Game 38, A’s at Mariners

Dave · May 12, 2013 at 11:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Saunders vs Milone, 1:10 pm.

If you watch today’s game, you’re going to hear the announcers tell you that Joe Saunders has a very good change-up. They like saying this, because he doesn’t throw hard, and he’s left-handed, and every soft-tossing lefty has a good change-up. Except Joe Saunders doesn’t have a good change-up, which is why right-handers have beat his brains in over the years. You know who is a soft-tossing lefty with a good change-up, though? Tommy Milone. That guy’s got a crazy good change-up, and is the main reason why a pitcher whose fastball averages 87 can run a 41/6 K/BB ratio in his first seven starts of the season.

Milone, as we’ve noted before, handles right-handers better than left-handers, because of how his change-up moves. For the season, he has a 13% K% against LHBs and a 23% K% against RHBs. The Mariners, naturally, have stacked their line-up with righties against Milone, as Saunders and Seager are the only two hitters who will face Milone from the left side. The M’s even moved Morales and Morse down in the order to hit Jason Bay second.

Wedge did this in the third game of the season too, when this same Milone-Saunders match-up occurred down in Oakland. That day, they ran eight right-handed hitters at Milone, with Seager being the only left-handed hitter in the line-up. Milone gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings, and the Mariners lost 6-2. But, hey, I’m sure things will be different this time. Just keep running out RHB heavy line-ups against him because he’s left-handed. Let’s just keep pretending that there’s no real difference between Joe Saunders and Tom Milone.

Blech.

1. Saunders, CF
2. Bay, LF
3. Seager, 3B
4. Morales, DH
5. Morse, RF
6. Smoak, 1B
7. Montero, C
8. Andino, 2B
9. Ryan, SS

Comments

75 Responses to “Game 38, A’s at Mariners”

  1. msfanmike on May 12th, 2013 11:40 am

    Well, I suppose Morales and Smoak always have the option of spinning around and hitting left-handed against Milone. Wedge had probably taken this into consideration… being as detail oriented as he is.

    Good information Dave.

  2. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 11:44 am

    It must be a nice, uncomplicated world inside Wedge’s head. I envy him sometimes.

  3. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 11:53 am

    You know, I wonder when “Michael Saunders hits lefties better than righties” becomes an actual thing? I mean, it can still be written off as small sample size… but so far 2013 is continuing to show the same sorts of splits we saw from him in 2012.

    And it’s not like he’s bad against righties, either, with a 110 wRC+ against them so far this year.

  4. PackBob on May 12th, 2013 11:54 am

    Surely someone in the organization notices this about Milone. Either the information doesn’t get to Wedge or, more likely, Wedge dismisses it while citing special considerations for Mariners hitters that only he can see. If only the Yahoos would leave him in peace….

  5. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 12:23 pm

    Andino and Ryan in the lineup? AAEEIIII!

    Good thing I was planning to work in the yard this afternoon.

  6. Paul B on May 12th, 2013 12:35 pm

    Wedge had to get Bay in the lineup because he had to use Raul the last two games. He wants to get Raul to be in a good place like Jason, so he had to play him. Now he needs to play Bay because he needs to get back in there to keep hitting.

    Honestly, that is what passes for logic in Wedge’s head.

  7. BackRub on May 12th, 2013 1:08 pm

    Dave, your previews have been great. I know its not really part of your schedule/role anymore. That said, I’d certainly enjoy a preview every once in a while if there’s something to pay attention to during the game; whether that be an interesting trend or expectation, or just Wedge being Wedge.

  8. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:13 pm

    Ugh. Rizz and Blowers can’t possibly really be stupid enough to think Joe Saunders “historically being better on the road” means somehow he’s going to become magically great on the road for the Mariners.

  9. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Who bids on the pink sweatband of some random bullpen pitcher on a crappy team? Even for ‘charity’.

  10. heyoka on May 12th, 2013 1:17 pm

    Are Rizz and Blowers looking for something to talk about?

  11. Paul B on May 12th, 2013 1:17 pm

    Somebody who had way too much beer?

  12. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:18 pm

    And…Michael Saunders proves Dave’s point…

    And so does Bay.

  13. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:21 pm

    And so does Seager! ;-)

  14. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:22 pm

    KENDRYS!!!

  15. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:23 pm

    I was just gonna type!

    Whoo-hoo, very happy to see Dave proved wrong there, though.

  16. msfanmike on May 12th, 2013 1:23 pm

    Atta boy Kendrys! Wrist flick and gone.

  17. mwb on May 12th, 2013 1:23 pm

    Here’s Dave explaining some things to Wedge:

    Dave: [drawing on a blackboard] Here is an ordinary square

    Wedge: Whoa, whoa — slow down, egghead!

  18. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2013 1:23 pm

    juneau_fan

    answer: a nice person

  19. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:24 pm

    Blowers, think about it a minute. If Wedge had gone with his “usual” line-up, Morales would’ve hit a 3 run homer with NO OUTS.

  20. jordan on May 12th, 2013 1:24 pm

    New park dimensions actually coming into play…

  21. Kazinski on May 12th, 2013 1:25 pm

    I doesn’t matter what side of the plate you are batting when the pitcher leaves it right over the middle. Its nice to see Kendry crush that ball.

  22. msfanmike on May 12th, 2013 1:26 pm

    Well, Blowers did go to UW.

  23. Kazinski on May 12th, 2013 1:28 pm

    Its not a bad line up with Bay hitting 2nd. Saunders, Bay, and Seegar all of OBP > .350, so I don’t see anything wrong with Bay hitting near the top of the order.

  24. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:29 pm

    Ooh, Mike, that’s low….

  25. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:31 pm

    I don’t either, Kazinski. However Blowers explicit point was that Wedge moving Kendrys down a spot in the order made that 3 run homer possible, when that made no difference – if Kendrys had batted third, he’d still be hitting after Condor and Seager.

  26. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:35 pm

    WalterNeff: I’ll avoid a rant about the Susan G. Komen foundation and just say, point taken.

  27. Kazinski on May 12th, 2013 1:35 pm

    Sure, but the idea is to have guys that can get on base ahead of the guys that can hit it out. That’s what Wedge did.

    And give Blowers some credit for mentioning that LH are hitting .050 points higher than RH against Malone, Wedge could’t figure that out.

  28. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:36 pm

    They have to pimp Wedge’s fantastic managing skills, Westy.

  29. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:37 pm

    And right on cue, Saunders gives a run back…

  30. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:39 pm

    Good points Kazinski.

    And J. Saunders seems intent on showing the TV guys that regression can go the other way…

    Settle down, (J) Saunders.

  31. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2013 1:40 pm

    juneau_fan: and I’m not a fan of certain stances taken by Komen. Having said that – BASEBALL!

  32. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:40 pm

    Smart play by Brendan Ryan!

  33. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:40 pm

    Montero’s play was so good that Blowers thought it was Shoppy!

  34. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:42 pm

    Looked more like Moss fouled it off his cup.

    WalterNeff: Yes, no matter my feelings, all the pink on these dudes always cracks me up. Sort of a fun game to try and guess which player will take it all the way and who can barely handle one sweatband.

  35. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2013 1:46 pm

    Baseball:

    “For it’s one, two three strikes you’re out at the old ball game.”

    Cricket:

    “For it’s leg before wicket and you’re dismissed at the old test match.”

    Doesn’t quite have the same ring.

  36. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:47 pm

    Oh man, Rizz, you’re making dust get in my eye with your Mom stories!

  37. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2013 1:49 pm

    I was a national class athlete in a different country and a different sport: my parents didn’t give a shit. Never once watched me compete: thanks mom :-(

  38. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 1:49 pm

    The takeaway I got from Rizz’s story…

    Now that mama’s gone, he gets to eat a lot more Parmesan cheese.

  39. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2013 1:50 pm

    You’re cold, Westy!

    Eat all the cheese you want, WalterNeff!

    I have no faith; off to the yard work!

  40. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2013 1:53 pm

    My fabulous daughter just went out to buy me baseball-watchin’ beer! I’m Single Dad Mom today!

  41. absolutsyd on May 12th, 2013 1:59 pm

    If you add andino and Ryan’s average it’s under 300. Good god…

  42. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 2:02 pm

    BUT if you add up Ryan’s and Andino’s OPS, you have a just-slightly-above-average individual hitter!

    Oh wait…

  43. HighlightsAt11 on May 12th, 2013 2:02 pm

    Absolute… now that is some wedgemath.

  44. msfanmike on May 12th, 2013 2:05 pm

    A middle infield hitting just below .300 has taken on an entirely new meaning, hasn’t it.

  45. Kazinski on May 12th, 2013 2:12 pm

    That is two strikeouts in a row now for Saunders, except the first one was called a four pitch walk by the umpire.

  46. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Michael Morse, Quality Outfielder.

  47. msfanmike on May 12th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Wow – major league quality play by Morse.

  48. californiamariner on May 12th, 2013 2:31 pm

    Hahaha Morse. (All I can do is laugh)

  49. Paul B on May 12th, 2013 2:32 pm

    Morse provides today’s hilarity, since Raul isn’t playing.

  50. G-Man on May 12th, 2013 2:35 pm

    Paul B – its nice when they share those veteran responsibilities.

    M Saunders with a pop-up drag bunt that he wanted on the ground, but it was perfectly positioned.

  51. Woodcutta on May 12th, 2013 2:37 pm

    Why is Bay trying to pull the ball with a runner on first?

  52. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 2:40 pm

    Luckily that didn’t turn into a double play.

  53. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2013 2:41 pm

    That will do. Nice job by Saunders, Bay, and Seager.

  54. Woodcutta on May 12th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Almost good commentating. The ball definitely took a bad hop. The ball was going to the third basemen’s (Donaldson) right or right at him and after the first hop went the other direction. Leave to Rizz to blame the 3B.

  55. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Anyone notice that Smoak’s been drawing a lot of walks lately?

    I do prefer his Jack Cust approach to hitting over his Miguel Olivo impression.

  56. Woodcutta on May 12th, 2013 2:44 pm

    Well, nice job by Saunders and Seager. Bay decided it was a good idea to pull the ball (the entire at bat) with a runner on first and he got lucky.

  57. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Morales needs to work on his pitch recognition – he seems to follow the Michael Morse “swing at what you can reach” school right now.

  58. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2013 2:46 pm

    Not sure I would have walked Morse with the way he’s hit lately, but I hope Smoak draws a walk or makes him pay.

  59. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2013 2:47 pm

    Like I said, well played by Melvin.

  60. Woodcutta on May 12th, 2013 2:50 pm

    When is the switch hitting by Smoak going to stop? If he’s a major league hitter from the left side and not even an independent league hitter from the right, why continue?

  61. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2013 3:01 pm

    I’ve been asking myself that question for over two years, Woodcutta.

  62. spuuky on May 12th, 2013 3:02 pm

    I’m glad we have Joe ‘Safeco’ Saunders. Too bad we have to deal with having Joe ‘Not-At-Safeco’ Saunders, as well.

  63. heychuck01 on May 12th, 2013 3:19 pm

    The right-handers did a great job versus Milone today.

    Got to love the randomness of baseball.

  64. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:23 pm

    JASON BAY GOES YARD!

  65. Paul B on May 12th, 2013 3:24 pm

    Is Bay for real?

    If so, did Wedge see something? Or was it blind squirrel and nut?

  66. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:28 pm

    I’m guessing the latter, Paul.

    But I’m glad Bay has produced fairly well so far, given the way off-season went as a whole.

  67. Paul B on May 12th, 2013 3:32 pm

    I wonder what Met fans will say if Bay keeps hitting.

  68. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:37 pm

    Michael Morse, infield hit machine.

  69. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:41 pm

    Urgh – Cespedes and that Jai Alai basket of his…

  70. californiamariner on May 12th, 2013 3:45 pm

    Nick Franklin 13th inning homer for the lead.

  71. Woodcutta on May 12th, 2013 3:47 pm

    Not going after Cespedes which allowed him to go to Oakland is looking worse by the day.

  72. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:53 pm

    But Woodcutta – if we’d gone after Cespedes, we might’ve had to pass on Ibañez.

    Where would this team be without his veteran leadership?

  73. Westside guy on May 12th, 2013 3:54 pm

    Mariners win!!

  74. Kazinski on May 12th, 2013 5:15 pm

    I think Dave overstated the case for Milone against RH. You look at Milone since he has been in Oakland, RH had a .726 OPS, LH had a .739 OPS. He did have big reverse platoon splits in 2011 with the Nationals, but he only pitched 26 innnings.

    You can say that he does slightly better against RH than LH, but I don’t think it is worth weighting the lineup either way. Nobody is going to quarrel with playing Bay instead of Raul against Malone, but it was not a good decision to sit Ackley against Malone in favor of Andino, unless there was some other reason to give Ackley a day off.

    Its nice none of that mattered.

  75. eponymous coward on May 13th, 2013 11:31 am

    Yeah, Bay’s performed well. But the M’s motley crew of DH/1B/OF as a collective (Bay/Morales/Morse/Chavez/Ibañez) is a whopping .1 WAR so far, and collecting 15 million or so for it… and given Guti’s fragility and the track record of the folks in the pile, I’d have to question whether it’s money well spent.

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