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.


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


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

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

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

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

    Luckily that didn’t turn into a double play.

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Like I said, well played by Melvin.

  10. 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?

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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


  15. 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?

  16. 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.

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

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

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

    Michael Morse, infield hit machine.

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

    Urgh – Cespedes and that Jai Alai basket of his…

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

    Nick Franklin 13th inning homer for the lead.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

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

    Mariners win!!

  24. 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.

  25. 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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