Game 74, Mariners at Padres
Hector Noesi vs. Edinson Volquez, 1:05pm
Hector Noesi will again attempt to avoid 0-2 meatballs, and Petco Park should probably help him if he slips up and grooves a slider or two in pitcher’s counts. He faced this line-up in Seattle and turned in one of his better performances of the year, so hopefully he’ll have some confidence heading into today’s game. John Jaso gets a rare start at catcher with the righthander Volquez on the mound for San Diego. Volquez pitched well enough to win in Seattle on the 14th, going 6 2/3IP and giving up just one run on four walks and 6 strikeouts. Volquez pitched away to the lefty-dominated M’s line-up; his command isn’t good enough to hit the outside edge, so he gave up some walks, but he also avoided mistakes. It’s something that Noesi could learn from. He could also learn from Volquez’s great change-up which he uses nearly 30% of the time against lefties, getting whiffs on over a quarter of them this season. It can be a real weapon, and it explains Volquez’s lack of platoon splits (technically, he’s been better against lefties in his career).
The line-up includes Figgins. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. He’s playing today, and Kyle Seager’s sitting. Let’s just move on:
1: Ichiro (RF)
2: Jaso (C)
3: Wells (LF)
4: Smoak (1B)
5: Saunders (CF)
6: Ackley (2B)
7: Figgins (3B)
8: Ryan (SS)
So Danny Hultzen’s AAA debut was a mess, with 5 walks and 5 runs in 3 IP. Sure, he got blooped to death in the first inning when he gave up three runs, but he also had a three-run HR overturned by the umpires. He pitched in probably the worst park in AAA to start off, not only because the ball flies, but because breaking pitches often don’t have the same movement. Anywa, Danny: it gets easier.
The stunning debut of the day was actually turned in by Anthony Fernandez who threw a complete game shutout for the Jackson Generals in his AA debut. That was the first CG shutout for the M’s AA affiliate since 2009.