Game 27, Mariners at Rays

Dave · May 3, 2012 at 9:07 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Millwood vs Niemann, 10:10 am.

The road trip comes to an end with a day game, so the M’s are running the unconventional day-after-night line-up out there. With Montero sitting and Smoak demoted to the bottom third of the order, Kyle Seager is your new cleanup hitter. Better than when Adam Kennedy was hitting cleanup last year, but still kind of hilarious.

Oh, also, Chone Figgins is playing because he’s 7 for 14 lifetime against Niemann. Joe Maddon is shifting his defense on every play because of the work the Rays front office has done to figure out the spray tendencies of every hitter in the Majors, and Eric Wedge is starting Chone Figgins because of the results of 14 at-bats against a particular pitcher. But, yeah, us stat nerds are the ones that are out of touch with today’s reality…

Figgins, LF
Ackley, 2B
Ichiro, RF
Seager, 3B
Jaso, C
Carp, DH
Smoak, 1B
Saunders, CF
Kawasaki, SS

Comments

77 Responses to “Game 27, Mariners at Rays”

  1. Mike Snow on May 3rd, 2012 9:08 am

    At last, the long-awaited all-lefthanded lineup!

  2. Glen on May 3rd, 2012 9:21 am

    What does Saunders have to do to move up in the order?

    Kind of hilarious the Mariners leader in OPS, wOBA, wRC+, etc. is hitting 8th in this lineup.

  3. Nate on May 3rd, 2012 9:28 am

    stat nerd!

  4. Mariners35 on May 3rd, 2012 9:35 am

    Seager has a 2 HR, 4 RBI night, and bats 4th. Saunders has a grand slam and a HR a few nights ago, and is still batting 8th.

    If Wedge was going to be bloody-minded and old school in his approach, he could at least be consistent.

  5. Rodney on May 3rd, 2012 9:39 am

    I can’t remember ever having a starting lineup with no right-handed hitters. Anyone know when the last time the Mariners put out a lineup like this?

  6. 68GTCS on May 3rd, 2012 9:45 am

    Jaso behind the dish!!!!

  7. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 9:47 am

    It’s the Mariners … it doesn’t need to make sense.

  8. seattlesonsofbaseball on May 3rd, 2012 9:49 am

    I see a big game for Figgins!……………… and when the people of Andromida 9 come down and get me before the killer bunnies attack, I’ll greet them with sugar cookies!!! Happy day for all, big and small! Figgins is playing and we couldn’t be more excited!!!

  9. Mariners35 on May 3rd, 2012 9:50 am

    Chone Figgins is playing because he’s 7 for 14 lifetime against Niemann.

    That’s the stated reason, and hopefully just the b.s.-quote-for-the-media reason. One hopes the real reason that Figgins is in there, is because he has today’s game and then the homestand to either produce or get DFA’d.

  10. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:07 am

    Nah, Figgy “owns” Niemann and is much more likely to keep his .500 average against him than he is to regress.

    Over under on Figgins K’s today: 1.5

  11. MX on May 3rd, 2012 10:11 am

    all lefty lineup…

  12. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:12 am

    One hopes the real reason that Figgins is in there, is because he has today’s game and then the homestand to either produce or get DFA’d.

    Would hope that they wouldn’t make the decision based on small sample size.

  13. Mariners35 on May 3rd, 2012 10:18 am

    Would hope that they wouldn’t make the decision based on small sample size.

    Yeah, because the last 2 seasons and one month of play is a small sample size.

  14. Choo on May 3rd, 2012 10:20 am

    I suspect the plan is to “accidentally” leave Figgins in Tampa when the Mariners leave.

    “Whoa! By golly we did forget Figgy. Jeez, Friedman, you know what…seeing as Longoria is out for a awhile, how about you just hang onto him? Yeah, our gift to you for sweeping us in such a gentlemanly way.”

  15. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:21 am

    Well, you and I would use the last 2 seasons to make decisions. But you were stating that you were hoping that they would make a decision based on just a few games.

  16. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:26 am

    ^ I didn’t get the feeling that Mariners35 was saying that at all. He might have bottomed-lined it that way, but that is not what he was saying.

  17. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:27 am

    Over under on Ackley strikouts today: 1.5

  18. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 10:28 am

    Jaso looks ok in 1 inning back there. At least he is trying to frame pitches.

  19. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:32 am

    I think Seager just doubled his walk total for the year.

    Excellent!

  20. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:34 am

    Sounded like another domed induced ‘break’ on the Jaso double. Make them pay, Carp.

  21. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:35 am

    Useful, useful out. Need another, Smoak.

  22. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:37 am

    Larry Stone tweeted a quote from Wedge about a half hour ago, recognizing that Ryan’s fielding has a lot of value.

  23. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:38 am

    Good to see Smoak get a hit.

  24. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:40 am

    That’s what shortstops are supposed to do and its not a surprise that a MLB Manager would recognize it.

  25. Mariners35 on May 3rd, 2012 10:45 am

    Paul B / msfanmike – I expect his DFA would be a result of 2 years+ of bad play, but in keeping with Wedge’s old school approach, will be given one more week to turn it around.

  26. Mid80sRighty on May 3rd, 2012 10:46 am

    “What does Saunders have to do to move up in the order?”

    Maybe Saunders is a mental midget and can’t handle the move to the middle of the order… haha

  27. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:46 am

    Yeah, I hear you. I understood what you were saying – all along.

  28. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2012 10:47 am

    I can’t watch the game – how’s Jaso looking behind the dish?

  29. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:48 am

    Spankystout provided a detailed scouting report above ^

  30. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2012 10:50 am

    Ah, cool – thanks.

    I noticed in the box score Jaso has a double. If Olivo comes off the DL sooner rather than later, it’ll be interesting to watch Wedge’s mental gymnastics once he starts refusing to play Jaso at all again.

  31. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:51 am

    I can’t watch it either.

    Millwood was doing good for the first inning and two thirds. Then an infield hit, and bad stuff ensued.

  32. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:52 am

    Dome induced (lost in the roof/lights) double. Per Rick Rizzs.

    I hate domes for baseball. Unless they have retractable roofs.

  33. nvn8vbryce on May 3rd, 2012 10:52 am

    Ugh.

  34. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:54 am

    “Millwood was doing good for the first inning and two thirds. Then an infield hit, and bad stuff ensued.”

    This sounds a lot like what Cubs fans say 100 times per year … for a large majority of the past 104 years.

  35. nvn8vbryce on May 3rd, 2012 10:55 am

    Well, I’d have to say that the wheels just fell off of Mr. Millwood…

  36. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:55 am

    …Followed by more bad stuff.

  37. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:56 am

    Iwakuma sighting! He’s alive!

  38. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 10:57 am

    Not to worry, Paul … Figgins is 7 for 15 lifetime against Niemann.

  39. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 10:58 am

    I was just thinking that the advantage of having a Millwood in the rotation was that it reduced the temptation to rush one of the prospects.

    But just as I was thinking that, he started pitching in a way to refute that.

  40. jase411 on May 3rd, 2012 10:59 am

    Was that a fine example of Millwoods excellent damage control?? Inducing the bases loaded pop-up???

  41. swershow on May 3rd, 2012 10:59 am

    Jaso looked nice blocking a horrible pitch by millwood earlier this inning. But I will say, he doesnt seem to frame pitches well. A number of millwoods pitches just off the black have looked worse than they were, although its tough to say if framing has much of an impact on umpires calls. From my own limited catching experience in college, it definitely seems to have an effect on pitcher confidence and comfort. I would assume this to be less of a factor in the pros.

    Also, kawasaki looked pretty brutal on that attempted backhand in the hole. Give me Ryan.

  42. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2012 11:00 am

    Good thing we didn’t need to spend 10 million on Edwin Jackson because we could get Kevin Millwood for cheap…

  43. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 11:04 am

    Good think we didn’t keep Doug Fister for just above league minimum.

    I heard we may see him on Monday.

  44. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2012 11:06 am

    Even though I only have access to Gameday, I can clearly see how reinvigorated Figgins is now that he’s hitting leadoff against a pitcher against whom he’s had some success.

  45. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 11:08 am

    @smershow: I used to umpire college baseball games. The less the catchers glove moves when receiving the ball, the better look an umpire gets at the pitch. If by “Framing” you mean (grabbing the ball off the corner and pulling it back in) … that fools nobody. Borderline pitches though – yeah, a good, still catcher receiving the pitch can make a difference.

  46. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 11:13 am

    A good catcher can make a borderline low pitch look “better” by catching it over-hand instead of underhand

  47. Mid80sRighty on May 3rd, 2012 11:19 am

    Yeah, pretty much Mike. Might get a call by keeping the glove over the plate and catching the ball outside of the pocket, but from a pitcher’s perspective that didn’t seem to help much either.

  48. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 11:25 am

    Yes, the corners are very easy to see (for an ump in good position). The borderline “low” pitches can sometimes be tricky based on velocity and the amount of break a pitch has as it crosses the plate. Sometimes the catchers head just gets in the way, and if you have a figgety catcher who jumps up a lot – sometimes you can’t see shit. Coaches know this and usually get on their catchers about staying down and giving the ump a “look.” I am talking about HS level and lower level, primarily). By the time a C hits College or Pro ball – they don’t need to be told that. They only need to be told that their job is to block pitches so the umpire doesn’t have to.

  49. nickwest1976 on May 3rd, 2012 11:27 am

    Time to move on from Figgins, it just isn’t working. So much for the leadoff spot jumpstarting him.

    DFA Figgins, move on, and put Ackley in the leadoff role. Open up LF for Carp/Wells to share time with Carp then being the DH on days where Montero catches.

  50. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 11:30 am

    Carp got his first hit, yay.

  51. jwise224 on May 3rd, 2012 11:34 am

    Oh strikeouts, how I loath you…

  52. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 11:49 am

    Haha. Yeah it was definitely a comprehensive evaluation of Jaso’s skills. I was imagining some sort of Ben Davis/Olivo hybrid of garbage. But he has been ok so far. Haven’t seen his arm yet and pop time.

  53. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 11:54 am

    I gotta think Wedge just had some sort of thing in his brain that made him forget Jaso was a catcher.

    Ackley and Ichiro!

  54. swershow on May 3rd, 2012 11:57 am

    What I mean by framing is not moving the glove after the ball is caught. Its about positioning your body, swaying with the pitch, in order to receive the ball directly in front of your chest. This makes pitches just off the black appear more over the plate, and also clears your body a bit to give the ump a better look. Turning your wrist over to put more of the glove over the black can help to.

    Its all pretty subtle, and probably doesnt make much of a difference at the pro level. But Jaso does seem pretty static back there. That said, Olivo has been so horrible this year that I’d rather have a piece of plywood back there.

  55. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 12:01 pm

    Gosh, do you think Jaso should have played more this year?

  56. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:02 pm

    Bench him!

  57. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 12:05 pm

    I think Mike Fast did research on framing pitches. Sorry can’t link right now, just google it. It is worth the time.

  58. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:10 pm

    Smoak chases pretty much every two-strike chase pitch. Came home for lunch to watch some action. Could definitely benefit by seeing some more of “it”

    Thanks for clarifying Swershow. We have the same understanding of “framing”.

  59. swershow on May 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm

    Jaso looks awesome with the bat tonight. He is the only lefty in the lineup that has figured out not to chase niemann’s bad breaking stuff down, and fastballs a foot up and out of the strikezon. Niemmann had bad command and mediocre stuff tonight, and virtually never threw strikes when ahead in the count. And our lefty heavy lineup chased him all over the place.

  60. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm

    I don’t think that last pitch to Saunders could have been any more down the middle (from the reliever). What was he waiting for with two strikes?

  61. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:19 pm

    Does “Sleep Country” only sponsor the offense? Or is it geographically specific to Smoak?

  62. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 12:24 pm

    Well there was Jaso’s arm and pop time. He looks to have a quick release, but I hope that isn’t his normal arm slot–reminds me of Johjima. That ball breaks toward the runner and is bad for arms and wrists of infielders.

  63. spuuky on May 3rd, 2012 12:26 pm

    I would not have guessed Millwood would have outlasted Niemann in the midst of that 4-run implosion.

  64. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:32 pm

    I can’t wait to see Figgins not get pinch hit for in the 9th

    Thanks for the link reference, Spanky. Just as I stated … A good catcher can get favorable calls on borderline pitches. Oh, and Keith Law should strap on the gear sometime and give it a whirl – just to see how easy umpiring is.

  65. Paul B on May 3rd, 2012 12:35 pm

    I think it’s cool that when Joe Madden makes a lineup change, he moves 4 or 5 guys around in the field.

  66. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 12:44 pm

    All hands on deck for backing up that throw from Jaso. I think the bag was had, but sheeeesh.

  67. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 12:45 pm

    Yeah that was not a pretty throw–at least he had a better arm slot than the first one.

  68. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 1:04 pm

    We need some rally fries!

  69. CYK on May 3rd, 2012 1:06 pm

    Don’t we pinch run for Carp in a situation like this?

  70. Kazinski on May 3rd, 2012 1:09 pm

    I wonder what has gotten in to Jaso powerwise? His best slugging % before this season was .378, and his best ISO was .130.

    Of course its an ultra small sample size for him so far this season. But he already has 3 doubles, a triple and a HR in 24PA. Something is different.

  71. spankystout on May 3rd, 2012 1:11 pm

    That was a lame way to end things. Saunders got two fastballs down the middle and did nothing with them.

  72. CYK on May 3rd, 2012 1:12 pm

    Hard to find any excuse for playing Figgins after today.

  73. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 1:19 pm

    There is no reason to not have Ryan pinch run for Carp, unless … Wedge is simply fearful that it might result in the game going into extra innings and having to watch Ryan “hit” later.

    Or, maybe he didn’t want to risk missing the team flight back to Seattle and losing the opportunity to be greeted by all of his fans at the airport.

  74. Kazinski on May 3rd, 2012 1:21 pm

    He looks to have a quick release, but I hope that isn’t his normal arm slot–reminds me of Johjima.

    I hope it reminds you of Johjima. Kenji had a career CS% of .400, which is very good. Compare that to Olivo’s .342. Unfortunately Jaso’s is at .195. It is likely that even Montero will be better at stopping the running game than Jaso.

  75. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2012 1:53 pm

    Kenji had a very quick release. It did not always look pretty, but as you stated, Kazinski … it was effective. Very effective.

  76. jwise224 on May 3rd, 2012 2:55 pm

    I don’t know what these guys are looking for. If you’re a young player who’s scuffling, you try to get into hitter’s counts. 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, etc. When you get into that count, you’d better be ready to do some damage. Watching these guys take fastballs right down the middle is disgusting. You’ll never have success if you don’t get the bat off your shoulder. The whole point of a hitter’s count is to get a predictable pitch in a predictable location. If they can’t handle that, then there’s no helping them. I’m also baffled on the decision not pinch run Ryan for Carp. We’re leaving opportunities out there to be had, plain and simple.

  77. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2012 5:20 pm

    Olivo’s caught stealing rate translates to 1 runner every four or five games.

    How many times per game does a runner advance because he let a ball get away? That’s what Jaso needs to beat.

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