Game 103, Mariners at Yankees

marc w · July 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Doug Fister versus CC Sabathia, 4:05 PDT

We got this one, you guys.

Sure, it looks like a mismatch on paper, with Sabathia having one of his best seasons and with the Yankees trotting out an elite offense. But the M’s were given the afternoon off by the kinder, gentler, less-hairy Eric Wedge, and they’ve had time to spend some time in a great city and put their current 16 game losing streak in perspective. After checking out the MOMA, will relievers face crippling self-doubt when facing the middle of the Yankee order in high-leverage situations? Maybe, but I doubt it.

The line-up:
1: Ichiro
2: Ryan
3: Ackley
4: Olivo
5: Smoak
6: Gutierrez
7: Carp
8: Halman
9: Figgins

Assuming the Yankees go down quickly and quietly, you’ll have time to check out the Rainiers who return home tonight to take on Sacramento at 7:05. James Paxton takes the hill for Jackson today, but the biggest MiLB story of the day concerns 2010 2nd round pick Marcus Littlewood. Drafted as a SS, the M’s have moved him to the catcher spot, and he’s already working with Roger Hansen. Expect one of the classic stories about the difficulty of Hansen’s workouts and how willing-to-learn Littlewood’s been.


110 Responses to “Game 103, Mariners at Yankees”

  1. UnderTheClouds on July 26th, 2011 11:50 pm

    Random thought, but I can’t wait to see this fall’s open letter to ticket holders from Lincoln and, I presume, Zdurencik.

  2. cjseattle on July 27th, 2011 12:04 am

    Any discussion of Ichiro and the nagging feeling that he could have used his amazing skills to produce more compelling offense has to include Joe Posnanski’s article on Ichiro and Nolan Ryan. In it, Pos compares Nolan Ryan’s amazing strikeout ability, and then looks at Ryan’s terrible walk rates, stolen bases allowed, fielding, wild pitches…and it adds up to mediocre ERA+.

    For Ichiro, he looks at his prolific singles, and then talks about his unimpressive OBP, lack of power, etc.

    I love Ichiro, and I don’t care that he’s not a visible leader like Felix or community leader like Jamie Moyer. I love his odd sense of humor, his awesome personal style, and his ridiculous beer commercials.

    Some of the reality about him, though, is if his singles start to dry up (bad luck? weaker grounders? degrading eyesight? who knows?), he’s just not that great of an offensive threat.

    Can he change that? Ichiro might not even know. His style is unchanged in the past 20 years.

  3. mdccclxix on July 27th, 2011 12:49 am

    I know Zdurencik appears to know what he’s doing, and hopefully the drafting and youth movement works out, but I’m really sour on his results in constructing an offense this year. Just putrid. I know Milton failed (who didn’t see that coming?) and Figgins was a total bomb, but he needs to get the blame for this. For the M’s not to be selling League, Bedard, Vargus and Fister for better hitting is crazy. You can pick up scrap heap pitchers every year that will perform in Seattle. I have to wonder what Z will do to put a winner on the field in 2012. . .

  4. Auggeydog on July 27th, 2011 1:03 am

    mdccclxix This team really had no chance of winning this year, even when they were 43 and 43. They had too many holes from the past. So you think the guys we have that are performing at an OK to good level we should trade for what? Do they have more value now or later? I doubt if we get an offer that is a good value we pass on it. What was said about League could be posturing, who knows. But there are so many people that are giving up on him after 2 years, I don’t see it. How long did it take Bavasi to ruin the the system? If he can fill the holes next year and put a competitive team on the field would that change your mind? I understand that if need be the Owners will raise the payroll to fill in the holes. Why don’t we give Jack another year to see what he can do. I do not see 2 years as enough of a sample size to make an opinion. He might be Bavasi 2.0 but I doubt it.

  5. bongo on July 27th, 2011 3:21 am

    Talking about elephants in the room — I am on the verge of losing confidence in Eric Wedge. I realize that the roster of hitters that Z gave him is not great, but Wedge has not done the best with what he has been given. For example, if you look at the stats, we would probably have a better chance to win with Cust and Kennedy in the lineup than Guti and Figgins.

  6. SonOfZavaras on July 27th, 2011 4:27 am

    For the M’s not to be selling League, Bedard, Vargus and Fister for better hitting is crazy.

    The better hitting is being said to be not available, time and again. You seem to think it’s just out there, and waiting for someone with the nerve to pull a trigger. It’s not- as of July 27th, anyway. Seriously, MLB GMs are acting like they’re protecting South African krugerand gold or something.

    Guys like Colby Rasmus (largely unproven) and Hunter Pence (proven) are going for half a farm system each.

    And Zduriencik isn’t going to give up more value to get less. He’s said it before, many times: he will not make a deal that hurts the club just for the sake of looking like he’s trying to do something.

    That’s just the way it is, all we can do is hope that this is a multi-player version of “General Manager Chicken”- and we can nab something nice for our pieces in the end.

  7. Westside guy on July 27th, 2011 9:36 am

    Some of the reality about him, though, is if his singles start to dry up (bad luck? weaker grounders? degrading eyesight? who knows?), he’s just not that great of an offensive threat.

    Unfortunately it’s hard to argue with this point. Ichiro defied aging for a long time, and I always hoped he would continue to do so for another decade – unrealistic, but possible if he had a secret identity as a baseball playing robot from the secret underground research facility run by the Orix Group.

  8. mdccclxix on July 27th, 2011 9:40 am

    Fair enough, guys. Every GM should get more than 2 years. However, this horrible losing streak should wake up some people in the front office about what it really takes to win in Seattle. Signing Figgins, a slap hitter, had an appealing angle, yet is that what you want from your 3b? As he ages? If Ackley was the future at 2b, Figgins was what? I know you can’t count on draftees to pan out, and you don’t sign guys to FA contracts to become awful, but it’s been mismanaged.

    Also, I think there are guys like Carp that litter the minor leagues, who may be split heavy or somehow flawed, but building an outfield that can OPS north of .586 should be do-able. If there is an area to improve, it’s scouting the minors, and scouting your own team so you’re able to bail on Saunders earlier, or bring up Carp earlier, etc.

    Overall, I have found it somewhat cruel of Jack Z to have done very little to improve the offense when the team was responding to being given next to nothing offensively with a spirited first half. It just seems cruel, if not inept. Especially after last years offensive showing.

    As for the trade market being thin on batters due to them being overvalued, I agree. It’s also not the best pitching market since most teams are doing okay there. Nevertheless, the M’s have some chips and it’s up to Jack Z to improve the team. If not by trade then by FA pickup’s and scouting the minors better.

  9. mdccclxix on July 27th, 2011 9:52 am

    Speaking of Rasmus, he’s going to the Blue Jays for

    A trade of Rasmus to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Dotel, and Rzepczynski is imminent, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He says an announcement could come early this afternoon.

    The M’s could’ve come off 3-4 pitchers of the same ilk. It’s a shame.

  10. eponymous coward on July 27th, 2011 10:35 am

    If he has a decline like this next year, I would say his pride leads him to retirement and a year or two back in Japan.

    I tend to agree. I would not be shocked if it happens after the end of this season, even. What does he have left to prove here?

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