Game 154, Mariners at Twins

marc w · September 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Jason Vargas vs. Liam Hendriks, 5:10pm

The M’s scored 12 runs yesterday to post one of the more unlikely blowout wins in recent memory. Now they head to Minnesota to face the abysmal Twins in a match-up of the two worst offenses in baseball. I’m getting a bit tired of chronicling the M’s offensive futility (which is why yesterday’s win was so welcome) just as we’re all a bit tired of watching it. So I wanted to talk about the fielding column on the WAR chart I linked above – the one with the M’s at -3 runs and the Twins at +9.5.

The M’s position players, not content with sub-replacement-level batting had been below average fielders as well? Even the replacement-level player’s supposed to be able to catch. But then I checked the team Defensive Efficiency, which is basically the percentage of balls in play the team turns into out. The M’s are 5th in baseball, and way down in 29th, in a dead heat with the Alex-Rios-in-CF White Sox. This isn’t a post about competing methodologies in assigning blame/credit to fielders, or about the limitations of UZR or team-level defensive metrics. It just mirrors my own thinking about the M’s fielders. At times, they look amazing – and not just Franklin Gutierrez. Brendan Ryan’s capable of some great plays, Ackley’s been better than pretty much anyone expected, Ichiro’s been much improved after some early season issues. But that -3 in UZR doesn’t seem ludicrous either. This is a team that started Milton Bradley, that saw Ichiro have, er, early season issues, and that’s seen Mike Carp, Mike Wilson, Carlos Peguero and Chris Gimenez play LF. I’ve done Tango’s fans’ scouting report, I’ve looked at DER, UZR, and I don’t really know what I think of the M’s defense this year.

If there’s one thing I *do* know, it’s that the Twins will feature a bunch of interchangeable pitchers with very good control and not much stuff. So, hey, meet Liam Hendriks! He’s a righty with a fastball in the 90-91 range, a curve that’s he’s had some trouble locating, and a change-up. You’re probably going to need to sit down for this: he doesn’t miss a ton of bats and he had minor league walk rates under 6%! Liam Hendriks is apparently Australian for “Nick Blackburn.” They have a commitment to a certain pitcher type, and they’re going to find guys that fit the template wherever they can. Someone in Minnesota really, REALLY liked Brad Radke.

The Twins have the worst record in baseball and have lost 9 in a row. The Mariners are better than someone!

1: Ichiro
2: Seager
3: Ackley
4: Carp (LF)
5: Pena (DH)
6: Kennedy (1B)
7: Olivo
8: Liddi
9: Robinson


18 Responses to “Game 154, Mariners at Twins”

  1. The_Waco_Kid on September 20th, 2011 3:07 pm

    Kennedy and Olivo, ugh. At least he moved them down. Are they deciding if Carp can hack LF long-term? I guess that opens up a 1B/DH spot for Votto or whomever, but do we really want Carp in LF? And if not, stop starting Kennedy please.

  2. marc w on September 20th, 2011 3:09 pm

    Ugh, this was NOT the day to talk about UZR and DER. Nevermind! Their pitcher is Australian! Australian, I tell you!

  3. jld on September 20th, 2011 3:15 pm

    At this point I would be happy to see the Mariners get swept by the Twins and lose out the rest of the season, except for Felix’s start, to capture the #2 draft pick.

  4. Typical Idiot Fan on September 20th, 2011 3:16 pm

    The M’s are 5th in baseball, and way down in 29th, in a dead heat with the Alex-Rios-in-CF White Sox.

    …are the Twins.

  5. SODOMOJO360 on September 20th, 2011 3:39 pm

    I think Houston has the worst record in baseball

  6. rth1986 on September 20th, 2011 3:50 pm

    Wow…Kennedy still starting at the end of September..Doesn’t Saunders need some more playing time? I’m assuming Wells and Smoak are still injured. Ugh.

  7. The_Waco_Kid on September 20th, 2011 4:21 pm

    this was NOT the day to talk about UZR and DER.

    It was still interesting!

  8. MrZDevotee on September 20th, 2011 4:34 pm

    Conversely, these two teams are leading the American League in UZzzzR…

    That would be “Ultimate Snooze Rating”… Which is measured inversely to the amount of excitement their rosters illicit in their fans. There are a few outlying variables, but mostly it’s a measurment of the percentage of fans in attendance who actually fall asleep at some point during the 3 hours of the typical game… The Twins are at around .910, while the Mariners are at .880… Felix (Larry, and Jerry), plus Ackley and Carp are the only things keeping the Mariners above the Twins at this point…

    Is it too early to start talking about draft picks for next year, yet?

  9. pgreyy on September 20th, 2011 6:43 pm

    Well, THAT was ugly.

    (Sorry, I’m actually watching the game here. So, you may not know what I’m referring to…it was how the Twins got their fourth run. Move along, nothing to see here, folks!)

  10. juneau_fan on September 20th, 2011 7:24 pm

    And the M’s run was ugly, but I’ll take that!

  11. pgreyy on September 20th, 2011 7:46 pm

    That was ugly too.

    (Liddi to Ackley, 5-4, for the third out of the inning.)

  12. juneau_fan on September 20th, 2011 7:50 pm

    These are not two of the finest teams in baseball, that’s for sure. They want to win any way they can, though.

  13. juneau_fan on September 20th, 2011 8:03 pm

    Oh…slop. Just slop.

  14. pgreyy on September 20th, 2011 8:04 pm

    Did I mention that this was ugly?

  15. pgreyy on September 20th, 2011 8:10 pm

    That was a “Put a bag on it and do your business” sort-of win.

  16. juneau_fan on September 20th, 2011 8:11 pm

    That was a Mariners like inning from the Twins.

  17. deadball on September 20th, 2011 8:39 pm

    “The M’s are 5th in baseball, and way down in 29th, in a dead heat with the Alex-Rios-in-CF White Sox.”

    I think that sentence needs a Twins reference in it somewhere. Just a typo, but it confused me for awhile.

  18. currcoug on September 21st, 2011 10:40 am

    …and the much-maligned Alex Liddi went yard again. Moreover, despite dropping the infield fly (get out of the way, Tom), he showed good defensive awareness/arm strength, in gunning down the runner at 2B.

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