Game 32, Mariners at Blue Jays

marc w · May 4, 2013 at 8:58 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. RA Dickey, 10:07am

Early game today on yet another glorious NW day. This is a good pitching match-up, and the M’s are as watchable as they’ve been in some time at the moment, but it’s going to be tough to stay inside and watch a game this morning.

Ex-Tacoma Rainier, reigning Cy Young winner RA Dickey came to Toronto in a blockbuster deal with the Mets. He’s coming off a career year in which his K% went through the roof, which helped him strand more runners and take advantage of the knuckleballer’s BABIP /
exception. It all came together for a 4.6 WAR year, but as Dave mentioned he’d been pretty good in his first two years with the Mets as well. The Jays paid a fairly hefty price to land him, but they were landing a dependable starter they could pencil in 3 WAR or so.

Like everything the Jays did in the offseason, it just hasn’t worked out. Dickey’s K% is down, but not dramatically so. His GB% has dropped in each year since 2010, and that’s hurt his HR rate, but again, it’s not abysmal. It’s more a case of each peripheral being a bit worse, and the sum total (and the interaction of the parts) producing a fairly ugly line. He’s had some neck soreness recently which may or may not have contributed to his poor results, but it’s not serious enough to keep him out of today’s game.

On the other side of the coin, Hisashi Iwakuma’s obviously one of the hottest pitchers in the game. It’s an open question as to whether his low workload due to his blister problem is actually a blessing – because he’s been so efficient (and because his BABIP is so low) he’s pitching almost as many innings. Like last year, Iwakuma’s got reverse platoon splits because of his change-up-like splitter. But unlike Ricky Romero or Steve Delabar, that doesn’t come at the expense of poor results against same-handed batters. Iwakuma’s been excellent against everyone this year. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if more managers start putting a bunch of righties in their line-up against him.

1: Saunders, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Ibanez, DH
6: Shoppach, C
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Chavez, LF
9: Andino, SS
SP: Iwakuma

The Rainiers ran their winning streak to ten games last night with a 7-6 win over Reno. The middle of their line-up, Nick Franklin and Eric Thames, were actually shut down by Aces pitchers, but Nate Tenbrink and Rich Poythress picked up the slack. Blake Beavan makes his 2013 Rainiers debut today.

The Jackson Generals play two vs Jacksonville; Roenis Elias and Chance Ruffin will be the starters. South African control artist Dylan Unsworth takes the hill for Clinton today.


73 Responses to “Game 32, Mariners at Blue Jays”

  1. henryv on May 4th, 2013 9:22 am

    I know this has been said, but doesn’t it seem kinda like a poor decision to put a knuckleballer in Toronto?

  2. spuuky on May 4th, 2013 9:25 am

    Isn’t it cruel to send Beavan down to assassinate the Rainiers winning streak?

  3. DarkKnight1680 on May 4th, 2013 9:40 am

    Seems odd to sit Smoak when he’s actually been hitting the ball and getting on base. Also, you have no 1B in your lineup there.

  4. Ralph Malph on May 4th, 2013 9:42 am

    With our roster, the 2 DH alignment is brilliant.

  5. bookbook on May 4th, 2013 10:04 am

    It’s hard to imagine the Andino trade working out worse, even though Robinson isn’t worth anything.

  6. MissouriMariner on May 4th, 2013 10:11 am

    If we had two guys that could hit, the two DH alignment would be awesome…

  7. djw on May 4th, 2013 10:21 am

    Stupid sun.

  8. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 10:22 am

    Now we see why they opened the roof today….

  9. djw on May 4th, 2013 10:26 am

    Those two Ks involved some really impressive pitching from Iwakuma.

  10. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 10:27 am

    I like Iwakuma.

  11. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 10:32 am

    I think, for interleague games, they should let you have 2 designated hitters and 1 designated fielder. Also any time Raul starts.

  12. stevemotivateir on May 4th, 2013 11:00 am

    Hey, at least Raul isn’t in the outfield today!

  13. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:00 am

    I still like Iwakuma.

  14. spuuky on May 4th, 2013 11:02 am

    Definitely not Kuma’s best day, but he hasn’t allowed any runs. Good work.

  15. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:08 am

    Yeah, Spuuky, it’s all about how you handle bad days. I felt a lot more confident when he had a man on 3rd than when it’s Saunders on the mound.

  16. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:13 am

    I like R.A. Dickey too, but TOUGH CHEESE.

  17. djw on May 4th, 2013 11:13 am

    That was satisfying.

  18. jordan on May 4th, 2013 11:14 am


  19. californiamariner on May 4th, 2013 11:14 am


  20. msfanmike on May 4th, 2013 11:15 am


  21. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:17 am

    Holy crap! When’s the last time that happened?

  22. Sports on a Shtick on May 4th, 2013 11:17 am

    The XBH and walks haven’t been quite there but Ackley has been hitting well since he re-adjusted his swing.

  23. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:25 am

    It’s nice that so many different guys are chipping in offensively right now. Aside from Brendino.

  24. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:25 am


  25. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:25 am

    What’s with the booing of the Canadian fans? Way to support your players!

  26. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:26 am

    Just got here – I’m guessing Dickey’s not “on” today…

  27. californiamariner on May 4th, 2013 11:26 am

    So this past week plus has been fun

  28. Sowulo on May 4th, 2013 11:27 am

    I like Mike!

    I’m so glad I stayed up (2:27am here) to watch this game live via MLB.TV

  29. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:30 am

    Where are you, Sowulo?

  30. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:30 am

    I’d say he was on and off, Westy. He foolishly threw a not fast fastball to Saunders leading off, and hasn’t done that again. Then nothing really happened for the M’s until, actual timely hitting and patience at the plate loaded them up. And then another actual timely hit.

    You know, the way the game’s supposed to be played.

    Iwakuma’s been in just as much trouble, but gotten out of it.

  31. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:32 am

    Thank you, Juneau.

  32. Sowulo on May 4th, 2013 11:32 am

    “Where are you, Sowulo?”

    It is Sunday morning here in southern China.

  33. jordan on May 4th, 2013 11:33 am

    lock up hisashi right now. 8 years, 6378 million.

  34. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:34 am

    Ha, I was just thinking, Glad I woke up for this game.

  35. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:36 am


  36. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:36 am

    Sitting on the bench has made Raul fresh! Ran faster than Babysteps Monty could ever dream!

  37. stevemotivateir on May 4th, 2013 11:37 am

    So, I’d really like to hear more comments about how Ackley should be sent down or moved. He’s been hitting great for over three weeks, and only seems to be getting better!

  38. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:38 am


    Also, “Babysteps Monty” haha

  39. Sowulo on May 4th, 2013 11:39 am

    This is fun!

  40. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:40 am

    I think that’s been the problem with this team, Waco. Not enough crazy nicknames.

    Seabeast is sort of freakin’ me out, though.

  41. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:42 am

    Steve, I know that a few people (Marc, for one) had talked about Ackley’s low BABIP and how we should see significant positive regression.

    I suspect, but haven’t looked to confirm, that right now his recent BABIP is quite high. Like Smoak, everything is falling in right now. But, unlike Smoak, I have confidence that Ackley’s overall improvement is going to stick.

  42. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:42 am

    I think Ackley’s gotten on base 13 games in a row now.

  43. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:45 am

    Seabeast, sounds like the kraken.

  44. The_Waco_Kid on May 4th, 2013 11:47 am

    90 pitches for Kuma. Is he done?

  45. msfanmike on May 4th, 2013 11:48 am

    I am happily wrong about saying Ackley should have had some time to work on his craft in AAA. He has been able to work on it at the MLB level – but the team has run into some teams with struggling rotations lately.

    He’s by no means a finished product, but I am
    still happily wrong about the AAA time to work some things out.

    I am hoping you find this admission to be in someway pleasurable for yourself, Steve.

  46. bookbook on May 4th, 2013 11:54 am

    Ackley. Cut him.

  47. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 11:55 am

    As Sims and Blowers discuss of the Jays’ woes, I’d be interested to see a mod’s post later in the season about the teams who spent a lot of FA money this offseason and where it got them. Toronto and the Angels are not looking so great now, but talent is talent. How will their seasons end up?

    But that seems to be a constant refrain of the M’s fans; if only the teams spent more money!

  48. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 11:59 am

    I’ll charitably point out the sun may be a factor… But man, Morse is a bad defender.

  49. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 12:00 pm

    Sun + rug + Morse = Not Good Outcome

  50. jordan on May 4th, 2013 12:00 pm

    Its odd that the team that adds a lot of big time big league talent always sucks.

  51. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 12:01 pm

    That was 15 shutout innings. Nice job, M’s pitchers.

  52. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 12:02 pm

    Unless it’s the Yankees, jordan. But I agree in general.

  53. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:04 pm

    Yeah, Juneau, but – was there *anyone* who thought Vernon Wells wouldn’t suck just as hard as a Yankee? :-D

  54. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 12:07 pm

    Okay, I was surprised…And then not. There’s something about putting on those pinstripes that changes a man.

  55. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:12 pm

    Didn’t change Richie Sexson though. ;-)

  56. msfanmike on May 4th, 2013 12:24 pm

    Nice Saunders, nice!!!

  57. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:29 pm

    The Condor is having hisself a good day.

  58. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:34 pm

    Morse’s OPS is down to .808.

  59. juneau_fan on May 4th, 2013 12:34 pm

    Uh, Ollie, I need to get in the shower, k?

  60. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:39 pm

    Wow! Mariners!

    Hey, Wedge and Z – have you noticed which guys are leading the way during the team’s good streak? Hint: It ain’t the veterans, unless you want to give some credit to the reclamation project.

  61. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:45 pm

    Hey, “Happy Kuma Day” just got a mention on the post-game show!

  62. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 12:57 pm

    Oh Lordy, (just heard it on the post game show from Ackley’s homer) so Rizz apparently has completely appropriated Neihaus’ “Grand Salami” call.

    Someone needs to tell him to stop. It’s not an homage at this point; it’s a cheap ripoff, and shouldn’t be tolerated.

  63. bookbook on May 4th, 2013 1:31 pm

    The M’s have won 7 of 9? Right after Losing a second series to Houston, no less. This feels so completely improbable to me.

  64. mrakbaseball on May 4th, 2013 1:44 pm

    I’m glad Rizzs is doing the “grand salami” call, now if Goldsmith did it, it would be weird. He sounds like he would be more at home at a golf course instead of a ballpark.

  65. bloody_yankees on May 4th, 2013 2:16 pm

    I don’t understand all the Rizzs hate. He was very close with Dave, and I think little things like the “Grand Salami” call are nice ways to honor Dave’s memory. If anyone had a right to be angry about it, it would be the family Dave left behind. Since they haven’t said anything, why stir the pot?

    **Rizzs does need to discard that ridiculous toupee and assume his mantle as a proud bald man**

  66. HighlightsAt11 on May 4th, 2013 2:23 pm

    Nice win against an old friend. The Houston debacles and the sweep in Arlington, keeps the M’s from receiving a C grade so far. But with three straight series wins, hope is clearly on the uptick. Appears Maurer will be skipping a start so Harang starts against the once-again winning Pirates. Mariners need to prove themselves on the road. A 2-0 sweep in Pitt will help. But first wondering which Joe Saunders will show up tomorrow?

  67. gwangung on May 4th, 2013 2:32 pm

    But first wondering which Joe Saunders will show up tomorrow?

    Well, the good one is showing up at Safeco tomorrow.

    But since we’re playing in Toronto…

  68. HighlightsAt11 on May 4th, 2013 2:40 pm

    Are the M’s adjusting the rotation so Maurer pitches the second game against Pitt and then rest Felix a couple extra days to face Oakland? The King on the mound for a Friday night game against the A’s in Seattle…what could be better?

  69. Westside guy on May 4th, 2013 3:02 pm

    From what Wedge said in the post-game interview, it sounds like Iwakuma is going to get the extra days rest.

    Given the results so far, it sounds like a good plan – apparently his finger is finally getting better.

  70. HighlightsAt11 on May 4th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Kuma will receive two extra days of rest with both 5/6 and 5/9 off days.

    Against Oakland I would like the rotation to be King, Kuma, Saunders. However MLB shows King is pitching the second Pitt game. This would indicate Kuma, Saunders and who knows (Maurer or Harang) will be pitching the Oakland series.

    M’s facing another old friend tomorrow, Morrow.

    Speaking of old friends, in his first game with O’s after being called up from AAA, Chief Garcia’s no-hit bid against the Angels is over in bottom of seventh. Would have been a good story had he not quickly tired out.

  71. ck on May 4th, 2013 3:57 pm

    Victory! Dingers! Sweep…?

  72. Slippery Elmer on May 4th, 2013 8:34 pm

    Enjoy this while it lasts, folks.

    Also: With 2013 Kuma on the mound, runs are a “bear market” for the opposition. Loving the 1/2 King/Kuma punch.

  73. stevemotivateir on May 4th, 2013 9:13 pm


    I feel the same regarding Ackley’s recent success compared to Smoak’s. Since that adjustment, he’s hit real well, though hadn’t been hitting for much power. But what a time to deliver, eh?!


    My comment certainly wasn’t targeting you! I was actually trying to single out the people who twisted the discussion about Franklin coming up yesterday into a case for ditching Ackley (one way or another). I thought it was ridiculous that anyone would argue his lack of extra base hits as some kind of substantial reason. As if three solid weeks of multiple singles was worthless.

    Last season, I also thought he should have been sent down. And I still think that might have done him some good. I don’t think forcing players to develop at the ML level is wise. This doesn’t necessarily apply to Ackley, though. He at least had some consistent success in 2011 and certainly appeared ready when he got the call.

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