Game 93, Mariners at Royals

marc w · July 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Kevin Millwood vs. Bruce Chen, 5:10pm

Ooookay. Reading blogger complaints about having nothing to write about is one of the few things that rate lower by most people’s internal interest scales than reading about mid-season regular season baseball games between the M’s and Royals, but indulge me here. The M’s and Royals are both officially out of the playoff race, and yet neither are as all-out terrible as Colorado or Houston – thus, they’re merely on the periphery of the race for the #1 pick. Both teams are in the midst of rebuilding projects, and both have graduated some lauded prospects to the big club, and both have still more prospects in the minors that give fans a modicum of hope. They’re bad at present, but hope to be contending in 2014-15.

This game’s starters are both 35+ journeymen who signed short free agent deals for relatively small amounts of money (not small to you or me, of course). Chen signed a 2 year, $9m deal and Millwood’s 1 year deal cost only $1m. It’s not like the rebuilding process stops just because these two are the starting pitchers. Dustin Ackley still gets to hit, and Jesus Montero still gets to catc, ok, no, he doesn’t, but he still gets to hit too. But if this feels a “filler” game, that’s because it is.

Now, if I’m a Kansas City fan, I might object and say that after two days of the under-30 new kids, I’m ready for some basic competence, even if that competence comes from a 35 year old Panamanian junkballer. That’s fine; we’ve had similar games when watching Kevin Millwood seemed preferable (emotionally at least) to watching another Noesi implosion. Chen and Millwood may help the younger members of the rotation by giving them pointers, or just being available to answer questions, and while I appreciate that, that’s not the role they’re going to be performing tonight. Bench coach Robby Thompson and hitting coach Chris Chambliss fulfill similar roles, in theory, for the hitters, but they’re not actually going to play.

The M’s have a chance to sweep the Royals, and the M’s are sending out a perfectly good pitcher against a hittable opponent in a good offensive environment (100+ degrees!). I shouldn’t get so hung up on this, especially since it’s not as if the team could force Erasmo back out there or decide that now, today, after his injury scare last night, is the time to move Charlie Furbush back to the rotation. There aren’t many options, and it’s *good* to have vets to fill in. But tonight in Tacoma, Danny Hultzen faces off against this year’s best out-of-nowhere prospect, Dan Straily of Sacramento/Oakland. I’d be lying if I said I’m glad ROOT’s televising the game in KC.

(Seriously: go to Tacoma tonight.)

The big story in baseball today was the first ever “Competitive Balance Lottery” in which the teams with the lowest revenue are eligible for/receive an extra draft pick. These are special draft picks, in that they can be traded (unlike the other draft picks which affect competitive balance but which are totally NOT “Competitive Balance Lottery” picks). Today’s opponent got the very first pick, the first six of which will be at the end of the first round, where the compensation picks used to go (the last six come following the second round). Pittsburgh got pick #2, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks at #3. The Diamondbacks, who won the NL West going away, and who play in a large media market (bigger than St. Louis, Miami, Twin Cities, and our own Seattle/Tacoma). Seattle’s made a bit too much money to be considered for Competitive Balance, so struggling teams like the Reds, Tigers and Brewers will get the picks instead. St. Louis was eligible, but didn’t receive a pick. Like many wags out there, I think the idea is somewhat laudable but the execution’s somewhat insane. As with revenue sharing, they’ve never really figured out how to avoid rewarding teams for sitting back and collecting luxury tax revenue instead of actually attempting to compete. I like the fact that this attempts to addresses balance on the field, and not just by giving owners more money, but this doesn’t seem like a way to change the behavior of a miserly owner (that the Tigers are included here is a separate issue). Anyway, all of this is patently more interesting than tonight’s game. However, tonight’s game is better than whatever else is on TV, so let’s go M’s.

Charlie Furbush went on the 15-day DL with a strained [edit: triceps, not forearm] so Steve Delabar was recalled about a day after his latest demotion. Option years are…eventful.

1: Ackley
2: Ichiro
3: Wells
4: Montero (C)
5: Smoak
6: Seager
7: Olivo (DH)
8: Saunders
9: Ryan
SP: Kevin Millwood


36 Responses to “Game 93, Mariners at Royals”

  1. marc w on July 18th, 2012 4:39 pm

    Victor Sanchez starts tonight for Everett!
    The Clinton Lumberkings are taking on an opposing starter named Stalin. Stalin!
    Any time you’ve got the opportunity to destroy Stalin, you’ve got to take advantage of it.

    Wander Marte’s pitching right now for Pulaski. The lefty’s been great so far this season.

    Jackson and the AZL M’s have the day off. Yesterday, former prospect Nick Hill took the mound in Arizona for the first time in almost two years. You may remember the West Point grad/LHP from his very good 2009 campaign, and he was quite close to the majors leading in to the 2010 season, but then injuries derailed him. Always ran really high GB ratios.

  2. Carson on July 18th, 2012 4:44 pm

    See you tonight in Tacoma, Marc. Should be a good one.

    The Delabar yo-yoing has got to be getting a bit weird for him. Though, he could probably describe every shrub alongside I-5 at this point.

    I’ll be looking up the ratings for this game in a couple days to see how it fared against the Sounders/Chelsea tilt. I bet they attract a few viewers.

  3. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 5:14 pm

    Pressure’s on Bruce Chen – KC apparently dumps any pitcher that loses to the Mariners.

    Wow, a KC pitcher actually managed to escape the first inning unscathed!

  4. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 5:28 pm

    It’s 108 degrees with KC’s famous zillion percent summer humidity,Westy. I would not be surprised to see a lot of scoreless innings. Whoever drinks the most water will
    Probably win. And tomorrow they get to play at mid-day!

  5. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 5:29 pm

    With the exception of Seager, of course. He is impervious to the heat.

  6. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 5:32 pm

    Yeah, I’m glad I don’t live in the midwest!

  7. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 5:42 pm

    Looks like KC is a bit better hydrated than the Mariners…

  8. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 5:43 pm

    I wish Ichiro had done that more often throughout his career to stay out of slumps (bunt for a hit) … At the right time(s) to do it. I can’t remember if he has even attempted to bunt for a hit yet this season.

  9. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 6:00 pm

    Okay, I’m going to have to take off for home. Maybe the Mariners will score nine runs while I’m en route…

  10. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 6:08 pm

    Westy, stay on the road until further notice.

    Ichiro, Wells!!

  11. argh on July 18th, 2012 6:38 pm


  12. spuuky on July 18th, 2012 6:58 pm

    Check out this potential lineup for an Interleague game:

    C: Olivo
    1B: Smoak
    2B: Kawasaki
    3B: Figgins
    SS: Ryan
    LF: Carp
    CF: ???
    RF: Peguero
    SP: Millwood

    We’re one more outfielder away from having an entire potential lineup of sub-.200 hitters. Seriously. It’d be easy to field all sub-.300 OBP guys or sub-.400 SLG guys…

  13. samregens on July 18th, 2012 7:16 pm

    Yikes, that lineup looks awfully close to something that the M’s would actually trot out there.

  14. henryv on July 18th, 2012 7:28 pm

    Smoak has no recognition of sliders.

  15. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 7:39 pm

    I should ask the Mariners to reimburse me for gasoline.

  16. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 7:48 pm


    He’s only a double and a homer away from the cycle! 😉

  17. juneau_fan on July 18th, 2012 7:49 pm

    Ugh. So the run would have scored if he’d just stayed on 3rd. I hate those moments.

  18. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 7:50 pm

    So tell me – why is it whenever Dave writes an article about Ichiro, the guy seems to have a 3, 4, or 5 hit game immediately afterward?

  19. stevemotivateir on July 18th, 2012 7:50 pm

    What the hell happened with Ryan?! Did Datz send him, or did he blow it on his own? I’m having trouble trying to follow the game on gameday.

  20. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 7:52 pm

    It looked like Ryan was running on contact, Steve – so it was probably a call from the bench.

  21. juneau_fan on July 18th, 2012 7:53 pm

    The thing I hate more than a screwed up play like that is the announcers going over and over it. It’s done. Move on.

  22. stevemotivateir on July 18th, 2012 7:55 pm

    salt in the wound

  23. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 7:57 pm

    Saunders does seem to have a strong arm – but it’s not a consistently accurate arm.

  24. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 8:09 pm

    I would like to reiterate Henry’s comment regarding Smoak’s inability to recognize sliders – or any breaking ball at all, actually.

  25. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 8:14 pm

    And that’s the game.

  26. stevemotivateir on July 18th, 2012 8:14 pm

    Wouldn’t be easier to list the positive things Smoak does? I’ll go first…. he can hit a mistake well -sometimes.

  27. Mid80sRighty on July 18th, 2012 8:28 pm

    Ichiro! was 3 for 5 but, no RBIs. If he was a real veteran leader type he would’ve “found a way” to drive in a couple runs even if the bases were empty.

  28. samregens on July 18th, 2012 8:33 pm

    So tell me – why is it whenever Dave writes an article about Ichiro, the guy seems to have a 3, 4, or 5 hit game immediately afterward?

    Westie, I was thinking the same thing. Ichi must be reading USSMariner.

  29. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 8:42 pm

    So, mid 80’s – you will appreciate this: around 7:00 when the temperature dropped below hades piss levels, I went out to ride my bike around the hood (Horn Rapids). The Mariners make a comeback. I ride on keep riding – only to stop off at home once to grab more water. The game goes to the bottom of the 9th and i am about as far away from home as i can be, but still within the hood. The windup and the pitch from Kinney …… Crtrrrrrtttrrrrrrrr dead air! The fighting 1340 am goes dead in the wate!!!!


    I chug my now in better yet still middle aged and chunky ass back home, burst in the house and, well …. Never mind.

  30. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 8:50 pm

    Steve, I’ll go second.

  31. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 9:01 pm


    His nickname should be “Limbo Stick”

    Maybe they can make some from all of those felled trees.

    ‘How low can you go … How low can you go …”

  32. Mid80sRighty on July 18th, 2012 9:03 pm

    You live in Horn Rapids? Ha, I’m just down the street by Sacajawea school. And yes, i was out back listening to the game when the feed cut out. Fricken AM stations here have been crap…and now it cuts out again during the post game show. I thought 870 was bad, but 1340 has been horrendous!

    And Westy and Sam, it isn’t just when Dave writes about Ichiro. Seems that happens any time he makes declarative statements. I don’t know what Dave did to piss off the baseball Gods…

  33. Westside guy on July 18th, 2012 9:11 pm

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that too Mid80s.

    Dave: “Tonight’s opposing pitcher has been bouncing between the majors and AAA, and is only up because so-and-so got injured. The Mariners should do well off this soft-tossing lefty”… end result, M’s lose 10-0

    Dave: “You all know how great Walter Johnson is, the Mariners will be lucky to even hit the guy. This is not going to be a very watchable game”… and the M’s win 7-2.

  34. Mid80sRighty on July 18th, 2012 9:18 pm

    Maybe Dave should sacrifice a live chicken.

  35. henryv on July 18th, 2012 9:47 pm

    Dave needs to write about how much Mune sucks, so that he can go 3 for 5.

  36. msfanmike on July 18th, 2012 10:04 pm

    I went to Sacy. Was in first grade the year it opened. Grew up on Newcomer st. – between Saint and Coast.

    I don’t remember any resurgence from Smoak the last time Dave wrote about him, but i have noticed several bizarro effects on some players identified above, also. I guess we can conclude that it usually works except for when it doesnt.

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