Game 6, Mariners at White Sox

marc w · April 6, 2013 at 9:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix Hernandez vs. Dylan Axelrod, 10:10am

Happy Felix Day! Which do you prefer: a morning of Felix dominance that gives you the afternoon and evening to reflect on and marinate in his genius? Or a full day to look forward to Felix; being able to slough off the daily indignities of work and life because Felix looms a few hours away?

Dylan Axelrod made several starts for the White Sox last year after slicing through the upper minors. He’s a 30th round pick out of UC Irvine who started out in the system as a reliever, before taking to the rotation in 2010. He commands four pitches and limits walks, while his outpitch slider allows him to get a fair number of Ks (and have issues facing lefties). All told, he’s something like a poor man’s Brandon Maurer – he’s got an 88-89mph fastball, but he only uses it 45%-50% of the time, with his slider around 35-40%, and a curve ball and a change-up to round out the arsenal. Like Maurer, he didn’t really have HR issues in the minors, but he gave up a fair few last year, though of course his home park probably played a role in that. This should be a good match-up for Kendrys Morales and may be the kind of opponent Smoak and Ackley need to get it going a bit. Franklin Gutierrez gets the night off after a night game both to give him a rest and because this isn’t an ideal match-up for him. The M’s saw him in the spring; here’s hoping they do a bit better today.

1: Saunders, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Shoppach, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: King Felix

Other random tidbits:
Julio Morban’s off to a hot start for AA Jackson, with 5 hits in two games. Gabriel Guerrero’s still finding his feet with Clinton, going hitless in his first couple of games. His uncle Vlad Guerrero just signed a contract with the Long Island Ducks, where he’ll be joined by former Cy Young winner Dontrelle Willis.

Some of us were exchanging perplexed tweets about this while it was going on, but the Spring Koshien high-school baseball tournament just ended with 16-year old Tomohiro Anraku making headlines for throwing 772 pitches in a week. He opened with a 232 pitch 13-IP complete game, then a few days later threw 159 in another complete game. He rounded out the week with 130+ pitch complete games on back to back days (!) before pitching in the final. Exhausted, and with his velo down 6-8 MPH or so, he got pounded and his team lost 17-1. Apparently, this has set off some discussions in Japan about high-school workload, particularly around these tournaments. Just in time, too, as the Summer Koshien starts in a few months.

Jeremy Bonderman makes his Tacoma debut today in Fresno, while Hector Noesi begins his attempt to look nothing like Hector Noesi (at least the Noesi we’ve seen in the Mariner system) for AA Jackson. Matt Anderson starts for Clinton; he’s an interesting arm the M’s signed as a free agent last year.

Go M’s!


87 Responses to “Game 6, Mariners at White Sox”

  1. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 12:40 pm

    His defense is there too, Mike. But yeah, it is more of a theory right now.

  2. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 12:47 pm


  3. msfanmike on April 6th, 2013 12:47 pm

    Atta boy, Michael Saunders! Got the ball up into the wind, perfectly.

  4. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 12:47 pm

    there we go!

  5. zvazda on April 6th, 2013 12:48 pm

    THE CONDOR. One more boys, one more…

  6. Coolalvin206 on April 6th, 2013 12:48 pm

    Walterneff…where are you from?

  7. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 12:50 pm

    I think if we’re going to rate people’s overall performance, what they did over 162 games last year (and previously, if they’ve been around longer) needs to be given a tiny bit more weight than what they’ve done in six games this year.

    Seager’s two errors in 2013 shouldn’t sway the discussion.

  8. californiamariner on April 6th, 2013 12:53 pm

    Bay pinch running? He’s faster than Andino?

  9. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 12:53 pm

    Come on, Morse, you still owe us a dinger.

  10. msfanmike on April 6th, 2013 12:57 pm

    Time for some “True Grit” clutchiness

  11. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 12:57 pm

    Andino’s our only infield backup – Wedge probably doesn’t want to burn him subbing at DH.

    More fallout from the “let’s carry four DHs” roster decisions.

  12. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 12:59 pm

    Bah, Raul.

  13. msfanmike on April 6th, 2013 12:59 pm

    Super AB, Raul … Just super.

  14. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 12:59 pm

    Raul once again

  15. zvazda on April 6th, 2013 1:00 pm

    Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul, thanks for the veteran K! He made him self look silly so that Justin relaxes and can Smoak one in here.

  16. zvazda on April 6th, 2013 1:00 pm


  17. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:01 pm

    I’m trying not to judge Raul and Bay based on small sample sizes, because it’s only fair – but it’s hard when their initial performances match my expectations of them so closely.

    But I’m sure it’ll sort itself out, if they continue to not hit through a couple months.

  18. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 1:04 pm

    Glad Morales is out of the lineup early. We needed a better hitter to DH

  19. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 1:06 pm

    Damn you Westy. My crack would have been more believable if you hadn’t posted that right before!

  20. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:07 pm

    I’m sorry Steve!

  21. msfanmike on April 6th, 2013 1:12 pm

    The Organization must really, really dislike Wells to have kept both Ibanez and Bay. I mean – come on … 1 year of a 40 year old player who is bad defensively, over Wells? Why didn’t Bay start in AAA, this season? Contract?

    I realize, this ground has been covered and I am preaching to the choir, but the issues that were predicted are playing out in front of our faces in real-time.

  22. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:13 pm

    I didn’t realize at first that Saunders hit that homer off a lefty. It’d be great if he continued the trend from last year of not showing significant splits.

  23. zvazda on April 6th, 2013 1:15 pm

    You’re kidding… Frankie had a pinch hit… in a game he didn’t start in?

  24. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Come on Guti!

    Come on Monty!

  25. stevemotivateir on April 6th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Saunders was actually better against lefties last year, Westy. Not sure about HR’s, but hitting in general.

    Mike, it was a ML contract with Bay, hence the immediate roster move. What really amazes me, is that he could negotiate an ML contract after the disastrous stint in NY. But yeah, Bay AND Ibanez, and both are viewed as outfielders?

    The competence of both Eric and Jack is questionable.

  26. californiamariner on April 6th, 2013 1:24 pm

    I know it’s been said a bunch of times but Wells could solve so many defense/base running/hitting vs lefties problems for this team.

  27. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:26 pm

    Condor’s average was better against lefties, but his OBP was a wash. However I didn’t realize he also showed more power against lefties.

    wRC+: 116 against lefties, 103 against righties

  28. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 1:29 pm

    If they hadn’t brought in Bay, I don’t think I’d mind having Raul as a bench bat and OCCASIONAL spot starter.

    Has anyone heard anything about Wells since the DFA?

  29. mrakbaseball on April 6th, 2013 1:38 pm

    Wells still lists himself as ‘Seattle Mariners Outfielder’ in his twitter bio.

  30. Sports on a Shtick on April 6th, 2013 1:58 pm

    Just an awful game, not so much for the singular end result but rather what today’s performance bodes for the rest of the season.

    Did anyone have any confidence in Ibanez or Montero? Can this lineup put down bunts or move over runners in any coherent fashion?

  31. msfanmike on April 6th, 2013 3:04 pm

    … And with Chris Sale going tomorrow, I don’t expect an upward tick in the trend.

    Bring on the Astros!

    No news on Wells after 6 days (as far as I know) but it is going to be hard seeing him being able to clear waivers. I am not sure of the organizational protocol, but he is probably still working out with the team – down in Arizona.

  32. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 5:18 pm

    You know, after listening to Wedge’s post-game interview, I decided I was going to take a look at Ibañez’s career stats. And you know what? Career-wise, Wedge wasn’t wrong. Raul has, over his career, hit better when men are on base. He also hasn’t had a terrible record hitting against lefties either – 122 wRC+ versus righties, 94 against lefties. That’s not someone you’d automatically pinch hit for.

    But if you look at his more recent history, Raul’s been pretty helpless against same-handed pitching – that doesn’t seem too surprising, on the face of it, for any aging ball player. But I doubt Wedge sees a curve when he thinks about player performance… he probably thinks (as an ex-ball player himself) you’ve got it until one day you just don’t.

    I think, if it were up to me and the only choice stick with Ibañez or sub in Bay… I’d leave Raul in there.

  33. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 5:25 pm

    Also, the comment editing form here on USSMariner doesn’t play nicely with the iPad.

  34. nvn8vbryce on April 6th, 2013 8:17 pm

    Westy, it hates iOS 6 in general…

  35. SonOfZavaras on April 6th, 2013 8:34 pm

    Zunino has hit a dinger for AAA-Tacoma today- that’s 2 and counting.

    It’s the epitome of small-sample-size theater to point this out and say what I’m going to say next…but I really think he’s not going to be in Tacoma very long.

    My wonder is: does Jesus Montero get traded when it becomes clear Zunino’s ready to take the gig? When they bring him up, it won’t be to be the backup.

  36. Westside guy on April 6th, 2013 9:03 pm

    I’ve been wondering the same thing, SoZ. Zunino, so far, seems destined to destroy every minor league level he’s played at. I know it’s SSS, but he makes me think we just might have another Trout.

    And it’s not like Montero is exactly shining behind the plate – that flinch, yesterday, that resulted in the ump getting nailed in the solar plexus, just cemented the idea in my mind that he really doesn’t belong there. But what can the team do? We’ve already got about 5 people who really should be considered, at best, first base depth…

  37. groundzero55 on April 7th, 2013 3:58 am

    I guess that depends on who they are able to sign to extensions. I can see Morse getting extended, but I don’t know about Morales. Or what the FO wants to do with Smoak, for that matter.

    I could see Montero being shipped away along with a couple other pieces, hopefully for a corner outfielder who can hit AND play defense, who will relegate Ibanez to a pinch-hitting mode.

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