Game 94, Mariners at Royals

marc w · July 19, 2012 at 10:20 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Will Smith, 11:10am

Happy Felix Day! The temperature’s supposed to hit 108 today in Kansas City, so I’m hoping our illustrious king’s well hydrated. The M’s are looking for a 3-1 series win, which isn’t exactly a playoff berth, but it’s the kind of meager little prize that’s within the 2012 team’s grasp. So grasp it, guys.

Opposing the M’s is another of Kansas City’s young hurlers, lefty Will Smith. Pitching, and left-handed pitching in particular, was a strength of their system in recent years. Danny Duffy, John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Chris Dwyer – they had projectable lefty starters coming out of their ears. So why have the M’s faced Ryan Verdugo and Will Smith? Because the Royals have struggled to develop these talented pitchers, and they’ve struggled to keep them healthy. M’s fans have been through this, but the Royals have lost Lamb and Duffy to Tommy John surgery, while Dwyer and Montgomery have faltered badly in the high minors. Thus, it’s been up to guys who they’ve acquired in trade – like Verdugo (Giants) and Smith (Angels) to fill in, at least temporarily.

Smith has a 91-92 mph fastball and a slider-curve-slurve breaking ball group around 78-80mph. It’s not a bad pitch, especially against lefties, but he’s not a strike-out pitcher – he’s more of a Bruce Chen type: a guy who’ll get a few K’s, but is otherwise content to pitch to fly-ball contact. Like Chen, Smith doesn’t walk too many, though his very small-sample MLB stats show he may not be able to maintain his solid MiLB walk rates. In any event, this would be the time to load up on right-handed hitters, which…Jaso, huh? This’d be a perfect day for an Ichiro day-off, though I understand the Gutierrez injury makes that tough. In the minors from 2011-12, Smith had a K/9 of 8.55 against lefties with a BB/9 of only 1.67. Against righties? 5.47 and 2.79.

In another sign that the M’s battering Royals pitching has officially driven the Royals crazy, the team signed retired catcher Jason Kendall to a minor league contract, and he’ll report to AA and play tomorrow. The Rainiers drove Ryan Divish crazy last night by playing an 18 inning game, that ended on a walk-off HR from Scott Savastano. The winning pitcher? Scott Savastano. Divish’s laments at his luck in covering the game eventually became more intriguing than the game itself, at least until he reached his daily tweet limit (I had no idea such things existed). Obscured by the bad at-bats and decent relief work by both teams was the very good start by Danny Hultzen. He went 6 innings, giving up 1 run on a HR, and walked 2. He threw a wild pitch with a runner on 3rd, but catcher Brandon Bantz threw out the runner at the plate – apparently Danny Hultzen blocked the plate expertly, which, you know, good for you, but please don’t do that again. Dan Straily’s dominant start was spoiled when he was left in one batter too long – Darren Ford doubled to lead off the 9th and later scored on a sac-fly to send the game into extras.

Victor Sanchez and reliever Grady Wood, both of whom had been excellent up until yesterday, got blasted in last night’s loss to Salem-Keizer. Disappointing. Wander Marte lost for Pulaski, but I’m pleased to announced the Clinton Lumberkings defeated Stalin (Gerson) last night 4-1. All eyes are on the Arizona League today as Cubs prospect Jorge Soler (a Cuban defector who drew a big, but not quite Cespedes-sized bonus) makes his US debut against the AZL Mariners. Hector Noesi starts for Tacoma as the Rainiers try to keep within 9 innings. They’ve gone 13 and 18 in back-to-back nights. Forrest Snow starts for Jackson today.

1: Ackley
2: Ichiro
3: Wells
4: Montero (DH)
5: Seager
6: Smoak
7: Jaso (C)
8: Saunders
9: Ryan
SP: King Felix

Comments

76 Responses to “Game 94, Mariners at Royals”

  1. spuuky on July 19th, 2012 11:02 am

    First time I’ve ever found the thread before the game starts. Official Overly Bold prediction for today:

    Ackley hits for the cycle!

  2. NRFully on July 19th, 2012 11:05 am

    Happy Felix Day! Felix leads the AL in Strikeouts (140 I believe?…) Isn’t this the first time for a Mariner at that amount since Randy Johnson in ’95?

    JASO IN THE LINEUP FINALLY!!! WooHoo!

  3. californiamariner on July 19th, 2012 11:10 am

    So happy I got out of work today. Now I get to sit down and watch Felix’s start from beginning to end, something I haven’t been able to do his last couple of outings.

    Also, this is one of my favorite lineups.

  4. terryoftacoma on July 19th, 2012 11:24 am

    I think Montaro likes hitting in KC.

  5. djw on July 19th, 2012 11:27 am

    Jaso in the lineup, finally, but against a lefty? Dammit Wedge.

  6. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 11:36 am

    KC has altered their game day pitcher twice this series, so the Mariners have ended up facing 5 lefties in a row. Wedge has wanted to get Jaso in the lineup for the past couple days and committed to having him play today, regardless. He had no other options other than to play Jaso against a lefty. What else could he have done?

  7. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 11:54 am

    I like the lineup – don’t understand the order though.

    Also, Jaso sucks against lefties. He really does. This year he’s batting .048 against lefties, with a wRC+ of -54. That’s even worse than Olivo is against righties! Those are SSS values of course; but for his career they’re .158 and 52.

  8. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 11:57 am

    I think Montero likes facing AAA pitching, Terry. :-D

  9. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 11:59 am

    Yes, Jaso sucks against lefties and Wedge has stated that he has “earned a start against one” – whatever that means, the result is he started today, laid down a nice sac bunt and the team cashed them both in. Plus, he is apparently ‘wise’ enough to strap on the gear when it is 107 degrees. That will likely earn him some extra ‘grit’ points with Wedge.

    I presume we will be seeing a lot of Jaso when we see a string of rhp’s.

  10. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:02 pm

    Speed is always good!

  11. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 12:02 pm

    Came home for lunch – just in time to see Saunders leg out that hit. Nice hustle, Michael! Still have no idea why he is hitting 8th on this team, but oh well …

  12. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:03 pm

    I wasn’t meaning to complain against his start today, Mike. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to not give Olivo at least one day off in the KC heat.

  13. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Does Smoak have a 3-4 game hitting streak going now? It would be nothing to get excited about, as we’re playing KC, but I’m still curious.

  14. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:05 pm

    Smoak was hitless yesterday, Steve – and he looked bad doing it.

    He can hit AAA pitching though. Too bad he had to face an actual major league pitcher yesterday.

  15. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:05 pm

    I was just thinking the same thing, Mike. Saunders has been hitting near the bottom for a while now, while Smoak never seems to dip below 6th. Wedge-logic, I guess.

  16. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:06 pm

    Thanks Westy. I didn’t catch much of yesterdays game. No TV at the moment, so I’m peaking on gamechannel now and then.

  17. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Hey wait a second…. does that make two things Smoak can do? Hit an occasional mistake AND AAA pitching? Can we shop him as a multi-tool player now?

  18. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:09 pm

    Saunders should really be hitting higher against lefties. Seager (KC notwithstanding) isn’t hitting them as well as Condor is; plus having Olivo, Jaso (against lefties) and Smoak (against anyone larger than a third grade girl) hit ahead of him is just bizarre decision making.

  19. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Montero really is feasting on KC pitching!

  20. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 12:19 pm

    It’s really good to see Montero swinging the bat well.

  21. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 12:26 pm

    Hey, Olivo isn’t the only Mariner catcher who can throw out a base stealer!

    Wedge, take note.

  22. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:27 pm

    Yeah I don’t get it either, Westy. Saunders should be hitting much higher.

  23. Adam S on July 19th, 2012 12:30 pm

    Saw a tweet from the Mariners PR about the team’s offense on the road so I had to look this up to see what they mean.

    Despite the constant knocks on the offense, the Mariners have scored more runs on the road than any team in baseball. They’ve played more road games than other teams so they aren’t really the #1 offense. But away from Safeco Field and its horrible ballpark affects the Mariners appear to have a top 5 offense and a bottom 5 pitching staff.

    I checked two source, so I know the data is right but it’s hard to believe. The problem with this team is the pitching sucks?!?

  24. Jake on July 19th, 2012 12:30 pm

    The Royals have a starting pitcher named Will Smith, and nobody has made a Fresh Prince joke yet. Disappointing.

  25. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:30 pm

    Jaso!

  26. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:32 pm

    I know that show existed, Jake, but I never watched it – so it’s hard to come up with something relevant. ;-)

    And everyone else on here tends to be serious all the time.

  27. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 12:33 pm

    Well, apart from Felix, this team really doesn’t have much of a starting rotation. So, yes, the pitching is still a problem.

    This team really isn’t as bad as their record indicates, though. Pythag has them at 44-49, which feels about right to me.

  28. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:42 pm

    Hey ESPN.com has added WAR to their stats pages!

  29. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Geez, Jake. Didn’t you know, that nobody here has a sense of humor?

  30. terryoftacoma on July 19th, 2012 12:46 pm

    That’s not true, mike. We watch the Mariners play.

  31. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:51 pm

    Here we go…. come on Monty!

  32. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 12:52 pm

    So, it wasn’t enough that Will Smith had to get his daughter into singing with that stupid “I whip my hair” song, now he has to try his hand at pitching?

  33. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 12:52 pm

    When Montero gets a double, you know it went a long way (I’m listening to the radio).

  34. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Yeah, whenever I knew Liddi was gonna play left – I’d load up “Yakety Sax” in iTunes.

    Monty!

  35. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Does KC have Tommy Lee Jones hiding somewhere in the dugout?

  36. stevemotivateir on July 19th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Thanks for listening, Monty!

  37. terryoftacoma on July 19th, 2012 12:54 pm

    Montaro really likes KC(AAA) pitching. haha

  38. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 12:55 pm

    Wow, Felix only has 59 pitches through 6 innings? And the M’s have a 5-1 lead? Yeah, this game is over.

  39. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 12:58 pm

    I love the “Scout” stuff on Gameday – it’s such crap. They’re saying “Bueno may want to go after Smoak rather than Jaso” and listing their relative OPS… but ignoring the fact that Bueno’s a lefty and Jaso especially struggles against lefties.

  40. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 12:59 pm

    I don’t know Westy, that might be a toss up in my mind. Smoak is terrible. haha

  41. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:09 pm

    Mid80s, could Scout’s stuff then be described as “bad process, good result”? ;-)

  42. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 1:13 pm

    I get the impression that Felix could be a successful pitcher with 3 or 4 completely different pitching strategies.

  43. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:13 pm

    Today, Will Smith has failed to Get Jiggy wit It.

  44. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:14 pm

    But Montero has been a real Party Starter.

  45. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:15 pm

    And Smoak is just Freakin It.

  46. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:17 pm

    “The Royals have a starting pitcher named Will Smith, and nobody has made a Fresh Prince joke yet. Disappointing.”

    I think it is the extra “L” in his first name that threw everyone off.

    I also kinda expected a comment about Smith today, but more along the lines of “hey, he’s not black anymore.” Then I realized that nobody would ever say something that stupid.

  47. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:19 pm

    Westy, are you stroking out again?

  48. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 1:22 pm

    Whew!

  49. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:23 pm

    Will Smith rap titles, Mike. :-D

  50. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 1:23 pm

    Mike, you’re just a parent that doesn’t understand

  51. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 1:26 pm

    89 pitches through 8 innings. Felix is a machine, not quite an Aaron Cook machine, but a machine nonetheless.

  52. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Kyle Seager, Party Starter.

  53. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Felix is Just Cruisin.

  54. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:29 pm

    Yeah, the odds of Montero hitting a triple are pretty low, methinks.

  55. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 1:30 pm

    Haha Westy, I was just about to say something about Montero and triples in the same sentance.

  56. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:30 pm

    Correction, Grandparent (25 year old step daughter had a daugher a little over a year ago). Yeah, weird. Pretty cool, too.

    Oh, I understand Mid-80′ … I just have to have an explanation for any time Westy flips out – and I just figure there must be a medical related reason in consideration of his age. It is important to ask potential stroke victims easy to answer questions to see if they are indeed, okay.

    “Will Smith rap titles” is not evidence of being “okay” … so I am not exactly sure if my buddy Westy is still with us or not. You still there, buddy?

  57. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 1:31 pm

    In case anyone is wondering, Montero has zero triples in the Majors, but he did hit 4 in AAA.

  58. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:32 pm

    Sweet !!!

    Insurance run.

  59. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:34 pm

    Dementia can take odd forms, Michael.

  60. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:37 pm

    Until Montero “gets” and starts to “hit” RHP’s with regularity, why the hell doesn’t Wedge just platoon he and Jaso at C? Like, all the time!

    Montero can still DH against RHP’s when he isn’t catching, but can rest/sit on days when they face a real good RHP. He is only 22 years old. He is 4 years away from the beginning of his prime. 4 years away from the beginning of it!

    It is pretty amazing he is this good – at this age, actually.

    I know, choir, preaching, rhetorical …. bla bla bla.

  61. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:38 pm

    That’s not another Wil Smith rap song title, is it?

  62. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:39 pm

    Montero’s triples in AAA must’ve been generously scored fielding errors.

  63. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:40 pm

    I just Got To Be Real, Mike.

    (Wikipedia is great for stuff like this)

    WOO HOO!! MARINERS WIN!!

  64. Paul B on July 19th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Yeah, I was thinking his triples must have been fielder aided. Like the outfielder ran into the fence and was knocked cold.

  65. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 1:42 pm

    Perhaps the fields didn’t have fences Westy. It was minor league baseball afterall…

  66. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:42 pm

    Do you think Montero is actually slower than Dan Wilson was? I am not sure. He does not have Dan’s running form, but Dan could literally stop on 1B at a dead sprint from home plate while trying to beat out a single. At least, in his later days. Edgar and Dan were really, really slow the last few years of their careers.

    Montero looks like he is running with shin guards on, but is he really slower than Dan Wilson was?

    Opinions …

  67. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 1:44 pm

    You were using Wikipedia Westy? Wow, I never would have guessed that. I figured you knew those rap song titles by memory.

    :)

  68. Mid80sRighty on July 19th, 2012 1:45 pm

    Tough call, Mike. Both Edgar and Dan were extremely slow as well.

  69. terryoftacoma on July 19th, 2012 1:51 pm

    Montaro is slow at 22. I don’t want to imagine how slow he’ll be at 35.

  70. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 1:58 pm

    Nah, Mike, I can only quote rap titles if they’re by Vanilla Ice.

  71. Westside guy on July 19th, 2012 2:01 pm

    Yeah, I was thinking his triples must have been fielder aided. Like the outfielder ran into the fence and was knocked cold.

    To explain a Montero triple, not only would the original fielder have to run into the fence and be knocked out cold – but the fielder next to him, coming over to get the ball after seeing the first fielder go down, would have to trip over the first fielder and break his leg.

    And then a fan would’ve had to jump onto the field and grab the ball – at which point Montero would be awarded third base.

  72. msfanmike on July 19th, 2012 2:05 pm

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Vanilla Ice !!

    Atta baby. I mean “ice, ice baby.”

    Hey mid 80′s – we should play catch at the elementary school some day. My arm still kinda works. We could probably take BP, too – if there aren’t rules against it. There will be no running of the bases, however. If you have kids, they can shag the baseballs for us.

  73. EricL on July 19th, 2012 3:19 pm

    Don’t you get awarded third base if a fielder throws his glove at the ball? I think that’s the most likely Montero triple.

  74. justdave on July 19th, 2012 8:54 pm

    I wish we had 10 more games with KC, our hitting stats would probably look pretty good by then.

  75. Marinerman1979 on July 20th, 2012 3:18 am

    Both Smiths are spelled w-i-l-l. fyi.

    M’s must love the Summertime…

  76. nvn8vbryce on July 20th, 2012 1:28 pm

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