Game 68, Giants at Mariners

marc w · June 17, 2012 at 11:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Madison Bumgarner, 1:10pm

Happy Fathers Day to all of my fellow dads out there. And hey, check it out: the M’s got us a Felix Hernandez start. I could nitpick and point out that this isn’t one of the old-school Felix starts, where everything was put together right out of the box, and you could just marvel at it from the first pitch. These days, Felix requires bizarre mechanical adjustments using tools I don’t have and instructions I don’t understand. But that’s the thing with Felix – even legitimate complaints start to sound entitled and churlish: it’s Fathers Day, and Felix is pitching. This is pretty damned awesome.

Madison Bumgarner’s a young lefty with a four-seam fastball in the 91-92 mph range, an occasional curve, a rare change-up and a blizzard of sliders. I can’t even pretend to know how many breaking balls are too many for young arms, but I’ll just point out that Bumgarner throws more sliders than just about any starter in baseball. He’s taken the Giants to a World Series and his career FIP’s just over 3, so it’s working for him. Maybe this is just the hapless M’s fan in me, but I see slider usage like that and I think of Clint Nageotte. Do you really need 35% sliders? Isn’t that overkill? The odd thing about his slider usage is that Bumgarner actually throws it *more* against right-handed batters. Pitch-type platoon splits be damned, he throws it nearly 40% of the time against righties, which seems like it’s a recipe for big platoon splits – and lo and behold, that’s what we see. If ever there was a day to get Casper Wells in the line-up, this is it.

Plenty of father’s day stories today, but my favorite’s this piece about Tom Wilhelmsen’s dad. We saw versions of this when Tom made the club out of spring training in 2011, but it’s a great story and it’s nice to revisit it now that Wilhelmsen’s is less a “nice story” than a “potential All-Star.” While I still think the “closer” role is overrated and leads to inefficient reliever usage patterns, the one upside is that it’s really focused a lot of attention on Wilhelmsen. As a set-up man, his emergence may not have gotten as much attention given Saunders’ year or Kyle Seager’s solid play. But now that he’s notched a few saves, a lot of people notice that he’s suddenly turned into a frighteningly good relief pitcher. That curve following that fastball is amongst the best two-pitch arsenals in the game.

Dad’s day line-up is suitably right-handed. That means no Saunders, which isn’t great, but the man deserves a day-off, and as I mentioned above, Wells really needs to be in the line-up. Ackley’s descent continues, as he’s now hitting 8th, above Brendan Ryan.
1: Ichiro (RF)
2: Gutierrez (CF)
3: Seager (3B)
4: Montero (DH)
5: Wells (LF)
6: Smoak (1B)
7: Olivo (C)
8: Ackley (2B)
9: Ryan (SS)
SP: King Felix


159 Responses to “Game 68, Giants at Mariners”

  1. stevemotivateir on June 17th, 2012 4:22 pm

    Kind of dumb for Krueger to call that bunt a blessing in disguise, cause Smoak still would have got a runner home with that hit. Just would have been Figgins scoring, instead of Kawasaki. Still would have been a confidence boost for Smoak, regardless.

  2. stevemotivateir on June 17th, 2012 4:24 pm

    I’d prefer to see Angie nailed with the pie, but either would be funny 🙂

  3. stevemotivateir on June 17th, 2012 4:25 pm

    Kawasaki was staying close to second when Smoak got that hit. Really was lucky!

  4. G-Man on June 17th, 2012 4:27 pm

    That is the second time that Kawasaki scored the GW run on a walkoff as a PR, but nearly blew it. The other time, he tagged at third on a fly, but had to go back to do it and just got in. But perhaps Datz started to hold him this time?

  5. r-gordon-7 on June 17th, 2012 4:30 pm

    I, too, thought that Kawasaki’s hesitation right after rounding 3rd was enough to result in him being nailed out at home. Curiously, though, had he not hesitated, he might not’ve been “in position” to get nailed by the throw – and might’ve been out at the plate…

  6. msfanmike on June 17th, 2012 4:34 pm

    The Japanese sensation hesitation celebration.

  7. fuggin_figgins on June 17th, 2012 4:52 pm

    A little surprised Smoak didn’t mention the fences in his post-game interview.

    Idea for next Mariners commercial: Smoak sneaking into Safeco late at night and while moving the fences notices Mascot practicing his game winning slide celebrations.

  8. fuggin_figgins on June 17th, 2012 5:05 pm

    A find myself getting more and more annoyed by Sims using the same f-ing bartender lines every game but after that post game piece on Wilhelmsen and his “everyone loves the beer man” quote I have no sympathy. Keep up the great one liners Sims.

  9. Westside guy on June 17th, 2012 5:07 pm

    Sounds like the ump who left the game has a fractured wrist.

    The League Legend keeps growing!

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