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. 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.

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

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

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

    Gotta love Lenny!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Maybe they should “Costanza” their decision making process.

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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!

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.”

  19. 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.

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

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

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