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


76 Responses to “Game 94, Mariners at Royals”

  1. 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.

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

    Kyle Seager, Party Starter.

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

    Felix is Just Cruisin.

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

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

    Sweet !!!

    Insurance run.

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

    Dementia can take odd forms, Michael.

  10. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

    I just Got To Be Real, Mike.

    (Wikipedia is great for stuff like this)


  14. 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.

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

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

  16. 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 …

  17. 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.


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

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

  19. 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.

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

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

  21. 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.

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


    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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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

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

    M’s must love the Summertime…

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

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