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.

Comments

172 Responses to “Game 87, Yankees at Mariners”

  1. dwalker on July 10th, 2010 6:48 pm

    This is my first time on this site, I don’t claim to be a brilliant baseball mind, just an avid Mariner’s fan for better or for worse. My question is, why are we continually batting Lopez 4th? Why not something like Ichiro-Figgins-Gutierrez-Branyan-Smoak-Lopez-Saunders-Johnson-Wilson? I just don’t see him as a clean-up guy.

  2. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 6:50 pm

    Can’t wait to watch Smoak. Hopefully he has a better debut than Lee. He is getting torn up by the worst team in baseball.

  3. GoldenGutz on July 10th, 2010 6:52 pm

    Smoak+Saunders. Great Building blocks. Hopefully it’s 3-4 or 4-5 for their spot in the lineup in the future.

  4. Nellie Fox on July 10th, 2010 6:54 pm

    If Wak is Wak, Smoak will hit 8th or 9th tonight. Hope I’m wrong.

  5. Grayfox3d on July 10th, 2010 6:54 pm

    Dont forget about Tillman pitching against the rangers…

  6. BobbyAyalaCyYoung on July 10th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Jason Heyward has 11 bombs so we have numbers 3&4. I like the future though nice to see a line up with a first baseman that doesn’t hit like a pitcher.

  7. spankystout on July 10th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Lopez batting fourth again!?!?! I’m so burned out on Lopez and Waks lineup management.

  8. SonOfZavaras on July 10th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Can’t wait to watch Smoak. Hopefully he has a better debut than Lee. He is getting torn up by the worst team in baseball.

    Hopefully, they don’t hold it against him in Texas. Guy had a pretty whirlwind last 24 hours, and was knocked off his usual routine.

    For the first time I can remember, I’ll be rooting for an AL West team if the Rangers make the playoffs.

    Smoak is going to be a lot of fun to watch. With Ackley soon? Oooooh, fun times right around the corner…

  9. Westside guy on July 10th, 2010 7:01 pm

    It’s possible Lee is just unlucky tonight – he still hasn’t walked anybody, and most of his pitches have gone for strikes (although he only has one strikeout through six, which is unusual).

  10. Nellie Fox on July 10th, 2010 7:01 pm

    OK, wrong about Smoak, but – yes – Wak is a tool to hit Lopez fourth. Ever. What is the deal with this? He is either stubborn, stupid, or just not a manager.

  11. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 7:03 pm

    Today is a good day.

    Agreed! … except for Lopez in the 4 hole, and Johnson in any hole – but what are you gonna do? Someone has to wear those shirts until they can find better players to fill the slots.

    The number of “glaring holes” is shrinking … slowly. Nothing happens as fast as you would like – when your team is struggling.

    Lopez not only looks lost … he looks mad/disinterested – like he knows his end as a Mariner is near. Johnson just looks confused … like Barney Rubble in shinguards.

  12. naloomis on July 10th, 2010 7:03 pm

    The weather is delicious

  13. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 7:03 pm

    Five runs given up by Lee, but the Rangers are being no hit through 6.

  14. johnnyzen on July 10th, 2010 7:04 pm

    There’s a game tomorrow, 1:10pm.

  15. Spanky on July 10th, 2010 7:06 pm

    Yes, Chris Tillman, plus Adam Jones starting to heat up this year with a .275/.303/.451 line with 13 HR’s and 39 RBI’s. Every time I see how we gave away the farm for Bedard just burns me up. I’m hopeful that this trade will do the same to Ranger fans for years to come!

  16. Dave Spiwak on July 10th, 2010 7:07 pm

    Cliff, welcome to the bandbox in Arlington. While the M’s exes battle it out in Texas, the Texas exes 1B’s will do the same in Seattle. (All my exes live in Texas, but why’d they have to take the Lexus’ (Lexuses, Lexi?)).

  17. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 7:08 pm

    Five runs given up by Lee, but the Rangers are being no hit through 6.

    Yo Cliff … Safeco is a great place to pitch. Consider us this offseason at 3 x $16M per … and maybe the M’s can sign you.

    In all due respect to Cliff – he has had a bit of a whirlwind tour the last 24+ hours.

    I found is comments interesting – post trade:

    Going from last place to first place … and it is going to be really hot.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement on where he had to go.

    The Rangers should have held him out one more day, but they are going to use him until his arm falls off or until his balls go flat – since he is just a rental for them.

  18. spankystout on July 10th, 2010 7:08 pm

    Tillman throwing a no-no. Wow…..you suck Bavasi.

  19. Jay Yencich on July 10th, 2010 7:10 pm

    There’s a game tomorrow, 1:10pm.

    Fixed. Forgot what day it was.

  20. Dave Spiwak on July 10th, 2010 7:11 pm

    Lopez not only looks lost … he looks mad/disinterested

    Like the double-play ball he booted last night that cost the M’s four runs?

  21. Grayfox3d on July 10th, 2010 7:15 pm

    I wonder if anyone actually approaches Wak and ask’s why Lopez is batting in that spot…

  22. lalo on July 10th, 2010 7:21 pm

    The unique ability of Rob Johnson seems to be catch the runners. Or am I wrong?

    the times I’ve seen it appears to do well..

    BBut not justify his place in any lineup, of course

  23. Gregory on July 10th, 2010 7:24 pm

    Niehaus says wins and losses aren’t the most important things in determining how effective a pitcher is, instead citing Ks and BBs and important factors. Go Dave

  24. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 7:26 pm

    Tillman gave up a hit and a run scored on a wild pitch.

    re Bavasi, this is what happens when you combine statistical ignorance (thinking a 100 loss team was actually one pitcher away from a title) with putting a GM on the “hot seat” — which is saying “win now or you are fired”, which leads to counter productive actions.

  25. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 7:27 pm

    I wish Niehaus would ask Wak the Lopez question. Or ask him detailed questions about Rob Johnson. Niehaus could probably get away with it, already being in the HOF and all.

  26. Gregory on July 10th, 2010 7:31 pm

    Niehaus sounds so used to Lopez failing to do anything

  27. Edgar4Hall on July 10th, 2010 7:33 pm

    like Barney Rubble in shinguards.

    That is probably the best thing I’ve ever heard for RoJoke. Amazing.
    Two sidenotes, one is that while all of us enjoy Saunders out there I continue to hear rumblings that Z and Wak do not see him in our future. Should we be worried about this? I’d really like some feedback on that. Second is I find it hilarious how many second teamers for the Yanks are out there tonight. Do they think that they will lose no matter what to Felix or do they think we are just that pathetic.

  28. Edgar4Hall on July 10th, 2010 7:34 pm

    whoops, messed up the quote box thing. sorry

  29. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 7:35 pm

    I have the feeling Texas is going to make Cliff throw a complete game every time he pitches.

  30. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 7:54 pm

    Wow, Swisher is a Mariner-killer

  31. Pilate on July 10th, 2010 8:19 pm

    The Yankees haven’t thrown Branyan a fastball in the strike zone all weekend. They’ve gotten him out with a steady diet of curveballs. Lefty, righty, doesn’t matter, he can’t hit the curveball. How did he get to the majors?

  32. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 8:28 pm

    Lol they played Smoke On The Water when Smoak came up. Hope he gets a hit here to start off his Seattle career.

  33. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 8:29 pm

    0 for 2, 2 K’s. Blah! Stupid jet-lag

  34. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 8:29 pm

    Shit, well it’s at least promising how they won’t give Smoak anything good to hit.

    Also, I just checked the Rangers website, and Cliff looks terrible in Ranger blue, red, and white. He went the distance again tho.

  35. Nellie Fox on July 10th, 2010 8:32 pm

    How promising is that? They have no respect for the guys behind him. His first two ABs have been underwhelming.

  36. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 8:32 pm

    Vazquez has a no hitter going…

    There i jinxed it, now he’ll lose it right?

  37. KPS on July 10th, 2010 8:34 pm

    I wonder if the Angels would be upset w/Locker wearing an M’s jersey?

  38. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 8:38 pm

    How promising is that? They have no respect for the guys behind him. His first two ABs have been underwhelming.

    From what I’ve seen, they haven’t gave him a fastball in the zone. He fouled off a couple high ones, but Vazquez isn’t giving him anything to hit. That’s contrary to how some pitchers challenge young hitters (often up and in) and make them hit their stuff.

  39. juneau_fan on July 10th, 2010 8:44 pm

    So Lee’s going to wear the Texas uni at the All Star game.

    What if he’d been traded to a NL team?

  40. Wallingfjord on July 10th, 2010 8:45 pm

    while all of us enjoy Saunders out there I continue to hear rumblings that Z and Wak do not see him in our future

    I’m bummed when I see this is in some local media, distilled down to “Z isn’t that attached to Bavasi guys.” I think people (not here) interpret
    that as ego – out with the “old”, etc. I wish they’d frame it correctly – the new regime doesn’t evaluate talent the same way, and naturally that means everyone gets reappraised for present and potential value.

  41. EthanN on July 10th, 2010 8:46 pm

    If Ichi’s average drops below .320, I think this season might drive us all to alcoholism. Is Felix, Vargas, and Fister the only ones that can play to or beyond their standards anymore?

  42. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 8:55 pm

    If Ichi’s average drops below .320, I think this season might drive us all to alcoholism. Is Felix, Vargas, and Fister the only ones that can play to or beyond their standards anymore?

    What? Good old Rob has been playin just how he normally does the whole year.

  43. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:05 pm

    Vazquez at 93 pitches through 6.

  44. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:09 pm

    Lopez got a hit!

  45. Edgar4Hall on July 10th, 2010 9:13 pm

    ok so I can’t watch tonight but how bad has Smoak looked? I saw that he had three K’s, not exactly the best way to come over but its just a first day.

  46. Dave Spiwak on July 10th, 2010 9:15 pm

    Saunders walks on ball 6!

  47. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:16 pm

    Wow, the best moment in the game, in the hands of the worst player in the game, come on Rojo

  48. Edgar4Hall on July 10th, 2010 9:19 pm

    I seriously like the fact that we have Bradley as a pinch hitter now. We finally have someone who can hit off the Bench! Well, at least hit better than RoJoke

  49. Idaho M on July 10th, 2010 9:20 pm

    It looks like Smoak is going to fit perfectly with this team.

  50. juneau_fan on July 10th, 2010 9:22 pm

    No breaks at all for this team.

  51. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:23 pm

    It looks like Smoak is going to fit perfectly with this team.

    I hope you’re wrong, and that only fit the level of Ichiro, with more power of course

  52. Shrike on July 10th, 2010 9:29 pm

    Nice gift strikeout for Felix; Cano got jobbed there.

  53. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:39 pm

    Waddayathink – first pitch swinging DP for Lopez?

  54. juneau_fan on July 10th, 2010 9:39 pm

    Double play coming up.

  55. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:40 pm

    See what I did there?

    :)

  56. Bwilliam on July 10th, 2010 9:41 pm

    Get out the rye bread and mustard Grandma. It is grand salami time!!!!!

  57. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:41 pm

    F%CK YEAH!

  58. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:41 pm

    Here’s a surprise, IBB for Branyan in a key spot.

  59. Sports on a Schtick on July 10th, 2010 9:41 pm

    ROFL!!!!! Loafie!!

  60. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    I don´t believe, Jose Lopez with his second grand slam of the year, awesome!!!

  61. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    squirrels. Blind. Acorns.

  62. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    Come on Smoak!!

  63. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    I’d like to see Smoak do the same thing right here…

  64. juneau_fan on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    I’ll be proved wrong ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

  65. Bwilliam on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    Hopefully that helps Lopez’s trade value.

  66. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:42 pm

    Lopez reacted like it was a no-brainer, but it went into the first row. He was really close to being embarrassed.

  67. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    no way…

  68. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Felix has 103 pitches. I bet he would smack Wak if Wak tried to take him out now.

  69. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Damn. I was thinking Chamberlain didn’t have an off speed pitch haha.

  70. Dave Spiwak on July 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Loafie comes through for his bud Felix.

  71. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    so far today the Lee trade looks to be a wash… lol

  72. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:44 pm

    Hopefully that helps Lopez’s trade value.

    That’s funny. I don’t even think about Lopez in the context of being on the team anymore. I only look at how much we can get for him.

  73. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:44 pm

    I wish Niehaus had been on the TV side for that call :\

  74. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:45 pm

    Can we pull the King now? I mean… will he get the win if we do?

  75. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:46 pm

    Wow, Smoak looks awful, bad for him and the M´s

  76. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:47 pm

    lalo, it’s his 2nd year in professional baseball. Give him a while.

  77. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:47 pm

    Pitch count better not go higher than 115.

  78. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:48 pm

    I hate that there are so many Yankee fans there.

  79. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:49 pm

    Wak is an idiot, why not put Aardsma to close the game?? Felix is in 110 pitches and is dangerous

  80. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:50 pm

    Why do I feel like this is a 3 run HR.

  81. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:50 pm

    Because Aardsma sucks.

  82. Paul B on July 10th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Aardsma, now that is dangerous.

  83. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Yes, let’s hurt his arm. Z better have a talk with Wak after this game.

  84. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 9:52 pm

    Wak is an idiot, why not put Aardsma to close the game?? Felix is in 110 pitches and is dangerous

    Because a Felix at 115 pitches is still better than an Aardsma who shoots in letter high fastballs again and again.

  85. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:52 pm

    Posada will be his last better, which will enable Aardsma to blow it and give Felix the loss.

    Oops…no decision.

  86. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:53 pm

    Johnson would have allowed that to roll to the backstop.

  87. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 9:53 pm

    Rob wouldn’t have stopped that. It’s really weird to have a catcher who can actually catch the ball.

  88. Seattleken on July 10th, 2010 9:53 pm

    Fire the manager hes nuts to be allowed to kill Felixs future for a losing season win.

  89. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:53 pm

    Gotta pull him after Posada.

  90. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:54 pm

    Woo hoo! (Still worried about his arm.)

  91. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:54 pm

    Because a Felix at 115 pitches is still better than an Aardsma who shoots in letter high fastballs again and again.

    I completely agree, but you prefer, Aardsma lost a game in a season that is good for nothing, or lose our best pitcher a year?

  92. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:54 pm

    Johnson wouldn’t have framed that.

  93. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:54 pm

    Dave is going to lose it in a post over the next 24 hours.

  94. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:55 pm

    Wak, I hate you!!!

  95. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:55 pm

    Everyone at Safeco should be on their feet.

  96. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Dave is going to lose it in a post over the next 24 hours.

    125 pitches isn’t going to kill Felix.

  97. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:56 pm

    This is infuriating.

  98. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    125 pitches isn’t going to kill Felix.

    On top of several 115+ efforts?

    That seems awfully arrogant and ignorant of past research.

  99. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    relax… Felix gets a nice long break…

  100. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    That was an awesome pitch.

    Just. awesome.

  101. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Okay, maybe Felix would have kicked Wak’s ass if he’d come out to pull him….

  102. Sports on a Schtick on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Huzzah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get some rest King!

  103. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Good lord people calm down, one start with this many pitches isn’t going to hurt him. And wow, what a way to end it, 2 called K’s, and striking out the side, all on called K’s, is amazing.

  104. matthew on July 10th, 2010 9:58 pm

    gwangung wrote:

    On top of several 115+ efforts?

    That seems awfully arrogant and ignorant of past research.

    Bingo. Dave will get his back. Don’t worry :D

  105. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    Good lord people calm down, one start with this many pitches isn’t going to hurt him.

    Good lord, have you been paying attention to what his pitch load has been?

  106. lalo on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    I love you Felix, you´re awesome, the best pitcher in the mlb maybe, but after this, Z should fire Wak,

  107. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    Seriously, that last pitch belongs on the season-ending highlight reel. It was a thing of beauty; even the batter had to laugh.

  108. jdsc55 on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    I think Felix was telling girardi how he felt about not being chosen for the all star game…

  109. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    There’s no definitive proof that concludes every pitcher is the same. Felix has been fortunate in that his arm wasn’t run into the ground by some college coach trying to win a college world series, so he hasn’t seen the same abuse that so many younger pitchers have. Remember, he’s got a good long break coming up, he’ll rest up and be ready to rock the second half.

  110. Seattleken on July 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    Pitching over 120 is insane. You can see the trail of ended careers after 120+ pitch games in the 21st century. Awesome arm destroyed by stupid managers, and this wasn’t even a no hitter or a key game.

  111. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:00 pm

    gwangung I’m glad you’re a major league manager, or a sports medicine researcher who has conclusively proven that a certain number of pitches ALWAYS is a detriment to a pitcher’s long term health.

  112. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:00 pm

    There’s no definitive proof that concludes every pitcher is the same

    That’s an amazingly ill informed statement.

    Just saying.

  113. matthew on July 10th, 2010 10:01 pm

    Thank you Seattleken.

    I’m guessing if Dave isn’t out with his wife — or at the game — he’s already writing a scathing post about this.

  114. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:02 pm

    gwangung I’m glad you’re a major league manager, or a sports medicine researcher who has conclusively proven that a certain number of pitches ALWAYS is a detriment to a pitcher’s long term health.

    I’m glad you’ve perused the research on pitch counts (where 120 pitches is the danger limit) and shown where and why Felix is an exception.

  115. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 10:02 pm

    Good lord, have you been paying attention to what his pitch load has been?

    Felix will have a 9 day break, he will be fine. He’s not going to be in the All-Star game, so he will have a nice break. You all can unclench now, it’s not the end of the world.

  116. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:03 pm

    Felix will have a 9 day break, he will be fine

    Research that supports that?

  117. matthew on July 10th, 2010 10:03 pm

    Axtell wrote:

    gwangung I’m glad you’re a major league manager, or a sports medicine researcher who has conclusively proven that a certain number of pitches ALWAYS is a detriment to a pitcher’s long term health.

    He may not be, but he’s informed because he actually reads the posts on this site. Don’t worry, Dave will educate you on this subject over the next 24 hours — backing up his words with both facts and stats.

  118. SonOfZavaras on July 10th, 2010 10:04 pm

    As many platitudes (well-deserved) that we’ve heaped on Cliff Lee, there are reasons I love watching Felix pitch.

    He wants that ball, and he wants to be the best.

    97 MPH on pitches 116 and 123. Jesus.

  119. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:05 pm

    gwangung, you’re the one saying tonight’s pitching performance was dangerous, either back it up with concrete evidence or kindly be quiet.

    The reason so many pitchers of late have been buried with high pitch counts in games is because they’ve been run into the ground in college and the minors by managers doing everything they can to win. Felix has been carefully dialed up, and has shown no injury history, nothing to suggest here and there going over the so-called ‘danger’ limit.

    Nice work, Felix. Nice job putting these worry-warts in their places.

  120. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:06 pm

    I, too, read the posts on this site which also have shown have well taken care of Felix has been since he signed, carefully upping his innings and pitch counts since becoming a Mariner.

  121. SonOfZavaras on July 10th, 2010 10:06 pm

    I will say, though…count me among the ones who hope Wak doesn’t ride this horse for 125+ pitches EVERY time…

  122. SonOfZavaras on July 10th, 2010 10:07 pm

    There is only one good thing I could ever say about the Bavasi reign as GM.

    He didn’t screw up Felix Hernandez.

  123. matthew on July 10th, 2010 10:10 pm

    Maybe I stand corrected.

    Dave wrote:

    So why lop 10 off a “normal pitch count”? Why not 7? Or 13?

    Look, my point is that you’re basically just randomally picking a number with no real reason behind it. You can’t manage a club by fear.

    I guarantee you Felix would love to throw a CG shutout. If he has a chance at one, and he’s at 90 pitches, I have no idea how you tell him he’s coming out “just because”.

    Dave was talking about 90 pitches. I’m guessing his opinion changes at 110, 115, 120, 125 in a worthless game.

  124. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 10:12 pm

    Research that supports that?

    Simple math anybody can (should) be able to do it. We have one more game until the All-Star break (day 1). Then, we have a 4 day All-Star break (1+4=5). When we get back, we will be at #3 in the rotation, so 3 extra days (5+3=8), and Felix will start on day 9 broski. That’s what research supports it.

  125. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 10:13 pm

    Maybe I stand corrected.

    Can I say a pox on your house for making me look at that starting lineup from 2005?

    Someone should provide that link every time people criticize JZ. Man, that’s brutal.

  126. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 10:14 pm

    Yay!

    Boy it was nice seeing a catcher who could block the ball in the late innings … or any inning!

    Smoak got worked by Vasquez today, but Vasquez can do that to ML hitters … and did it to most of our team for most of the night. Yes, Smoak has some work to do, but he has a ton of tools. If/when there is ever someone hitting behind him that is a threat (and if he learns to lay off the crap in the dirt) he will hit.

    Two young guys back to back may not be the best formula moving forward.

    Arguably, we have 4 guys in our lineup who should be hitting 9th in a real teams lineup.

    A win is a win … and good for Jose. I had no faith in him to do anything other than to hit into a DP – but good for him. He had a very defiant “bat drop” when he hit it which makes me believe that he has definitely been feeling the pressure/heat/frustration. He almost walked himself into a long single, but it went out – so good for him.

  127. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:15 pm

    The reason so many pitchers of late have been buried with high pitch counts in games is because they’ve been run into the ground in college and the minors by managers doing everything they can to win.

    Well, you said it, you’re going to have to support it. (Note that this statement doesn’t make sense for pitchers who have not gone through college; and I also seem to recall that minor league managers do NOT have discretion on pitch counts).

    I’m starting with the classic research on pitch counts such as
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2633

    Do you have anything more recent?

  128. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 10:17 pm

    I’ve done some research on the subject and found that on average a pitcher has 129 pitches in his arm on any given night… any pitches thrown after that number usually results in the pitchers arm falling off… although the liberal use of duck tape has been shown to increase this pitch count by at least 5%.

  129. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 10:17 pm

    we have a 4 day All-Star break

    Are you sure? The schedule shows a 3 day break (Monday thru Wednesday) with a game in Anaheim on Thursday.

    I need to “catch up” on the debate above your post, but I think we have a 3 day break. They said “4″ on TV today too … and I think the messed up.

  130. gwangung on July 10th, 2010 10:18 pm

    Simple math anybody can (should) be able to do it.

    No, sorry, that’s not enough, particularly since the original research concluded that it wasn’t the amount of rest between starts but the number of pitches in each start that was the key part.

    (And note that I’m not focussing on just one start, but a continuing trend in number of pitches).

  131. Paul L on July 10th, 2010 10:18 pm

    Where did Livan Hernandez go to college again?

  132. Seattleken on July 10th, 2010 10:18 pm

    Here’s a link -
    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/06/01/despite-complaints-implementing-pitch-counts-makes-sense/

    I will say the last time I felt this way was when McGowan in july 2008 went 125 pitches thanks to their idiot manager (Gaston) who has a long history of killing arms and basically ended McGowan’s future with a 125 pitch game. He lost 6 mph in his next start got bombed and never pitched MLB again. Guys under Baker same thing Wood, Prior, Volquez etc. etc.

    To get a win in a losing season by risking the career of the future of your franchise is nothing short of insane.

  133. SonOfZavaras on July 10th, 2010 10:20 pm

    Roger Craig of the Giants was notorious for the same thing, ruining young arms- except he combined high pitch counts with split-fingers (that pitch was his baby).

  134. matthew on July 10th, 2010 10:20 pm

    DMZ also wrote about Felix’s pitch count, though that was also 5 years ago. They talk about pitch count in the comments of that thread.

    I should just leave it to Dave.

  135. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:24 pm

    Every pitcher is different, every pitcher’s past is different. There is no definitive proof that says ‘anything over 100 is bad, anything over 120 is career threatening’. There are just far too many variables to suggest as such. If there were, do you honestly think that the medical staffs, the teams, EVERYONE would be using that as the bible? If there was definitive proof that what Felix did tonight was going to affect him long term, don’t you think the Mariners staff and trainers have instructed Wak and everyone else in the organization ‘At no point will we allow our pitchers to pitch over X number of pitches’? Why would they be willing to risk the arm of an ace pitcher who they have guaranteed money to for the next several years?

    Yes, SOME pitchers have had exceedingly high pitch counts and had their careers cut short as a result. Those same pitchers had injury histories before the high pitch counts. Felix, fortunately, has had no major injuries to deal with, and was essentially coddled his entire time with the Mariners.

    I think some people are overreacting *just* a bit.

  136. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 10:24 pm

    I need to “catch up” on the debate above your post, but I think we have a 3 day break. They said “4? on TV today too … and I think the messed up.

    Yea that’s where I got it from. Shit, well still that’s 7 full days of rest and a little more than half the next day before his start of rest. That’s more than enough time for Felix to recover. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wak pulls him after around 90 his next start.

  137. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 10:25 pm

    I’m all a bit mystified by this pitch count nonsense. All in all the M’s have done a good job with developing Felix and limiting his workload.

    Rob Neyer agrees.

    How many pitches did Randy Johnson throw on a regular basis? what made him special?

  138. Jeff Nye on July 10th, 2010 10:28 pm

    Felix was showing no sign of strain up to the very last pitch. Freaking out about his pitch count is silly.

  139. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 10:28 pm

  140. Farmer Cam on July 10th, 2010 10:29 pm

    bah… I can’t seem to get this link to post. Anyways, if you haven’t read what Rob Neyer has to say about Felix’s workload read this:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/4209/the-rules-for-king-felix-are-different

  141. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 10:30 pm

    I caught up on the pitch count debate. Very credible debate … and yes, the sustained “pitching” over 100 pitches is the salient point I recall too – but having the bell cow pitch 115+ in a game that he was not going to come out of (come hell or high water) is fine with me – and I am guessing … fine with him too.

    Aardsma is having sphincter problems right now and can’t get anybody out with all of its extra puckering, so he would have probably blown the game with his straight diet of fastballs with no movement.

    Teams frequently adjust their pitching rotation (post all star game) to give their studs additional starts … over pitchers lower in the rotation. If Felix doesn’t get named to the All Star team, I fully expect that he will pitch on Thursday or Friday … and then twice during the next home stand against the White Sox and Red Sox. Why set up the schedule that way … ca’ching.

    I will bet you that Texas re-sets their starting rotation too … and gets Lee back up again asap. Then again, they don’t care if there are long term effects on his arm. He is a 3+ month rental.

  142. King.Dome on July 10th, 2010 10:32 pm

    Felix will be fine.

    Wak is a good manager. He needs better players. I’m not on board with batting JLo 4th, but when Lo comes through he should get a little credit right. Clock twice a day thing and all, but come on right.

  143. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:32 pm

    Farmer, your point is well made. I wonder how many times Nolan Ryan hit 125+ in his pitch counts? He sure seemed to be able to handle the workload.

    Is it a coincidence, that after Ryan took over baseball operations and abandoned the worry about pitch counts, that Texas has Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson, drafted by the organization, pitching really well for them? Is it perhaps an overload of information that we try to grasp at a link when that link may not exist?

  144. Breadbaker on July 10th, 2010 10:33 pm

    Just back from a lovely day in the mountains, listened to the game. When Rizzs was announcing, almost turned it off. So glad Dave was handling the eighth and ninth. He painted an announcing masterpiece. Mostly by letting the crowd noise and the situation provide the drama.

  145. Marinersmanjk on July 10th, 2010 10:33 pm

    I will bet you that Texas re-sets their starting rotation too … and gets Lee back up again asap. Then again, they don’t care if there are long term effects on his arm. He is a 3+ month rental.

    Cliff fell so madly in love with Seattle that he’s going to take a discount and come to fans that love him.

  146. Jeff Nye on July 10th, 2010 10:35 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.

  147. matthew on July 10th, 2010 10:36 pm

    I knew Dave wrote about Felix’s pitch count recently. Recently as in 10 days ago.

    No pitcher in the AL has thrown more pitches than Felix Hernandez this year. In his last nine starts, Felix has thrown 1,028 pitches, which would equal out to about 3,750 over a full season. Last year, only Justin Verlander threw that many pitches. And, to top it off, the workload is only getting larger, as Felix has averaged 117 pitches per start in June.

    Pitch counts aren’t the be all, end all of keeping pitchers healthy. But, they shouldn’t be ignored either. Over the last month or so, as Wak has lost faith in the bullpen, he’s asked Felix and Lee to shoulder a very heaven burden. With the season down the drain, it’s time for the M’s to back off and give their young ace a bit of a rest. The results of the games this year don’t matter anymore, but if Felix blows out his arm, there’s a good chance that the Mariners won’t be playing meaningful baseball next year either.

    It’s in everyone’s best interests to keep Felix healthy, and part of that is keeping his pitch counts reasonable. I’m not advocating yanking him every time he gets to the 100 pitch mark, but it would still be wise to stop sending him out in the 8th or 9th inning when he’s already in triple digits. Let’s save some bullets for next year, eh?

    I’m guessing Dave will expand on this very soon.

  148. msfanmike on July 10th, 2010 10:36 pm

    Cliff fell so madly in love with Seattle that he’s going to take a discount and come to fans that love him.

    I hope you are right bro! Hope can be a wonderful thing … or just another 4-letter word.

  149. King.Dome on July 10th, 2010 10:36 pm

    Farmer – thanks for the link to that article.

  150. Axtell on July 10th, 2010 10:43 pm

    If this hadn’t been his last start before the all-star break there’s now way Felix was going back out there in the ninth. Now with a good long break looming, and Felix showing no signs of fatigue or stress, he went back out and pitched.

  151. 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).

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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?

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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).

  159. 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.

    Semantics

  160. 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 :)

  161. 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.

  162. 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?!

  163. 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.

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

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

    Oh yeah…and the re-broadcasts.

  165. 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? ;)

  166. 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.

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

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

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

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

    … and in respect to “LOST”

    Smoak Monster

  172. 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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