Game 115, Mariners at Angels

marc w · August 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Dan Haren, 6:05pm

Hisashi Iwakuma and his excellent splitter faces off against Dan Haren and his famous cutter. Haren’s been a good-to-excellent pitcher for a decade, so it’s somewhat surprising to see him struggle the way he has in 2012. He hasn’t been awful (well, he was for a while in the early part of the season), but he’s just not the Dan Haren that the Angels traded for. His FIP currently stands at 4.27, the highest it’s been since his first half-year in the big leagues back in 2003. The biggest problem for him has been right-handed batters, who’ve hit a collective .320/.353/.511 against the right-handed Haren this year. The reverse splits aren’t a massive surprise, as he’s been harder on lefties than righties over his career – but the magnitude of them suggest something’s amiss. He did take some time off with a sore back earlier in July, and he’s been better since then, but even so, a league-averagey pitcher isn’t what the Angels expected, and it’s one reason the A’s are neck-and-neck with their richer rivals to the south.

Haren’s been declining for a little while now, as his velocity’s now solidly in the high-80s, and not the 91-92 he used to work at:
Haren velocity chart
Lucky for Haren, he’s never really been a pure fastball pitcher, and his cutter’s still reasonably effective despite losing a few ticks along with every other pitch. The problem is that without average FB velocity to back it up, and with the cutter itself coming in at 85mph, it’s something of a feast or famine pitch. That is, it gets a solid number of whiffs, but it no longer gets a lot of ground balls, and as a result, some cutters get hit a very long way. That’s part of the reason Haren’s suffering from a poor HR rate.

Iwakuma knows all about a bad HR rate, but he’s pitching in what’s normally a good fly-ball pitcher’s park. Of course, it’s broiling in Southern California tonight, so the ball may fly a bit further than it normally does.

Tom Wilhelmsen’s going to rejoin the team soon following the birth of his daughter last night – congratulations to Tom and his family. That should mean we won’t see the absurdist comedy of last night’s game in which the Ms didn’t use their emergency closer (Stephen Pryor) because they weren’t in a save situation.

1: Ackley
2: Saunders
3: Seager
4: Jaso (DH)
5: Carp
6: Thames
7: Olivo (C)
8: Robinson
9: Ryan
SP: Iwakuma

Looks like someone doesn’t buy into Haren’s reverse splits; the M’s have seven lefties in the line-up tonight, including the switch-hitting Robinson. Go M’s!


79 Responses to “Game 115, Mariners at Angels”

  1. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 7:07 pm

    Haren obviously was distracted by Jaso’s beard and ashamed of his sub-par attempt at growing one.

    Heheheh Steve!

  2. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 7:08 pm


    I am just going to go ahead and assume that we need a few more runs, regardless.

  3. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 7:13 pm

    Given 2/3 of tonight’s Mariners outfield, I’d say that’s a reasonable assumption Mike.

    Larry LaRue has already christened Eric “Adventure” Thames>

  4. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 7:14 pm

    Iwakuma’s pace has been much better tonight. They must have said something to him about it. No glaciers gaining distance on him today.

  5. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 7:40 pm

    Quick question – taking production and total salary cost into consideration: would you rather have Figgins or Vernon Wells?

  6. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 7:44 pm

    Figgins, without a doubt. Wells is making 24.64 million this year – AND the next two years!!

  7. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 7:45 pm

    What are you swinging at, Michael Saunders?


    Yep, I think that is the right answer Westy. So, in conclusion … Having Figgins is a good thing – via a recent survey of Mariner faithful. I am now qualified to be a pollster.

  8. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 7:58 pm

    Geez, Mike, that’s like saying I’d rather get punched in the balls than kicked in the balls.

  9. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 8:02 pm

    Good analogy

  10. stevemotivateir on August 11th, 2012 8:06 pm

    Nice to see Thames get a hit.

  11. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 8:06 pm

    Time to mix another drink. Haha

    Damn, that Trout kid is pretty good

  12. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 8:06 pm

    What was Thames thinking there!?

  13. henryv on August 11th, 2012 8:07 pm

    I can’t stand stupid baseball. Seriously. You need to know virtually nothing. Don’t screw up simple stuff.

  14. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 8:10 pm

    Om listening to the radio broadcast, so maybe it wasn’t as stupid as it sounded?

  15. stevemotivateir on August 11th, 2012 8:12 pm

    All these mistakes force the issue of outfield depth. Tryna see the positives so I don’t pull all my hair out.

  16. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 8:14 pm

    Damn, I was hoping to get another chance to see Josh Kinney pitch again today.

  17. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 8:15 pm

    Nice game by Iwakuma, for the most part

  18. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 8:15 pm

    Although of Wells contract would also come with the Angel’s payroll – or alternatively the best player in baseball, at MLB minimum salary – I’d take Wells. 🙂

  19. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 8:17 pm

    I hope you’re joking, Mike. Don’t make me drive out to Horn Rapids and throat punch you. Haha

  20. WalterNeff on August 11th, 2012 8:18 pm

    I’m watching the Seahawks – had to choose

  21. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 8:21 pm

    Speaking of the Seahawks, how about those new uni’s? Yuck..

    93 mph slider? Damn, that’s brutal.

  22. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 8:22 pm

    Yes, I most definitely was joking. Not a Kinney fan

    Man, Pryor just worked Trout over.

  23. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 8:24 pm

    The Seahawks still play in the NFL – from what I have heard.

  24. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 8:26 pm

    Uh, Rizz- at 200mph he could certainly afford a mistake location-wise.

  25. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 8:27 pm

    Pryor is for real.

  26. msfanmike on August 11th, 2012 8:54 pm

    Everett vs Spokane is on SWX – for those who get that station.

  27. Mid80sRighty on August 11th, 2012 9:08 pm

    Is that a recent game Mike? Seems that station shows some REALLY old games.

  28. Westside guy on August 11th, 2012 9:19 pm

    Don’t know for sure how old that game was, but one of the announcers made a reference to “that young pup Jackie Robinson”.

  29. msfanmike on August 12th, 2012 10:13 am

    It was a live game. Mcgruder got thrown out trying to tag up and go from 1B to 2B for the last out of the inning with Zunino on deck. Everett was up by one at the time. A runner had tagged and gone to 3B on the same play. It seemed very much mariner appropriate for the last out to be at 2B with a runner on 3B and the teams best hitter coming up. Brumley could not be blamed for this one, though

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