Game 5, Mariners at White Sox

marc w · April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Blake Beavan vs. Jose Quintana, 5:10pm

One of the big questions coming into the season was: how bad will the M’s outfield defense hurt the pitching staff? Jason Bay was a comically bad defender (by UZR) in his Pittsburgh days, and that was when he was 7-8 years younger. The last image we had of Mike Morse in an M’s uniform before he was shipped to Washington was of the newly-minted OF getting turned around by a pop fly and tearing some knee ligaments. Now, those two guys, both past 30, would patrol LF fairly regularly.

In fact, I don’t think it’s going to be *too* much of a problem, though let’s be clear: no one’s winning a gold glove here.* One reason is that the M’s probably won’t yield anywhere near as many fly balls as they did last year. The M’s posted the 27th highest GB% in baseball last year, about a percentage point higher than last-place Oakland – the M’s had only one true GB-guy as a starter in Hisashi Iwakuma, but he didn’t take a turn in the rotation until the season was half over. This year, Iwakuma figures to pitch more, and Jason Vargas has been replaced by Joe Saunders, whose career GB% is about 10 percentage points higher. But the biggest change could come in the 5th spot. 2012 Blake Beavan (like 2011 Blake Beavan) was an extreme fly-ball pitcher. After a mechanical adjustment and a new, higher arm slot, Beavan got a flurry of ground balls in the spring. Will it carry over? If it does – if his GB% looks more like the league average and less like Chris Young’s – then the M’s corner OF may have less to do this year.**

The other reason I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a problem is that the M’s OF defense wasn’t actually all that good last year. Not only did the M’s see their CFs post oddly poor numbers, the M’s had to suffer through a depressed Chone Figgins logging several hundred innings in LF/CF. Now, while this “2012 versus 2013″ comparison can’t actually tell us if the M’s OF defense is good, bad or indifferent compared to the *league* average, it does show that we may not see the kind of drop-off that many of us expected. Sure, there could be a drop off here or there, particularly in RF, where the M’s won’t get a half-year of Ichiro, but this could be balanced by some standard regression toward the mean from Saunders/Guti in CF. I’d still really like the ground-ballier version of Beavan, though. Better safe than sorry, and better to have Brendan Ryan field the ball in play than anyone.

Jose Quintana’s a left-handed starter who seems unremarkable in just about every way. His FB’s 91. He throws a cutter and a curve; neither is terribly noteworthy. He doesn’t get a ton of strikeouts, and he doesn’t have Beavanesque walk rates. Even his W/L record last year was 6-6. I suppose we could talk about how he posted excellent results after his call-up in May, but faded badly down the stretch? He did those things. Uh, ok, moving on – He’s somewhat interesting in that he was pitching with the Yankees Dominican Summer League team at age 20 (already having been cut by the Mets a few years prior), and didn’t actually reach the US affiliates until he turned 20. He posted solid but unremarkable numbers as a reliever, and got cut. The Yankees moved him to the rotation, and he had a great season in the Florida State League, and so they cut him again. The next year, 2012, he began in AA and ended up making 22 good-ish big league starts. That’s something, right? Overcoming adversity, never giving up, laughing at the Yankees player development system? Not every game is Felix versus Chris Sale or something.

Have a line-up:
1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Saunders, RF
3: Morales, 1B
4: Morse, DH
5: Montero, C
6: Seager, 3B
7: Bay, LF
8: Ackley, 2B
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Beavan

* Not Gutierrez, you ask? No. He’s been hurt several times, passed 30 years old, and may not play enough to stick in the minds of voters. The playing time consideration may have been a factor in JJ Hardy beating out Brendan Ryan last year. I don’t think Guti’s anywhere near bad (you hear me, UZR? You take your 2012 math and shove it.), but he’s not the defender he was in 2009.
** There’s a school of thought that says that as total chances go up (if there are a lot more FBs), then those chances will tend to be easier. That is, if you’ve got pitchers that no how to induce contact at particular launch angles, you’ll get more easy flies and fewer liners and long HRs, because if pitchers consistently gave up contact like that, they’d never be in the majors. UZR actually accounts for this to avoid OFs with a lot of chances posting amazing UZR numbers. Still, there’s a possibility this impacted, say, Josh Reddick’s eye-popping defensive numbers. No such luck for the M’s, though, as Guti/Saunders combined to lose 17 runs, according to UZR. This has been a Blake Beavan game write-up that’s only obliquely about Blake Beavan.

Comments

103 Responses to “Game 5, Mariners at White Sox”

  1. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 4:06 pm

    If Morse hits 45 bombs, I suspect none of us will get very worked up about Guti and Condor having to pick up a bunch of extra balls the Beast is unable to get to on defense…

  2. Bremerton guy on April 5th, 2013 4:07 pm

    Morse hurt his shoulder when he dove for a ball. He didn’t hurt his knee running after a pop-up. Free Mike Morse!

  3. bro_rick on April 5th, 2013 4:42 pm

    Reminds me of the 2009 series at Colorado when they started Junior in RF for all three games.

  4. Slats on April 5th, 2013 5:13 pm

    Guti! What a start.

  5. Ralph_Malph on April 5th, 2013 5:30 pm

    Morse has an OPS of 1.537 and an OPS+ of 330. Do you suppose he can keep that up?

  6. djw on April 5th, 2013 6:03 pm

    Nice play by Seager but I think de aza was safe.

  7. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 6:05 pm

    Seager’s play was totally worthy of Beltre.

  8. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:17 pm

    Dunn SB? WTF.

  9. jordan on April 5th, 2013 6:17 pm

    Gameday just said Dunn stole 2nd. Wut?

  10. djw on April 5th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Uncontested. Good work by Dunn to take advantage of the defensive laziness.

  11. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Montero was running out to the mound and Blake almost pitched and nailed him.

  12. jordan on April 5th, 2013 6:19 pm

    Beavan is doing quite well today actually. 37 strikes to 12 balls. And those strikes are getting smashed.

  13. djw on April 5th, 2013 6:19 pm

    That run is completely due to defensive laziness. Embarrassing and frustrating.

  14. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:24 pm

    Bay’s first hit as a Mariner!

  15. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:26 pm

    Ackley!

  16. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:28 pm

    Ryan! M’s lead.

  17. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:31 pm

    Two-run double by Guti!

  18. Slats on April 5th, 2013 6:33 pm

    RBI triple for Saunders! M’s on fire.

  19. bigsmooth on April 5th, 2013 6:33 pm

    Lefty on lefty triple by Saunders. M’s are just raking right now.

  20. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 6:34 pm

    Big inning! Chicago fans now in foul mood.

  21. Section329 on April 5th, 2013 6:34 pm

    Liking this White Sox pitcher!

  22. djw on April 5th, 2013 6:35 pm

    This is fun!

  23. californiamariner on April 5th, 2013 6:35 pm

    They can’t be stopped! Woohoo!

  24. JMB on April 5th, 2013 6:38 pm

    The boys are killing it this inning.

    I gotta get one of those beard hats.

  25. drewringo on April 5th, 2013 6:53 pm

    I went to the Phills home opener today. Let me just say, makes me miss Seattle, and appreciate the intelligence of this group of fans.

  26. Section329 on April 5th, 2013 6:56 pm

    Great-Beavan giving it all back.

  27. Longgeorge1 on April 5th, 2013 6:57 pm

    Bad inning Beavan returns

  28. californiamariner on April 5th, 2013 7:00 pm

    There’s the Beavan I remember

  29. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 7:00 pm

    Amateur curveball hour. Good God – his curve is stanky!

  30. nvn8vbryce on April 5th, 2013 7:01 pm

    Get a reliever in a hurry!

  31. Longgeorge1 on April 5th, 2013 7:05 pm

    Must be the outfield defense – they are playing in front of the fence

  32. californiamariner on April 5th, 2013 7:12 pm

    Lets do it bullpen!

  33. JG on April 5th, 2013 7:18 pm

    Great start for Gutti. I really hope he can stay healthy.

  34. jordan on April 5th, 2013 7:52 pm

    All those strikes being called balls is 100% on Montero. He keeps stabbing at the ball.

  35. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:03 pm

    Just got home – looks like I missed a lot!

    I’m worried Morse might fall off his 162-homer pace though.

  36. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:05 pm

    Montero is not much of a catcher.

  37. Bwilliam on April 5th, 2013 8:05 pm

    Jordan I completely agree about Montero. He doesn’t know how to frame a pitch. I watched several of those pitches in slow motion and it’s even more obvious.

  38. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:08 pm

    Montero actually jumped out of the way of a pitch – and it drilled the umpire. His natural instinct seems to be to flinch or to poke at the ball with his glove – or both, simultaneously.

    Is there any chance that he is just not very bright?

  39. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:13 pm

    I missed your earlier comment, Jordan. Yeah – Montero definitely stabs/pokes at the ball. He is a shitty “receiver” if the ball.

  40. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:15 pm

    And I am a shitty typer OF the sentence.

  41. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:16 pm

    Mike, don’t be so hard in yourself.

  42. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Nice, Westy! I am figuring to hit my mid-season form right around the same time as Ackley. We are both notoriously slow starters. And we are both striving to have a Gordon Beckham’esque career trajectory.

  43. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:26 pm

    I don’t like the bunt in that situation.

  44. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:26 pm

    Morales!!!

  45. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:26 pm

    Neither do I Slats.

  46. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:27 pm

    Bunt ended up working well after I said that haha.

    Nice Morales.

  47. pgreyy on April 5th, 2013 8:27 pm

    WOO for Mor A Les!

  48. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:27 pm

    Woo hoo!

    Guti likely would have scored on that hit, even from first. Hehehehe (gotta save face)

  49. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:30 pm

    Man I hope he learns to lay off that low outside pitch…

  50. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:30 pm

    Jesus!

  51. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:31 pm

    Yay Morales… Wedge getting away with a wasted bunt. M’s getting a run. Montero cashing the insurance.

    Wilhelmsen should have an ice shaker in the dugout to start his warmup regime. Loosen up his arms. And he needs a tip jar for the other relievers.

  52. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:31 pm

    Je-SUS!

  53. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:32 pm

    Haha Montero trying to score from first!

  54. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:33 pm

    Montero first to home? I’m not sure he can pull that off 50% of the time when someone hits a homerun. Let the boys hit. Why give away outs?

  55. spuuky on April 5th, 2013 8:33 pm

    I will be happy if the Mariners merely win the first two games of every series this year.

  56. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:33 pm

    What a slug. The 4′ strides aren’t helping, either. Oh well, maybe 2 will be enough.

    Maybe.

  57. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:33 pm

    That was painful to watch.

  58. seahopp on April 5th, 2013 8:34 pm

    To be fair to Montero, it seemed like he might have avoided the tag.

  59. henryv on April 5th, 2013 8:34 pm

    The M’s give away outs. A lot. They gave away 2 that inning. And the throw to home wasn’t so good, so it’s not like you can say “A good throw gets him.”

  60. jordan on April 5th, 2013 8:34 pm

    With two outs he was going on contact. I could habe scored on that play if I backpedled the whole way.

  61. Swungonandbelted on April 5th, 2013 8:35 pm

    I’d hate to see what Montero would look like if they hadn’t spent the off season working on his speed…

  62. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:35 pm

    spuuky…
    I support that sort of “merely”. And if you say it fast it sounds pretty easy to do!

    Radio broadcast: “Montero gunned out at home plate”…?

    More like the little flag that comes out of the Hollywood cap pistol that says “bang” startled him and he tripped and died.

  63. djw on April 5th, 2013 8:36 pm

    I wish Montero could run as well as I do. I can’t stress how rare it is for “I wish (professional athlete) could accomplish (physical feat) at the level of proficiency I have attained” to be a reasonable wish for anyone to have.

  64. spuuky on April 5th, 2013 8:37 pm

    We really don’t have a defensive sub who is better than Jason Bay in the outfield? Can the Mariners sign me?

  65. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 8:40 pm

    It was a bad call though. I knew it was a bad call just hearing Blowers in the background.

  66. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:40 pm

    Walk the guy in front of Dunn. Great idea.

  67. gag harbor on April 5th, 2013 8:40 pm

    Bay should not be in there right now. Wells would be a huge upgrade but if you only value hitting then this is what we get in the last inning of the game.

  68. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:42 pm

    I thought that was out off the bat.

  69. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:42 pm

    Raul Ibañez, defensive substitution! :-D

    Dodged a bullet there…

  70. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:44 pm

    That was a wild pitch.

    Come ON, Tommy!

  71. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:45 pm

    (fingernails getting shorter by the minute– anyone got a toothpick?)

  72. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 8:46 pm

    Wilhelmson is missing low, not real sharp at all.

  73. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:46 pm

    Strikes please. (Dammit)

  74. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 8:47 pm

    I wonder if there is any situation where they would relieve him.

  75. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:48 pm

    Speaking of toothpicks, I don’t think one could be sledge hammered into Tommy’s bum at this point. He is all knotted up.

  76. henryv on April 5th, 2013 8:48 pm

    How many games will Ibanez actually play? We are playing terrible defensive alignments to carry him. This is getting down right silly. And we have one legit replacement baserunner.

  77. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Argh. Down to the cuticles now… Little bit of blood. (I gotta stop biting my nails!)

  78. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Man it looks cold there!

    Crap!

  79. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:50 pm

    msfan-
    You’d think that would be disturbing, but it actually helped calm me down because THE IMAGE WAS DISTRACTING!!!

    Thanks. (laugh)

  80. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:50 pm

    Find some gloves MrZ!

    Please, Tommy! PLEASE!

  81. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:51 pm

    Westy-
    They don’t work for imaginary tooth biting. Weird, huh?!

  82. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:52 pm

    )(&#(^)(#@!

  83. Paul B on April 5th, 2013 8:52 pm

    Getting squeezed some.

  84. jordan on April 5th, 2013 8:52 pm

    again… Montero makes that pitch look low.

  85. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:53 pm

    Down to the first knuckles now… Strikes, strike!

  86. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:53 pm

    It’s a Christmas Miracle

  87. Slats on April 5th, 2013 8:53 pm

    Bartender!

  88. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 8:53 pm

    (Slowly exhaling)

  89. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:54 pm

    Over .500 again. Nice job, boys.

  90. msfanmike on April 5th, 2013 8:54 pm

    Piece of cake … Now follow it up with some runs for Felix, tomorrow!

  91. Swungonandbelted on April 5th, 2013 8:54 pm

    Watered down Martini, not the best effort but passable. No tip for the bartender tonight.

  92. Section329 on April 5th, 2013 8:54 pm

    Whew!

  93. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:56 pm

    (I was deeply consumed at that final pitch by the CBSSports article today about how many blown saves there have already been this year… Closers were at 58% coming into today. The normal rate is over 70%. Then Tom reminded me HE DON’T CARE!)

  94. nvn8vbryce on April 5th, 2013 8:57 pm

    Swungonandbelted, here’s a tip for the bartender: when it’s closing time, slam the door shut. Don’t let people keep coming in well past last call…

  95. MrZDevotee on April 5th, 2013 8:57 pm

    NVN8-
    Especially when dude says “Make mine a DOUBLE!”

    “Sorry, we’re closed,” is the correct response.

    So does Wilhelmson have a “sinker” or a “bouncer” to throw guys out?

  96. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 9:00 pm

    Haha, just saw the replay of Saunders triple – my first thought was “what if Montero had been on first?”

  97. henryv on April 5th, 2013 9:02 pm

    Felix pitching a CG would be really good tomorrow.

  98. nvn8vbryce on April 5th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Westy, I shudder to think about it…

    MrZ – bouncer works, especially with Montero behind the dish…

  99. henryv on April 5th, 2013 9:05 pm

    Holy shit. Blake Beaven should not be throwing that shit breaking ball any more.

  100. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 9:05 pm

    Oh, that pitch location animation they’re using in the post game is highly annoying.

  101. henryv on April 5th, 2013 9:20 pm

    That I agree with. It’s worse than the glowing puck.

  102. nvn8vbryce on April 5th, 2013 10:11 pm

    Westy, is it as annoying as “veteran grit?”

  103. Westside guy on April 5th, 2013 10:37 pm

    I’d rather watch Raul Ibañez play 100 innings of left field than see that animation – THAT’S how annoying I think it is!

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