Cactus League Game 11, Rockies at Mariners

marc w · March 4, 2013 at 10:10 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Jon Garland vs. Juan Nicasio, 12:05

The M’s get a new victim today to celebrate their impending 10th straight victory: the Colorado Rockies. Picking up on the recent outbreak of M’s fever, ROOT Sports will televise today’s game, so we’ll be able to see the M’s dispatch the Rockies, who’d huddled together high on mountain peaks to escape the ravaging horde of Mariners. Some may say it’s unseemly to make a spectacle out of predator/prey interactions, but it’s just nature’s way: you can’t easily map human morality to something like this. Jon Garland and Taijuan Walker need to feed. Reid Brignac is protein-rich, and his bones aid the natural digestion of apex predators like Walker.

The M’s received a bit of a scare today – no, not from another team, don’t be absurd – when Danny Hultzen was scratched from today’s game with a hip flexor injury. It’s not thought to be serious, and will only keep him out for a few days. And as it’s not arm-related, he can continue to throw a bit on the side. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on throughout the month. There was never much chance of Hultzen breaking camp with Seattle, but that small percentage has just dwindled to zero.

Joe Saunders pitched effectively yesterday, but as Harry Pavlidis noted on twitter, he was sitting in the low-mid 80s. Saunders has never been a fireballer and his game isn’t about velocity, but if you’re already monitoring Hultzen’s hip, you may as well track Saunders’ arm as well. He was at 85-88 in his start late last year in Seattle, so it’s not a huge change, but seeing a presumptive M’s starter fire in what looked for all the world like a four-seam fastball at 83 was…perplexing. Brian Moran does that all the time, and he’s a reliever, I get it. It’s also early March, and this is the kind of thing I may be making too much of, but…83?

1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Ibanez, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Wells, RF
6: Thames, LF
7: Shoppach, C
8: Andino, 2B
9: Triunfel, SS
SP: Garland


32 Responses to “Cactus League Game 11, Rockies at Mariners”

  1. ctdawg on March 4th, 2013 10:20 am

    Just a curiosity but before the injury, why was it a foregone conclusion that Hultzen wouldn’t make the team out of camp? Two years ago, Michael Pineda made the team in the spring when he was even younger than Hultzen is now. Like Hultzen, Pineda was also coming off a season where he dominated AA and scuffled some in AAA.

  2. Dobbs on March 4th, 2013 10:42 am

    Pineda dominated AAA hitting showing great control.

    Hultzen walked nearly 1 hitter per inning.

  3. Dobbs on March 4th, 2013 10:44 am

    I’m disappointed that we’re playing such a weak lineup, going to be difficult to keep up the win-streak today.

  4. maqman on March 4th, 2013 10:55 am

    They beat the Rangers, Giants and Dodgers, Colorado should just forfeit and avoid the embarrassment.

  5. MrZDevotee on March 4th, 2013 12:16 pm

    Don’t starters typically increase a mph or two during the season, as they “limber” up?

    Seems like 83 mph in his 2nd appearance of Spring is on par with 85-88mph after the All-Star break.

    (fingers crossed, anyways)

  6. MrZDevotee on March 4th, 2013 12:33 pm

    Who ARE these guys? 2 outs in the first and the M’s push across 2 runs (so far)…


    Maybe we, the fans, should treat Spring Training like our season, and the regular season like it doesn’t count?

    Way more fun.

  7. ppl on March 4th, 2013 12:33 pm

    That is something we will surely being seeing in the regular season: Shoppach striking out.

  8. Paul B on March 4th, 2013 12:36 pm

    Glad to see Wells get an RBI and a hit. Hope he gave Wedge a look right in the eyes.

  9. ppl on March 4th, 2013 12:44 pm

    I will take that from Garland at this point in spring training.

  10. absolutsyd on March 4th, 2013 12:49 pm

    Sooooo, is there no radio broadcast of todays game? I can’t get it on my phone, and am at work so I couldn’t watch video even if I did pay for it.

  11. marc w on March 4th, 2013 12:58 pm

    “Just a curiosity but before the injury, why was it a foregone conclusion that Hultzen wouldn’t make the team out of camp? ”

    Just think it was unlikely due to service time stuff, the fact that he struggled so much in AAA and because the M’s picked up some veterans. Felix/Saunders/Iwakuma/Erasmo are just about locks, so you’ve got a ton of people fighting for the #5. I think it’d be really tough to give it to Hultzen unless he came in looking amazing. Very easy to ask him to prove that his control problems are done for a few months and let Garland/Beavan whoever hold the fort for a while.

    “Don’t starters typically increase a mph or two during the season, as they “limber” up?”

    Yes, they do, though the effect is overstated because the weather is often a factor. Saunders is pitching in Arizona, not Cleveland in early April. But that’s a very fair question, and I definitely think he’ll add velo over the next month or two. I checked back to *last* spring training, when Saunders started a game in the same stadium as a Diamondback. In that game, he was 88-ish, and hit 91 with some regularity. That was a bit later in March, but it just makes yesterday’s game a bit odder. I may do another post on this.

  12. marc w on March 4th, 2013 12:58 pm

    No, absolutsyd, there’s no radio.

  13. marc w on March 4th, 2013 1:00 pm

    Tai Walker with a 1-2-3 3rd, threw 0 breaking balls. All 4-seamers, at 94-96.

  14. MrZDevotee on March 4th, 2013 1:03 pm

    I like Tai. Yep.

    When the catcher orders up a fastball, Tai asks back “how many stars?” (How hot?)

  15. EricL on March 4th, 2013 1:05 pm

    I am never, ever, going to be able to see Reid Brignac in a game again without thinking “protein-rich.” That player is now completely ruined for me.

  16. marc w on March 4th, 2013 1:17 pm

    Whoa, Nolan Arenado just took an elevated fastball out to CF off of Walker – about 415′ or so. Not a terrible pitch, probably a ball, in fact.

  17. msfanmike on March 4th, 2013 1:17 pm

    Ordering “up” was a problem, right there. Order it “down” next time … Especially when it’s straight.

  18. Typical Idiot Fan on March 4th, 2013 1:18 pm

    I think Walker’s changeup is upgrading slowly from “work in progress” to “filthy pitch”. That last one he threw to strike out the second batter was nasty.

  19. marc w on March 4th, 2013 1:18 pm

    Nice change-up for a strikeout. Walker’s more than just a FB/Curve guy.

  20. marc w on March 4th, 2013 1:25 pm

    Walker getting BABIPed to death here as a parade of choppers between 1st/2nd find the hole. 3-3 game now.

  21. GhostofMarinersPast on March 4th, 2013 1:32 pm

    Phenomenal throw by Shoppach to get the runner trying to steal second

  22. marc w on March 4th, 2013 1:32 pm

    And now Walker’s reaaallly struggling. Walked a guy to get the bases loaded, then had Shoppach drop a foul pop-up, but came back to retire Cuddyer on a hard GB to 1B.

    Shoppach had already thrown out a runner on the bases, so it’s not like he was a big problem in the inning or anything, but Shoppach really needed to catch that pop up.

  23. msfanmike on March 4th, 2013 1:42 pm

    Miguel Batista looks as good as ever.

  24. MrZDevotee on March 4th, 2013 1:49 pm

    Not that Eric Wedge would pay attention, but sorry Casper– Spring Training doesn’t mean anything.

    Looking good though.

  25. EricL on March 4th, 2013 1:49 pm

    Rockies are showing some REALLY bad defense in the 4th inning…

  26. MrZDevotee on March 4th, 2013 1:53 pm

    Rockies and M’s should stage a game where Bautista and Noesi face off, and if the two clubs combine for 10 or more “dingers” everyone gets a free doorball.

  27. marc w on March 4th, 2013 2:15 pm

    The M’s responded violently after what they perceived as a slight to young male Taijuan Walker. They’ve now scored 9 straight runs in a ‘pour encourager les autres’ approach. They’ve bludgeoned their prey to death, and are now sharing the carcass with their young. The youngsters “stalk” and “attack” the remains to build up their own hunting skills, and the entire pride seems pleased with their haul today.

  28. TherzAlwaysHope on March 4th, 2013 2:47 pm

    Marc: Just keep this up until the end of the World Series.

  29. marc w on March 4th, 2013 3:07 pm

    You got it.

    Casper Wells has three doubles today. Peguero hit a laser off the wall in left center on a change-up. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of talk about that, but it’s not necessarily a great/encouraging sign. That’s what we call foreshadowing! (Post later today on him).

  30. TherzAlwaysHope on March 4th, 2013 3:19 pm

    As a matter of fact, I am imagining you as one of the broadcasters for Root Sports doing your “barbarian color guy” shtick. Hilarious.

  31. scraps on March 4th, 2013 3:48 pm

    With “pour encourager les autres” jokes.

  32. Paul B on March 4th, 2013 4:24 pm

    (Post later today on him).

    Peguero, I assume.

    For a second there I thought you said it wasn’t a great sign for Wells.

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