Game 99, Mariners at Redsox

marc w · July 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. John Lackey, 4:10 PDT.

After being swept aside by the 4th place team in the AL East, the M’s arrive in Boston to face a team with a wOBA of .354. The only Mariners with a wOBA that high are Dustin Ackley and Doug Fister.

As you all know, the M’s have lost 12 in a row, and I’m sure reactions to the streak differ from fan to fan. Jeff Sullivan says that losing 12 in a row has made each successive game more captivating – that a win wouldn’t just be a meaningless win in a lost season, it would feel like an accomplishment. Others may be secretly (or not so secretly) hoping that the streak continues; if the team isn’t going to win, the least it can do is lose grandly. While it might be hard for some to justify rooting against the Mariners, the line-ups they’ve trotted out must give even the die-hards pause. I’m not big on “true fan” debates; the pointless and often heated arguments wherein one group of baseball fans spews venom on another for enjoying the game in all the wrong ways. If you’re still here after the past two years, you’re a fan. If you think an epic losing streak is more likely to produce meaningful change in the future, great. If you want Felix to destroy and demoralize the Red Sox hitters because he’s Felix and they’re the Red Sox, yeah, that’d be nice too.

The M’s may find themselves in what’s going to have to pass as a decent match-up. No, I know, the Mariners are still playing, so I’m not going to push this too far, but the Red Sox are starting John Lackey, owner of a 4.71 FIP on the year and an RA near 7. Lackey’s fastball has gone from a solid pitch to a liability. He’s walking more lefties, and his walk rate against righties is a bit misleading: he’s already tied his career high in hit-by-pitches, with 9 of 12 coming against righties. That pushes his walk rate vs. righties from around 7.3% to 10.6%.

He’s using his slider more this year, and while it’s not as effective as it once was, it’s still been his best pitch in terms of generating whiffs. When the M’s faced him in late April, they ran out a lefty-heavy line-up, but he handled it fairly well, yielding 2 runs in 6 innings. In that contest, he threw a blizzard of curves to the M’s lefties, and while he gave up walks, that was about all he gave up. Of course, there’s not a lot whole lot to glean from a game in which Lackey faced Mike Saunders, Milton Bradley, Ryan Langerhans and Jack Wilson. Guys like Carp and Ackley can probably expect a steady diet of curves and change-ups, and the right handers will see quite a few sliders.

But if they can be patient, they’ll see Lackey’s fastball, which now has so little arm-side run that the Pitch FX algorithm classifies it as a cutter. Now, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but you’d think if he was intentionally throwing his FB this way he’d just, you know, stop. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever you call it, the 90mph thing that he throws hasn’t been good, and the M’s (especially the lefties) need to jump on it. Justin Smoak, if you’re still in there somewhere, give me a sign. Blink twice if you can understand me.

The line-up:
1: Ichiro?
2: Ryan
3: Ackley
4: Olivo
5: Kennedy
6: Smoak
7: Carp (LF)
8: Cust (DH)
9: Halman (CF)

Comments

77 Responses to “Game 99, Mariners at Redsox”

  1. huskies2010 on July 22nd, 2011 1:53 pm

    Are you saying “Ichiro?” because you’re not sure if he’s starting, or because you think he might’ve been replaced by an body-snatching alien who has no idea how to play baseball?

  2. The_Waco_Kid on July 22nd, 2011 2:17 pm

    Who’s Cust? Is this a new prospect?

  3. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 2:21 pm

    I’ve always loved Fenway. It is a perfect park for Ackley, don’t be surprised to see him hit a couple HR’s during the series, especially with that short porch in RF. Hopefully Smoak can also break his powerless slump too.

  4. visbea on July 22nd, 2011 2:34 pm

    Marc, you’re killin me with the “blink twice” regarding Smoak…gave me a good laugh. But it is so true.

  5. Dave Spiwak on July 22nd, 2011 2:46 pm

    If there was a ray of hope in the Toronto series it was that the M’s actually out-hit and, gasp, out-homered the Jays. What was really exasperating was getting beaten not once but twice by the dyanamic duo of Davis and MacDonald – two defensive specialists.

  6. Jordan on July 22nd, 2011 2:53 pm

    Based on the current mostly AAAA roster, how would this lineup improve?

  7. groundzero55 on July 22nd, 2011 2:56 pm

    This is probably the best offensive lineup we could put together with the current players.

  8. mln on July 22nd, 2011 3:06 pm

    With Felix pitching vs. Lackey, this is a dangerous game for the Mariners.

    They might actually eek out a win and thus blow their chance for baseball immortality.

    Only 12 more losses to go.

  9. davepaisley on July 22nd, 2011 4:02 pm

    eke
    you’re welcome
    (unless you meant you’re frightened by mice)

  10. wilchiro on July 22nd, 2011 4:16 pm

    Ichiro just notched a hit, and then stole two bases…obviously he’s figured it out.

  11. wilchiro on July 22nd, 2011 4:17 pm

    ACKLEY!

  12. Jordan on July 22nd, 2011 4:17 pm

    2011 Mariners: Runner on 3rd no outs? So what.

    Ackley strikes again!

  13. pgreyy on July 22nd, 2011 4:18 pm

    Well, the offense’s work is done for the night.

    Hope it’ll be enough for Felix to earn himself a win!

  14. heychuck01 on July 22nd, 2011 4:25 pm

    Smoak really looks lost up there :(

  15. wilchiro on July 22nd, 2011 4:26 pm

    Something is really wrong with Justin Smoak…please send him down to the minors for a few days….seriously, a .302 OPS in the last month?

  16. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 4:27 pm

    Is it too early to call Smoak a bust? You hardly ever see great players, or prospects struggle like this, even early in their career.

  17. lalo on July 22nd, 2011 4:31 pm

    Is it too early to call Smoak a bust? You hardly ever see great players, or prospects struggle like this, even early in their career.

    I heard he has problems with the thumb, and this could be the problem with his swing too…

  18. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2011 4:31 pm

    A couple days ago, someone tweeted (ugh) some vague comment about Smoak’s thumb. I’m not sure if they pulled that out of their… hat, or if there really is something wrong with Smoak’s thumb – anyone have more info than that?

  19. kenshabby on July 22nd, 2011 4:33 pm

    I want Felix to destroy and demoralize the Red Sox hitters, but then I want the M’s to lose in extra innings on a silly fielding error.

  20. pgreyy on July 22nd, 2011 4:35 pm

    Hope it’ll be enough for Felix to earn himself a win!

    Nope.

  21. grjm300 on July 22nd, 2011 4:35 pm

    this is our lineup. right here. Pass or fail – stick with it.

  22. Paul B on July 22nd, 2011 4:40 pm

    Is it too early to call Smoak a bust?

    Yes. Yes it is.

    You hardly ever see great players, or prospects struggle like this, even early in their career.

    You sure?

    Dave Henderson hit .167 in 145 PA in his first season. Just the first guy I thought to check.

  23. HamNasty on July 22nd, 2011 4:45 pm

    Also on the Smoak issue I know a lot of fans gave Jose Lopez a pass for a half year his brother passed away. Smoak might be struggling with his dad passing.
    Smoak does look a little off lately though, not squaring anything up.

  24. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 4:46 pm

    Why the hell do players insist on diving into first? IT SLOWS YOU DOWN MORONS!!!!!

  25. Paul B on July 22nd, 2011 4:46 pm

    Maybe Olivo will hit another homer to make up for today’s passed ball.

  26. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 4:47 pm

    I’m going to be honest, I’m root for the M’s to lose 2-1 in 9 innings, with another walk off hit (after Felix leaves, of course). I want to see this team push towards 20 losses in a row.

    If we’re going to be bad, we need to do it right. None of this “pretty bad” stuff. I’m talking like WSU football bad.

  27. HamNasty on July 22nd, 2011 4:53 pm

    We are already looking at a top 5-6 pick… I am ok with winning a few games.

  28. lalo on July 22nd, 2011 4:58 pm

    The only problem with this, is that Jack Z could be fired at the end of the season, and would be a HUGE mistake!

  29. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 4:59 pm

    ^ Yeah, well, I’m greedy, I want the #1 pick.

  30. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 4:59 pm

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is game.

  31. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 5:00 pm

    The only problem with this, is that Jack Z could be fired at the end of the season, and would be a HUGE mistake!

    Seattle Mariners baseball…. a huge mistake.

    Kinda rolls of the tongue.

  32. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 5:01 pm

    Holly infield hit. They have like 3 or 4 already, this is getting annoying.

  33. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 5:05 pm

    Is it just me, or does Ackley, look like Pedroia? They could definitely pass as brothers.

  34. Dave Spiwak on July 22nd, 2011 5:08 pm

    Way to go Brendan, AKA Mini-Wedge.

  35. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 5:26 pm

    Is it just me, or does Ackley, look like Pedroia? They could definitely pass as brothers.

    I had this exact same thought, earlier, too.

    Plus, same position, similar hitters, future of the organization, blah blah blah.

  36. NBarnes on July 22nd, 2011 5:48 pm

    Is it too early to call Smoak a bust? You hardly ever see great players, or prospects struggle like this, even early in their career.

    Go to B-ref.com and check out how Boston’s starting 2nd baseman started out his career.

  37. SonOfZavaras on July 22nd, 2011 5:49 pm

    Is it just me, or does Ackley, look like Pedroia? They could definitely pass as brothers.

    I agree, but I also think Pedroia- and actually every Red Sox player under the age of 26- looks a lot like the mechanics at my neighborhood car shop (the ones that just got me for $500…grrr.)!

  38. SonOfZavaras on July 22nd, 2011 5:59 pm

    Four double-plays. Jeez. If Felix gets this win, I think he owes the entire infield steak dinners.

  39. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:00 pm

    Four double-plays. Jeez. If Felix gets this win, I think he owes the entire infield steak dinners.

    That’s assuming that the M’s can score at least two more runs…..

  40. Breadbaker on July 22nd, 2011 6:08 pm

    “First double for Ichiro since June 17.” Just letting that thought sink in.

  41. bostock4ever on July 22nd, 2011 6:19 pm

    Is Felix sporting a mohawk under that hat? How long has he had that?
    Way cool!

  42. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:23 pm

    Bakers dozen, woot!!!!!!!!

  43. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:25 pm

    2 more in Boston, 3 in NY, and then Tampa at home for three…. Do the M’s win another game before August?

  44. Sports on a Schtick on July 22nd, 2011 6:25 pm

    Brilliant idea to bring out Felix for the 7th. I understand the bullpen is a little tired but that outcome was completely predictable.

  45. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:27 pm

    Seriously, why even bother moving the infield in?

    I never thought I would utter these words this season, but what the hell is wrong with our pitching?

  46. Ibuprofen on July 22nd, 2011 6:27 pm

    13! 13 straight losses! Ah ah ah!

  47. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:28 pm

    Time to go mow the lawn.

  48. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:30 pm

    Remember how before this challenging stretch of games we said “Well these next few series will give us a good indication of where we are as a team.” Well, now we know.

  49. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 6:33 pm

    This team is bad.

    As in like Houston Astros bad.

    Wow.

  50. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:35 pm

    “This team sucks so bad………”

  51. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:38 pm

    The sad thing is, I actually spent $200 on Extra Innings so I could watch this team.

  52. Breadbaker on July 22nd, 2011 6:39 pm

    Olivo is leading by example. Is anyone following?

  53. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:41 pm

    After what we as fans have put up with lately, we deserve the #1 pick.

    Baseball needs a draft lottery, and pick trading as well.

  54. henryv on July 22nd, 2011 6:42 pm

    Baseball needs a draft lottery, and pick trading as well.

    No, baseball needs a promotion/religation system like the EPL. That way the M’s can play with similar caliber organizations down at AAA or AA.

  55. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:45 pm

    CARP!!!!!!!

  56. Breadbaker on July 22nd, 2011 6:45 pm

    The Fish delivers!

  57. Ibuprofen on July 22nd, 2011 6:45 pm

    CARP!

  58. lalo on July 22nd, 2011 6:46 pm

    I like Mike Carp, he just earned playing time for the rest of the season…

  59. Breadbaker on July 22nd, 2011 6:46 pm

    he just earned playing time for the rest of the season…

    Haven’t we already learned that playing time is earned in batting practice, not during games?

  60. Sports on a Schtick on July 22nd, 2011 6:47 pm

    No, baseball needs a promotion/religation system like the EPL. That way the M’s can play with similar caliber organizations down at AAA or AA.

    LOL, that would be hilarious.

    The 2012 draft isn’t even looking that great.

    Ahahaha Carp

  61. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:47 pm

    What is an EPL?

  62. SonOfZavaras on July 22nd, 2011 6:48 pm

    Crikey. I thought Cust had gotten all of that.

  63. Swungonandbelted on July 22nd, 2011 6:48 pm

    English Premier League (soccer)…worst team to finish the season gets relegated down to the league below it, and another team gets promoted to the EPL…

  64. Breadbaker on July 22nd, 2011 6:48 pm

    English Premier League. Technically, that’s just the top of the English soccer food chain and promotion/relegation predates the establishment of the EPL.

  65. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 6:50 pm

    Outside of the World Cup, who cares about soccer?

  66. SonOfZavaras on July 22nd, 2011 6:50 pm

    At least we got a Fish Bomb, finally. I think I’m officially rooting for Carp.

    It’s gotta be tough living with a last name like that, where one typing mistake and you become “excrement”.

  67. lalo on July 22nd, 2011 6:54 pm

    English Premier League (soccer)…worst team to finish the season gets relegated down to the league below it, and another team gets promoted to the EPL…

    Would they accept travel in bus around the country? Because there aren´t airplanes in second division in Barclays League

  68. bostock4ever on July 22nd, 2011 6:59 pm

    Welcome back Josh Lueke

  69. lalo on July 22nd, 2011 7:00 pm

    He touched 97, good splitter, good location, good sign…

  70. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 7:02 pm

    Lueke was impressive. And who would have though that we would have scored 4+ runs in 4 straight games, and yet lost all 4? I get so damn jelous whenever I see another team hit well against us. And looking at the Red Sox lineup just screams for a salary cap.

  71. Ichirolling51 on July 22nd, 2011 7:05 pm

    On a side not, what’s Brandon League doing these days?

  72. SonOfZavaras on July 22nd, 2011 7:08 pm

    Sigh. Thirteen.

    Blake Beavan, you have any stopper fluid in you?

  73. UnderTheClouds on July 22nd, 2011 7:14 pm

    I wonder if in future years, M’s fans will just refer to this as “The Streak?”

  74. UnderTheClouds on July 22nd, 2011 7:18 pm

    Losing is bad enough, but losing notoriously is what really stinks. I gotta hear announcers gloat about it in disbelief while watching other games. At this point, I’d be so, so happy for a quiet, under-the-radar, build-for-the-future season.

  75. henryv on July 23rd, 2011 12:08 am

    Would they accept travel in bus around the country? Because there aren´t airplanes in second division in Barclays League

    The country practically isn’t big enough for a whole airport anyways.

    Seriously, though, very few teams in the EPL actually fly. Portsmouth to Sunderland might be flight-worthy, but that is still WAY less miles than Seattle to Oakland.

    I bet you it would take you just as long to jump on a bus and go nearly anywhere as compared to security and all the BS associated with getting on a plane.

    On a side not, what’s Brandon League doing these days?

    Saving himself for his appearances in the NL central or AL east?

  76. regnaD kciN on July 23rd, 2011 1:43 am

    Seriously, though, very few teams in the EPL actually fly. Portsmouth to Sunderland might be flight-worthy, but that is still WAY less miles than Seattle to Oakland.

    And Portsmouth isn’t even in the EPL anymore…they got Marinered relegated to the second division before last season.

  77. Jordan on July 23rd, 2011 11:09 am

    Outside of the World Cup, who cares about soccer?

    Well, apparently 67,052 cared enough to watch ManU defeat the Sounder’s C squad 7-0. But, you’re right no one cares.

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