Game 160, Angels at Mariners

marc w · October 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. CJ Wilson, 7:10pm

The baseball playoff races could all be decided tonight, or we could continue to bask in chaos for another few days. The Angels essentially need to win out, as the A’s sweep of the M’s means they’ve got more of a shot at passing the Rangers than they do of being caught by Anaheim. This would all be thrilling for the general baseball fan, and enjoyable for those who hate the Angels specifically, but its hard for many M’s fans to summon much emotion right now.

The team has essentially played spoiler by getting shut down by the Angels and A’s in succession. Its bullpen, one of the remaining interesting things about the 2012 team, is limping towards the finish line. The offense picked itself off the canvas and made a run at being merely ‘below average’ after 2.5 years of being hilarious. But a succession of close, winnable games against good teams makes the real improvement feel a bit hollow.

There have been signs of progress, and the team could surprise next year with a solid pick up or two and some luck, but the best farm system in baseball can’t make late-September baseball featuring a last-place team watchable. You know who can?

I feel all of us lean on Felix’s transcendent talent as a reason to watch/care, but in our defense, have you thought about how special his multi-year run is? Felix needs no projection. Felix doesn’t need luck to even out. Felix doesn’t need a veteran presence, he doesn’t need protection, he doesn’t need to make a few simple adjustments. He’s essentially the only part of this organization that doesn’t need more time. For that, Felix deserves every accolade he gets from M’s bloggers, writers, fans and even opposing batters. Tonight’s the final King’s Court of 2012. We’ll talk about 2013 tomorrow. Tonight, go to the game and yell. Watch it and remember what it feels like to care.

The line-up:
1: Ackley
2: Wells
3: Seager
4: Montero (DH)
5: Smoak
6: Saunders
7: Olivo (C)
8: Robinson
9: Ryan
SP: King Felix


95 Responses to “Game 160, Angels at Mariners”

  1. Mid80sRighty on October 1st, 2012 4:37 pm

    So, what does everyone think Felix’s chances are of winning the Cy Young? A month ago I would have said he had all but wrapped it up. Today, after the few bad starts he’s had, I’m thinking they’re not going to give it to him.

  2. MoreMariners on October 1st, 2012 5:00 pm

    There’s no chance IMO unless a no hitter is thrown tonight. Price will win, as ERA and Wins still seem to dominate.

  3. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 5:14 pm

    I think Felix would need a shut-out with 8-10 k’s. Certainly not impossible.

    Even if Felix wasn’t in the mix, I wouldn’t bet on Price being a lock. Verlander has been a horse. Leads in innings pitched, strike-outs, and his ERA is right there.

    What really surprises me, is how many people (not here, obviously) pass-off Felix’s perfecto, as if it wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s HUGE! Regardless of Cy Young voting, what he did was nothing short of amazing this year!

  4. Breadbaker on October 1st, 2012 6:51 pm

    Here’s hoping Felix is throwing his last pitches ever to Miguel Olivo.

  5. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 6:52 pm

    Another perfect game would do wonders…

  6. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 6:57 pm

    Good call, Breadbaker! I’ll raise my glass to that!

  7. californiamariner on October 1st, 2012 6:59 pm

    I don’t think it matters what Felix does tonight, he is out of Cy Young contention. He needed to finish strong for the last month to get it.

  8. 9inningknowitall on October 1st, 2012 7:05 pm

    Felix winning the Cy Young again would be great but as stated already the bigger prize is if this is the last time Felix ever pitches to Olivo. Unless there is a charity softball game 20 years down the road. Even then I’m not sure Olivo would block the pitches.

  9. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:08 pm

    Watch, they pick-up the option on Olivo, and trade Felix. Doh!

  10. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:14 pm

    Ugh. From any reasonable perspective, Felix should already have thrown his last pitches to Miguel Olivo. There is absolutely no reason Olivo should be playing these last few games – but I bet he’ll be in every one.

  11. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:19 pm

    Crap. Not the start I was hoping for.

  12. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:21 pm

    Really, if Trayvon OR Olivo is on this team next year, I will personally start a local campaign to fire Jack.

  13. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:26 pm


  14. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:26 pm


  15. Sowulo on October 1st, 2012 7:27 pm

    Felix hasn’t even been the best pitcher on the M’s staff for the past month.

  16. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:33 pm

    YEAH! Nail that cocky twit!

  17. californiamariner on October 1st, 2012 7:33 pm

    Hey, look what Wells can do!

  18. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:35 pm

    You know what’s really ridiculous? Trout came bloody close to making a double out of that.

  19. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 7:46 pm

    Trout is currently at 10.0 WAR (fangraphs data). Or, about equal to Seager, Saunders, Jaso, Ackley, Montero and Smoak combined. Is that Difficult to wrap your mind around, or what?

    Kinda surprised he didn’t just steal 2B after his last hit. He needs two more to end up at 50. Probably figures he can get those any time over the next 2+ games.

  20. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:48 pm

    ^^ And, you know what? He probably can.

    Sheesh – I’ve been rooting for Condor to make the 20/20 club… and Trout is gunning for 50/30. Guy’s unreal.

  21. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:49 pm

    I had just seen his WAR (via ESPN) tonight, Mike. I thought it might have been a mistake. Isn’t that nuts?!

  22. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 7:52 pm

    Well, as good as he is – he was running an absurdly high BABIP for a couple months. Now he’s falling back to earth, and is just “really really good” rather than “insane”. 😀

    It’s unlikely he’ll have too many 10 WAR seasons. Or so I tell myself…

  23. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 7:58 pm

    He can have a dozen 10 WAR seasons for all I care, just as long as the Mariners are on top of the Angels at the end of each year 😉

  24. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:00 pm

    You could probably bet that he will never have another 10 WAR season, but he is going to have a lot of 30/40 seasons. Probably at least one 40/40 season, too.

    I heard the Mariners were very interested in using the 27th pick on him in the ’09 draft, but they never got the chance. Nobody had him as even a top 10 selection, that year. Oops!

  25. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:02 pm

    Montero looked so bad on that last swing that it pulled Guti’s oblique.

  26. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:03 pm


  27. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 8:08 pm

    Nice move!

  28. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:12 pm

    Trout’s BABIP against the Mariners is 1.000.

    Or so it has seemed to me, anyway.

  29. californiamariner on October 1st, 2012 8:18 pm

    You guys think Trout is the MVP right? I’m sick of hearing people say Cabrera.. Just wondering what you guys think?

  30. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 8:18 pm

    I’d really like to see Felix get bailed out of this one. Just once, please, let’s see some bloody offense!

  31. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 8:21 pm

    Cabrera is in-line for the triple-crown. I think he’s absolutely deserving of the MVP. But really, a coin-toss might be the best way to decide.

  32. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:23 pm

    CM, I thought that 100%. Then I saw just how much Cabrera has outhit Trout the past couple months. In August and September, Cabrera’s OPS has been roughly 1.062 – Trout’s has been .852, more or less.

    I still would give it to Trout because he’s a very good defender while Cabrera has all the range of a rock; but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk anymore. Jeff’s arguments about WAR assume we can quantify defensive value with more accuracy than I think is the case.

  33. seattlesonsofbaseball on October 1st, 2012 8:24 pm

    The sad thing is now we pretty much have nothing to hang our hats on. We’ve got a plethora of less then average baseball players on offense, a shortstop who has a great glove but can’t hit, a great defensive center fielder who can’t stay healthy…… AND NOW…… an Ace who isn’t fooling anyone. September has stunk for him. He’s gone from Cy Young award potential this year to not even close.

    Now what do we have to be excited for next year??? I wonder if Jack Z. is going to get Jason Giambi to be our veteran bat? Or maybe we can see if we can go out and get another washed up pitcher and try and revive his career. OR, better yet, let’s go out and get “diamond in the rough” players who no one expects to be successful and have them help us to another top 10 placing in the draft order.

    So freaking disappointing. This team pulled up all these young guys… but none the less Brendan Ryan and Miguel Olivo continue to see consistent playing time. Three cheers for our brilliant management!

  34. seattlesonsofbaseball on October 1st, 2012 8:25 pm

    Trout isn’t helping his team get to the playoffs… Cabrera pretty much single handedly is. That is the epitome of MVP, isn’t it???

  35. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:26 pm

    Funny thing about the whole MVP thing, though, is to listen to the Detroit fans that swear the dude is a good defender – he and Fielder are the worst corner duo in the majors (defensively I mean).

  36. stevemotivateir on October 1st, 2012 8:26 pm

    I seriously hope I don’t see anymore of Robinson.

  37. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:27 pm

    Over the past nine games, Cabrera has stunk (.603 OPS). He’s hit worse than Olivo – so I don’t think you can say he’s single-handedly carrying Detroit into the playoffs.

    Overall for the last month, he and Fielder have both been great. Cabrera has outhit Prince (168 RC+ versus 155 RC+). Two other Detroit hitters are over 100 though.

    You can’t say Miggy’s doing it by himself.

  38. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:32 pm

    In August, Miggy was better than in September – 190 wRC+. But Fielder was even better than that, with 206 wRC+.

  39. californiamariner on October 1st, 2012 8:32 pm

    No baseball player can single-handedly carry a baseball team. 1 out of 9 at bats can only do so much.. And if you do want to argue team success the Angels have a better record.. Cabrera is having a phenomenal year hitting, but when you take into account defense and baserunning, I’d pick Trout.

  40. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:36 pm

    Basically Miggy and Prince have both been monsters at the plate.

    Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks have also been pretty darn good too.

  41. Sports on a Shtick on October 1st, 2012 8:39 pm

    Yet another Felix loss against the Angels *sigh*

    Too bad the Montero-to-1st experiment never got going this month. Don’t think the M’s really considered it and it could have revealed more options going into 2013.

  42. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:39 pm

    Trout lapped the field and considering him as the MVP might have gotten blasé for some. His team has a better record than Cabrera’s. Detroit plays in a bad Division. Thats not Trout’s fault. However, the triple crown will probably say it all. Trout will win ROY by a gazillion miles and voters will be hesitant to give him both. WAR is still a “what is it good for” proposition with a lot of voters. And the defensive metrics used within it ate either not very well understood or are unreliable. Or both. In most voting circles.

    How can you really complain either way, though. Whoever wins it, deserved it.

  43. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:40 pm

    I still don’t like Prince’s contract, but they sure can’t complain about either guy’s performance or durability this year. They’ve both played pretty much every game.

  44. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:42 pm

    Come on Iannetta. You gotta catch the ball. At least deflect it, dummy.

  45. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:43 pm

    “They’ve both played pretty much every game”

    Thereby substantiating the fact that you can’t pull fat.

  46. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:45 pm

    So why did umps stop wearing those big old external pads? If it were me, that’s what I’d be wearing.

  47. californiamariner on October 1st, 2012 8:52 pm

    The last couple games it seems like the Mariners have multiple runners on every inning and never score runs..

  48. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:52 pm

    Not an option. Both leagues abandoned them, many years ago. Old timers who had used them were grandfathered in, so they stuck around past the decision date. It’s harder to work with a balloon, but if you only have one base to cover with 4-man mechanics, it is not a big issue. You can work a bit lower with the inside protector, so the high strike eventually disappeared. Not that it was all that high in majors – for many many years. You get hit/hurt a lot less. But, safety is not a priority for umps. I used my dads for several years – especially in hot weather. Much much cooler.

  49. msfanmike on October 1st, 2012 8:56 pm

    How many guys have gotten 4 hits vs Felix?

    Steal home, kid. What a talent!

  50. Westside guy on October 1st, 2012 8:56 pm

    Nope, Felix isn’t getting the Cy Young this year.

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