Game 110, Mariners at Yankees

marc w · August 5, 2012 at 9:17 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Freddie Garcia, 10:05am

Iwakuma’s taken hold of his rotation spot, and is suddenly one of the more interesting stories for the M’s. The right-hander signed a one year contract, and for three months, it looked like he might head back to Japan or perhaps move to the bullpen in 2013. After a 13 strikeout game against Toronto, he’s now got 23 Ks to 7 walks in his last three starts after struggling with his command in his first few outings as a starter. He doesn’t seem to have made any major changes, though he’s throwing his slow curve a lot less and his slider a lot more. I’m still not convinced his slider’s a great pitch in isolation, but pitching is all about context – his slider has virtually identical vertical movement to his split-finger pitch, but it has the opposite horizontal movement. Not only does the slider give him a breaking ball to attack righties with (so he won’t have Delabar-esque reverse splits), but it could conceivably help his splitter by delaying the hitters’ reaction/recognition time. This isn’t some miracle pitch or anything – Derek Jeter drilled an Iwakuma slider out of Safeco leading off a couple of weeks ago, but it’s clear that something’s changed for Iwakuma, and I think his pitch mix may be part of the story.

The Yankees had their streak of 21 consecutive home games with at least one HR snapped yesterday, and Iwakuma’s not the type of pitcher who limits HRs, so the M’s are going to need to score some runs. They got to Garcia early in Seattle, but the left-handed bats should keep the pressure on and not let Garcia settle in the way they did in Seattle.

The injury to Brendan Ryan necessitates a jury-rigged line-up today with Kawasaki at short and Seager moving to 3B to accommodate Chone Figgins. That’s not ideal, but the M’s are about as lefty-heavy as they’re capable of.

1: Ackley (1B)
2: Saunders (CF)
3: Montero (C)
4: Jaso (DH)
5: Seager (2B)
6: Thames (RF)
7: Robinson (LF)
8: Kawasaki (SS)
9: Figgins (3B)
SP: Iwakuma

Go M’s!


72 Responses to “Game 110, Mariners at Yankees”

  1. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 12:11 pm

    Welcome to Westside guy’s baseball blog, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be making occasional play-by-play comments on the game.

  2. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 12:15 pm

    This should be a fast inning.

  3. wilchiro on August 5th, 2012 12:15 pm

    What happened to USSM? I’ve only seen five or six guys commenting on the game threads.

  4. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 12:18 pm

    Not sure, wilchiro. Maybe it’s related to the team sucking for several years? It seems like LL’s threads have been down too (although still much, much bigger than USSM’s).

    Of course a Sunday day game exacerbates the situation.

  5. msfanmike on August 5th, 2012 12:19 pm

    The Garcia-Iwakuma matchup put everyone into a trance of deep sleep.

    This particular pitching matchup (as well as the Mariner starting lineup today) should be banned from ever occurring again – via Constitutional Amendment.

  6. wilchiro on August 5th, 2012 12:21 pm

    You can’t walk guys in this lineup, it’s going to hurt you later.

  7. terryoftacoma on August 5th, 2012 12:24 pm

    I don’t know about others but I mostly just watch the games these days. Haven’t had much to add to the conversations.

  8. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 12:33 pm

    Yeah, Terry, I understand the rest of us are setting a really high bar here. 😀

    Okay, things look like they’re going to get ugly in New York here. It looks like the Mariners winning ways only lasted while they were facing crappy teams…

  9. georgmi on August 5th, 2012 12:38 pm

    Amusing that “why aren’t there more comments?” is generating more comments than the game.

  10. wilchiro on August 5th, 2012 12:39 pm

    These guys are way too aggressive. It’s okay to take a ball.

  11. terryoftacoma on August 5th, 2012 12:40 pm

    Looking at the schedule for the rest of the year we only face 3 teams playing under .500. This could get brutal.

  12. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 12:43 pm

    I still believe there are reasons for hope with the Mariners, going forward. But it is concerning how some of these “can’t miss” guys are struggling.

  13. msfanmike on August 5th, 2012 12:50 pm

    A line-drive in the books, for Ichiro.

  14. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 1:00 pm

    Well at least that one hit Saunders in the leg instead of in the face. 😀

    That has to be a helpless feeling.

  15. msfanmike on August 5th, 2012 1:11 pm

    Kinda figured we might see Capps here – for a nice soft inning of work. Then again, maybe it would be better to not waste any potential enthusiasm, today.

    I think the Saunders cfERA is going to take a big hit today, Westy.

  16. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 1:16 pm

    Yeah, you’re right Mike. He’s obviously forgotten how to win – I’m bummed.

    I will have to take solace in Munenori Kawasaki’s continued dominance in FAR…

  17. msfanmike on August 5th, 2012 1:23 pm

    Trayvon’s day explains why it is “better to be lucky than good.”

    Who is credited with that historic quote … Does anybody know?

  18. msfanmike on August 5th, 2012 1:40 pm

    Surprisingly, it was a pitcher who is credited with saying it:

    Lefty Gomez

  19. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 2:00 pm

    Somehow it makes sense that a baseball player came up with that one, Mike.

  20. henryv on August 5th, 2012 2:06 pm
  21. Westside guy on August 5th, 2012 2:16 pm

    Hahaha! But are you sure he wasn’t intentionally trying to blind himself after watching?

  22. stevemotivateir on August 6th, 2012 9:56 am

    The Dodgers DFA’d Tony Gwynn Jr. Wonder if the Mariners would be interested? I’d feel a lot more comfortable with him over Trayvon.

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