Game 22, Mariners at Astros

marc w · April 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Bud Norris, 5:10pm

Man, everything feels better after a single day of full-spectrum dominance. Thank you, Felix. Thank you, Brad Peacock.

Bud Norris is the Astros nominal ace, and at a cool $3 million, the highest paid member of the team. He’s a straight-fastball/slider pitcher, who throws a 50:50 mix to righties, but will mix in the occasional change to left-handers. His slider is a swing-and-miss pitch, which has helped him rack up impressive strike-out totals over the past several seasons, but so-so control and a HR problem have limited his effectiveness, even with the 22%+ K rates. Lefties have typically hit a bit better off of him, which makes some sense given his arsenal, but given his lack of fastball movement, he’s not dominant against right-handers.

The M’s made a roster move today, placing Franklin Gutierrez on the 15-day DL and recalling Carlos Peguero from Tacoma. This was all but announced last night, when Peguero was removed from the game in Salt Lake pretty much as soon as Guti went down. Eric Thames is out-hitting Peguero, left-handed, on the 40-man, and possessed of a superior MLB career line, but that wasn’t enough to get the call. Peguero isn’t in the line-up tonight, and it’s not immediately clear how much he’ll play; he could find himself back in Tacoma when Michael Saunders comes off the DL in a few days.

Hisashi Iwakuma’s been incredibly effective this year despite a real change in his batted ball profile. Fly balls are up considerably over 2012, but while he’s given up the occasional homer, this hasn’t led to a flurry of long balls. His K% is essentially dead-on his 2012 figure, but he’s not walking anyone. Yes, his BABIP is absurdly low and this will regress, but he’s been legitimately good this year, with a FIP and xFIP solidly better than his 2012 results. As Matthew said, signing him to a two-year deal is looking like the M’s best move of the off-season, and one of the better moves by any team.

The line-up:
1: Chavez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Ibanez, LF
7: Montero, C
8: Ackley, 2B
9: Ryan
SP: Iwakuma

SO I mentioned it was a big start for James Paxton last night, and he got hammered by Salt Lake. Two HRs and six total runs in less than 2 IP, as the Rainiers dropped a classic PCL game, 13-11. Just to keep things fresh, they played a pitcher’s duel today, beating the Bees 2-1 behind “PCL Dream” Brian Sweeney (6Ks in 5 IP), Lucas Luetge and Logan Bawcom.

Clinton’s game was postponed, again. That’s seven in the last twelve days.

Chance Ruffin starts tonight for Jackson in the only night-game on the M’s affiliate scoreboard.

Comments

104 Responses to “Game 22, Mariners at Astros”

  1. G-Man on April 23rd, 2013 5:04 pm

    Does Peguero have an option left, and Thames not, perhaps?

    BTW, Casper Wells was activated today by the A’s.

  2. Madison Mariner on April 23rd, 2013 5:07 pm

    No, Thames has an option left–if he didn’t, they would’ve had to pass him through outright waivers when he didn’t make the team out of spring training. Since he had an option, they just optioned him to AAA.

    And that option is for the whole season, as they can call him up and send him back down as needed. :)

  3. Paul B on April 23rd, 2013 5:12 pm

    Wedge has a mancrush on Peguero.

    I see we may have more slapstick hilarity in left tonight.

  4. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:14 pm

    Peguero will serve as a late innings defensive replacement for Raul.

  5. Paul B on April 23rd, 2013 5:18 pm

    Wedge told Sims he picked Peugero over Thames because of baserunning, fielding and power.

    Wedge is fatally flawed.

  6. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:19 pm

    Man they’re just going to that outside corner with Morse, time after time – the opposing teams have really been figured him out quickly.

  7. spuuky on April 23rd, 2013 5:28 pm

    I will optimistically dream that they called up Peguero over Thames because they know it’s a short duration and they don’t want to disrupt Thames from playing more down there, as whoever got called up is just for emergency use anyway, and that Wedge is just required to say nice things and so he had to pick something.

    That would be nice.

  8. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:33 pm

    I think crap outfielders like Raul need their own ERA – that run should be charged to him.

  9. marcus_andrews on April 23rd, 2013 5:33 pm

    I think Kendrys Morales would be better in left field than Raul.

  10. Section329 on April 23rd, 2013 5:33 pm

    Raul taking pride in his defense.

  11. georgmi on April 23rd, 2013 5:35 pm

    they know it’s a short duration and they don’t want to disrupt Thames from playing more down there

    That’s what I am telling myself as well, though my wife thinks the M’s have just decided that outfielders falling down all over themselves because of bad routes in the field and because of overswinging at the plate is more entertaining than actually, you know, getting runners on base and driving them in but LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR HER.

  12. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 5:35 pm

    Ibanez no bueno.

  13. WTF_Ms on April 23rd, 2013 5:35 pm

    Wow…just got here. That regression didn’t take long! Back to normal!

    ¡Si! ¡No bueno!

  14. CCW on April 23rd, 2013 5:39 pm

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s a nice little collection of Ibanez defensive GIFs put together by Lookout Landing: http://www.lookoutlanding.com/pages/raul-ibanez-takes-pride-in-his-defense

  15. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:43 pm

    Ackley with a hit!

  16. WTF_Ms on April 23rd, 2013 5:47 pm

    Endy, Endy….stay at second…

  17. G-Man on April 23rd, 2013 5:48 pm

    Hoorah, we got a run. But I rarely like that play, where the trailing runner (Chavez) gives himself up to be sure the run scores.

  18. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 5:48 pm

    Endy is no coward, Geoff Baker. Great AB and really nice base running by Ackley. I still think that is his best – current – tool. Glad to see him have a chance to use it.

  19. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:49 pm

    Endy!

  20. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 5:49 pm

    Endy no coward = Seager not hitting with RISP, unfortunately.

    Endy still bueno, though.

  21. G-Man on April 23rd, 2013 5:50 pm

    No reason to risk trying to get to third with 2 outs.

  22. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 5:53 pm

    TV Guys: Please PLEASE stop with the analysis of two freaking games where Ackley and Smoak have looked better.

    We WANT them to do well… but it’s TWO GAMES, and it’s against the ASTROS.

  23. georgmi on April 23rd, 2013 5:54 pm

    When there are straws, people will grasp at them, Westy.

  24. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:06 pm

    Peguero should be on his last option year now, right?

  25. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 6:07 pm

    Didn’t Smoak go on a mini-tear last year after Dave wrote his original “Smoak must go” article? I remember the article much better than I recall the length of the mini hit streak.

    However, it is nice to see Smoak hit the ball hard. I am just not exactly sure what to make of it.

  26. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 6:10 pm

    The other league owners have decided that the Mariners can have as many options on Peguero as they want. It’s a good till filled order and the M’s seem to be the exact type of organization to use them “all.”

  27. Paul B on April 23rd, 2013 6:11 pm

    the first hit by Smoak was a line drive, which is what he needs to do to have any sort of success. The second hit he got on top of and got a little lucky.

  28. hidalgo on April 23rd, 2013 6:18 pm

    Not even through 3 innings and Ibanez has 5 LOB and a run-scoring error. Peggy, Thames, anyone else, please!

  29. jordan on April 23rd, 2013 6:19 pm

    PENCIL IT IN! Smoak is still our 1B of the future. Guy is going to be a stud.

    Thank god he’s going to be OK, I was worried.

  30. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:22 pm

    Mike – I’m pretty sure that “mini tear” by Smoak (and a couple other guys simultaneously, I believe) was over a three-series span where the Mariners faced Kansas City for two of the series. The M’s beat up on KC pitchers, and we were regaled with tales about the young guys finally coming around.

    Looking at the 2012 schedule now… yes, those three series started roughly three weeks after Dave’s first “giving up on Smoak” post.

  31. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:26 pm

    Man, Kuma is not on tonight…

    Even sadder, he’s still pitching better than every other Mariners starting pitcher not named Felix.

  32. Grayfox3d on April 23rd, 2013 6:30 pm

    Ibanez…. 0-2 with 5 LOB…. Single handily killing us slowly…

  33. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 6:31 pm

    Maybe they brought up Peguero to make Monty’s pitch selection to look better – in comparison.

  34. Longgeorge1 on April 23rd, 2013 6:31 pm

    Down by 2 we’re toast – Time to take out the “defensive specialists” and put in the “bats”

  35. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:34 pm

    Hahaha Longgeorge1.

  36. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 6:36 pm

    “Wedge told Sims he picked Peugero over Thames because of baserunning, fielding and power.

    Wedge is fatally flawed.”

    That’s harsh, I believe it’s simply his “get-out-the-blindfold” dartboard that is flawed… A tiny little bullseye labeled “right move” (in print too small to read, so it’s hard to blame him…) and then one giant circle filling the rest of the board around it labeled “Peguero”…*laugh*

  37. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:40 pm

    You guys know I don’t particularly like Wedge; but what he tells the media needs to be taken with a giant grain of salt. He has no reason to tell them what he’s really thinking.

  38. hidalgo on April 23rd, 2013 6:41 pm

    Jack Z with a new psychological ailment – Suicide by Ibanez.

  39. hidalgo on April 23rd, 2013 6:45 pm

    Westside you’re too kind implying that Wedge actually thinks. The intentional walk with two outs. Brilliant!

  40. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 6:46 pm

    Maybe I should have typed “thinking”? :-D

  41. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 6:49 pm

    Hidalgo-
    If it wasn’t too soon, and totally insensitive there’s a joke there in your “Z’s suicide” comments about why the Mariners might be “bombing” this season.

    And Westy-
    A LOT of time usually passes between when Wedge makes a decision and when he gets asked about it… Sometimes a full day. So maybe he just doesn’t remember the reason he made those decisions way back when… (Oh wait, that’s ME who tries to forget them as soon as they’re made… I was projecting.)

  42. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 6:54 pm

    In the good news department– 85 pitches for Norris 1 out into the 5th inning. I’m salivating for the 7th, 8th, and 9th.

  43. WalterNeff on April 23rd, 2013 6:55 pm

    When did Jack Black start playing first base for the Astros?

  44. WalterNeff on April 23rd, 2013 6:56 pm

    Gamecast says Morales filed out. Ah – they fixed it.

  45. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 6:58 pm

    Walter-
    It’s kinda smart… If you’re going for entertaining versus good, sign movie stars!!! The “entertainment to dollars” ratio is way higher than for a replacement level baseball player.

    I mean, think about it… “Now playing LF- Raul Ibanez…” (crickets)

    “Now playing LF- Will Farrell!” (cheers)

    Sorta genius, really?

  46. WalterNeff on April 23rd, 2013 7:00 pm

    Bring the fences in!

  47. WTF_Ms on April 23rd, 2013 7:01 pm

    Just for perspective, we should sweep this series. “Should”….but as a AAA team, we’re just not up to it. :(

  48. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:12 pm

    Ugh, Justin.

  49. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2013 7:12 pm

    Ironically MrZD, Ibanez is just as funny as Ferrell would be in the outfield.

  50. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:16 pm

    That’s probably true, Steve – at least for folks who aren’t Mariners fans.

  51. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 7:19 pm

    Steve-
    I thought that I was writing the comparison… Er, kinda the same thing isn’t it? (laugh)

    But seriously, why haven’t Will Farrell and/or Jack Black DONE a baseball movie yet? Brilliant premise… “We can get more fans, make more money, by hiring comedians!” And then they end up accidently winning– you could incorporate hilarious twists on “Moneyball”… “Sure, Carlos has no arms, but his patience at the plate is legendary!” Maybe Pistorious as our designated base stealer, with his bionic legs? (Y’know, if he doesn’t go to prison)

  52. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2013 7:21 pm

    Plus, MY GOD the humorous things you could do with a Wedge-like manager…!!! (He’s the guy in charge of making sure they lose!)

    Call a Squeeze Play with a guy on 2nd…

    Put all the fat guys in the outfield.

    A pitcher who used to be a bartender! (Wait… er…)

  53. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:25 pm

    Unfortunately Wedge’s strategies aren’t really funny – just sad.

  54. WalterNeff on April 23rd, 2013 7:26 pm

    Jack Black a single A loser who gets discovered by scout Will Ferrell. Black’s stance is so weird that he walks every time. .000 batting ave. No at-bats. Until the climax where he bunts in the winning run in the WS

  55. jordan on April 23rd, 2013 7:27 pm

    Yeah, Put Noesi in. It’s not like this is only a 2 run game and Noesi is terrible.

  56. WalterNeff on April 23rd, 2013 7:30 pm

    Christopher Walken is the team owner

  57. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:32 pm

    Christopher Walken is the team owner AND a super villain who plans to blow up the World Series when his team gets there.

  58. jordan on April 23rd, 2013 7:37 pm

    Big bat off the bench, Mr. Andino

  59. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 7:37 pm

    Andino as a pinch hitter? I am about to lose my mind…

  60. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2013 7:37 pm

    I had a feeling Wedge was going to pinch hit for Ryan.

  61. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:38 pm

    “Wedge is trying to get something going…” by subbing in a guy hitting .172.

  62. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 7:39 pm

    Yet another great move pulled off by our 1970′s manager…

  63. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 7:43 pm

    So what’s going to happen in the next few days is Saunders comes off the DL. On his second game back, his humerus will get crushed when Carlos Peguero, mouth agape and tongue flapping, runs headlong into him in pursuit of a fly ball Saunders called him off of.

  64. jordan on April 23rd, 2013 7:44 pm

    “mouth agape and tongue flapping”

    hahaha

  65. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2013 7:46 pm

    Stolen base on Monty… never in my wildest.

  66. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 7:50 pm

    You have to wonder the decision making by Jack Z…he hired Eric Wedge as manager!

  67. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 7:59 pm

    Plastered!!!

  68. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:02 pm

    In regard to Morales’ bomb.

    I missed the Andino PH appearance, but wasn’t he basically a decent hitting pitcher going in for an average hitting pitcher without all of the double-switch hoopla? Oh, and he is a worse defender, too. Double Bonus!!!

  69. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 8:07 pm

    Raul just put up his hand in the “don’t run, the catcher blocked the pitch” sign at the baserunner after that pitch. The problem? Nobody was on base…

  70. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:08 pm

    Raul hopes for a flat slider…

    Well, don’t we all?

  71. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 8:14 pm

    Ankiel is so bad…

  72. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:15 pm

    Pine tar on the hat for Perez. He should be okay as long as he doesn’t get it on the ball, or as long as nobody notices it.

  73. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 8:16 pm

    Ibanez is so bad…

  74. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:16 pm

    Sometimes a deep, pained, “Fuck!” just covers it all.

  75. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 8:17 pm

    Good thing that whole pinch hitting Andino for Ryan thing paid off! Oh wait…

  76. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:17 pm

    In another 25-30 years, Ozzie Smith is going to turn over in his grave because of that last Andino non-play.

  77. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:18 pm

    Now warming up in the bullpen: Deep Pained Fuck!

  78. hidalgo on April 23rd, 2013 8:19 pm

    In regards to Senor Ibanez, I would like to quote a favorite CW song, please release me, let me go.

  79. casey on April 23rd, 2013 8:19 pm

    clearly Ibanez should be coaching highschool baseball not playing MLB especially playing outfield or hitting in key situations. Yikes this has been a bad game for the old guy…

  80. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:20 pm

    Thank the gods for the Astros’ horrible incompetence to cover the error!

  81. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2013 8:21 pm

    Remember when, no matter how sucky they were at the plate, we could at least say the Mariners were a pretty good defensive team?

  82. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:22 pm

    Triunfel has to be a better option than Andino at this point, doesn’t he? And if he can hit, he will probably become the starting SS.

    That sounds kinda bleh, and it was hard to write, but it seems entirely possible.

  83. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:24 pm

    “Fuck!”

    See, really works.

  84. Hammy57 on April 23rd, 2013 8:24 pm

    No way…Ackley grounded out to 2nd? What!?

  85. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:26 pm

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

    You are right. It did help a bit.

  86. jordan on April 23rd, 2013 8:26 pm

    pinch hitting for Andino here makes too much sense for Wedge.

  87. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:26 pm

    And sometimes just a groan says it all too.

  88. spuuky on April 23rd, 2013 8:26 pm

    Do we really not have a pinch hitter for Andino with 2 outs in the 9th, down by 1 run?

  89. hidalgo on April 23rd, 2013 8:27 pm

    Peggy now pinch hitting for Ryan! Oh wait, nevermind.

  90. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2013 8:27 pm

    Joe Saunders in the loser buys the rubbers match … What could possibly go wrong?

  91. juneau_fan on April 23rd, 2013 8:33 pm

    But who would play short if they did tie/take the lead? Horrible, horrible managing.

  92. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2013 8:34 pm

    I simply don’t understand why Wedge is using Andino the way he is. It’s moronic…what happens when Ackley or Seager get hurt and he’s already brought Andino in for a guy who is better defensively and is no different at the plate? What am I missing?

  93. mrakbaseball on April 23rd, 2013 9:10 pm

    I’m over Wedge. Manny Acta’s rotting away at ESPN. Could the third time be the charm for the M’s and ex-Tribe managers?

  94. Paul B on April 24th, 2013 8:06 am

    At this point, the only reason I am watching this team is the comedy factor.

    Raul in left, Morse in right, Andino as a pinch hitter, etc.

    Comedy gold.

  95. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2013 8:22 am

    They probably should cut Bay or Ibanez (or both) and bring up Triunfel or Franklin. They need an infielder far more than they need either of those two in the outfield.

  96. spuuky on April 24th, 2013 8:30 am

    Can the team just sign Mark McLemore? Would he really hit much worse than .150?

  97. MrZDevotee on April 24th, 2013 9:27 am

    It’s really starting to feel a bit like Wedge is a drowning man, flailing and splashing in the water, desperate to keep his head above the surface, and we the fans are the sharks slowly circling and getting closer…

    Smell that? *sniff sniff* BLOOD!

    The next move is probably for Z, higher up on the the sinking ship, to shoot Wedge and put him out of his– our?– misery… Feed him to the sharks, and hope they get full before HIS OWN feet start touching the water…

    (Seriously though, can a rebuilding team hoping to keep it’s slow ascending progress towards “competing” alive really keep a manager who starts the season going 1-5 against the Astros, the new Division rivals who are supposed to be the only team worse than us? If we lose today, the actual move of firing Wedge may be placed upon the table, even if it’s not done yet. 2-4 against the Astros is bad enough, but 1-5 is just awful. We have more talent than that, even minus a truly healthy Morse and a DL’d Saunders.

    I’m starting to hope Z will hire a manager who challenges him, who pushes back, who fights to make the team better– rather than a guy who, from all appearances, was always agreeable and comfortable being the guy “beneath” the GM and the GM’s vision. Not sure Z would want someone like that, which would be sad. But I want a skipper with his OWN vision, and the ego/results to fight for it. So we have TWO powerful smart guys, debating and pushing about improving this team.)

  98. msfanmike on April 24th, 2013 9:34 am

    MrZ:

    The Mariners are currently 2-3 against the Astros this season.

    At Safeco:

    W
    L
    L

    At Enronmaid:

    W
    L
    TBD

    It certainly may *feel* worse, but it isn’t … not yet, anyway.

  99. jordan on April 24th, 2013 10:03 am

    I want Bob Melvin back.

  100. msfanmike on April 24th, 2013 10:12 am

    I’d even take Bill Plummer.

    Shannon Drayer just reported that Andino and Ryan have now changed roles. Ryan will become the backup SS.

    More Andino – woo hoo !!!

    Andino, Morse, Ibanez and Montero as regular defenders. It can’t get any worse than that, can it?

  101. spuuky on April 24th, 2013 10:39 am

    Well, how can you blame him for that move? Andino is hitting .161 while Ryan is only hitting .143.

    Oh my god.

  102. MrZDevotee on April 24th, 2013 11:29 am

    Thanks Mike-
    The lingering “pukey” feeling in my stomach had me somehow believing we got swept at home by them.

    Imagination worse than reality. (sigh)

    Although, I’m pretty sure if Wedge is just out for a nice swim he’s daying “hey, what’s that fin?” right about now… And the John Williams music is faintly gaining volume in the background…

    “Da-duhn… (silence)… Da-duhn…”

  103. MrZDevotee on April 24th, 2013 11:31 am

    MsFanMike-
    Said… “Andino, Morse, Ibanez and Montero as regular defenders. It can’t get any worse than that, can it?”

    Somewhere Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt are on a phone- “Hey, we should call Raul… The Mariners are on this ‘return to the OTHER bad days’ kick with some of their signings this season…”

    (only positive sidenote):
    Yuny: “Should we call Adrian? Those were the days… (sigh)”

  104. MrZDevotee on April 24th, 2013 11:33 am

    spuuky said-
    “Well, how can you blame him for that move? Andino is hitting .161 while Ryan is only hitting .143.”

    Definitely, we have to ride the HOT hand, that’s the whole point of these platoon-type situations…

    **Keeping a straight face**

    (I just spit up a bit… Blech…)

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