Game 66, Astros at Mariners

marc w · June 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Aaron Harang vs. Bud Norris, 7:10pm

Bud Norris was once a big-time (er, semi-big time) strikeout artist. A fastball/slider pitcher who mixes in a few change-ups to lefties, Norris racked up whiffs with his sharp slider, but yielded a fair number of homers-allowed. This year, his strikeouts are down markedly (like, 21-24% to 15%). But he’s also managed to *halve* his HR rate.

I know HRs are bad for pitchers and all, but this is something of a worrying trend for Houston fans. K% stabilizes much more quickly, so there’s a (good) chance that his HR rate regresses to his career numbers and he’s left with the worst of both worlds. Still, that seems too easy, too SABR-by-er,-numbers. The combination looks like a conscious choice, a trade off, even if its not obvious exactly what the terms were. He’s still throwing 50% sliders and 50% fastballs to righties, it’s just he’s given up zero HRs to them instead of lots.

Line-up:
1: Chavez, RF
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Seager, 3B
4: Liddi, 1B
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Morse, DH
7: Shoppach, C
8: Saunders, CF
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Harang

The corresponding move to the Zunino call-up was, as expected, DFAing Brandon Bantz.

Alex Liddi takes the place of Kendrys Morales, who was a late scratch with his sore back.

Comments

68 Responses to “Game 66, Astros at Mariners”

  1. Bodhizefa on June 11th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Morales is a late scratch, so Wedge takes that as an opportunity to move Franklin down to sixth and move Ryan up to second (!) in the order. Yay Eric Wedge!

    Please fire him now.

  2. MrZDevotee on June 11th, 2013 6:33 pm

    How is it that the M’s shit just keeps getting stinkier? We currently have no 1B on the team.

    It’s like the ship started taking on water, and then a plane fell out of the sky and landed on it, right before a train derailed off a bridge and landed on it, a submarine slammed into the hull on the opposite side… Oops, we just hit a mine. And we just grounded ourselves in the middle of a bay…

    On and on and on… This season is just out of control now. It’s like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are driving…

    The baseball gods are laughing so hard, King Beers are coming out of their noses… And filling up the sinking ship even quicker.

    I hate baseball. (Not really.)

  3. beadyeyes123 on June 11th, 2013 6:36 pm

    Why is it a problem Ryan is hitting second? He has been hitting of late. Why not?

  4. casey on June 11th, 2013 6:40 pm

    Another why is why is Morales not a firstbaseman? He has looked pretty good to me in the games he has played there. Also think this has been his home position since his Cuba days so think he knows how to play firstbase. For what it is worth I also think first is the best position for Morse (when healthy that is).

  5. NorahW on June 11th, 2013 6:50 pm

    casey, it’s my understanding that the reason they don’t play Morales at first all the time is because of his ankle that he broke in 2010 (under circumstances I’d rather forget).

  6. mca on June 11th, 2013 6:51 pm

    Is Condor really scuffling so badly that the his defensive advantage over Ibanez in LF isn’t enough to make him the choice over Liddi? (By this I mean Morse to 1B, Ibanez to DH. Are there more broken pieces that I don’t know about?)

  7. wabbles on June 11th, 2013 6:54 pm

    “This season is just out of control now. It’s like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are driving…”
    “Who is that?”
    “It’s Mike Zunino”
    “Zunino? You called up Zunino?”
    “Yeah.”
    “What? You thought you needed another challenge or something?”

  8. nvn8vbryce on June 11th, 2013 6:56 pm

    MrZ, I think Mr. Magoo is driving the bus…

  9. casey on June 11th, 2013 7:05 pm

    I just think firstbase is the least of our problems – seems like we have 4 or 5 of them.

    Catcher is one of our problems – Shoppach is just not an everyday MLB catcher. Zunino today, tomorrow, in three years is supposed to be a quality MLB catcher so to me makes sense to have your best organizational talent with the big club. Other organizations have done okay with 22 year olds (or less) in key positions including Trout, Harper, and of late that Puig kid.

    Love the Reeves / Bullock analogy – don’t want an invite to be on that bus.

  10. Paul B on June 11th, 2013 7:14 pm

    so to me makes sense to have your best organizational talent with the big club.

    Have you ever seen a player rushed to the majors before he was ready?

    Here’s one: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/maurebr01.shtml

    As to this season, it’s lost and it is a rebuilding year. We all could see that last January. No big surprises.

    And seriously, starting the season with Guti (fragile as all heck), Ibanez (not an outfielder), Morales (too fragile to play first), Morse (not an outfielder), Bay (a below average outfielder who has hit better than I expected), Smoak (bleah), and Montero (not a catcher) all on the same roster? Gee, who could have ever guessed that was going to lead to problems?

    If only they had known!

  11. wabbles on June 11th, 2013 7:16 pm

    “Once Condor and Death To Flying Things are your center fielders, the bomb is armed. If Condor regresses and Death To Flying Things turns out to be Doyle Incarnate, it blows up. Whaddaya do?”

  12. Slats on June 11th, 2013 7:20 pm

    Nice start for Endy.

  13. Slats on June 11th, 2013 7:21 pm

    Terrible AB from Ryan.

  14. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 7:23 pm

    Now that Ryan can be marketed as a #2 hitter, his trade value should sky-rocket.

  15. casey on June 11th, 2013 7:25 pm

    yep Paul B – I was that guy saying Russell Wilson will never work when they made him opening day QB last year with no pro experience and multi million Flynn waiting. Also thought Mariners rushed Felix big time as a 20 year old. How do you know they are rushing him … M’s management, scouts, coaches obviously don’t think so (I thought AAA was a push to start the season). I don’t get to Tacoma much and am looking forward to watching him play for M’s – certainly much more than I enjoy watching Shoppach.

  16. Slats on June 11th, 2013 7:25 pm

    Sims: “Cross our fingers these veterans can stay healthy: Endy, Bay, Chavez, Raul…”

    So we have two separate players..Endy and Chavez? HA.

  17. G-Man on June 11th, 2013 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the run, ‘stros.

    OK, so now Raul’s hit makes it less cheap.

  18. Paul B on June 11th, 2013 7:29 pm

    Baseball and football are different.

    And as Dave points out (with numbers!), we have good evidence to suggest Zunino has more to learn.

    You think he will learn faster as a ML backup, rather than a full timer in AAA?

  19. casey on June 11th, 2013 7:35 pm

    expecting Zunino isn’t in majors to sit on bench – will agree with your point if he doesn’t start 3 out 4 games going forward.

  20. wabbles on June 11th, 2013 7:45 pm

    We *routinely* call up prospects to ride the pine. Now, maybe this will be different since it is a job-saving move but that’s been our modus operandi.

  21. G-Man on June 11th, 2013 7:45 pm

    God, do they suck on D.

  22. Paul B on June 11th, 2013 7:45 pm

    I advise the Astros manager to begin drinking heavily.

  23. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 7:45 pm

    Houston is a steaming hot mess on defense. Atrocious.

  24. casey on June 11th, 2013 8:09 pm

    Know you guys don’t really like good Mariner news but man is Ackley small sample size ripping it up in AAA – 2 more hits tonight hitting .444 in 65 at bats with 1.175 OPS. Think there is still lots to be optimistic about with the foundation of this team (yes I count Ackley as one of the foundation guys on my list).

  25. scraps on June 11th, 2013 8:27 pm

    Oh come on, Casey. Saying your opponents “don’t really like good Mariner news” is a childish argument.

    If you’ve been reading USSMariner comments for the last week, several people have been cheered about Ackley. I am cheered, and I only want Wedge out of there before Ackley comes back up.

  26. nvn8vbryce on June 11th, 2013 8:30 pm

    Mike, well the Mariners are a steaming pile of poo on offense, so it’s a match made in heaven!

  27. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 8:31 pm

    I find it impossible to believe almost every prospect we have acquired in the past few years is an AAAA hitter – so I’m forced to believe the guys in charge of the Big Club are at least partially at fault when the young guys mostly suck at the major league level.

    Especially since the same sorts of things were apparently said about the young players Cleveland had back in their Wedge era.

  28. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 8:38 pm

    I bet Angie Mentink could play left field better than Raul Ibañez.

  29. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 8:41 pm

    “The Matador” no es muy bueno.

  30. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 8:41 pm

    LOL at Westy’s Angie comment. I’d put my paycheck on that. Girlfriend looks like a gamer.

    And have to laugh, in a bitter sort of way, about how this roster was ‘constructed’ for hitting this year. I’m too lazy to look, but haven’t they scored just as few runs as last year? So gave up defense for nothing?

  31. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 8:44 pm

    Westy pulled a stat from a few games ago and the Mariners had scored approx 40 runs fewer -compared to last season – after the same number of games.

  32. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 8:46 pm

    This steaming pile of poo offense (as my colleague Bryce so aptly points out) had better find a way to score a couple more runs this game. They are going to need them.

  33. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 8:47 pm

    Atta boy, Raul!

  34. pgreyy on June 11th, 2013 8:47 pm

    DINGERS!

  35. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 8:48 pm

    Raul is telling us to suck it.

    More homeruns, fewer runs? Well, they did want more homeruns, but didn’t think about the whole picture?

  36. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 8:49 pm

    BTW for those who don’t know – Angie Marzetta played for the Colorado Silver Bullets (center field, I think) after being a softball star at UW. She had a reputation as a great defender.

    She was a switch hitter, to boot.

  37. henryv on June 11th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Hooray for our tetragenarian!

    Also, holy fuck what happened to that other thread? Christ, those idiots just come out of the woodwork when Dave posts something important.

  38. nvn8vbryce on June 11th, 2013 8:50 pm

    The only dingers in Houston tonight are from all of the glasses hitting the counter at the local watering hole…

  39. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Henry, I am of the opinion a number of those posters only come to this site when Geoff B. writes one of those counter-articles he routinely spits out whenever Dave posts something here.

    I certainly don’t recognize a lot of those usernames, anyway.

  40. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Westy, Angie is in the UW Hall of Fame as a softball player.

  41. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 8:57 pm

    I’d like to see her get the shot – I think she’s younger than Raul. ;-)

    She might out-hit half these guys!

  42. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 9:01 pm

    *bowing down before Westy*

    And thanks msfan, for pointing out Westy’s research the other day. I couldn’t remember if I’d seen it here in a post or it was my crazed imaginings that put that idea of the sucky offensive in my mind.

  43. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:01 pm

    I think that Dave should write an article called “Geoff Baker is an intelligent and valuable sports writer”.

    Just to see what comes from the Seattle Hacks Times.

  44. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Ha Ha, my 30 second research project from the other night!

    Condor is making somewhat decent contact tonight a couple times – too bad it’s been right at guys.

  45. nvn8vbryce on June 11th, 2013 9:04 pm

    Henry, Seattle Slimes is more like it, considering their “journalism” is about as bad as the goo coming from the bottom of the Sound.

    Westy: I’m fairly sure Angie could play ball better than the entire squads of the Mariners and Asduds combined…

  46. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 9:06 pm

    I like Larry Stone – not everyone at the Times is bad and/or annoying.

    But my fave is Divish at the TNT.

  47. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:08 pm

    “Raul has a strong arm.”

    Blowers has officially jumped the shark. Mark it down. 9:08PM, June 11th, 2013.

  48. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 9:09 pm

    Raul has a good arm?? They are so tracking this blog while they broadcast.

  49. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:09 pm

    I’m not being specific to the Sports section of the Seattle Times.

    The entirety of that paper is a horrible mass of bullshit.

  50. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 9:10 pm

    Well, maybe they’re comparing him to Johnny Damon, since they’re about the same age.

  51. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 9:12 pm

    Harang’s going for that ‘innings eater’ role, hoping to hang on with the club.

  52. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:15 pm

    The Seattle Sounders on the MNT have nearly single-handedly kept the US in the World Cup.

  53. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:16 pm

    Harang’s going for that ‘innings eater’ role, hoping to hang on with the club.

    Insert Carlos Silva joke here.

  54. G-Man on June 11th, 2013 9:17 pm

    I hate these bunts, Just hit to right.

    Thank you.

  55. henryv on June 11th, 2013 9:19 pm

    Not sure what you mean, G. He did, and almost succeeded.

    And Pena made it look hard, at the same time.

  56. juneau_fan on June 11th, 2013 9:20 pm

    Wow, Astros’ pen sucks. And that’s saying something compared with it’s their other suck.

  57. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 9:22 pm

    Man, at least the team has finally figured out how to beat the freakin’ Astros!

  58. ppl on June 11th, 2013 9:26 pm

    The M’s win I will take it even if it is against the Stros.

  59. msfanmike on June 11th, 2013 9:30 pm

    These guys recently swept the Angels in a 4 game series?

  60. ppl on June 11th, 2013 9:32 pm

    If he has to be up now, I hope Zunino tees off in his first big league game.

  61. phineasphreak on June 11th, 2013 9:32 pm

    I’m surprised Wedgie left him in the entire game. He has a penchant for pulling our starters once someone gets aboard in the later innings.

  62. ppl on June 11th, 2013 9:32 pm

    The Angels lost again so we put them a little farther back in the rear view for the time being.

  63. phineasphreak on June 11th, 2013 9:35 pm

    Harang vs. SD & Houston this year: 18 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, 2BB, 18K, 2 CG.

    Harang vs the rest…yikes.

  64. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 9:44 pm

    I’m good at driving things into the ground, so – after 66 games…

    2013-06-11 RS 236 RA 278 (-42)
    2012-06-15 RS 265 RA 285 (-20)

  65. scraps on June 11th, 2013 10:08 pm

    But it’s the younger players who are knocking us back! The older guys who you criticized are fine! Let’s get Morse an extension!

  66. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 9:44 am

    Okay, so what’s it called when the game ends and we have more runs than the other guys?

    Somebody help me out.

    I used to know this.

    I think it starts with a “W”…?

  67. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 9:47 am

    Comparing Russell Wilson to any of our young players is truly apples to oranges. R.W. is an exceptional talent and a superlative natural leader. These humans are rare in any endeaver; not just sports.

  68. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 9:52 am

    How many people actually attended the game last night?

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