Game 31, Tigers at Mariners

marc w · May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s continue their brief homestand with a series against Detroit, the team that the M’s seem to love playing for whatever reason. Tonight’s opener features ex-Mariner Doug Fister, who’s making his first start since coming off of the DL for a costochondral strain (an injury to the cartilage in his ribs). Fister’s injury occurred in his season debut, so it’s hard to know what to expect from the guy.

As you remember, Fister rose from #5 stop-gap to solid deadline acquisition when his velocity increased, he tweaked his slider/cutter and when he went to a sinker in place of his old four-seam fastball. His velocity wasn’t terribly consistent with the M’s – rising in May, then falling in July, but he was pretty much league average in that regard with Detroit. Now, coming off a chest injury, it’ll be interesting to see what he looks like. The move to the 2-seam/sinker in 2010 transformed his ground-ball rates, as you might imagine, but now he’s got to deal with Tigers putrid infield defense.

Opposing him is Blake Beavan, a guy who was in many ways quite similar to Fister. Both are very tall control artists without a lot of swing-and-miss stuff. Fister’s two-seamer was, by linear weights, the most effective pitch by any Mariner in 2011. Blake Beavan’s four-seamer’s been solid in his MLB career as well, and for similar reasons, I’d guess: he throws it for strikes and has enough command to keep it out of the center of the strike zone. I’m not saying Beavan’s as good as Fister; the lack of a (good) two-seamer is a problem, and Beavan’s pitch-to-contact tendencies make Fister look like Pedro Martinez. Without grounders, Beavan’s value is a bit too reliant on keeping fly balls in the park. In his first few starts this season (and last season too), he did, but he’s given up 3 HRs in his last 11 innings, and now his FIP looks bad. I’m still fairly encouraged by what we’ve seen of Beavan, but the Tigers present a pretty big challenge. On the plus side, this is their first time facing him, so novelty may be on his side.

Erasmo Ramirez went 3 IP for Tacoma today in Reno, giving up 2 R on 6 hits (one of them a missed IF pop-up that Triunfel lost in the sun), 0BB and no strikeouts. Honestly, it was something of a sub-par outing, as he didn’t miss many bats, but he got a lot of ground balls. He had a pitch count of 50 that the M’s will be increasing over time.

Today’s lineup:
1: Ackley (2B)
2: Ryan (SS)
3: Ichiro (RF)
4: Montero (C)
5: Seager (3B)
6: Jaso (DH)
7: Smoak (1B)
8: Carp (LF)
9: Saunders (CF)
Sp: Beavan

Game time’s 7:10; Go M’s!


102 Responses to “Game 31, Tigers at Mariners”

  1. raul_podzednick on May 8th, 2012 9:43 am

    I agree with Pinch Running there, I probably let Seager hit since has been producing pretty well. I don’t disagree with bunting there I just would have made a different choice.

    Smoak needs some time at AAA to work things out, I still think he can be a very productive player. Carp and Liddi can hold down first, I wouldn’t mind seeing Casper Wells more in LF.

  2. raul_podzednick on May 8th, 2012 9:48 am

    I expect to see Hultzen at the All Star Break, Erasmo before that, hopefully in Millwood’s spot. Millwood is doing OK, just nothing special and we might as well get someone in there who is part of the future. I think Jack had visions of flipping Millwood for a prospect at the deadline after he had a Safeco enhanced strong first half of the season and he had a chance to spread his knowledge to the youngins

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