Game 85, Mariners at Athletics

marc w · July 4, 2011 at 10:51 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Happy 4th of July, and happy Pineda day!
Michael Pineda faces the last-place A’s and the 2nd-worst offense in MLB (behind the M’s, of course). He’ll be opposed by twitter superstar Brandon McCarthy, making his first start since May 19th when he went on the DL with a “stress reaction” in his shoulder. Lucky for McCarthy, the M’s bats don’t tend to stress pitchers out too much.

The line-up:
1: Ichiro!
2: Ryan
3: Kennedy (3B)
4: Smoak
5: Ackley
6: Cust
7: Halman (CF)
8: Peguero
9: Bard

No Gutierrez today with a right-hander on the mound for Oakland. Never thought I’d say this, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Halman to allow Gutierrez to rest/build his strength back towards where it was in 2010 (I worry that we may not see the 2009 version for quite some time).

(Edited to correct where the game’s occurring. Oops. First pitch is at 1:05pm)

Comments

57 Responses to “Game 85, Mariners at Athletics”

  1. rjjunior on July 4th, 2011 11:18 am

    Given the current makeup of the roster, this is the best lineup I’ve seen out of Wedgie in quite a while. Sub out Peggie with Guti and you couldn’t do much better.

  2. rightwingrick on July 4th, 2011 11:24 am

    Hope I’m wrong, but Halman looks like he’s back to his minor league ways of swinging at everything with a bend in it off the outer edge of the plate. Reminds me of Jim Presley when he was going bad.

    If Halman keeps going to right field and up the middle, and stays off those sliders off the outer edge, he has a chance. But it looks to me as if he could still use some AAA time at the plate.

  3. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 11:25 am

    I like this line up a lot, I just wish Olivo was back.

  4. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2011 11:29 am

    How many hits does Smoak have since moving into the 4 hole? I know there isn’t a lot of options, but why not switch him and Ackley around? I know they want a good long look at Smoak there, and hope for adjustments, but I’d like to see if Ackley can respond like Olerud in that spot as well.

  5. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2011 11:44 am

    Marc-
    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t the game in Oakland today? I thought about taking the family to Safeco, but when I looked it up it was in Oakland on the M’s website.

  6. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 11:49 am

    MrZ the game is definitely in Oakland today, that’s why I’m not down at Safeco Field right now myself.

  7. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2011 11:53 am

    Also, I’ve said it before, but want to send out a preemptive plea to give Peguero some props when he gets a hit or two…

    Couple nights ago, 2 run single right up the middle, not a peep of “good job, Peggy”… A game where the M’s only have 6 hits, one of which is Peggy’s, a backhanded bitch slap insult about his weak hit…

    We all know he’s not an MVP/All-Star candidate… But if the kid is gonna play, last thing the Mariner world needs is NON-support for a young guy trying his best to be a decent Major League player… Saunders got supported throughout his miserable attempts at playing baseball…

    Carp did nothing, and got laments for being sent back down to Tacoma.

    Peggy contributes, and guys complain… Non stop (Westy– your out there, I know it! *laugh*)…

    We really can’t support this kid, at all?

    He’s putting forth his best effort, and if he reads any local blogs (or hears about them) he gets “doesn’t belong here” messages from his own fans.

    If it all comes down to just his ugliness in the field and at the plate– then by all means, look away… When he makes the catch, look back and say “phew”… Or when he gets a hit, maybe a simple “Thanks kid” (while STILL looking away).

    But the insults are pretty petty (that is, unless, it adds some He-Man super inspiration for him, and he does better because of it– then forget everything I wrote, and keep at it! *laugh*).

    Not trying to argue about his value as a player, at all (it’s limited, we all agree)… But seriously, would it kill us to be pleasant to the kid? Especially if he’s gonna be here awhile?

    (Or at the very least, just take any discomfort with him and pile it on Figgins… Totally deserving. *meh*)

  8. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 12:03 pm

    I gave Peggy props for his hit! I love the big guy and I’d love to see him keep improving to the point where everyone doesn’t shit all over him for messing up in his rookie season.

    Do I think he could benefit from being dipped in a big vat of polish? Of course! But he has the potential to be a decent, roughly .250 avg hitter with a scary amount of power if he keeps focusing on becoming a better player. This season is about letting the kids play, and I’m happy to see Peggy get a chance. Crazier things have happened in baseball than a potential power hitter getting respectable pitch recognition after a season or two at the plate.

  9. robbbbbb on July 4th, 2011 12:09 pm

    This seems like a good time to ask: Is Greg Halman currently a major league player? Yeah, I know, he’s currently sporting a .383 wOBA, but that’s driven in large part by a .481 BABIP.

    The kid’s got speed and a dose of power, and plays good defense. But he’s got atrocious plate discipline, striking out in ~1/3 of his plate appearances and walking in less than 5%.

    It seems like he could currently be okay on a major league roster if he was platooned and/or used as a fourth outfielder/defensive sub. Is that about where he’s at, or is he about to get exposed?

  10. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 12:10 pm

    Halman is getting time to see if he’ll sink or swim, which I think is great. If he closes the holes in his swing he’ll be a pretty decent OF choice for us.

  11. neo-realist on July 4th, 2011 12:15 pm

    The 2010 version of Guti wasn’t all that great-.245 avg. Is the contract of the Pirates McCutchen up soon? He’d look good at the top or in the 3 slot of the Mariner’s batting order and can chase down balls in the outfield with the best of them.

  12. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 12:19 pm

    This is only his third season so I think he’s team controlled for a few more years.

  13. Liam on July 4th, 2011 12:42 pm

    Check back in 2016 on McCutchen.

  14. marc w on July 4th, 2011 12:48 pm

    You’re totally right, MrZ – the game’s in Oakland. Sorry about that!

    Rick,
    Presley’s a decent comparison, I guess. I think Halman’s got a lot more natural talent, but you’re clearly right about his free swinging. The K against Spence yesterday was one of the uglier ones I’ve seen this year.
    Still, he’s made some progress this year and I keep hoping there’s more growth in there. Presley’s career arc is almost Jose Lopez-esque – he never got better, and was well and truly terrible by the time he was 26. I still cannot fathom how he got a job as a major league hitting instructor.

  15. Westside guy on July 4th, 2011 12:50 pm

    Given the current makeup of the roster, this is the best lineup I’ve seen out of Wedgie in quite a while. Sub out Peggie with Guti and you couldn’t do much better.

    Yeah given Guti’s apparent health problems, I think I’d rather see Peguero at the plate than him. But Peggy gives it back out in the field.

    Personally I’d really prefer the following top of the order:

    Ichiro!
    Ackley
    Smoak
    Cust
    Kennedy

    Might want to switch #3 and #5 though.

    Peggy contributes, and guys complain… Non stop (Westy– your out there, I know it! *laugh*)…

    Unfortunately I haven’t got to watch most of these recent games in real time. So I pop into the thread before the games most of the time, but have had to run errands (or mow the lawn, or whatever) while you guys are enjoying the game. :-D

    Carp did nothing, and got laments for being sent back down to Tacoma.

    Carp got exactly 35 at bats. Peguero had 51 in his sucky May alone.

  16. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 1:01 pm

    Is there any chance that Pineda gets King Felix’s spot at the ASG since he pitches Sunday and therefore can’t pitch Tuesday?

  17. jordan on July 4th, 2011 1:03 pm

    I know I’m beating a dead horse, but what the hell is up with Bill’s keys to the game? He just comes up with clever ways to say this…

    1. Starting pitcher pitch well
    2. Opponent pitcher pitch bad
    3. Win

    If those three things happen, we’ll be alright

  18. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 1:09 pm

    The camera angle from behind the mound bugs me for some reason, it seems off-center.

  19. marc w on July 4th, 2011 1:43 pm

    ibuprofen – yes, there is a chance. Felix isn’t the only ASG pitcher who’ll be going on Sunday, so there will be a few names added. Not sure who’ll be doing the selecting.

  20. greentunic on July 4th, 2011 1:53 pm

    How is it that I feel we are a worse offensive team than the worst offensive team?

  21. megatunnage on July 4th, 2011 1:59 pm

    Yaaaaay Ichiro! Way to break up that no hitter. Now to break up the shutout…

  22. megatunnage on July 4th, 2011 2:00 pm

    Hmm, that’s not how you go about doing that…

  23. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2011 2:12 pm

    Warning Track Jack stranding Slow Poke Smoak in no man’s land… DAMN! I thought we had a tie game.

    Nice try, guys.

  24. Breadbaker on July 4th, 2011 2:18 pm

    If it’s Ron Washington who decides, guess where he plays next? So he can decide which game he wants to face Pineda.

  25. marc w on July 4th, 2011 2:25 pm

    BARDO!!!

  26. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2011 2:27 pm

    Whoomp! There Bard is…! (We needed that…)

  27. marc w on July 4th, 2011 2:29 pm

    Greentunic – no, we ARE the worst offensive team. Oakland’s 2nd. I look at the A’s (and Padres) and think that there’s no way the M’s are that bad, but that feeling fades after a few innings.

    To be fair, the M’s *could* be better if Ackley continues his early pace and if either Halman or Gutierrez beat the anemic pace set by the combo of Guti/Mike Saunders in CF. I’ve sort of given up on LF.

    Of course, the A’s upgrades in Sizemore and Weeks are great bets to improve their teams too. I’m still not convinced Chris Carter is good enough to be a quality MLB 1B/LF, but there are some scouts who love his bat.

  28. MrZDevotee on July 4th, 2011 2:38 pm

    Go Justin- It’s America’s Birthday!

    Nice rip, baby.

  29. lalo on July 4th, 2011 2:38 pm

    Smoak!!!

  30. jazzman on July 4th, 2011 2:52 pm

    I have been impressed with Peguero and Halman at this level. They have made adjustments while playing in the bigs, a very difficult task. They should be commended, as should coach Chambliss. Sure, the traits that have produced too many strikeouts appear on occasion, but overall there is progress, and we are learning about what we have with our young players, the main objective this season.

  31. Hopmacker on July 4th, 2011 2:53 pm

    wOBA wRC+ WAR

    Cust .322 105 0.2

    Peguero .285 80 -0.2

    MrZDevotee….I can understand the fanboyhood for Peguero. But fair is fair….why rag on Cust when by all measures he is contributing well above Peguero as well as performing at league average while Carlos is seemingly well below league average.

    I just don’t buy the “he is out there, let’s root for him because he is our guy” argument, especially when you give it and then turn and rag Cust.

  32. naviomelo on July 4th, 2011 3:07 pm

    Replacement level is not league average.

  33. Hopmacker on July 4th, 2011 3:13 pm

    In any case Cust is performing significantly higher than Peguero.

  34. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 3:21 pm

    Nice to see Smoak start hitting again.

  35. henryv on July 4th, 2011 3:25 pm

    Replacement level is not league average.

    League average is a WAR of 1 or something like that.

    However, it’s a weird calculation, given movement throughout. It’s probably less than that, given that the league average is obviously 81 wins.

    Brief interlude: That at-bat sucked, Cust. Nice job not doing shit.

    Anyways, replacement level is 50 runs, therefore the league average for a roster would be 31 WAR for a year. I’d guess that the average team has 35 players on it throughout the year, maybe a little more. So, I suppose the league average WAR would be somewhere closer to 0.8.

    Basically, higher than the M’s team average. :)

  36. Hopmacker on July 4th, 2011 3:25 pm

    WAR deals with repalcement level. wOBA has a league average of .321 (using 2010 numbers) and wRC+ has a league average of 100 by definition.

  37. tubbabubba22 on July 4th, 2011 3:30 pm

    All numbers aside… That is one reason I dislike a lot of Jack Cust’s at bats.

    Runners on first and third, 1 out and he is supposed to be our power hitter. He literally looks at 3 straight fastballs on the corner. And goes down looking. What the frick is he thinking on that 0-2 pitch? You gotta protect at that point.

  38. henryv on July 4th, 2011 3:31 pm

    wOBA has a league average of .321 (using 2010 numbers)

    Does this include pitchers? This seems pretty low.

  39. Jay R. on July 4th, 2011 3:33 pm

    Happy 4th, everyone. Spent most of the game on the road, but have settled in to see the 9th at least. Still need more offense to help this staff out. They are just pitching their guts out every day. Of course, playing the Padres and the As helps too =)

    I really like the new tradition marketing decision of the special holiday hats. It is a blantant money grab, but they look cool!

    And ugh. I hope Matsui doesn’t drive a dagger into us again.

  40. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 3:36 pm

    Please no extras, I want to go outside and enjoy the sun.

  41. Ibuprofen on July 4th, 2011 3:37 pm

    Almost back to mediocrity!

  42. lalo on July 4th, 2011 3:38 pm

    Well done League!!

  43. henryv on July 4th, 2011 3:40 pm

    Brendan Ryan is a genius: “If we keep them to 3 hits or less, we’ve got a good chance to win.”

    “Execution is always key… we gotta be fundamental.”

  44. Breadbaker on July 4th, 2011 3:42 pm

    I suspect that when his playing days are over, Brendan’s going to be in the booth.

  45. TherzAlwaysHope on July 4th, 2011 4:30 pm

    Brendan Ryan is a genius: “If we keep them to 3 hits or less, we’ve got a good chance to win.”

    Ryan has rye sense of humor. Remember his estimation how long he was in a rundown. ‘Had to be a minute and a half; that’s how long it takes Smoak to get to second.’

  46. groundzero55 on July 4th, 2011 4:38 pm

    Given the current makeup of the roster, this is the best lineup I’ve seen out of Wedgie in quite a while. Sub out Peggie with Guti and you couldn’t do much better.

    We need offense more than anything else right now, and Peguero has had a better offensive season than Guti, period. It’s not even arguable, sadly. I want my old Guti back.

    Carp got exactly 35 at bats. Peguero had 51 in his sucky May alone.

    ESPN shows Peguero with 48 at-bats in May, not 51, with 3 walks. Half his eight hits went for extra bases and he had as many RBI as hits (an interesting factoid). Carp shows 35 at-bats with 6 walks, 7 hits and no home runs or RBI. Carp is clearly a more patient, professional hitter but showed much less pop…and less flair for the dramatic.

  47. Westside guy on July 4th, 2011 5:56 pm

    ESPN shows Peguero with 48 at-bats in May, not 51, with 3 walks.

    Fangraphs lists him as having 51 plate appearances, which is the number I used – but you’re right, that’s 48 official at bats because of the walks. Apologies for using the wrong terminology. That doesn’t affect my basic argument, though (and I realize you’re not necessarily arguing otherwise, just correcting my numbers).

    I ended up not watching the game – I was digging weeds the whole time, and when I came in I couldn’t resist peeking at the final result. Doesn’t look like one I want to watch now… ;-)

    According to mlb.com, Wedge pinch-hit Guti for Peggy. You all know I’m not a Peguero fan, but – WTF? Was there some logic behind that move that’s not listed in the play by play?

  48. Westside guy on July 4th, 2011 6:05 pm

    BTW this is weird… Fangraphs shows Carp with 42 PAs in June now. I would swear it listed 35 when I looked it up yesterday.

  49. ck on July 4th, 2011 6:22 pm

    ‘peeping’ Jack Cust is a bad DH. Sometimes, especially if a man is on third with one out, the DH should try to put the ball in play.
    Let Olivio DH against lefties, with Bard catching, and Kennedy and anyone else DH against righties.

  50. groundzero55 on July 4th, 2011 6:37 pm

    According to mlb.com, Wedge pinch-hit Guti for Peggy. You all know I’m not a Peguero fan, but – WTF? Was there some logic behind that move that’s not listed in the play by play?

    Unless it was some sort of matchup type of thing, I don’t see any other reason for it. Was it to get Guti’s defense into the game to preserve the lead?

  51. Westside guy on July 4th, 2011 6:59 pm

    Unless it was some sort of matchup type of thing, I don’t see any other reason for it. Was it to get Guti’s defense into the game to preserve the lead?

    Ah, I missed the second pitching change. Thank you.

    Still… Guti? ;-)

  52. Westside guy on July 4th, 2011 7:03 pm

    ‘peeping’ Jack Cust is a bad DH. Sometimes, especially if a man is on third with one out, the DH should try to put the ball in play.

    According to the box score, there were two outs at that point (Cust at bat, Smoak at third, Kennedy and Ackley had both made outs). Cust walked, then Halman struck out to end the inning.

    Oh, wait – it apparently happened again in the 9th… that’s what you’re talking about. But there was a guy on first, so you have to worry about the DP too.

  53. davepaisley on July 5th, 2011 12:18 am

    Still… Guti? ;-)

    Yeah, what were they thinking? Should have gone to Albert Pujols – oh wait, we’re fresh out of those on the bench…

  54. Westside guy on July 5th, 2011 1:11 am

    Yeah, what were they thinking? Should have gone to Albert Pujols – oh wait, we’re fresh out of those on the bench…

    I went down the roster, thinking there HAD to be someone, anyone other than Guti… and you know who was the best option I could come up with?

    Jack Wilson. Yes, .226/.252/.250 hitting Jack Wilson.

    Oh man, this team makes my head hurt sometimes…

  55. gwangung on July 5th, 2011 9:12 am

    ‘peeping’ Jack Cust is a bad DH. Sometimes, especially if a man is on third with one out, the DH should try to put the ball in play.

    Um, no.

    The FIRST thing you think about is NOT TO MAKE AN OUT.

    The second thing to do is NOT TO MAKE AN OUT.

    The third—

    Anyway….not making an out increases your chance of making runs; making an out decreases it. That simple.

  56. eponymous coward on July 5th, 2011 11:33 am

    Um, no.
    The FIRST thing you think about is NOT TO MAKE AN OUT.
    The second thing to do is NOT TO MAKE AN OUT.
    The third—
    Anyway….not making an out increases your chance of making runs; making an out decreases it. That simple.

    But, um… “productive outs”! We need gritty ballplayers who make outs on weak grounders, not people who walk!

    Hey, Jose Lopez is available! And he NEVER walks! And he doesn’t strike out! He hits lots of weak grounders on bad pitches!

    It’s like Bill James and the last three decades of sabremetrics never existed- you’re a bad DH if you take a walk.

  57. Ralph_Malph on July 5th, 2011 1:57 pm

    Ryan has rye sense of humor.

    Put some mustard on that rye and you could make yourself a grand salami.

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