Game One Recap

Dave · March 28, 2012 at 6:23 am · Filed Under Mariners 

This won’t be all that long, since I’m tired and have work to do, but a few notes from today’s opener.

Dustin Ackley is sneaky strong. He really destroyed that pitch from McCarthy for the home run. He looks a bit bigger this year as well, as he no longer has the frame of a 14-year-old girl.

Felix looked about as good as you’d expect. His change-up, especially, was lights out. The A’s don’t have a good line-up, but I’m not sure how many teams could have hit him today.

Mike Carp did not look so great in left field, and he swung at some ridiculous pitches. I know they want to give him a chance to play everyday, but Wedge is going to have to consider using Wells for more than just extra inning defensive replacement. Especially when a tough LHP comes in out of the bullpen.

Speaking of Wells, it was pretty surprising that he didn’t get to pinch hit for Saunders against Fuentes. Tie game, short porch in left, Fuentes really struggles against RHBs… that was an obvious move to make. Yes, you lose Wells as a defensive replacement for Carp, but you can always just move Figgins to the OF and put Seager at third. Why talk up Figgins versatility if you’re not going to take advantage of it?

Wilhelmsen’s curve was really working, but he threw a ton of them. I have to wonder if the league will begin to adjust and begin to sit on his breaking ball at some point. The fastball is good enough that he doesn’t have to rely on the curve so much.

Overall, nice to see the M’s win the opener, but I don’t think they helped ease too many people’s minds about the offense. It would be comforting to see them jump on Bartolo Colon tomorrow.


36 Responses to “Game One Recap”

  1. The_Waco_Kid on March 28th, 2012 6:29 am

    I thought Carp was tolerable in left, but he definitely looked awful at the plate.

  2. rlharr on March 28th, 2012 6:36 am


    And ESPN has the M’s projected for lots of records this year: Ichiro 324 hits, Ackerley 81 homers (and the first 80-80 guy with 81 SB!), King Felix 978 strikeouts, Wilhelmsen 81 wins.

    Seriously, great to see Ichiro leg out a bunch of infield hits. Hopefully this means another > 3 WAR year is on it’s way.

    (and ESPN should think about a more sensible early season projection method)

  3. Paul B on March 28th, 2012 6:37 am

    I think 710 KIRO is going to replay the game broadcast now, for anyone in Seattle who is just waking up.

  4. Paul B on March 28th, 2012 6:39 am

    re Wedge, other than a couple of pitching changes and some questionable baserunning, it sort of seemed like Wedge was a nonfactor in this game.

    How many 11 inning games can you recall with no lineup changes?

  5. maqman on March 28th, 2012 6:39 am

    A win is a win and we’ve got the best record in the MLB. That’s good enough for me.

  6. Mariners35 on March 28th, 2012 6:43 am

    Now let’s see if for Game 2 they can stop with all the first pitch swinging crap and actually draw a walk here or there.

  7. Paul B on March 28th, 2012 6:49 am

    The Mariners won a game where the middle of the order (Carp/Smoak/Montero/Olivo) all went oh for.

  8. floydr on March 28th, 2012 7:12 am

    Ichiro was great in the 3 hole.
    I don’t know why I watched – dozed half the time.
    Hope that the Cy Young voters were watching the ND by Felix.

  9. Paul B on March 28th, 2012 7:20 am

    I was really hoping that the M’s would win at least one of these two games. The next games that count won’t be played for what, a week or so? It would really suck to be 0-2 for a whole week.

  10. FELIXisKING on March 28th, 2012 8:10 am

    I thought Carp actually played pretty well in left. He made a nice catch up against the wall and you can’t expect him to haul in that liner from Suzuki.

  11. Dave on March 28th, 2012 8:18 am

    His routes were atrocious. And, yes, that “liner” from Suzuki is probably caught by most left fielders. Just because he had to dive due to a lack of range doesn’t mean it was actually an uncatchable ball.

  12. b__rider on March 28th, 2012 8:29 am

    Wedge apparently doesn’t believe in using pinch-hitters. I was saying the same thing when there were the two left-handed batters facing Fuentes. Why leave flawed left-handed batters in to face a lefty with that kind of delivery? I always wonder what in the world Wedge is thinking when he does that kind of thing.

  13. FELIXisKING on March 28th, 2012 9:04 am

    Well we watched the game on television which means you really can’t tell what the ball looks like coming off the bat but, from what I could tell, the ball was jumping to left. He got deep on a lot of balls and had a good feel for where the fence was. I don’t think many left fielders catch Suzuki’s line drive.

  14. marc w on March 28th, 2012 9:19 am

    Didn’t see the play, but did Carp have to move all that far to catch Josh Reddick’s liner in the bottom of the 6th?

  15. stevemotivateir on March 28th, 2012 9:43 am

    The biggest disappointment for me was seeing our 4-6 guys put up zeros. Saunders base-running error wasn’t too comforting either, but in the end, it was still a win. Hopefully we’ll see steady improvement.

  16. FELIXisKING on March 28th, 2012 9:46 am

    Yeah if Saunders holds his ground, Ryan probably beats that play to first and have Figgins up there to bunt the runners over. And Ackley at the plate with less than two outs and a runner on third is a sure thing, in my book.

  17. Dave on March 28th, 2012 10:41 am

    He “got deep on a lot of balls” because the wall in left is about 25 feet from the plate. Every pop fly landed on the warning track at least.

  18. Mariners35 on March 28th, 2012 10:58 am

    The biggest disappointment for me was seeing our 4-6 guys put up zeros.

    Which is due in no small part to them getting Wedge’s “be aggressive” memo and interpreting it to mean “swing at the first pitch, swing at almost every pitch”.

    Routes to balls in the outfield, one can debate – park size masked some fielders’ limitations, routes didn’t prevent most of these from being caught anyway, so in most cases it became “bad process good results”, whatever. Baserunning blunders – chalk it up to nerves, or as one wag put it on LL, chalk it up to inexperience because they get on base so seldom. Saunders had a brain fart, whatever.

    But all these guys’ approach at the plate, with perhaps a handful of exceptions, was uniformly terrible. They were dangerously close to losing in extras in under 2 hours. It’s too early to say anything definitive, obviously, but I’d hope that this season will not see the team be in the bottom of the majors in OBP yet again.

  19. Westside guy on March 28th, 2012 11:37 am

    I didn’t manage to stay awake for the game, unfortunately – fell asleep at midnight but didn’t wake up until well after five (at which point I mistakenly assumed there was no point in tuning in).

    I think people need to not read too much into the results of one game, especially when it comes to the #4-#6 hitters. I have no doubt in Montero’s ability and his approach to hitting; and I still believe Smoak will be a decent player. Olivo is just Olivo; I worry about him but it’s not like we didn’t already know about his limitations.

    Also, while I’m rooting for Ichiro to return to his old form… I don’t expect him to maintain an .800 batting average through the season. It’d be pretty cool, though.

  20. Keo on March 28th, 2012 11:57 am

    Ackley is a stud! So great to see Ichiro raking as well.

    Smoak & Montero – Neither looked terribly confident at the plate tonight. I think once they settle a bit they’ll be ok… I hope.

    Carp looked worrisome. All of his at bats were really bad. That’s been the case all of spring training. He looked so dialed in last year, what happened?

    Olivo sucks. Wonder what will finally push Wedge to give Montero his first start at the position.

    Saunders – his strikeout was too familiar for comfort. Swinging strike, outside fastball. Also: BASE RUNNING 101

    Ryan – yay good defense!

    Oh yeah, Figgins is on the team.

  21. MrZDevotee on March 28th, 2012 11:59 am

    Yeah, Carp is the only trouble/question mark that stood out, in my eyes (ignoring Figgins altogether). He looked like a replacement level sub, not a starter on a contending team today, and yeah, needed to be replaced when the game was on the line.

    I also liked Sims and Blowers talking about what a great 2nd half he had, and how they hoped he could keep it up, while the graphics guy had an image up that said 1/2 his hits and rbi’s for September came in 2 games, and he hit .220 something during the that last month.

    I hope he wasn’t just teasing us with that July/August romp. Or, is he still just Mike Carp?

  22. Keo on March 28th, 2012 12:03 pm

    Oh yeah, almost forgot:

    FELIX!!! Dude defines professional pitching for the team. So awesome to watch.

    Wilhelmsen – love this guy. He’s going to be a cornerstone for the bullpen the next few years.

    League – glad he didn’t get his bell rung! Looked as good as he was any time last year.

  23. BLYKMYK44 on March 28th, 2012 12:10 pm

    Kind of feels like the Carp stuff in the OF is the case of having a predetermined feeling on how he will play in the OF and then using things like routes as proof.

    He might end up having horrible games, especially in Safeco…but Im not sure today’s game was the one to say “I told you so”

  24. jephdood on March 28th, 2012 12:12 pm

    I didn’t see anything wrong with Carp’s play in the field. Dave, are you speculating that his routes were bad because they have been in the past? Or could you actually tell something from this morning’s telecast? Maybe take a play and describe his ‘bad route’ for us.

    At the plate, he didn’t look good. Smoak didn’t either.

  25. BackRub on March 28th, 2012 12:32 pm

    On the play where Cliff Pennington tagged up and went for 2nd to 3rd (in the 6th after Pennington stole 2nd), Carp misread/took a terrible route. The ball hung up long enough for Carp to get in position and make a decent throw to 3rd. Instead he was off balance and that allowed Pennington to take 3rd with only one down. Carp made a play, which is fairly routine for 9/10 MLB corner OFs, look difficult.

  26. djw on March 28th, 2012 12:39 pm

    The most frustrating thing about Carp is that the team has a much better defensive option–whose offensive production is likely to be at least as good! In fact, they just traded a valuable pitching asset for him (amongst other things)!

    Free Casper!

  27. jephdood on March 28th, 2012 12:46 pm

    I’ll watch it again tonight. I’ll admit, I’m pulling for Carp because I like the effort he’s making to make that switch.

  28. Breadbaker on March 28th, 2012 12:59 pm

    Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “We’re going to be a very offensive ballclub this year.” I’m not sure Mr. Wedge realizes what that last sentence means, but if he does, it is probably accurate.

  29. roosevelt on March 28th, 2012 1:08 pm

    My assessment?
    One game with 161 more to come. Lets hold off drawing absolute conclusions for a couple of weeks.

  30. FELIXisKING on March 28th, 2012 1:32 pm

    “He “got deep on a lot of balls” because the wall in left is about 25 feet from the plate. Every pop fly landed on the warning track at least.”

    Yeah so he knew the park he was playing in. He got to the wall, got his bearings and then attacked the fly ball. I saw nothing wrong with his performance in the field today.

  31. Zobmie on March 28th, 2012 1:40 pm

    Here’s what stood out for me as I observed through sleep deprived eyes.

    * Carp’s routes left something to be desired. Pairing that with what seemed to be a pretty limited range doesn’t fill me with much hope for his defense going forward.

    * Figgins didn’t look so good at the plate.

    * I really enjoy watching Felix throw his change up. He had me swinging early all the way back here in Seattle.

    * Baserunning. Ugh.

    * Ichiro! was smiling. I think he really enjoyed playing back in Japan. It’s still weird watching him hit with his new stance though.

    * Brandon Allen on first base increases a games hilarity potential enormously.

    * Wilhelmsen’s curveball sure is bendy. But as Dave noted, he sure seemed to use it a lot.

  32. Sports on a Schtick on March 28th, 2012 3:07 pm

    It would be comforting to see them jump on Bartolo Colon tomorrow.

    That’s gonna take at least four Mariners.

  33. Paul B on March 28th, 2012 3:11 pm

    All spring I’ve been thinking about what could keep the Mariners from playing decent baseball this year, and the most likely problems (discounting the almost certain problems like Figgins and Olivo) would be that Carp and Smoak could turn into pumpkins.

  34. MrZDevotee on March 28th, 2012 6:16 pm

    Carp’s defensive technique is to wander towards the ball, locate it, then accelerate to the spot and make the catch (see also: Peguero’s technique)– whereas a good outfielder, someone like Guty, or Ichiro, accelerates to the approximate spot the ball is headed, and then relaxes/slows, finds the ball and makes the catch.

    Granted, Carp is still learning his position, and will get better, assumedly. But saying there’s nothing wrong with Carp’s defensive approach is ignoring some pretty obvious stuff. He looks like any other guy who you punt defense with, for a better bat– but when the better bat doesn’t show up, he’s not really all that useful. I think the point most folks are making is that his approach at the plate needs to be going better for us to ignore his limits in the field.

    There’s still time. It simply wasn’t a step forward during today’s game.

  35. Westside guy on March 28th, 2012 6:27 pm

    Maybe take a play and describe his ‘bad route’ for us.

    Do you recall the one where they started to play ‘Yakety Sax’ as he went after the ball?

  36. MrZDevotee on March 28th, 2012 6:37 pm

    (Westy, made me imagine…)

    “Batting 5th, in left field, for your Seattle Mariners… Benny Hill and the little bald guy he slaps around on the head…”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.