Game 87, Yankees at Mariners

Jay Yencich · July 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm · Filed Under Game Threads, Mariners 

Second to last game before the All-Star Break. Happy Felix Day to one and all.

RF Ichiro!
2B Figgins
DH Branyan
3B Lopez
CF Gutierrez
1B Smoak
LF Saunders
C Johnson
SS Jack Wilson
P Felix

Luke French was sent back to the minor leagues after last night’s game to clear room for Smoak. I wouldn’t expect French to pitch in the Triple-A All-Star Game after four innings last night.

Fun fact: Smoak and Saunders trail only Detroit’s Brennan Boesch for home runs among AL rookies. And we’re going to have the opportunity to see both in the heart of the order for years to come! Today is a good day.


172 Responses to “Game 87, Yankees at Mariners”

  1. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:44 pm

    There is no definitive proof that says ‘anything over 100 is bad, anything over 120 is career threatening’.

    I think this phrase “definitive proof” is what’s setting me off. It cuts both ways, of course, and what we’re interested is in evidence that supports a thesis one way or another.
    Saying there’s no “definitive proof” is just not being very precise or evidence based; if the majority of pitchers are getting pushed past their limit at 120, it’s probably not good policy to be confident that your particular pitcher is an exception to the rule when you don’t have evidence on what side he’s one.

    Certainly with a young pitcher we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Just as certainly, with an experienced pitcher in his prime, the limits are going to be much higher. And it’s true that limits might be placed higher than they are now. You probably can go more than 100; but you certainly want less than 160.

    And, again, I’m focussing on the number of high pitch counts that’s steadily creeping up (and not leavened by a game or two of low counts).

  2. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 10:51 pm

    Also, I was absolutely surrounded by scouts, heh. 7 of them that I could see within 3 rows of where I was sitting. One had a World Series ring on but I couldn’t tell what team.

    I’m guessing you had really good seats then Jeff. That makes me so jealous. Would the scouts be there for Lopez? The Phillies need infielders and he wouldn’t be a bad option for them. Although it could be just Rob Johnson. I bet teams are just dying to get their hands on a stud like him.

  3. Carson on July 10th, 2010 10:51 pm

    @Matthew – And tango made an appearance in that Felix thread wa back when.

    Without any supporting documentation, I’ve always believed that Earl Weaver had it right. You bring the guy up in middle relief, and year-by-year, increase his workload, until he’s about 24.

    This is one time I’m glad someone didn’t listen to Tango.

  4. Jeff Nye on July 10th, 2010 10:55 pm

    I’m guessing you had really good seats then Jeff. That makes me so jealous. Would the scouts be there for Lopez? The Phillies need infielders and he wouldn’t be a bad option for them. Although it could be just Rob Johnson. I bet teams are just dying to get their hands on a stud like him.

    I have some suspicions as to what teams they were with and who they might’ve been watching, but I don’t want to speculate too much.

    And yeah, I had a great seat. It’s why I usually go to games by myself. Easier to get good singles.

  5. Catherwood on July 10th, 2010 11:22 pm

    All this “pitch count” stuff has made me curious: where would one find stats on pitch counts from back in the day — you know, when rotations were four guys, and all like that? I grew up an Orioles fan, so I like to think of the Palmer/McNally/Cuellar/Dobson rotation as the best ever, but those guys threw a HELL of a lot of pitches, and they all had good long careers (Palmer especially).

    So is it worse to throw, say, 90-100 pitches every fourth game than to throw 110-120 every fifth game? How could one even begin to answer that without resorting to either chest-thumping or fear-mongering?

  6. bongo on July 10th, 2010 11:28 pm

    Smoak displayed very poor plate discipline today, swinging at low outside changeups out of the zone. If he continues this way, he’ll be down in Tacoma before the end of the season.

  7. Jeff Nye on July 10th, 2010 11:31 pm

    It was one game, and his first game with a new organization. It’s a little early to freak out.

  8. kenshabby on July 10th, 2010 11:31 pm

    Just got back from the game. It’s tough to relate just how gratifying it was to experience all that amidst a sea of Yankees fans (RF 100-level seating area).

  9. John D. on July 11th, 2010 12:12 am

    …I think we have a 3 day break. They said “4? on TV today too … and I think they messed up.


  10. IwearMsHats on July 11th, 2010 12:18 am

    Just got back from the game also, it was awesome after Jose Lopez hit the salami, I was high-fiving everyone…the Yankee fans behind me left me hangin’ so I just fist tapped their hands in their laps. Bwahahaha!

    Edit: Smoak has an awfully pretty swing…although I saw it a bit too much tonight, I’m not worried 🙂

  11. Johnny Slick on July 11th, 2010 12:31 am

    That original BP article just flat out does not make the case that 120 pitches in a night are damaging. If you look at the data they actually see a *lessening* of long-term issues between pitches 110 and 120. They explain it away by saying there’s a strong case of selection bias at work, but the way you account for that is you control for it and look at the numbers again. Sample size was also pretty low.

    Overall, is it more dangerous to throw a guy 120 pitches than 110? Probably, sure. As Neyer said, though, every pitcher is different. Randy Johnson used to break 130 on a regular basis with the M’s. Those guys in the past whose careers were ruined by heavy pitch counts? Aaron Sele once threw something along the lines of 170 pitches in a game. 170! Yeah, I’ll agree that at that level, pitch counts alone make a difference. Ron Villone had some similar 150+ pitch game that essentially ruined him as a starter.

    Where this becomes a real issue IMO is that this game is, as noted, essentially meaningless. If this is how long Wak decides to use the King on a game 2 days before the All-Star Break where the M’s are rooted in the cellar, what’s the pitch count in a late September game that has bearing on an M’s playoff berth where the bullpen isn’t due for some automatic days off? Maybe he’s just stretching Felix’s arm or whatever they want to call it these days, and in fairness they don’t let you pitch more than 9 innings nowadays so it’s hard to see Hernandez pitch *more* than he’s been pitching recently, but it’s still troublesome at least in that regard.

  12. jeffcor13 on July 11th, 2010 12:38 am

    I was at the game, and they showed my Smoak sign on TV I hear(with a comment about Arod going to the Miami Heat), I was wondering if there is a way to see that on replay, seeing that Comcast isn’t showing a replay again now of the third inning (when it happened), since the next game is tomorrow afternoon….anyone know where I could see it?!

  13. matthew on July 11th, 2010 1:13 am

    jeffcor13, They showed it twice during the game. I’m watching a replay of the game right now on FSNW. They may show the game again, but I’m not sure. I’ve seen games replayed twice.

  14. SonOfZavaras on July 11th, 2010 1:13 am

    YouTube, maybe. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

    Oh yeah…and the re-broadcasts.

  15. jeffcor13 on July 11th, 2010 1:21 am

    Thanks guys…I know…I went to a bar, stepped out for a smoke, and when I was out they showed it on the replay, but they aren’t showing the replay again as far as I can see. I guess don’t smoke? 😉

  16. PackBob on July 11th, 2010 1:24 am

    Could be a good day. Maybe those two will blossom, maybe not. It sure would be a nice change if they did.

  17. Gibbo on July 11th, 2010 3:42 am

    you can see it on but you need access to watch full games. They showed the sign and Dave said about him having a fan following already.

  18. Chris_From_Bothell on July 11th, 2010 8:31 am

    The games are meaningless to us, in the context of long-term rebuilding. They’re meaningless to us, in the knowledge as fans that it is statistically unlikely, to the point of nigh-impossible, that this team could suddenly reel off another 50 – 55 wins in the next 3 months or so.

    But they’re meaningful to a true competitor like Felix. And meaningful to any of those players who take every game seriously regardless of the standings. And meaningful to a ballclub that’s trying to change its culture and produce competitive teams year over year, where you can have guys like Felix set an example for other starters to get deep into ballgames.

    I get all the arguments about not piling too much work on a pitcher, they were all made the last time this came up. The baseball prospectus article came up, the warnings about Kerry Wood and so forth came up, etc.

    Is there any research to show that the signs of overuse come on suddenly? I.e. by the time you’ve got definitive proof of overwork like a dead arm, torn muscles, etc. it’s too late and the damage is irreversible?

    If there is such proof of that, then yes, the risks are too great, you could lose The King, or at least his regal upper limit, forever at any time.

    If there isn’t proof of that, then it’s arguable that it’s enough to be simply monitoring Felix closely and backing off the workload when you see signs of fatigue, loss of command and secondary pitches, minor aches and pains more often, etc.

    If Felix at 100, 110, 120 pitches is still better than the bullpen, and there’s no sign of ill effects in his next start or two or during the off days, then ride that horse, baby. Pulling Felix at 110 pitches when he’s demonstrably better than e.g. Aardsma when he’s fresh, makes as little sense as pulling Felix at any other time in favor of Aardsma, or whoever.

    Felix gives you the best chance to win and it doesn’t hurt him. Meaningless game or no, you should put the best team out there.

  19. paracorto on July 11th, 2010 8:56 am

    I can’t wait for next year…Smoak, Ackley, Saunders, Moore, Tui…perhaps a .200 lineup but so many tools you could open a hardware store.

  20. Backacre on July 11th, 2010 10:26 am

    Dave and crew great reading as usual.
    I enter this at the end of yesterdays thread because I just gotta- I am so pleased with the Smoaking hot trade….
    Smoak ’em if you got him
    No Smoak zone
    Smoak is in the zone
    Smoakless (bad day)
    No Smoaking at any time,but Smacking is allowed
    Smoaking is allowed and encouraged.
    Smoak scream.
    Where there is Smoak there is fire.
    Smoak is alarming again!
    Mariners on fire and up in Smoak in a good way!
    Wanna Smoak?, Yes please.
    Smoaking is unhealthy, especially for Ranger fans.
    Sorry for this but it was just a Smoakin’ hot idea at the time.

  21. msfanmike on July 11th, 2010 1:00 pm

    … and in respect to “LOST”

    Smoak Monster

  22. SonOfZavaras on July 11th, 2010 4:29 pm

    I can’t wait for next year…Smoak, Ackley, Saunders, Moore, Tui…perhaps a .200 lineup but so many tools you could open a hardware store.

    That lineup won’t remain a .200 lineup. And don’t forget Halman (who I suspect gets a Sept. call-up this year- it constitutes a chance he’ll get to make an impression), Liddi, Triunfel, Raben, Poythress.

    All stand legit shots to be hot on the others’ heels, arriving not long after. Not all of them will work out, but we’ll at least see who’s major-league timber and who isn’t.

    And don’t forget Jack Zduriencik is likely nowhere close to done. There’s likely to be other names in the mix, too.

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