Game 47, Mariners at Angels

marc w · May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer vs. CJ Wilson, 4:05pm

The M’s of the Zduriencik era will be remembered for many things, most of them bad, but I don’t feel like their volatility gets enough attention. It’s remarkable, in hindsight, that the team was .500 in JULY of 2011 before they went on a losing bender for three weeks. Last year’s team excised any trace of drama well before the all-star break, but then had long spells of solid play in the second half. A week ago, this team was on the upswing, taking 2nd from the free-falling Oakland A’s and beginning to scan AL Central box scores in the hope of moving up in the wild card standings. Now, they look lost again, with a tired, shell-shocked bullpen, a frustrated offense and a defense that’s dealing with some spectacularly poorly timed miscues. They weren’t as bad as they looked when they were 8-15 (easy to say, because they looked baaaaaad), and they weren’t as good as they looked in the Yankees series.

That’s part of the problem, really. Five years into the rebuild, we know intellectually that a bad week or two doesn’t mean the team is Astros/Marlins bad, but we’ve heard so much about guys like Smoak and Ackley that we look for hope in the periodic upswings. Ackley just needed to ditch the pre-swing alterations! Smoak is walking! Jason Bay, you guys, Jason Bay! At some point, the team has to get better, so every time they win a few games, it’s easy to slip on that narrative – contention is nigh, we just needed to be patient. So it’s always that Mariner-y combination of dispiriting and expected when that excitement is buried by a stretch of awful games like last night’s. You don’t need to content this year, M’s, but don’t make games like last night’s a habit.

So, Brandon Maurer. He’s used his curve more in his last two starts, especially the Oakland game, either because he knows it can be an effective pitch to opposite-handed hitters or perhaps because it’s something he can go to if he doesn’t feel he has great command of the slider on a particular day. In his last outing, he eased back on the curve, and threw a ton of sliders at Cleveland’s lefties. He mixed in the change and curve, but definitely relied on his slider more than he had against the A’s. So we’re still seeing Maurer’s approach evolve – he and Shoppach seem to tailor his pitch mix to specific teams or to specific conditions. And I think it’s worth noting that this’ll be Shoppach third consecutive start for Maurer. I know Montero’s clearly in more of a back-up role now, and it seems like they’re going to want to pair the veteran backstop with the young right-hander.

1: Bay, LF (!)
2: Saunders, CF
3: Morse, RF
4: Morales, 1B
5:Smoak, DH
6: Shoppach, C
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Andino, 3B
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Maurer

That’s…that’s a new line-up. Seager gets a rare day-off, necessitating the always-painful bottom of the line-up pairing of Andino and Ryan (can we add Ackley to that?).

The Angels have five lefties in their line-up, including J.B. Shuck, who they promoted when they realized that it’d been a while since they had Reggie Willits, and wasn’t that Reggie Willits something? Shuck can take a walk, slap grounders, and he never, ever Ks. Just throw strikes, Brandon.

Tacoma won its fourth straight yesterday on a Stefen Romero walk-off hit. They’re now 28-18. Andrew Carraway starts tonight against Nashville.

The M’s continue to scout Brazil fairly heavily, as they signed 17yo Daniel Missaki, who pitched (at age 16!) in the WBC first-round pool for team Brazil this year.


70 Responses to “Game 47, Mariners at Angels”

  1. Westside guy on May 22nd, 2013 3:51 pm

    Assigning the veteran catcher the job of handling a very young pitcher makes good sense to me.

    And I say that as someone who has very little confidence in Wedge, most of the time.

  2. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:00 pm

    Yes, and I think the subtext is that, if they had a way around it, they would very much like to pair ALL of their pitchers with a veteran C.

    They are not happy with Jesus Montero, and I get that. Nobody is right now.

    Never thought I’d see Jason Bay batting lead-off in 2013 and think that it’s not completely crazy, but it’s not completely crazy given this team and a pitcher like CJ Wilson.

  3. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:20 pm

    This is actually the second time Bay has led off this year. Pairing Shoppach with Maurer may be a good thing but playing Ryan and Andino isn’t.

  4. WalterNeff on May 22nd, 2013 4:23 pm

    I hope Montero is watching the replay

  5. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:30 pm

    So is that three errors this inning?

  6. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:35 pm


  7. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 4:35 pm

    There were Mariner representatives here in Sao Paulo last month, speaking at the headquarters for the Brazilian baseball/softball association.

    The baseball community here is a small one, and dominated by people with Japanese heritage, but they seem to have a cool thing going here. It’s nothing like what you see in the States, and I’m still getting familiar with it, but at least there’s something.

  8. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 4:35 pm

    Maurer should be sent down after this game.

  9. JasonJ on May 22nd, 2013 4:38 pm

    Agreed. I’ve seen enough of Maurer. Let him figure out how to get lefties out somewhere where I don’t have to watch him.

  10. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:38 pm

    Why? Only one or two of those runs were his fault. There should have been three errors charged (two to Ackley) that inning.

  11. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:39 pm

    You give a team six outs in an inning they just might score some runs.

  12. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:40 pm

    Thanks steve, that’s interesting – is it spreading beyond those of Japanese ancestry? Missaki and Pedro Okuda are obviously Japanese-Brazilian, but the M’s have signed others, like Felipe Talos and Felipe Burin, who weren’t.

    Any mention of Yan Gomes after his 2-HR, walk-off performance vs. the M’s? He’s from Brazil, though his family moved to the US when he was little.

  13. spuuky on May 22nd, 2013 4:40 pm

    Cool. The last two series have been a lot of fun.

  14. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 4:41 pm

    Just thought I’d share that in case anyone was curious;) Makes for a distraction anyway.

  15. Prozach on May 22nd, 2013 4:41 pm

    17-0 in the last 10 innings. Goooood.

  16. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:43 pm

    Dave mentioned it in his Fangraphs chat today, but Jeremy Bonderman’s opt-out date is less than two weeks away, so he is probably heading up fairly soon. The problem is that we’ve all sort of assumed he’d be replacing Harang. Another pitcher would require another 40-man move, and while there are candidates for that (Francisco Martinez), you have to think they’ve been in some sense ‘saving’ those for other call-ups.

  17. Jake on May 22nd, 2013 4:44 pm

    Actually since the games are in Anaheim, the Mariners have given up 22 runs in the last 10 innings.

  18. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 4:45 pm

    I’m not hating on the kid (Maurer) he needs a change up and probably a curve as well. He has talent just more seasoning in the minors.

  19. JasonJ on May 22nd, 2013 4:46 pm

    Yeah I think we’re stuck with one of the two (Maurer or Harang) and there’s no telling if Bonderman will be any better. Really missing Erasmo Ramirez…

  20. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 4:46 pm

    Right when I post that he throws a nice change up to a lefty for an easy GB to Ackley! Haha of course.

  21. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 4:48 pm

    No mention or talk about Gomes here. I smiled and joked that I jinxed the M’s, but Brazil is a footbal first, football second, and football third country. Nobody seems to be aware of the Brazilians playing other sports, with exception to UFC (if you can call that a sport).

    Gomes actually spent his teenage years in the States, so he’s not really a product of the Brazilian system, but you’re right about a few non-Japanese-Brazilians taking interest. They’re the minority, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more from here in the future.

    There’s a stereotype that South Americans are all small or short in general. That definitely isn’t true of Brazil. There are some very large human beings here and there is a strong interest in fitness, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see more MLB teams trying to plant some seeds here.

  22. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:49 pm

    God, Trout crushed that ball. The Angels really like they’re seeing the ball out of Maurer’s hand really well. He threw him some sliders, but Trout didn’t bite, then crushed the FB.

  23. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:49 pm

    Can any Mariner field a ball cleanly?

  24. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:50 pm

    Well at least the bullpen’s rested and ca…damn it.

    Maurer may have to stew in this one for a while. Just as I say that, the camera cuts to his family sitting in the stands, watching him take one for his exhausted team.

  25. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 4:50 pm

    *Eh, more players from here in the future. I could care less about heritage.

  26. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 4:50 pm

    I am going to stay tuned for no other reason than to watch Trout hit for the cycle again.

    Has it ever been done in two consecutive games in the modern era?

  27. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:51 pm

    Yes, steve, it seems pretty clear that basketball is the fourth-most popular sport (tied with volleyball) behind futbol in the first three spots.

  28. marc w on May 22nd, 2013 4:51 pm

    Another misplay on the IF. Just end this.

  29. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 4:54 pm

    Finally he throws inside.

  30. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 4:58 pm

    I don’t recall ever having heard a more subdued Dave Sims. I think the Mariners have broken his spirit.

  31. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 5:03 pm

    Basketball would probably be fourth. They have youth programs offered in many private schools and it’s common to see courts in the larger parks, sometimes even at apartment complexes.

    But the popularity of UFC really does surprise me. Volleyball is popular, but I’m not so sure it’s bigger than UFC.

    Many people don’t even know what baseball is, though it’s trendy to wear hats representing MLB and NFL teams.

  32. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 5:07 pm

    So, when Bonderman’s brought up to dodge his opt-out, who gets the axe? Harang? Maurer sent down?

    Kinney and Guti should be available real soon too. M’s have some tough decisions ahead.

  33. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 5:10 pm

    They might send Maurer down with the intent of calling him up again in few weeks once he improves his changeup/curveball. Knowing the M’s front office, they will send down or DFA Harang instead.

  34. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 5:10 pm

    When faced with replacing replacement level players with likely to be replacement level players, how difficult can the decisions actually be?

  35. deflep78 on May 22nd, 2013 5:13 pm

    Tomorrows moves. Option Mauer Montero Ackley. Dfa Harang Andino. Bring up Bonderman Carraway Triundel Franklin and Sucre. Not sure of the 40 man moves. Probably dfa Bay when Guiti is back. It probably wont be interesting tomorrow…but it should.

  36. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 5:16 pm

    I agree with all of those suggestions. Then again throwing a dozen names into a hat and drawing out any 5 of them might be equally productive.

  37. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 5:16 pm

    Looks like Maurer can’t count on the umps to call the game the same both ways. I know he is struggling but you can’t call the same pitch a ball for one team and a strike for another. At this point if I was Maurer, I might ask to be sent to Tacoma. The Rainiers seem to actually be a complete team.

  38. LanceWWU on May 22nd, 2013 5:17 pm

    Is there any update on Erasmo Ramirez? I haven’t heard about him for a while.

  39. Breadbaker on May 22nd, 2013 5:18 pm

    Boy, I never thought I’d pine for the days when we had Matt Tuiasosopo on our bench. This may be the worst-constructed major league roster for a team that isn’t purposely trying to lose games (i.e., Houston or Miami) I’ve ever seen.

  40. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 5:18 pm

    Is there any update on Erasmo Ramirez? I haven’t heard about him for a while.

    He has Guti disease.

  41. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 5:19 pm

    I hear ya Mike, but the Guti situation will be interesting and I’m curious if Farguhar will stick around. Medina might be the better guy to go for Kinney.

    But yeah, there’s probably not going to be much of a difference among the pitchers. Maybe Bonderman can do a little better than Harang.

    What really cracks me up, is the vibe around some of the other sites. A lot of fans are screaming for desperate moves, believing the season can be salvaged.

  42. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 5:21 pm

    I am willing to trade the Mariners for a mediocre NHL team, straight up.

  43. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 5:21 pm


    Real curious at what point Morales gets moved.

  44. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 5:23 pm

    Have the M’s ever developed a non-can’t miss hitting prospect? I count Griffey and Arod as can’t miss and they were also more than just hitting prospects. Or maybe I should rephrase the question. Have the M’s developed a hitter since Arod?

  45. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 5:25 pm


  46. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 5:26 pm

    :) I would actually say Chris Snelling but his body let him down not his skills.

  47. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 5:29 pm

    They traded Choo. I’m talking about drafting a player or trading/signing for a young player with high hitting potential and having that player realize that potential with the M’s.

  48. deflep78 on May 22nd, 2013 5:31 pm

    Its not salvaging the season, its making an uninteresting team interesting again with fresh guys. I cant stand listening to the excuses anymore about the guys up here that arent developing.

  49. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 5:31 pm

    I know I know. It was meant as a joking reply. But I do agree that the M’s can’t develop and hold onto a hitter.

  50. Woodcutta on May 22nd, 2013 5:36 pm

    The reason I ask is that I really can’t think of any but if I ask that same question of say the Reds a few come to mind. Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, and Jay Bruce.

  51. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 5:43 pm

    Well that’s the kind of hitters you get when you draft and trade well. Plus having a bit of luck.

  52. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 5:45 pm

    Lenny Bruce was pretty good, if you’re into that type of comedy.

  53. spankystout on May 22nd, 2013 5:49 pm

    Gotta love Lenny!

  54. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 5:51 pm

    Come to think of it, the Mariners have developed a shit-ton of “non can’t miss hitting prospects.”

    Just the opposite of what we would want, but they have definitely done it.

    However, I do know what you meant to ask.

  55. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 5:54 pm

    Which really makes you wonder if there isn’t some serious inner-organization issues regarding development, Mike. At least with position players.

  56. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 6:02 pm

    Maybe they should “Costanza” their decision making process.

  57. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 6:11 pm

    Holy flying fuck, I’ve figured out why the M’s catchers suck so much. If you listen carefully to the third strike to Pujols, it is clear that Shoppach is trying to catch using a glove-shaped piece of wood.

  58. stevemotivateir on May 22nd, 2013 6:12 pm

    Pretty sure Ibanez uses the same kind of glove in the outfield.

  59. Westside guy on May 22nd, 2013 6:18 pm

    Darn, somehow I missed the fact that the game started at 4.

    Wait – it’s the opposite of that. Woo hoo, I missed most of this game!

  60. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 6:18 pm

    Maybe Ryan should use a glove shaped piece of wood to hit.

  61. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 6:19 pm

    I think he’s working with those all-wood sunglasses as well. SPF 229. Same as his batting average, actually.

  62. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 6:21 pm

    Nobody could have ever guessed the game would start at 4:00 – unless it was a playoff game.

    That must be it, MLB has found a way to give the Mariners a taste of the postseason.

    And mmmmm, it sure is tasty.

  63. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 6:23 pm

    Brendan Ryan takes 3rd when SS isn’t backing up the throw, and then screams, “Fuck you, Wedge” into the dugout.

  64. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 6:31 pm

    Smoak has very little idea as a RHB. He could do no worse against lefties if he were hitting left handed IMO.

  65. msfanmike on May 22nd, 2013 6:32 pm

    Couldn’t pitch a second inning in Cleveland, but he can pitch am inning today.

    Check please!

  66. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 6:59 pm

    Wilhelmsen should be a trade target, if you believe this team isn’t viable until 2015 or 2016.

  67. bookbook on May 22nd, 2013 7:40 pm

    Seager should be a trade target, if you believe this team isn’t viable until 2015 or 2016.

  68. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 8:35 pm

    I would say that for any good trade for any major leaguer with more than a two years of experience (and therefore lost team control) besides Felix is acceptable.

    But I’ve also proposed the new slogan for next year:

    Cue Jeff Bridges as the Dude:
    “Seattle Mariners: Fucking Whatever, man.”

  69. The_Waco_Kid on May 22nd, 2013 8:55 pm

    They need to make some kind of move now. Harang must go. Mauer must be sent down. Andino should probably go, but it doesn’t really matter. Montero and Ackley should maybe be sent down. Make a move! Adding Mr. Glass doesn’t count. Not that making a move for its own sake is good, but there are too many reasonable moves to make for them to do nothing.

  70. henryv on May 22nd, 2013 9:24 pm

    “Seattle Mariners: It just doesn’t matter.”

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