Game 86, Mariners at Athletics
Jason Vargas vs. Jarrod Parker, 7:10pm
Maybe they need to move the fences in at the O.co Coliseum too. After another lackluster showing from the M’s line-up, the M’s are strongly hinting at imminent changes – Dave Sims tweeted about it today, and Wedge’s post-game press conference last night was clear as well: the M’s are sick of watching the same players fail, and might make some changes just to watch something, anything, different. Obviously, moves made in frustration and anger, and moves made to placate the “just change something up” crowd are seldom the most well-reasoned, judicious moves a GM could make. But in yet another reminder of just how bad this rebuilding job’s gone, there’s just not a whole lot there for a GM to screw up in a fit of pique. Sure, they could DFA Kyle Seager or trade Felix for cash considerations, but that’s not going to happen. They *could* do something like send Smoak back to the minors, DFA Chone Figgins, or bench Ichiro. I’m struggling to find a reason to argue with any such moves. I think everyone’s perfectly content to wait through a rebuild, but the M’s are offering few hints of any construction-related activity.
Today, they’ll face Jarrod Parker, who dominated them on June 27th. Parker uses a four- and two-seam fastball around 91-92, a good change-up and a slider. He generates an above-average number of swinging strikes, which balances out his poor command. His best pitch is the change-up, a well-disguised offering that’s generated misses on 45% of swings so far, a very high total. For comparison, Jason Vargas (also good) change-up gets whiffs on a bit over 30% of swings. When Parker struggles, it’s generally due to bases on balls. He misses the zone quite a bit more than Vargas – including over 41% of his change-ups (Vargas is at 37% this year). The M’s drew 4 walks against Parker in 7 innings, which isn’t bad, but since they are who they are, they also struck out 9 times and scored just one run off of Parker in June.
On the plus side, Vargas gets to face the A’s, who despite having Parker on their club appear to have never seen change-ups before. Vargas matched his career high against the A’s in his last start against them (today will be his *4th* start against the A’s in the first half of 2012). Pitch type linear weights have problems associated with them, and it’s just a half a year, but right now, the A’s have lost 9 more runs against change-ups than the Mariners. The Mariners are
better at not as terrible at something related to batting than the A’s! Too bad about literally everything else related to batting.
Today’s line-up features plenty of left-handers against the righty Parker. Despite the change-up, Parker has “traditional” platoon splits, and has been better against righties than lefties. Again, the M’s need to take some pitches and run up his pitch count, so…ahh, screw it. Peguero’s starting, let’s just hit some dingers. Dingers, M’s! Hit some dingers!
1: Ackley (2B)
2: Ichiro (RF)
3: Saunders (CF)
4: Jaso (C)
5: Seager (3B)
6: Wells (LF)
7: Smoak (1B)
8: Peguero (DH)
9: Ryan (SS)
SP: Jason Vargas
Catcher Adam Moore, who was DFAd this week, was picked up on waivers by the Royals.
Forrest Snow starts tonight for Jackson against Rays prospect Kyle Lobstein – Snow’s righted the ship a bit since his demotion, and tonight’s game looks great on paper. The Rainiers are in Salt Lake finishing up a series against the Bees, and Blake Beavan gets his fifth start since he was optioned.
Dominican lefty Wander Marte gets the ball for Pulaski tonight; the 20 year old is coming off an impressive 5 inning performance in which he gave up 1 run, walked no one and K’d 9.
Taijuan Walker’s in sweltering Kansas City for the Futures Game, which takes place tomorrow.