fastball has some ridiculous movement to it, but that also comes with the downside of not really being able to command it all that well. Part of his big step forward last year was working in his splitter, but we haven’t seen much of it in his first two outings – 36 of 38 pitches tonight were fastballs. He’s gotta be less fastball-centric going forward. It’s a good pitch, but it’s not good enough to be the only thing he throws.

The six man bullpen is getting tested early on, with the M’s playing three tight games and Rowland-Smith only going five innings tonight. With Fister and Vargas going the next two days, we’re probably one bad start away from people suggesting that the team pull the plug on the experiment. I think a six man bullpen can work, but I’m not sure that this is the right situation for it, with Lee on the DL, an offense that won’t give you many large leads, and a bullpen full of right-handers who don’t throw strikes. Will be interesting to see how attached the M’s are to the 11 man pitching staff, especially with Mike Sweeney having no useful role on this club. If either of the next two days starters have to come out early, the M’s might have to ask Sweeney to take one for the team and spend 15 days on the DL.


29 Responses to “Game Three Recap”

  1. Ninja Jordan on April 7th, 2010 10:24 pm

    how does CandyLand miss that last popfly?

  2. jordan on April 7th, 2010 10:29 pm

    Thought we might see Tui behind the dish there at the end.

    If we plan on contending, I think we need to rethink Griffey’s role on this club. If he is here as a presence, then keep keep him on as a coach of somesort, but him in the lineup on a regular basis is going to hurt this team a lot.

  3. spankystout on April 7th, 2010 10:30 pm

    I agree on Sweeney. Nice guy and a serial hugger to boot. But two strict DH’s? It doesn’t make sense.

  4. luckyscrubs on April 7th, 2010 10:30 pm

    The six man bullpen has to go until Lee is back up to full strength. Since the Mariners are in so many close games they can’t afford to not have the right guy out there at the right time.

    At least tomorrow is an early game so we don’t have to wait too long for redemption.

  5. Coolalvin206 on April 7th, 2010 10:31 pm

    Anyone else have a sinking feeling that we could be in for a long season?

    Its really depressing and a shame to think that by the time Lee is healthy to pitch, it might not matter.

  6. naviomelo on April 7th, 2010 10:32 pm

    I agree on Sweeney. Nice guy and a serial hugger to boot. But two strict DH’s? It doesn’t make sense.

    It might make sense if they were average DHs making no money or good DHs making some money. Unfortunately for us, they’re poor DHs taking up two valuable roster spots and offering nothing in return – except for clubhouse chemistry that’s been good enough to help us lose two close games. (Hey, that’s what chemistry’s supposed to help with, right?)

  7. jordan on April 7th, 2010 10:35 pm

    I am also thinking we need someone to step up and help Wak with ALL of his bullpen management.

  8. Dave on April 7th, 2010 10:37 pm

    Try not to overreact, eh? The Angels are 1-2 as well. They’ve lost two one run games. It happens. The season isn’t over.

  9. Jake N. on April 7th, 2010 10:40 pm

    That Suzuki Kid is one hell of a ball player. And I am getting to really dislike Ellis, Our pitching staff is making him look like a star. Also Junior really looks old on those fastballs.

  10. henryv on April 7th, 2010 10:49 pm

    Who do we add to the bullpen if someone gets “hurt”?

    Seems like what we have down in Tacoma are a bunch of AAAA starters/long relievers, with no one that blows me away as a good relief pitcher during a close game.

    I mean, if it’s not close, isn’t that what we have Sean White for? I guess we will need someone to pitch if French and Vargas get blown up…

    David Aardsma is our oldest pitcher at 28. Damn, didn’t notice that.

    I did, however, really enjoy how we ran the bases. Two “steals” off of passed balls/wild pitches that weren’t that far away.

    Jack Wilson going first to third. Lopez going from second to home… Very, very nice.

    Bradley is going to drive me nuts all season. I want to like him, and we NEEEEEEEEEEED him to do well to get to the playoffs (I think), but…

  11. hark on April 7th, 2010 10:50 pm

    Seems like what we have down in Tacoma are a bunch of AAAA starters/long relievers, with no one that blows me away as a good relief pitcher during a close game.

    Wak keeps Sean White on this MLB roster. So…

  12. pinball1973 on April 7th, 2010 10:53 pm

    I know he will, soon, but Chone’s been the surprise disappointment to me, even with the walks and forcing of errors in the lone win.

    I expect much, and I very much don’t expect to be disappointed (Beltre’s “troubles” didn’t bother me even the first year), but I’d like to start smiling because of CF the next game.

  13. luckyscrubs on April 7th, 2010 11:03 pm

    I would feel much more comfortable with a 7 man bullpen for the Texas series. DL Sweeney or Griffey to make room, move Milton to DH, and platoon Byrnes/Langerhans in LF.

  14. LanceWWU on April 7th, 2010 11:04 pm

    How come Milton’s missed catch at the end of the game wasn’t ruled an error? Is it just me or did that ball seem catchable?

  15. et_blankenship on April 7th, 2010 11:09 pm

    Chone is a tick. Not that big of a deal at first, but he just stays there, burrowed under your skin, wiggling around, making you itch and scratch until, eventually, you get an infection and have to take some antibiotics that don’t work because he is a super tick and you eventually die of anemia two games out of first place in the AL West.

  16. spankystout on April 7th, 2010 11:44 pm

    I don’t think we are collectively overreacting. I believe our concerns have been displayed in three games. We knew two DH’s wasn’t a good idea. A short bullpen with one legit starter (right now) also isn’t a good idea. The “anemic” offense is here. By no means am I jumping ship just the concerns seemingly being confirmed……..on a positive note Cliff Lee throwing almost at 100% with no pain, and Wak saying that Bedard probably is ahead of Lee in rehab is AWESOME news! I hear the cavalry approaching.

  17. spankystout on April 8th, 2010 12:00 am

    Wakamatsu apparently told Geoff Baker “we can’t keep going like this.” In reference to the bullpen.

  18. 95Ms on April 8th, 2010 12:25 am

    That last ball was not very catchable, imo. Watching it live I thought he should have had it, I think b/c I wanted him to have it sooo badly. I’ll try to watch it again. But I think it was a bit high up on the wall. It wasn’t impossible to catch, but I think it’s definitely less than a 30% success rate (at least) for most LFs.

    Second, is it realistic at all for Jr to be moved to bench coach (where he could still do his hugging of course)? Is that just an insane idea that I should give up on? I’m not giving up on the kid yet b/c of these 3 games in particular, but I’m just asking since I’m curious.

  19. TomTuttle on April 8th, 2010 5:04 am

    HERE’S your 7-man bullpen:
    David Aardsma (R)
    Mark Lowe (R)
    Brandon League (R)
    Shaun Kelley (R)
    Garrett Olson, for now (L)
    Kaneoka Texiera, Rule V (R)
    Jason Vargas (L)

    That’s what it is in an ideal world anyways.

    But with Lee and Bedard hurt and Scott Boras, er, Jarrod Washburn holding out for more money, there is obviously a shortage as far as pitching goes around here.

    Hence why both Vargas and White are in the bullpen right now.

  20. Paul B on April 8th, 2010 7:01 am

    I’d almost rather have Sweeney than Olson… If they had to bring up a reliever, I’d go for someone like French that could pitch 4 innings when the starter gets knocked out early.

    I don’t think the 11 man pitching staff is that big a deal, honestly. Simply, the reason I think this is that M’s don’t have a LOOGY. Compare the M’s 6 man bullpen to the bullpen of a team with a 7 man bullpen and a LOOGY. In those extra inning games, both of those team will have the same problem. The LOOGY will come in and get one guy out in the 7th, and by the 10th not only will he be long gone and not available but that one out didn’t really reduce the pitch count load of the other relievers.

    In sum, my thought is that a 6 man bullpen with no LOOGY is just as good as a 7 man bullpen that includes a LOOGY when it comes to having enough arms to cover the innings.

  21. Paul B on April 8th, 2010 7:06 am

    Second, is it realistic at all for Jr to be moved to bench coach (where he could still do his hugging of course)?

    We’ve seen he won’t start against lefties. If he continues not hitting, at some point he’ll either be benched or retire. We could start a pool. I think it will be at least a month, or until the weather warms up.

    Having that DH slot open (sans Griffey) gives not only Bradley but some of the other starters a day off in the field while keeping them in the lineup (Ichiro and Figgins, for two).

    I’d like to see another infield glove brought up for the bench instead of Sweeney, someone that could be decent at short. Then they could use Tui in various roles and not have to keep him on the bench in case an infielder gets hurt.

  22. Chris Miller on April 8th, 2010 7:48 am

    Junior’s bat looks so slow. I’m not a scout, but yeah, there isn’t much left in that tank.

    I said almost exactly the same after first his at bat last night. His bat speed is gone, and he looks (visually) done.

  23. tubbabubba22 on April 8th, 2010 8:21 am

    Let’s all not overreact please. Even about Griffey and Sweeney. Now I know Griffey’s bat speed did not look good AT ALL last night, but can we give these guys a little more time to try and figure things out please? Griffey is 1-8, but he is not the only one not hitting well. Let the players adjust for a while to real games and then lets see if it gets any better. We lost 2 games by 1 run in the 9th inning or later. I really think it will be ok. Our pitching will settle down and soon Ichiro and Figgins will both start hitting .300 and Bradley will start driving runs in. And either Griffey will start hitting soon (maybe like .250) or he will find himself in a lesser role by the end of the month. Go Mariners!

  24. bratman on April 8th, 2010 8:52 am

    This game is a good indicator of what you get with Milton Bradley: Mental Errors galore

  25. sgreen13 on April 8th, 2010 9:05 am

    It’s fairly obvious that when Ichiro and Figgins aren’t able to get on base (we’ve yet to see them on base together) Kotchman/Death to Flying Things aren’t going to see good pitches. Kotchman drove the ball in his at bat’s with someone on base, and I’d suspect that if Bradley were able to come up with some men on he might get some hittable pitches.

    It’s also the top of out order that makes the pitcher work. If the opposing pitchers are throwing strikes there is really no way to make them throw too many pitches without the possibility of contact and an out. Hopefully Figgins will start to produce, though I suspect his numbers would improve if Ichiro get’s on (and stays on) base in front of him a few more times.

  26. Mrelli on April 8th, 2010 10:34 am

    M’s designated Langerhans to make room for Jesus Colome Tweets Drayer

  27. et_blankenship on April 8th, 2010 10:57 am

    I wasn’t able to watch the entire game last night, but re: Bradley . . . I saw the homer, two nice catches, and the walk-off fly ball that maybe 50% of LF’s would catch 50% of the time. Who knows for sure? Of course I was frustrated he couldn’t make the play, but removing Bradley’s bat in favor of a better glove at that point would have been a bad managerial move. The game was tied – at that point, the odds of an extra inning game dwarfed the odds of the game being decided with a fly ball to LF that Bradley could almost catch, but not quite.

    Also, Bradley has seen 66 pitches in 13 PA’s (team-leading 5.08 per). To put that into perspective, an opposing starter throwing a perfect game against an entire lineup of Milton Bradleys would reach his pitch limit after logging just 6+ frames. So despite slashing .100/.308/.400, Bradley is still helping the lineup chew its way to the juicy middle relief center of the pitching staff.

  28. heyoka on April 8th, 2010 11:33 am

    1-2 !!!!

    sell sell sell

    there’s always next year…

  29. gnaztee on April 9th, 2010 8:01 am

    I think I’d slightly disagree with the post’s assessment of RRS’s night. Besides fastball command, the most glaring problem to me was pitch selection to RH hitters, epitomized by the Rajai HR. RRS’s changeup had been effective to previous batters, yet he kept wanting to go back to the breaking ball vs RH. There is a much higher risk in throwing L-on-R breaking balls than changeups because the ball comes back to the bat.

    In other words, you throw away to get hitter to roll over…with a change up, this happens because the ball generally has some movement away from the barrel. With a breaking ball moving from the outside part of the plate to middle, the hitter gets out front but the ball comes back into the swing path…running into the bat and doing the hitter a favor (for another example of when a change up should have been thrown instead of breaking ball: see Matsui v Pedro in game 2 of last year’s WS…game-changer). RRS was beat on this pitch at least one other time in the game, though I don’t recall by whom.

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