Game 115, Mariners at Rangers
Happy Pineda day!
Pineda vs. Ogando, 5:05pm
A great pitching match-up is mighty useful to ameliorate the pain of a lost season, and, at least on paper, this one’s basically oxycontin. I’m not looking forward to watching Ogando face this line-up, but we can hope he’s wearing down after passing the 130 IP mark in his last start. Not that there’s any evidence of that, mind you – his velocity’s pretty consistent, he had a good July (and one start in August) statistically. Fundamentally, I’d just like a well-pitched game after last night’s walk-fest, and if the defense wouldn’t mind playing up to their potential, that’d be nice too. I don’t feel like I’m asking a lot.
He’s 1-0 against the M’s this year, yielding 1 run in 12 innings, on 7 hits, 3 walks and 10 Ks. On the plus side, the M’s have changed so thoroughly since he last saw them in May that these small sample results are worth even less than the nothing they’d ordinarily fetch. 7 of his 10 Ks came against Mike Saunders and Ryan Langerhans! I’ve pretty much forgotten that Langerhans played on this year’s team.
What I’m looking for from Pineda hasn’t really changed since his first MLB start against the Rangers back in April: I’d like to see him use his change to give the lefties something else to look for. The results of this particular game aren’t as meaningful as evidence of Pineda’s evolution as a pitcher. This will be Pineda’s third start against Texas – they know what he throws, and he knows most of these hitters. Now what? Can he still throw his FB by them? Will he still throw lefties his slider? Has the change-up been shelved?
With a righty on the hill, temperatures near 100 degrees and Trayvon Robinson on the team, I’d have thought this’d be a perfect day to rest Franklin Gutierrez. The M’s don’t agree, as they seem to operate under the theory that the best way for an enervated player to build up his strength is to put him in absurdly hot weather and have him chase down fly balls and run the bases. This seems so illogical, so…sweat-lodgical. I would point out that the M’s weren’t too bad at getting him a day off or two while Saunders and Halman were still around, and it seemed to help Guti.
4: Carp (1B)
5: Kennedy (DH)
The Rainiers are facing Texas’ AAA affiliate in Round Rock right now, and they’ve added prospect IF Carlos Triunfel. The SS takes Luis Rodriguez’s spot on the roster. Gabe Noriega moves from High Desert to Jackson to replace Triunfel. Carlos has had a solid year, but we’re still waiting for a real breakout. Playing in the video-game-like PCL might help his stats, but we’ll have to wait and see if he’s able to MLB pitching. I’m still somewhat bearish on the guy, but I would love him to prove me wrong. The M’s could really use a decent back-up to Brendan Ryan next year, and if Triunfel wants to lay a claim to that spot, beautiful. He should play for the Rainiers tonight in Round Rock at 5pm; the game also marks Forrest Snow’s AAA starting debut.