Game 79, Red Sox at Mariners

marc w · June 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hector Noesi vs. Aaron Cook, 7:10pm.

Wow. I realize that not every day can be King Felix-and-Hultzen day, and I realize the M’s aren’t the only team involved in the game, but this is…this is not an inspiring match-up.

On the plus side, facing the 33-year old Cook might do more for the M’s offense than any stadium reconfiguration. Cook’s had a broken leg, a pulmonary embolism, shoulder problems and then this year, in his first start, this nasty gash in his leg that sent him back to the DL. At this point in his career, Cook simply throws sinking fastballs in the zone and hopes for the best. He is a slightly modified pitching machine. Those of you who remember Cook from his days in Colorado may argue that all he’s ever done is throw sinkers in the zone, but he used to mix in a cutter and even a curveball from time to time. He appeared to be increasing his curve usage in 2010 and 2011, but in his very brief time with the Red Sox this season, he’s thrown sinkers 83% of the time. His last start, against the Braves, offers a blueprint of his approach, though the word “blueprint” implies a level of sophistication and detail that’s entirely unwarranted here. In his two starts, he’s thrown a blizzard of sinkers and one time the results were pretty good, and one time the results were really bad. He has struck out nobody.

Hector Noesi’s coming off a good start against the Padres and desperately needs to build on that momentum. The win statistic is dumb and all, but he hasn’t had one since May 6th, and he hasn’t had a quality start against someone other than San Diego since May 27th. Having easy-to-fix issues (like Noesi’s struggles on 0-2 pitches) is wonderful and all, but it makes the repeated failure to actually go ahead and, you know, correct them all the more maddening. The Red Sox have hit lefties better than righties so far this year, but they’re still a dangerous line-up and Noesi needs to avoid the center of the plate.

The M’s line-up includes last night’s hero John Jaso at catcher, but it’s also time for the monthly Figgins start. I know it’d be bad form if Figgins never played at all, but in a Noesi/Cook start? Maybe it’s a good idea to start him when the Sox are in town, as thousands of faux-Bostonians are going to buy tickets anyway. Wells gets the start in CF for the injured Franklin Gutierrez which is odd given that Cook’s a right-hander. Maybe Mike Saunders needed a day off, but I’m sure it didn’t escape Wedge’s attention that the Sox started a lefty just last night.

1: Ichiro
2: Wells (CF)
3: Seager
4: Montero (DH)
5: Jaso (C)
6: Smoak
7: Ackley
8: Figgins (LF)
9: Ryan
SP: Hector Noesi

In other news, the M’s have apparently reached an agreement with first-round pick Mike Zunino…we just don’t know what it is. Lots of speculation that it’ll come in around $4 million, thus saving the M’s from all matter of unpleasantness with the new draft system. If so, hooray.


90 Responses to “Game 79, Red Sox at Mariners”

  1. Bremerton guy on June 29th, 2012 8:31 pm

    I’ve been here all along, just flying under the radar. I don’t know about Peguero, but that’s half the intrigue about him — hey, maybe they can teach him to play first base! I don’t imagine he’d whine too much about the fences. He might even hit more than two doubles over half a season.

  2. Westside guy on June 29th, 2012 8:39 pm

    I wish I had more confidence that our guys might take advantage of that mistake…

  3. msfanmike on June 29th, 2012 8:42 pm

    In regard to Jiminez, I have seen a few guys write that they like him. Can he field his position or is he strictly a DH? A 30 year old non roster player who is over ‘generously proportioned’ would need to be an awful good hitter.

    It would be a nice story if he were given a shot, though – IMO

  4. msfanmike on June 29th, 2012 8:44 pm

    Aaron Cook, guys. Aaron Cook.

    50 pitches through six innings? Did I hear that correctly?

  5. Westside guy on June 29th, 2012 8:48 pm

    I may be back later, but I think I’m stepping away from this game for a while.

    Maybe it’ll change the teams fortunes (yeah, right).

  6. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 8:52 pm

    Blowers and Wilson have just engaged in a rather lengthy discussion of adjustments the Mariner hitters need to make in order to succeed in this ball park. This, of course, while we are watching the Red Sox demolish the baseball.

    The things they are covering are exactly the same things I reported in Dave’s previous thread about Safeco’s atmosphere this season. I was rather rudely dismissed by our moderator. I think he called my points “BS.”.

    The two commentators – both of them MLB veterans who played in this ball park – repeated precisely the adjustments that I had explained.

    I hope you are reading this Dave, because I found your response to me unfair and somewhat disrespectful. It’s your playground. I get that. But come on….

  7. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 8:58 pm

    Correction: Blowers did not hit at Safeco. Sorry. But it doesn’t change the central thesis of my remarks

  8. msfanmike on June 29th, 2012 9:00 pm

    The most exciting thing about today’s game is yesterday’s game.

    Movie time!

  9. groundzero55 on June 29th, 2012 9:04 pm

    How many of those homers were on 0-2 pitches tonight?

  10. taylor.mariner on June 29th, 2012 9:04 pm

    Hell we could probably get a pretty piece for a Perez deal.

  11. juneau_fan on June 29th, 2012 9:05 pm

    Yep, giving up on this one.

  12. seattlesonsofbaseball on June 29th, 2012 9:14 pm

    @#$% this team! @#$% this organization! @#%$ this everything! I’m done! I CAN’T SIT THROUGH THIS ANYMORE! 5 games I’ve been to this year (Including this one) and all of them finished with the M’s not scoring! And still our retarded coaching staff still thinks everything is ok. That is just code for: Duhhhhh, I don’t know, George. Peace out Mariners fans, I’m tired of this, tired of hoping for a break out game, and watching a pitcher like Cook look like @#$%ing Cy Young! Time to do something better with my time. I wonder if OKC wants a baseball team! AHHHHHHHHHHH…

  13. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 9:22 pm

    Why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

  14. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 9:27 pm

    Ichiro aside, how many of the Mariner position players would start for any other MLB club? Scary question if you’re absolutely objective and honest with yourself. Gives WAR a whole new perspective.

    I like several of the guys, but this is not your neighborhood Pony League team.

    I think there are some disgusting issues here if you’re willing to evaluate this product in context. Ticket prices. Concessions. PR.

    If 2014 is a reasonable target for best-case contending scenario, that’s pretty much a full decade of ineptitude. The offense is historically tragic. Aaron Cook. Think about it.

  15. Breadbaker on June 29th, 2012 9:29 pm

    Do the M’s gameplan the game or just figure their superior talent will get them by?

  16. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 9:35 pm

    To be fair, when you lose two of your best players, game-plans get a little more difficult. Having said that, really seems like Wedge just pulls names and numbers out of a hat sometimes.

  17. G-Man on June 29th, 2012 9:37 pm

    No reason to make excuses for this team. They should not look this bad against a pedestrian pitcher.

  18. Rick L on June 29th, 2012 9:43 pm

    We definitely need to move the fences back.

  19. Westside guy on June 29th, 2012 9:46 pm

    Well, my leaving for a while didn’t help the M’s – but it did slow the BoSox down. 😀

  20. Westside guy on June 29th, 2012 9:49 pm

    BTW I had about as much luck at Super Mario Bros. Wii as the Mariners did against Aaron Cook.

  21. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 9:50 pm

    Who’s making excuses? Zero runs is unacceptable, no matter the line-up.

  22. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 9:59 pm

    Stevem: You’re identifying Mike Saunders as one of the “best players.”. And I’m not arguing. But think about it. Consider Saunders’ numbers this year. Consider his career numbers, This is one of your “best” players. Make a list of the AL starting outfielders. Is Saunders even in the upper half of that list? Objectively. I haven’t made the list, but I’m projecting he’s probably in the second tier (if you include OFers on the DL, which I believe you should.)

  23. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 10:02 pm

    You missed the point. It doesn’t matter if he’s one of the best in baseball, he happens to be one of the best on the team. With him gone, Guti gone, the team is worse. Or ‘even’ worse.

  24. Breadbaker on June 29th, 2012 10:03 pm

    I don’t care if you have to use your entire bench, letting any pitcher, let alone Dennis Cook, get by with 81 pitches in nine innings is an indication you have no clue what you’re doing.

  25. Westside guy on June 29th, 2012 10:06 pm

    I can’t fault Wedge for today’s lineup. He had no choices for the outfield at all, and he had the right catcher given the starter was a righty.

    Two hits aren’t going to do it (duh). We were facing a mediocre righty… even without Saunders, that’s exactly the kind of guy our lineup is (theoretically) made for!

    It’s frustrating when Ackley doesn’t hit a righty.

    Smoak needs to go somewhere else for a while. The bench, AAA… somewhere else. Give him until Carp is back, and then let Carp take the reps at first base for a while.

    I’d also argue Jaso should be playing most of the time, either at catcher or DH. Wedge has been doing better getting him into the lineup lately, but I do think he and Montero should take even more time away from Olivo.

  26. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 10:11 pm

    Hamilton, Cruz, Granderson, Choo, Reddick, Ross, Rasmus, Swisher, Cespedes, Boesch, De Aza, Rios, Gordon, Franceour, Trout, Trumbo, Hunter, Murphy, Joyce, Upton, Crawford, Young, Ichiro, Ibanez, Jones, Markakis, Damon, Zobrist, Span, Span.

    That’s 30 outfielders already, and I don’t think Saunders is better than any of them…and I’d probably include Wells.

    Of course I understand your point. The team IS worse without him. But look at what we’re really saying…

  27. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 10:14 pm

    Breadbaker, I agree. But I blame the players more than I do Wedge. They’re all *cough* professionals. They need to make things happen.

  28. vetted_coach on June 29th, 2012 10:15 pm

    All I’m really pointing out is how dreadful this roster is. Historically dreadful.

  29. stevemotivateir on June 29th, 2012 10:19 pm

    No, speak for yourself. It’s what YOU are saying, not me. And Saunders FPCT is .987. That’s not bad. Many of those names you mentioned are clearly worse. Ibanez, Damon, Cespedes, etc… really?

    You’ve really wore-out the Saunders trash-talk. You’re trying to be careful with your words, but that’s what you’re doing. And it’s getting annoying.

  30. Mid80sRighty on June 29th, 2012 10:23 pm

    Coach, I don’t think Dave was dismissing your entire theory on approach at Safeco. He was dismissing your use of batting average and the fact the M’s HAVE been more patient at home, or at least the amount of walks would make you think that. Almost 10 percent walks is right where you want to be. But, you’re thoughts on trying to hit the ball on the ground more are probably correct. Unless you hit the piss out of the ball it’s not going anywhere if you lift it.

  31. The_Waco_Kid on June 30th, 2012 1:46 am

    Jaso’s not exactly the part of the long-term plan, but he better keep getting more starts. He kills RHP, consistently.

  32. bradguy on June 30th, 2012 9:43 am

    Maury Wills, great Dodger shortstop once said when he was in a slump the best way out of it was laying down a few bunt base hits to take the pressure off. The guys slumping, especially Ichiro, Seeger, Ackley, Ryan should be doing this. Get some fast guys on base, create some holes in the infield and maybe some ground balls get through.

  33. msfanmike on June 30th, 2012 11:30 am

    Following the “high” of Felix’ victory with a “dud” like that, has just become so ‘Mariners’.

    There have been several low points to this season, but none “lower” than last nights game – IMO,

  34. Kyle Miller on June 30th, 2012 12:39 pm

    81 pitches. The Mariners only made Cook throw 81 pitches. That is UNACCEPTABLE from an MLB lineup. I hope Wedge is ritualistically beating his hitters in the clubhouse for this “performance”.

  35. Westside guy on June 30th, 2012 12:58 pm

    We’ve scored one run in the first two games.

    Funny thing is, we can still (theoretically) take the series. We’re facing a guy tonight who just came off the DL with shoulder problems, and OH CRAP WE SAID THE SAME SORTS OF THINGS LAST NIGHT.

  36. Jimmie the Geek on June 30th, 2012 4:58 pm

    The two commentators – both of them MLB veterans who played in this ball park – repeated precisely the adjustments that I had explained.

    Well… I’ll re-quote what Dave said about that here, just in case you’ve forgotten it, vetted_coach:

    With all due respect, a large part of what uniformed personnel officials in MLB think is just straight up wrong. On field personnel are the least educated parts of almost every Major League organization, and a large part of their belief systems are based on myths, legends, and traditions that have no basis in reality.

    Just because a player says it doesn’t mean it’s based in reality. I always use Joe Morgan for an example. I can’t STAND listening to him, he doesn’t even understand what actually made him a Hall of Famer. He says things that are patently false, and discounts stuff that actually explains what made him a valuable player (i.e. OBP). RBIs and batting average matter less than is generally believed, though the smart teams (like Boston) know this and are winning as a result.

    I have no idea who you are, vetted_coach, nor what experience you may or may not have in baseball. Quite frankly, that experience is working against you in my opinion. It’s not about right or wrong here, it’s about being willing to learn and accept new information.

    That said, watching the game last night was an exercise in frustration… I switched over to ‘The Sum of all Fears’ on TNT, myself. 😐

  37. Mid80sRighty on June 30th, 2012 6:48 pm

    Well said Jimmie. I’ve always thought the best course of action on this site is to read about 100 posts, as well as the supplemental material, before you even say ‘hi’ in the comments.

  38. msfanmike on June 30th, 2012 8:09 pm

    By the way Jimmie ^ … The last sentence of your second to last paragraph was brilliantly stated

    The entire paragraph, actually.

    Well done.

  39. Westside guy on June 30th, 2012 8:15 pm

    Mike Snow’s posted a new game thread, in case you missed it.

  40. G-Man on June 30th, 2012 9:19 pm


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