Game 99, Yankees at Mariners

marc w · July 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Freddy Garcia, 7:10pm

King Felix finally faces off against his idol Freddy “El Jefe” Garcia. Years ago, Freddy had extremely good stuff – velocity that touched the mid 90s with incredible movement and sink, and a big curve ball. The results never quite matched up (aside from his very good year in 2001), but he was a good pitcher for several years before his shoulder gave out.

Now, at 36, he’s a classic junkballer. His fastball velo looks a lot more like Jason Vargas’ than Felix’s, and he’s gone for quantity over quality for his other pitches: he seems to have a few flavors of slider, to go along with a slow, Moyer-style curve ball, and a splitter. This Frank Tanana-style rebirth was one of the better stories of 2011, and would’ve gotten more attention if he wasn’t upstaged by teammate Bartolo Colon.

This year, the Chief’s results haven’t been that great (his RA is around 6), but despite an uptick in K’s and HRs, he’s essentially the same guy he was last year. His 2011 FIP (4.12) looks a whole lot like his 2012 FIP (4.21) – what’s changed is BABIP and a decrease in strand rate. Garcia wasn’t as good as his ERA last year, and he’s not as bad as his ERA this year. He’s not great, but he’s been a serviceable back-end starter that hasn’t cost the Yankees a ton of money (not that they care).

There’s been some talk about it earlier, but I wanted to talk about the Tacoma Rainier heading back to Seattle for the first time this season. Sure, he was up briefly last year, but he really deserves another chance to perform for MLB audiences. I’m talking of course about R’s broadcasting legend and friend of the blog Mike Curto, who’ll call the game on radio. Wait, what? Trayvon Robinson? Uh, ok, him too. Dave’s guess that Darren Ford might get the call made sense considering that Ford’s a better CF and has hit reasonably well in the month and a half he’s played (he missed the first few months after breaking his finger in a hotel door), but Robinson’s on the 40-man and Ford isn’t. Robinson was an intriguing pick-up in the Bedard trade, but his swing-and-miss problems have persisted while his power numbers really haven’t. This isn’t a huge shock considering his home park in 2011, but it’s sort of amazing that as of this date, the best prospects in the three-team trade are Stephen Fife and Tim Federowicz. Let’s just say that was *not* how the trade was seen at the time. Expect Robinson to fill in as the 4th outfielder until Franklin Gutierrez returns. He’s not a real candidate to platoon with Carlos Peguero, as Robinson hits better from the left side. Still, given that he can switch hit, he might play LF against a lefty or two with Casper Wells in RF.

Today’s line-up:
1: Ackley
2: Saunders (CF)
3: Montero (DH)
4: Jaso (C)
5: Seager (3B)
6: Wells (LF)
7: Carp (1B)
8: Peguero (RF)
9: Ryan
SP: King Felix

Nice to see Mike Saunders back up near the top of the line-up instead of in 7th. John Jaso’s getting more time at catcher; I like that Felix seems comfortable throwing to him (this is Jaso’s third-consecutive time catching Felix), but this means Montero’s catching fewer games. I’ve been much more optimistic about Montero catching in the near/medium term than Dave has, and I don’t want to overreact to a few weeks of games (especially given that Jaso’s been one of the only solid bats), but this can’t be a good sign for the “keep Montero behind the plate” crew.

Go M’s. Happy Felix Day.


120 Responses to “Game 99, Yankees at Mariners”

  1. msfanmike on July 24th, 2012 9:52 pm

    Three more outs, please


    Without interruption.

  2. MissouriMariner on July 24th, 2012 9:53 pm

    Mostly just listen to xm and watch a little gameday…mostly just listen though

  3. Breadbaker on July 24th, 2012 9:59 pm

    I have to admit that Ichiro coming up there made me think, “Oh, good, no threat.” I’ve been thinking that a lot when he was batting for us, and the trade hasn’t changed it.

  4. TherzAlwaysHope on July 24th, 2012 9:59 pm

    I am listening to the Yankees radio feed. They were speculating who would selected for retaliation because of the HBB batters? The joke was just in case any of them would be worthy of being hit. Snort.

  5. Westside guy on July 24th, 2012 10:00 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Wilhelmsen’s curve!

  6. MissouriMariner on July 24th, 2012 10:00 pm

    Nice win!!!

  7. Breadbaker on July 24th, 2012 10:00 pm

    That game felt good.

  8. MissouriMariner on July 24th, 2012 10:02 pm

    Wilhelmsen seemed pretty dominate tonight. He seems to be getting nasty. Love the changeup. That is awesome…too bad League has lost his trade value (if he had any).

  9. Westside guy on July 24th, 2012 10:04 pm

    Agreed, Breadbaker. Especially at Safeco – nice to see a “normal” game!

  10. msfanmike on July 24th, 2012 10:11 pm

    We only need two more “Aces” and a couple #2’s – and we should be fine.

  11. G-Man on July 24th, 2012 10:20 pm

    A-Rod incurred a fractured wrist or something on that HBP.

    We could trade them a third baseman, too. Versatile guy, plays OF and 2B as well, switch-hitter…

  12. stevemotivateir on July 24th, 2012 10:20 pm

    I don’t know about being a #2, but I think Ramirez could make a pretty good #3. Hopefully Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker can fill in the rest (the other ace and 2’s, Mike!).

  13. samregens on July 24th, 2012 10:23 pm

    –I have to admit that Ichiro coming up there made me think, “Oh, good, no threat.”–

    You probably wouldn’t be thinking that if there were runners on in the 9th and the game was close. At least I wouldn’t, since it would strike me as foolish.

    A 4-2 game in the 9th with Wilhemsen on the mound and no runners on and 1 out and the bottom of the order, I don’t think any batter out there would really make us worry.

  14. samregens on July 24th, 2012 10:25 pm

    3 hit batters by Felix was ridiculous.
    Most likely there will be retaliation tomorrow, especially since A-Rod was injured, but there’s no really good batter on the Mariners worth hitting.

    I pray it’s not Saunders since he’s my favorite player after Ichiro.

    Maybe Ackley will get hit.

  15. Westside guy on July 24th, 2012 10:33 pm

    Well, as long as they don’t hurt him…

    The whole retaliation thing is really juvenile, but – ostensibly adult men playing sports.

  16. msfanmike on July 24th, 2012 10:34 pm

    A-rod’s was karma – and a tailing change up that he placed his hands in front of. Ichiro got hit on the foot by something off speed and bendy. I don’t remember who else got plunked, but there was nothing intentional. With that said, yeah … The Yankees probably will plunk someone tomorrow. Hopefully early and in a friendly way.

    Felix won without his best stuff.

  17. Westside guy on July 24th, 2012 10:43 pm

    Thing is, there’s no one on the Mariners of comparable offensive value to A-Rod. And that’s with Alex being a shadow of what he once was…

  18. vetted_coach on July 25th, 2012 12:13 am

    A. Rizz stinks. Safely folksy, but boring, simple, bush-league. A very nice guy, I’m sure.

    B. The longer it takes Wedge to establish Casper Wells in RF, the bigger an idiot he becomes in my mind. What a F***ing joke!

  19. r-gordon-7 on July 25th, 2012 8:56 am

    Maybe we could just offer ’em up Figgins sitting up above a dunk tank… 😉

  20. NorahW on July 25th, 2012 10:26 am

    Too bad we can’t just give them Figgins. “Here, we’re sorry about what happened with A-Rod, so we’re giving you a third baseman to take his place until he’s back. All you have to do is pay his salary for the rest of this year and for next year. You don’t even have to give us another player in return.”

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