Game 5, Mariners at Rangers

Dave · April 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Vargs vs Lewis, 5:05 pm

This is a pretty good chance to talk about Jason Vargas, who makes his season debut tonight. He’s a pretty typical soft-tossing command lefty who throws strikes and doesn’t miss many bats, but he features one really good pitch – his change-up. It’s one of the best on the team, and is the reason that Vargas has essentially run a neutral platoon split over his career (4.60 xFIP vs LHB, 4.71 xFIP vs RHB). His fastball and breaking ball are both substandard, but with a plus change, Vargas manages to get ahead of enough hitters to serve as a decent back-end starter.

His glaring problem is the long ball. He throws a four seam fastball up in the zone, and when he doesn’t locate it just right, it’s a meatball. He’s given up 33 home runs in 218 career innings, and it’s not even driven by an abnormally high HR/FB rate. He’s an extreme flyball guy, due to the way he pitches, and that inevitably leads to home runs. On days when he keeps the ball in the park, he’ll look pretty good. When he doesn’t, he’ll look pretty terrible. It basically boils down to that.

So, he makes his season debut in Texas, facing a line-up that features guys like Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and Chris Davis. Can’t say this is the kind of team he’s setup to do well against. So, I guess my suggestion is don’t judge Vargas based on tonight – a homer prone lefty making his debut against a home run hitting team in Texas is not really a recipe for success.

Ichiro, RF
Figgins, 2B
Kotchman, 1B
Bradley, LF
Griffey, DH
Lopez, 2B
Gutierrez, CF
Moore, C
Wilson, SS


79 Responses to “Game 5, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. Jay R. on April 9th, 2010 6:31 pm

    And here it comes.

  2. flashbeak on April 9th, 2010 6:32 pm

    1-4 baby!

  3. Mid80sRighty on April 9th, 2010 6:33 pm

    Fricken Vlad! That was a good pitch…

  4. Glen on April 9th, 2010 6:34 pm

    I love our offense!

  5. argh on April 9th, 2010 6:34 pm

    For some reason it feels like the Mariners have been on a 50 game losing streak.

  6. flashbeak on April 9th, 2010 6:35 pm

    50 game losing streak is on deck, it will just take a couple of weeks.

  7. Glen on April 9th, 2010 6:41 pm

    Game Over.

  8. Paul B on April 9th, 2010 6:42 pm

    but, but, they have a happy clubhouse! and a belief system! They can’t lose!

  9. argh on April 9th, 2010 6:48 pm

    I feel a great big pie coming on.

  10. Pine Tar on April 9th, 2010 6:49 pm

    there is always guti

  11. Liam on April 9th, 2010 6:50 pm

    Does Adam Moore have a big wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth?

  12. Paul B on April 9th, 2010 6:51 pm

    Pinch hit for Wilson with the bases loaded?

    Probably not, no SS on the bench.

    Thanks, Sweeney!

  13. juneau_fan on April 9th, 2010 6:53 pm

    There’s always Tui…oh, doesn’t matter. 3 strike at bat. Ouch.

  14. Mid80sRighty on April 9th, 2010 6:54 pm

    Game Over.

    but, but, they have a happy clubhouse! and a belief system! They can’t lose!

    Holy crap, people. It’s like you’re coming out of a bad relationship. That chick really screwed you up…

  15. naviomelo on April 9th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Ichiro should have left that 1-1 pitch alone.

  16. Paul B on April 9th, 2010 6:56 pm

    Enjoy the rest of the game, Mid80sRighty.

    Maybe the Ranger bullpen will implode in the 9th.

  17. Nate on April 9th, 2010 6:57 pm

    yeah, look on the bright side people!
    we have all this pitching and defense on our team!

  18. Mid80sRighty on April 9th, 2010 7:02 pm

    Not saying they’re going to pull this one out, but the pessimism is getting THICK…in just the 5th game of the year!

  19. ndrfx on April 9th, 2010 7:03 pm

    I busted up hard when Simms was like “A MULTI-HIT INNING, SOMETHING BREWING HERE!” Reminded me of that scene in Major League where the manager is like “You guys won today. You guys won yesterday, so that’s two in a row. If you win again tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”

  20. egreenlaw9 on April 9th, 2010 7:14 pm

    Back-back-…. please?

  21. egreenlaw9 on April 9th, 2010 7:19 pm

    Actually, I wonder if back-back-back homeruns (although impressive) aren’t actually less beneficial than say, a single, a full count walk and then a homerun?

    Just because if a guy gives up the triple-backer, then he’s probably going to get pulled, whereas the single-walk-homer pitcher would probably be allowed to finish out the inning.

  22. spankystout on April 9th, 2010 7:19 pm

    Even the eternal optimist Dave Sims is repeatedly citing how times we’ve been K’d (Oakland series) and how many multi-hit innings they have produced overall. Telling???By they way when Wak publicly says they are going to address the at-bats and “look at the numbers” its a sign that they don’t like what they are seeing, and waiting it out was Mclaren’s preferred tactic. That didn’t work obviously. I applaud management for the quick correction to the 12 man staff! And addressing the O.

  23. MrZDevotee on April 9th, 2010 7:25 pm

    I think we need to just accept what sort of offense we have and give ourselves the best chance to score runs (every other inning bascially). I think our lineup would be more productive as:


    The sooner we stop pretending to have a cleanup hitter (and a DH that can drive in runs) the sooner we can put up a lineup that at least has a chance to score 4-5 runs. We have two leadoff hitters and then three #3 hitters.

    We’re still running out a lineup that relies on power to drive in runs. Which we just don’t have. It’s time to think outside the box, if our pitching is going to be average we can’t win close games like this.

    (Not being a naysayer, just looking for other options. I think we have talent, we’re just mistakenly trying to apply them to situations for which they aren’t equipped.)

    C’mon Wak, do your thing– shake it up next game.

  24. blaumann on April 9th, 2010 7:28 pm

    Greetings from Texas. The local announcers really keyed into what Milton was saying to the crowd.

  25. blaumann on April 9th, 2010 7:30 pm

    Well, that’s that. See ya…

  26. egreenlaw9 on April 9th, 2010 7:31 pm

    Greetings from Texas. The local announcers really keyed into what Milton was saying to the crowd.

    And that was?…

    Honestly, I’m really curious – especially in contrast to Oakland.

    At least the Milton watch can entertain us, eh?

  27. egreenlaw9 on April 9th, 2010 7:31 pm

    I’m ready for Felix day….

  28. MrZDevotee on April 9th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Amen to Felix day.

    Although honestly, the starting pitching hasn’t been nearly as bad as I feared it could be– it’s the bullpen that’s regressing to the norm from last year, which I’m not sure was high on the radar of things I feared starting off the season.

    Although I guess we’re starting off with 2 of the 3 teams that saw them the most last year, so they have the best scouting on them and know what to expect this time around.

  29. flashbeak on April 9th, 2010 7:44 pm

    At least Casey Kotchman hits his rare homeruns with the bases empty while the team is facing an insurmountable deficit, and saves his double play groundouts for bases loaded rallies.

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