Game 46, Mariners at Angels

marc w · May 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Aaron Harang vs. Jerome Williams, 7:05pm

Aaron Harang’s ailing back is all better, so he’s back in the rotation tonight in Anaheim. That’s great news for Aaron Harang, I guess. Opposing him is Jerome Williams, meaning I’m obliged to link to this, from back when he first completed his journey from broken/ex-ballplayer to MLB swingman.

Scott Kazmir’s in the major leagues, and Ubaldo Jimenez is suddenly kind of good again, so it’s not like baseball’s short on these longshot comeback stories, but there’s still something about Williams that makes me do a double-take every time I see his name in the probables. It’s not like he, or Kazmir, or Jon Garland, or Jeremy Bonderman, is legitimately awesome again. Over three partial seasons adding up to just over 200IP, Williams has been worth 1.5 WAR, or 1.7 RA-WAR, if that’s how you roll. That’s a touch below average, thanks to some home run problems and a so-so strikeout rate, but…Jerome Williams gave the Angels, a team that famously has zero rotation depth thanks to the Dan Haren trade, a perfectly acceptable 200 IP after washing ashore in 2011. Every team gets production from unlikely sources (Jason Bay?), but Jerome Williams was so-so with the Uni-President Lions in 2010.

There’s some evidence to suggest that Williams isn’t content with just making it back and being a nice story. His fastball velocity is up markedly this year (just shy of 1.5mph over last year), which is remarkable given that velocities are lowest in April/May. Since 2007, Williams arm slot has made the opposite journey of Danny Farquhar, going from a standard 3/4 to very low 3/4/sidearm. But as he’s further and further from rotator cuff problems, he continues to gain velocity, going from 88-89 in 2007 to 91-92 in 2011 to near 94 this year. Williams has pitched in relief a bit this year, so I initially figured the velo boost was just the result of shorter starts, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s averaged about 94 in his three starts, touching 95 in two of them. I know you’re probably sick to death of my enthusiasm for Jerome Williams, but listen: Williams is a living, breathing, pitching reset button on pitcher attrition, “TINSTAAP”, and prospect flameouts. I’m a Mariners fan. You do the math. If Williams can make it back, can we *really* close the book on Chris Snelling? I mean, how closed *is* that book, and how hard is it to open again?

Williams is using his sinker and cutter a bit less frequently this year, and that’s caused his GB% to drop a bit. Still too early to know if that’s just an early season blip, or if he’s trying something new. He’s benefited from some luck in his HR/FB%, as his HRs allowed has dropped thus far despite the increase in fly balls. In any event, he’s sporting a decent RA and FIP, which is something noteworthy on an Angels staff that’s essentially being carried by Jason Vargas at the moment. The M’s start Aaron Harang who’s in the perfect ballpark to ease his home run problems, but we could’ve said the same when he faced the Halos in Safeco, and that didn’t go so well. Still, I’m moderately excited to watch a ballgame that doesn’t take place in Cleveland, so Harang’s got that going for him.

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

The Rainiers host Nashville and ex-Angels prospect Jonny Hellweg tonight. Hellweg’s 6’9″ and throws 99, but hasn’t yet harnessed that stuff and become as frightening as he could be. He’s got poor control and doesn’t miss near as many bats as you’d think, but he’s 6’9″ and throws 99mph and so the Brewers hope he’s one mechanical tweak away from dominating. Jimmy Gilheeney starts for Tacoma, who won the first game of the series yesterday. Mike Zunino hit his first home run at Cheney Stadium over the weekend, bringing his SLG% at home up to .193.

John McGrath had a nice story on Tacoma utility IF/OF/anything Nate Tenbrink.

The Yankees are partnering with English club Manchester City to purchase an expansion team in Major League Soccer, to be based in New York. Manchester City’s the majority owner, but the Yankees will own about a quarter of the club, which still needs to find a stadium to play in (cross-town rivals NY Red Bulls just built one, but it’s not clear they want to share with the upstarts). The Times story notes that the tentative plan is to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows park. Many of you don’t follow soccer, especially English soccer, but let me just say that this new team is about as easy to hate as any expansion team in any sport. City have the highest total salary in England (the only team over $200m GBP in 2012), and the Yankees have had the highest in baseball for years (until now). Now, two of the richest clubs in the world want to start a new team and eliminate a public park to do so. If you don’t hate this club, you probably don’t get irate about random sports business news, and you are well adjusted with blood pressure readings in the normal range. Good job.


38 Responses to “Game 46, Mariners at Angels”

  1. californiamariner on May 21st, 2013 5:24 pm

    Going to win since we finally got the game number right. 😛

  2. MosesLakeBrian on May 21st, 2013 6:31 pm

    It looks like Noesi is making the start for Tacoma instead of Gilheeney and already has given up a couple HRs.

  3. msfanmike on May 21st, 2013 7:20 pm

    What the hell is Andino doing? Why wasn’t he at the bag ready to receive the throw from Ackley? Saunders made a nice play to cut the ball off and they had a shot at getting Aybar at 2B. Jesus, Andino is a numb-nut.

  4. WTF_Ms on May 21st, 2013 7:28 pm

    When are we going to start a Major League pitcher?? With only 2 “real” starters, when are they going to make a move?

  5. pdome01 on May 21st, 2013 7:28 pm

    Mariners Melting!

  6. Westside guy on May 21st, 2013 7:48 pm

    Seeing the replay, I suspect Saunders was really trying to get away with interfering on his follow-through after the strikeout. He had the bat back there a long time…

  7. G-Man on May 21st, 2013 7:49 pm

    When Harang is on the mound, I expect runs to be scored. If we’re lucky, we somehow get more that they do.

  8. Westside guy on May 21st, 2013 7:56 pm

    Actually I think the “King Felix High Heat Hot Sauce” commercial would’ve been better if it were his own teammates eating the sunflower seeds, etc. Why would Felix have been in the Padre’s dugout?

  9. wilchiro on May 21st, 2013 8:07 pm

    This team frustarates the hell out of me.

  10. WTF_Ms on May 21st, 2013 8:08 pm

    I agree on the frustration…thus my username.

  11. WTF_Ms on May 21st, 2013 8:15 pm

    Uh oh…time for another AAA pitcher to come in!

  12. wilchiro on May 21st, 2013 8:17 pm

    Wasn’t Harang whining about not being a starter when he was with LAD? I hope he understands why he wasn’t a starter…

    Both Saunders and Harang need to be released. They’re hurting the team more than they’re helping it.

    …As a ball gets by Morse which he should have caught. This is dumb, I’m going to play NBA 2K13.

  13. WTF_Ms on May 21st, 2013 8:18 pm

    As long as we’re giving up, and going to a game, I’m gonna play Halo 4 since it just got outdated today with XBox One.

  14. seasick on May 21st, 2013 8:19 pm

    I find myself rooting for Harang, Saunders & Maurer to get lit up so we can sooner begin the process of rebuilding our pitching staff, or should I say staph? – since it seems like they are all infected.

  15. Slats on May 21st, 2013 8:24 pm

    Bye bye Harang.

  16. LanceWWU on May 21st, 2013 8:26 pm

    I’m really missing Doug Fister right about now.

  17. Longgeorge1 on May 21st, 2013 8:36 pm

    I’m missing John Garland right now

  18. stevemotivateir on May 21st, 2013 8:38 pm

    I’m missing sleep right now.

  19. msfanmike on May 21st, 2013 8:38 pm

    I’m still not missing Blake Beavan right about now.

  20. Slats on May 21st, 2013 8:40 pm

    Beautiful pitch.

  21. msfanmike on May 21st, 2013 8:43 pm

    The “Louisiana Lilliputian”

  22. Longgeorge1 on May 21st, 2013 8:43 pm

    I’m listening to the Rainers, if you’re not you’re missing a good game. The Rainers have taken the Lead!!

  23. G-Man on May 21st, 2013 8:54 pm

    I love that feature about Kendrys hitting .389 w/ RISP….. and the rest of the team .191 🙁

  24. MissouriMariner on May 21st, 2013 9:01 pm

    So how long do we have to put up with Harangatang? This is a bit embarrassing…..

  25. californiamariner on May 21st, 2013 9:08 pm

    Who would have thought Mike Trout could hit Luetge?

  26. Longgeorge1 on May 21st, 2013 9:29 pm

    The Rainers just won a great game. How are the Mistakes doing?

  27. msfanmike on May 21st, 2013 9:39 pm

    Cycle for Trout … Sweet!

  28. wilchiro on May 21st, 2013 9:48 pm

    This is so embarresing…not watching the M’s until I go to the game this Sunday…

  29. Woodcutta on May 21st, 2013 9:54 pm

    How does Smoak miss that?

  30. GLS on May 21st, 2013 11:02 pm

    Aaron Harang is just horrible. I know he isn’t anywhere close to ready, but I would so much rather be watching James Paxton right now.

  31. eponymous coward on May 21st, 2013 11:42 pm

    I think we need to play Game 42 some more, until we actually win it.

  32. The_Waco_Kid on May 22nd, 2013 12:33 am

    Honestly, who would be a worse option than Harang to start? I’d take Beavan or Noesi.

  33. bookbook on May 22nd, 2013 6:30 am

    These massive losing streaks every year–aren’t they a sign that the manager can’t hack it?

  34. steve_lse on May 22nd, 2013 6:33 am

    After that nonsense I’m not sure I want to think about baseball, but in terms of the Man City/Yankees partnership I think the Yankees are only on board so that Man City can use them to help get a stadium.

    Man City are owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and for all intents and purposes have infinite financial resources. The only thing stopping them spending absurd amounts of money is some new rules in Europe (Financial Fair Play) that limit how much teams can spend relative to their turnover. When they do get the MLS team up and running they might be the first team in the US who can actually bring top quality players over from Europe in their prime.

  35. vj on May 22nd, 2013 6:35 am

    Looking at the Boxscore, this game was a lot of BABIP-spectacle: Angels have 39 ABs, 11 Ks, 3 HR and 15 Hits, meaning that of 15 non-HR balls in play, 15 went for hits. Likewise, Harang faced 20 batters, struck out four, walked none, gave up 2 HRs and 7 other hits (out of remaining 14 ABs). Without this high BABIP, this wouldn’t have been quite the blowout it was (obviously, giving up 3 Homeruns is still bad, although 3 homeruns on 7 flyballs is bad luck as well).
    I think, Felix’ start in Cleveland was similar (i.e. unusually high BABIP makes his start look worse than it actually was).

  36. MissouriMariner on May 22nd, 2013 8:04 am

    Harangatang is awful but who would replace him? Maybe Bonderman but is he any better? Noesi? Beaven? I am getting depressed….

  37. smb on May 22nd, 2013 10:31 am

    mmm..yes, that enrages me almost as much as the way David Stern does business, amid the tailpipe waxing the NBA and Kevin Johnson just gave the taxpayers of Sacramento…this arena extortion BS needs to stop. I-91 should have a federal macro-cousin by now. At the very least, you shouldn’t be able to eat public land against public resistance, and at a sweetheart deal type of rate, either, to build a home for your for-profit sports franchise.

  38. globalalpha on May 22nd, 2013 2:40 pm

    Vj, I don’t think it’s a good assumption that all starts should have an average BABIP. A truly bad pitcher who doesn’t fool anyone and grooves pitches down the middle will give up a lot of quality contact and have a sky-high BABIP. A better pitcher will induce worse contact. A high BABIP can quite likely signify a bad pitcher rather than just bad luck. Hey, bad pitchers give up a lot more hits, what an insight!

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