Game 113, Mariners at Orioles

marc w · August 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Kevin Millwood vs. Steve Johnson, 4:05pm

The less said about yesterday’s game the better, but I will say that Zach Britton wasn’t good. The O’s evidently agreed, and sent him down to AAA after the game. The only other thing to say has been said by Jeff Sullivan here: Mark Reynolds’ swing against Oliver Perez last night was funny, and you should watch it again and again.

The Orioles begin play today 4.5 games back of the Yankees in the AL East – ahead of the Rays, Jays and Red Sox. They’re a game back of Detroit for the first wild card, but they’re tied with Oakland for wild card #2. They’re very clearly in the playoff picture, and have a (very) outside shot at a pennant this year. It’s with that in mind that I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that the Orioles have used Chris Tillman (career rWAR of 0.3), Zach Britton (-0.8) and Steve Johnson (0) in this series. I’m not going to sit here and feel superior to the Orioles, who are *in a playoff race* and have already taken the series. But imagine what it must be like to be in a race and see your team trot out replacement level pitchers three days in a row. Luckily for us, we don’t even have to imagine what it feels like to lose to replacement level pitchers – it’s something of a hobby.*

The O’s pitching stats aren’t that bad, but that’s largely due to pitchers who aren’t healthy anymore. Jason Hammel was the clear ace of the staff after coming over in the mmph Jeremy Guthrie trade hahahahahaha, but he’s recovering from knee surgery. Wei-Yin Chen’s made the most starts, and he’s been very solid, but his xFIP’s a lot closer to Jason Vargas’ than it is to Felix’s. Jake Arrieta’s been unlucky and bad, and Tommy Hunter’s been every bit as bad as his ERA, but even Hunter’s hurting. And that brings us to today’s starter, Steve Johnson. A minor league vet, Johnson will be making his second MLB appearance today; his first came after Hammel went on the DL and today’s comes when Hunter couldn’t take the ball.

He’s got an over the top 90-92 (touching 93) fastball with absolutely no sink, and a very odd change-up that seems impervious to sink as well. As you can imagine, he’s not exactly a ground ball pitcher. It’s not easy to check GB% leaders in the minors, and minor league batted ball classification is probably trickier/more problematic than MLB classification, but I don’t remember the last time I saw a GB% as low as Johnson’s. The guy is Blake Beavan,** plus more walks. Ok, ok, he gets more K’s too, but he’s not a strikeout pitcher. He’s a pitch to contact guy, and that contact is almost always in the air. Sometimes, they’re pop-ups, but often, they’re line-drives. Because his fastball has almost no tail, he shouldn’t have huge platoon splits, but who knows – there’s just not much to go on with this guy.

The line-up is very left-handed today against the right-handed Johnson.
1: Ackley
2: Saunders
3: Montero (DH)
4: Jaso (C)
5: Seager
6: Carp
7: Robinson (LF)
8: Thames (RF)
9: Kawasaki
SP: Millwood

* – “Yes, we dabble in Waechtering. Waechtering? Oh, it’s like this combination of baseball and dance; sort of like capoeira with a bat. The first rule of Waechtering is that you never tell the pitcher that you’re Waechtering.”

** – Right down to the fact that they both got hammered in their first exposure to AAA, then came back and had a decent bounce-back in year two.


33 Responses to “Game 113, Mariners at Orioles”

  1. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 2:41 pm

    With all those lefties (vice Montero) taking their “turn” – it looks like there was a NASCAR influence for building today’s starting lineup.

  2. easternWAmsfan on August 8th, 2012 4:06 pm


  3. easternWAmsfan on August 8th, 2012 4:06 pm


  4. easternWAmsfan on August 8th, 2012 4:06 pm


  5. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 4:40 pm

    We have several outfielders who would have made the play that Thames did not. Bad start. Real high pitch count. Could not have asked for anything less.

    Rally time.

  6. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 4:45 pm

    Come on Maestro – drive in a couple runs.

  7. wilchiro on August 8th, 2012 4:48 pm

    That was horrendous. I don’t know what Kawasaki was thinking there but that’s really telling of how bad of a player he is if he has to bunt with the bases loaded. This team doesn’t get many bases loaded oppurtunites, so they need to take advantage when they do.

  8. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 4:55 pm

    Man, that sucked. And then Ackley did what he seems to do best – one pitch popup.

  9. vetted_coach on August 8th, 2012 4:56 pm

    I agree regarding Thames. Wells makes that play. Saunders has really been struggling, so again I don’t comprehend Wedge’s lineups. As for the bunt, totally bush. Kawasaki is giving it all he’s got, but he doesn’t belong up here. He is not the one to blame. He is who he is. There are plenty of options, but the Mariners are satisfied to just get by in many areas.

    Memo to Blowers: It takes more than getting a couple hits to qualify for “playing well.”

  10. wilchiro on August 8th, 2012 4:59 pm

    When they got Thames, they got him for the pop in his bat, not his glove. We knew he was a bad defender, so we’re going to see bad defense out of him. Let’s just hope he adds a couple of dingers along the way to make up for his poor defensive play.

  11. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:04 pm

    Wells not only makes the play, he probably catches it in his back pocket. I think Mune just out-tricked himself. Stupid decision. Simple as that. He should have swung the bat. Why a guy would have to be told that – after a game in which he had 3 hits – is beyond me.

    With that said, Japan will still probably kick everyone’s ass in the WBC again next year – by bunting repeatedly. Iwakuma will put everyone to sleep watching his glacial pace and they will hit/run/bunt all over us and the DR. I wouldn’t bet against them.

    Jesus, another misplayed ball in RF. For fuck sake.

  12. vetted_coach on August 8th, 2012 5:05 pm

    But he should not be in RF (Thames.) He is a left fielder if ever there was one.

    Adding on regarding SS: The Mariners had a chance to trade for Brent Lillibridge at the deadline. Hecwould have shored them up at middle infield and in the outfield. In other words, a bona fide major league backup. M’s said no thanks.

    (Another play Wells would have made…the so-called double we just saw.)

  13. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:11 pm

    It’s a pretty safe bet we will see Carter Capps pitch today. Should have seen it last night instead of Kelley pitching a 3rd inning – IMO

    It should be a soft landing for Capps, too. We should be getting blown out any minute now.

  14. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 5:11 pm

    This is not the Mariners defense I’ve come to expect…

  15. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:13 pm

    George hates sloppy defense.

    “George is getting angry!”

  16. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:19 pm

    Kung Pao!

    Three up and three down … Faster than a fart on a skillet.

  17. vetted_coach on August 8th, 2012 5:19 pm

    And the Orioles have guys like McLouth and Andino on the bench. Just a year and a half ago they were a last place club. Their front office responded quickly, aggressively, and shrewdly. It’s disheartening. There are things about our club that I like, but the light at the end of the tunnell is waaaaay out there. And Eric Wedge is not the engineer I want driving the train. Or even stoking it.

  18. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:20 pm

    When are they supposed to be airing the women’s beach volleyball match? Does anybody know? Don’t say who won, please.

  19. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 5:24 pm

    Man, it’s bad enough with the mistakes – but everything Baltimore hits seems to be finding a hole as well.

  20. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 5:26 pm

    Yeah, that found the big hole up above everybody’s heads.

  21. terryoftacoma on August 8th, 2012 5:28 pm

    At least, Thames didn’t blow a catch Westy.

  22. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:33 pm

    Shoot … I figured Ackley was due for another popup instead of a KC.

    Right down the middle of the plate – above the knees.

    Good God.

  23. taylor.mariner on August 8th, 2012 5:33 pm

    Well there’s always tomorrow I suppose 🙁 Wait, we’re playing the Angels? Nevermind then… there’s always next week.

  24. terryoftacoma on August 8th, 2012 5:35 pm

    haha Taylor only teams under 500 we play the rest of the way are Cleveland and the Twins. Good luck guys!

  25. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 5:39 pm

    Day off tomorrow.

    There’s always Friday … And it’s forthcoming whooping.

  26. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 5:49 pm

    On the plus side, at least this has quieted down all the “look how much better they play now that Ichiro isn’t on the club” talk.

    Okay that’s not actually any consolation when you’re watching these guys right now…

  27. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 5:52 pm

    Ugh, I just made the mistake of looking at individual performance over the past 14 and 30 days.

    Good news if you like Carp or Montero, though! 😀 Bad news if you like Saunders, Wells, or most anyone else.

    Hey hey Seager!!!!

  28. Westside guy on August 8th, 2012 6:02 pm

    Capps is looking pretty good.

  29. Adruidan on August 8th, 2012 6:25 pm

    I don’t post much so I don’t know if this has been brought up, but we have known for a while the M’s offense is much better away than at home. The “Safeco effect” seems to be very prominent in our team’s offensive performance and psyche. I have always followed this blog due to the statistical analysis it has provided. With the statistical methods we have to judge performance and regarding the debate on the Safeco fences…why don’t we change the fences yearly based on a statistical evaluation of our offense and pitching? It seems very logical to me to evaluate the statistical probability of our offense to perform against our pitching and opponents probability of performing in terms of adapting the fences to give the statistical advantage of both offense and pitching? Why doesn’t every team in baseball approach their fence construct under the same analysis. It is very possible to construct your fences on a yearly bases under statistical analysis to benefit your team over your opponents. Any ideas on this?

  30. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 6:26 pm

    An intentional walk – down by 7 runs in the 7th inning? That’s certainly one way to go. I can’t say I have ever seen it, but nobody can say Wedge isn’t trying.

  31. terryoftacoma on August 8th, 2012 6:36 pm

    It worked?

  32. msfanmike on August 8th, 2012 6:37 pm

    I am pretty sure league approval is required for fence moving desires. Probably has a cut-off date well in advance of final roster construct too – And teams change out personnel quite frequently through the FA period and spring training.

    The mariner home record is better than their road record this season (at present time) – for what that’s worth.

    There are minimum distance requirements for all parks, too … So I think you would be looking at a very difficult thing to sequence in alignment with overall team construct activities – assuming all teams were doing it on an annual basis.

    What this team needs is better players. Or, for their current players to simply play better. Maybe they will, someday. Regardless of the power alley distance at Safeco field.

  33. zeebfan on August 8th, 2012 8:19 pm

    This might have been the most frustrating Ms game ever. I’m ready to poke my eyes out. The bunt, the pop ups, the fruitless at bats, sloppy defense- the perfect game. We’re now going to watch the Golf Channel til next year. Phooey.

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