Game 50, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · May 26, 2013 at 11:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Iwakuma vs. Tepesch, 1:10pm

The M’s have lost 8 in a row, including two sub-par starts from their ace. A long losing streak is, by its nature, deflating, but there’s a compounding effect when it’s paired with a struggling Felix. We don’t ask for much. I’d venture to say that at this point, we don’t need watchable games every time out; we know the risks of sitting down to watch an Aaron Harang start. But games like yesterday’s upset the bargain that I’ve briefly described/just made up, and it makes feeling confident about today’s game, or about Michael Saunders, or about 2014, or feeling anything, that much harder.

Hisashi Iwakuma will try to bounce back from his worst start of the year, and Nick Tepesch tries to put a finger injury behind him and continue his subtly effective rookie season.

Tepesch gets a lot of grounders despite throwing a fair number of straight four-seam FBs because he gets so many grounders off of his primary breaking ball, the cutter. He mixes in a sinker, a curve and the occasional change, but he’s been effective this year in large part because of that cutter. Just as many GBs as his sinker, but a ton more whiffs. It’s helped him bump his K% up over 16%, so he’s not a Derek Lowe clone. He’s had some HR troubles, particularly against lefties, but he doesn’t seem like someone who’ll run high platoon splits consistently.

1: Chavez, RF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Ibanez, LF
4: Morales, 1B
5: Morse, RF
6: Saunders, CF
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Sucre, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Iwakuma

Taijuan Walker starts today for AA Jackson, and Hector Noesi starts for Tacoma.

Smoak’s oblique injury keeps him out of the line-up today, but it’s apparently not as serious as they thought last night.


62 Responses to “Game 50, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. RaoulDuke37 on May 26th, 2013 11:32 am

    I’m glad Wedge has finally abandoned the DH for a four-man outfield. :)

  2. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 12:00 pm

    It’s too bad Chavez can’t help out Raul in left in addition to the double-coverage he’s providing as Morse’s backup in right. Maybe Saunders should shift to one of the corners and then Endy could be sort of a rover to help out whichever one of the Morse/Ibañez duo needs backing up at any particular moment…

    Poor Marc, he’s doing yeoman’s work giving us these game threads everyday – and all we do is tease him for the occasional typo. THANK YOU MARC FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DO ON USSM!

  3. ndevale on May 26th, 2013 12:05 pm

    Yes, indeed, thank you. With the current on-field product, quality commentary and analysis is about the only thing maintaining my attention.

  4. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 12:13 pm

    On a side note – I’m not concerned about Condor’s slump. The timing is unfortunate since for a while there he was our only truly bright spot in an otherwise dismal season; but he had a longish slump last year and pulled out of it fine.

    Now the slump LAST year… I was worried then because in the bad old days he’d seemed to be his own worst enemy, and I wasn’t sure if the inevitable first slump would send him spiraling downward. But now he’s been through that experience.

  5. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 1:12 pm

    Haha, I love it when the facts don’t fit the season narrative, yet they still seem to buy into the narrative.

    “The team isn’t hitting well with RISP, but we’ve got veterans in the middle of the line-up and they know what needs to be done”

    Well, Blowers, correct me if I’m wrong but – aren’t they (excepting Kendrys Morales, who still seems to be an afterthought with them) the ones who’ve been in the middle of the order all season and not “getting it done”? Wasn’t their veteran-ness the reason we brought them in specifically because that supposedly meant they’d do things like come through when the pressure’s on?

  6. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Move the fences out!

  7. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 1:39 pm

    Well, so far this game has stuck to the expected script.

    Come on, Mr. Director! We need a plot twist to keep us interested!

    (Man, there’s quite an echo in here today… HELLO! ..Hello… hello…)

  8. stevemotivateir on May 26th, 2013 1:43 pm

    Not to make you feel any worse, but if you look at Jaso’s line with RISP, there’s a healthy dose of salt for the wounds.

  9. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 1:48 pm

    That’s okay, Steve, it’s obvious Jaso didn’t bring enough veteran grit to the table. Just ask Geoff Baker.

  10. Prozach on May 26th, 2013 1:50 pm

    So um, I just realized that Ryan and Ackley have the same OPS. When did that happen? End of last game?

  11. The_Waco_Kid on May 26th, 2013 1:51 pm

    Come on, guys. Geoff reads USSM. Be nice!

  12. SeattleSlew on May 26th, 2013 1:58 pm

    What is the sense in paying one player 20 million when the team doesn’t win and other players on the team get a fraction of what he gets?

  13. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:02 pm

    As I recall, early in the season Mr. Baker tweeted that it was “laughable” anyone might find an argument for Jaso over Morse. So he deserves some grief for that, just as any of us would if we’d said it.

    Now, thing is, Morse is a better offensive player than Jaso – no question about that. But the early season Morse – he of the 1.200+ OPS – was a mirage. The guy we’re seeing now is closer to the “true” Morse (although significantly worse, for sure) than early season Morse was. Morse is no superstar – he’s a decent hitter that’s unfortunately horrific with a glove, and that glove counters much of his offensive value

  14. The_Waco_Kid on May 26th, 2013 2:03 pm

    Why is Ackley not in AAA? Is the idea just too awful for them to think about?

  15. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:05 pm

    We just got lucky.

  16. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:06 pm

    Wouldn’t sending Ackley to AAA require a 40-man move?

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t do it… Just that it might require some juggling.

  17. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:09 pm

    I should clarify – bringing up someone we’d actually want to see in place of Ackley would require a 40-man move.

    We’ve got several infielders on there who I’m hoping never to see again.

  18. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:12 pm

    WOO HOO! Goodbye, Perfecto!

  19. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:20 pm

    Morse’s strike zone judgement drives me nuts sometimes…

  20. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:21 pm

    That low-and-outside pitch gets him EVERY FREAKING TIME.

  21. msfanmike on May 26th, 2013 2:23 pm

    Morse has a hilarious two-strike approach. Swing hard at any shit low and a foot outside. Every time.

  22. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:34 pm

    Let’s see… Right now Morales is hitting well, and Smoak was doing okay… and Seager. Ryan is mostly no longer sucking rather than hitting well

    Everyone else just looks terrible when they come to the plate.

  23. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:39 pm

    Actually Endy has been atypically good offensively since we brought him up.

  24. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:50 pm


  25. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 2:56 pm

    Man, sometimes during a slump a player is just unlucky.

    Saunders, however, is hitting badly. He’s taking bad swings and following a bad approach.

  26. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:00 pm

    Wait. Did Blowers actually just say Raul “has a good throwing arm”!?

  27. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 3:02 pm

    He did, Westy. I couldn’t wait to see what crap Felix would give to Beltre if he’d been out.

  28. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 3:04 pm

    Speaking of Blowers, I will give him credit for being the only one on three broadcast crews who immediately realized that Moreland didn’t catch that DP throw.

    Ha, and now Cruz is out – makeup for the Moreland faux putout? Wash didn’t argue.

  29. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:14 pm

    I actually like Blowers. He is going to have the typical ex ball player biases, but despite my picking on some specific things he’s said – he’s better than most, and has been willing to stretch out of his comfort zone to talk about stuff like UZR when they asked him to (back when the team seemed to be forward thinking).

    And there are definitely things an ex player is going to understand better than the rest of us.

    I wonder sometimes if some of the odd comments we notice from the broadcasters come out of the fact they’re expected to pull stuff out of their hat on a moment’s notice.

  30. vj on May 26th, 2013 3:18 pm

    Concerning Felix last two starts: 54 Batters faced, 17 strikeouts, 3 Walks, 19 Groundballs, 5 Flyballs and on those 5 Flyballs 2 homeruns. I’d say, he didn’t pitch subpar in those starts, just very unluckily.

  31. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:19 pm

    We are so lucky to have Isashi Iwakuma.

  32. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:21 pm

    Well, vj, given that Felix is a Seattle Mariner – I’d say “very unlucky” is a given. ;-)

  33. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:45 pm

    Wedge is really predictable. Given Saunders’ struggles, though… I guess it makes sense.

    But if we don’t score, our outfield defense just took a big hit.

    (Come on Bay)

  34. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 3:46 pm

    Can Triunfel play first?

    Ah, never mind, Ackley can move over.

    Please ignore the brief brain fart.

  35. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 3:54 pm

    I like the 2nd inning for Tom W, but he keeps getting tagged for long flies…

  36. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 3:56 pm

    “I wonder sometimes if some of the odd comments we notice from the broadcasters come out of the fact they’re expected to pull stuff out of their hat on a moment’s notice.”

    It’s because they have to fill air, ad lib, and keep a wide range of people interested.

  37. californiamariner on May 26th, 2013 3:59 pm

    Anyone else curious what Wilhelmsen could do as a starter?

  38. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Well there’s that veteran presence.

  39. msfanmike on May 26th, 2013 4:50 pm

    Ackley. Tacoma. Now. Fuck!

    You dumb-asses are ruining him.

  40. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 4:55 pm

    What a game. I hope some people are watching at home, if not posting here.

  41. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 4:57 pm

    I had given up, and left to take a shower. I get out of the shower and it’s 3-3 in the 12th!

    Glad I could help…

  42. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 5:12 pm

    Westy, my late mother used to say it was her “coaching” (while watching) that pulled the team through a tight one. IOW, you haven’t been pulling your weight.

    I have to leave around 5:30, so it’s yours after that.

  43. Section329 on May 26th, 2013 5:19 pm

    If you need a chuckle between innings, go to for Muni’s wonderful post game interview after his walk-off for Toronto today. loved that guy-too bad he couldn’t hit.

  44. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 5:21 pm

    WOO HOO!!!

  45. Section329 on May 26th, 2013 5:21 pm

    Bay grit!

  46. Westside guy on May 26th, 2013 5:22 pm

    Phew! Just beat G-Man’s deadline! I was sweating the pressure…

  47. californiamariner on May 26th, 2013 5:24 pm

    New streak started :)

  48. Prozach on May 26th, 2013 5:25 pm

    The witch’s curse is broken.

  49. G-Man on May 26th, 2013 5:36 pm

    westy, the M’s knew they needed my veteran presence.

    Over and out.

  50. stevemotivateir on May 26th, 2013 5:51 pm

    I missed the game, so of course they won. Kind of a half-assed complaint.

    Backing up to the Jaso/Morse subject (which definitely hasn’t been over analyzed) it’s the situational hitting that jumps out.

    Looking at their basic batting lines, neither jump out as something impressive. But when you look at what Jaso’s done in situational hitting, it isn’t even close. He’s doing exactly what he was doing last year. He’s also hitting first in the order most nights, so there’s an argument to be made about RBI opportunities.

    I still can’t get over how ridiculous this offseason was. Golden opportunity to lock up a couple of decent outfielders to move forward with, which was incredibly important because the organization is anemic with outfield talent, BUT we end up with Bay, Ibanez, and Chavez. Granted they’ve all swung the bat decent despite rough starts, but Ibanez isn’t a real fielder and none of these guys figure into any long term plan.

    It’s easy to imagine what this team would be like with an outfield of Swisher, Bourn, and Saunders, along with Jaso, Morales, and Seager in the lineup. In a word, good. Pitching would still be an issue, but even if 2013 wasn’t a year to contend, there would be good reason to feel confident about 2014.

    I don’t have that confidence right now. I think this team is in a lot of trouble. There’s still a lot of young talent, but expecting much from them early is a stretch and there won’t be much help in free agency, so trades will likely be necessary to fill immediate holes, which will cost some of that young talent.

    It’s a catch 22. That’s what happens when you have management who fails to recognize the talent they have, the talent they should target, and the risks involved stalling with multiple stop-gaps.

    Bleh. End of my rant. Glad they won tonight.

  51. msfanmike on May 26th, 2013 6:05 pm

    Good rant, though. Well stated.

  52. stevemotivateir on May 26th, 2013 6:08 pm

    Thanks, Mike! Limited alcohol consumption while writing that as well;)

  53. evolvingcaveman on May 26th, 2013 6:10 pm

    Our off-season acquisitions really aren’t the problem in my honest opinion. Sure we would have loved more/better but Morse,Kendrys,Ibanez,Bay and Shoppach are kicking the living crap out of holdovers Ackley, Montero,Ryan, Smoak etc. How many holdovers from our Organization besides Seager have been better than the new guys? The vets are playing almost exactly how I expected and the young guys have to step up if we want to win.

  54. californiamariner on May 26th, 2013 6:49 pm

    Performing better than Ackley, Montero, Ryan, and Smoak isn’t exactly an accomplishment. How about the pitchers #3-5? How are guys like Swisher and Bourn doing?
    Oh and Morse has a negative war. This past offseason is a huge problem. I think it’s the reason most people are ready for new management.

  55. stevemotivateir on May 26th, 2013 8:09 pm


    If there was a surplus of outfield talent within the organization, and if Jaso had sucked last year, it would be a different story.

    Most of these stop-gaps have played decent. But they’re not long term options, and without upcoming replacements, they’re not even really stop-gaps. So I do think this offseason was a failure. We’ll be going through the same thing again next offseason, but with less (good) FA options available, and arguably a higher price for trade candidates.

    The infield’s another story, as there are other inner-organizational options. I won’t get into pitching.

  56. The_Waco_Kid on May 26th, 2013 11:47 pm

    A win!

  57. jak924 on May 27th, 2013 7:52 am

    Ackley will never go to AAA as long as Z is the GM. Ackley to AAA is the final nail.

  58. nvn8vbryce on May 27th, 2013 8:34 am

    Any compelling reasons for me to drive into Reno and see Tacoma play today?

  59. stevemotivateir on May 27th, 2013 8:40 am


    Divish is reporting that Franklin is getting the call. If that’s true, it’s very likely Ackley’s going down.

    If this is the case, how do you like your crow?!

  60. G-Man on May 27th, 2013 8:54 am

    stevem, I heard the same, but can’t find it on the TNT site. Was it a tweet??

  61. zeebfan on May 27th, 2013 9:28 am

    Yes it was a tweet.

  62. BillyJive on May 27th, 2013 10:16 am

    Ackley’s locker is empty…hmmm…so is his hitting…

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