Game 58, White Sox at Mariners

marc w · June 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Joe Saunders vs. John Danks, 7:10pm

The M’s return home to face Chicago, and their erstwhile innings-eater, John Danks. The M’s counter with Joe Saunders, whose coming off a successful start in a Safeco-like environment. The M’s obviously have some question marks in the pen, so it’ll be interesting to see Eric Wedge’s thought process in late game situations.

As Matthew wrote about in the series preview, Danks has reverse splits over his (fairly lengthy) career – due to his outpitch, the change-up. This isn’t merely a home-run-fueled artifact, either – Danks strikes out more and walks fewer righties. Lefties don’t exactly torch him, as he’s got a cutter and a (rare) curveball as well. Still, his swing-and-miss pitch is the cambio, with good arm-side run and sink. As a result, the Rays famously stacked their line-up with *righties* instead of lefties when they faced him. Rays fans even named it the “Danks Theory” after Joe Maddon’s slightly counter-intuitive strategy. The idea was simple: take away the opposing pitcher’s biggest strength. If the opposing starter had a great slider, then you’d use a traditional platoon line-up (opposite-handed hitters). If, like Danks, it was a change-up, then you went with a same-handed line-up to get him to throw more cutters instead. That’s all well and good for Rays fans, but we M’s fans know that when you play with sabermetrics, you’re playing with fire.

Perhaps luckily for the M’s – and to be perfectly fair, it’s not like Danks has strong platoon splits one way or the other – Wedge just isn’t able to mix and match. Injuries, and injuries that haven’t been DLed, have left the team with something of a short bench. That said, the line-up that’ll face Danks isn’t a bad one, given Danks’ weapon.

1: Chavez, RF
2: Bay, LF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, 1B
5: Ibanez, Dh
6: Franklin, 2B
7: Saunders, CF
8: Sucre, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Joe Saunders

Danks’ return from major shoulder surgery is cool and all, but I’m going to miss this one. Brandon Maurer’s scheduled to make his AAA debut, and it’s absolutely gorgeous out, so I’ll head to Cheney. The Rainiers face ex-Rainier and ex-Mariner Justin Thomas, who’s now with the Sacramento RiverCats.

Tai Walker lost the opening game of a AA doubleheader today in Tennessee, giving up two runs in five IP, with two walks and five K’s. The offense couldn’t get him any runs, so the Generals dropped game 1 2-0. Game 2′s underway with Jimmy Gilheeney pitching.

Comments

38 Responses to “Game 58, White Sox at Mariners”

  1. jordan on June 3rd, 2013 6:31 pm

    The Sucre/Shoppach catching combo has to be the greatest in the MLB right now.

  2. MrZDevotee on June 3rd, 2013 6:41 pm

    I’m just happy to watch a couple catchers that don’t make me wince when they’re back there.

    They’re very different, but they’re both a pleasure to watch work behind the plate.

    Along with Seager at 3B, catcher is now the only other position without a huge, Stonehenge-sized iron question mark sitting on top of it.

  3. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 7:15 pm

    Eh, I’d rather be watching Jaso catching for us. And hitting for us.

    It’s a pity the M’s weren’t smart enough to realize they couldn’t make Montero into a catcher.

  4. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 7:32 pm

    Interesting to watch this game with the Chicago commentators. I was distracted for a minute, came back to hear them talking about the lack of hitting, the shut-outs, and team meetings. Naturally, I thought they were talking about the Mariners. But they weren’t.

  5. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 7:40 pm

    Nice job Nick.

  6. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 7:45 pm

    Saunders failed, but Sucre came through!

  7. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 8:01 pm

    Not that anybody else is watching, or commenting, but how the hell did Seager just get a base hit from that bunt?!

  8. californiamariner on June 3rd, 2013 8:03 pm

    It was pretty funny Steve. I thought he was going face first when he reached the bag.

  9. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 8:03 pm

    Nice job Morales!

  10. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 8:05 pm

    No kidding. That really was a weird bunt. He was really stretching to beat that out. Luckily he wasn’t injured.

  11. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 8:09 pm

    Raul! And off a lefty!

  12. californiamariner on June 3rd, 2013 8:10 pm

    What a professional at bat. Rauuuuul

  13. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 8:38 pm

    I guess there’s nothing to say when it’s going well.

  14. californiamariner on June 3rd, 2013 8:42 pm

    Haha Juneau if Wedge had done something stupid there’d be another 50 comments.

  15. Westside guy on June 3rd, 2013 8:46 pm

    I love watching Brendan Ryan play defense.

  16. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 8:46 pm

    Give him time, Cali. Give him time.

  17. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 8:54 pm

    I’m just glad we have two catchers who don’t turn walks into doubles. Jaso was a pretty good DH but the combination of him and Montero behind the dish was unwatchable. If Sucre stays above the Mendoza line ( I hope I don’t jinx him but he at least has been putting the ball in play) he is an adequate #2. QUESTION It’s 4-1 in the ninth and Wilhelmsen walks the first two what do you? Let’s say you used Perez and Capps in the 7th and 8th.

  18. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 8:59 pm

    I don’t think Jaso was that difficult to watch, especially given what his offense brought. He was worth 3.5 WAR last year.

    Regarding Tommy… replace him with Danny or Charlie, depending on the match-up. But you really can’t hang him out there again if he’s clearly in trouble.

  19. californiamariner on June 3rd, 2013 9:04 pm

    Speaking of Farquhar the Mariners seem to have stumbled on something good. He seems legit. I bet Wedge has no idea though and will only use him in lopsided games.

  20. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 9:06 pm

    There was cussing? I missed it…

  21. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 9:13 pm

    Well, that was stupid.

  22. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 9:13 pm

    Mauer rolled through the River Cats for 6.2. Shows the difference between AAA and MLB.

  23. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:14 pm

    I really wonder if that stolen base attempt was called for, or if that was on Ryan.

    Dumb idea either way.

  24. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 9:21 pm

    Are we looking for Wedge’s stupid call of the day, Steve?

  25. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 9:23 pm

    Mostly because it didn’t work. Guy on 3rd less than 2outs brings the infield in and can score on a WP, PB Sac fly or E. Wedge has saved the pen for the 9th. Is Tom “resting” tonight?

  26. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:24 pm

    I honestly didn’t even think of that.

  27. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:26 pm

    Mostly because it didn’t work? It wasn’t necessary! You already have the runner in scoring position and two outs to play for a base hit. No reason to get too crazy.

  28. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 9:28 pm

    I guess neither did Wedge. He obviously saved some “veteran grit” for back-up though.

  29. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 9:30 pm

    No it wasn’t necessary but it wasn’t the third out and the way this team hits wit RISP

  30. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:36 pm

    I still didn’t like it. You had a favorable match-up with Bay facing a lefy, who has a decent OBP as well, and he was followed by Seager and Morales.

    Made more sense to keep him at second. But I’m not sure that was Wedge’s call.

  31. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:38 pm

    Crap. Get it done, Tommy.

  32. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 9:38 pm

    For some reason, it’s warming my cold little heart that the meager crowd at Safeco is cheering The Bartender on.

  33. Longgeorge1 on June 3rd, 2013 9:42 pm

    Way to go Beertender – Happy hour!

  34. stevemotivateir on June 3rd, 2013 9:43 pm

    I can live with that.

  35. Westside guy on June 3rd, 2013 9:48 pm

    Yay Tommy!

  36. fivespot on June 3rd, 2013 9:52 pm

    Don’t look now, but here come the Astros!

  37. juneau_fan on June 3rd, 2013 9:54 pm

    HAHHHAHHHHAA–The Angels losing never gets old.

  38. casey on June 4th, 2013 11:22 am

    Mariners have third lowest on base percentage in the AL (Whitesox and Astros are slightly lower).

    Ackley has now reached base 20 times in 39 at bats with only 2 srikeouts. How was this not a perfect marriage.

    I know it is early / small sample days but look forward to reading the analysis on how Ackley looks like the Ackley we expected vs AAA pitchers but is totally lost in MLB. Only thing I have seen so far came from Wedge commenting on game in Colorado where he had 5 hits and a walk or two shaking his head and almost wagging finger saying AAA is not the majors (where men are men – no I added that).

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