Game 85, Mariners at Rangers

marc w · July 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Martin Perez, 5:05pm

Happy 4th of July – sincerely hope everyone enjoys the holiday. Canadians, I know you just celebrated, but I think you really get into the spirit of July 4th by blowing off work and celebrating again. I celebrated Canada Day in a quiet, understated way by having some red wine and a sensible dinner at home – I like to think you appreciated the gesture. Today’s not really about “quiet” or “understated” however, so have a beer and yell at the Rangers on TV. Or whatever else it is you’d like to do today (freedom!).

It’s fitting that the M’s are playing in Texas, somehow. Though modern-day Texans lustily celebrate today’s holiday, they’ve less reason to celebrate than those of us in more civilized lands. It’s true of course that Washington wasn’t an original colony, and there wasn’t much of a population here when the US celebrated its centennial. But I like to think we’re celebrating some enduring values, some principles, when we dust off our copy of the Declaration of Independence. It’s the call to reason, the clear, sober delineation of grievances and a demand of redress, not of blood or vengeance. Many point out the myriad ways in which the country founded by people who wrote the federalist papers, the constitution and the declaration has failed to live up to those values. Fair enough, but I’d like to think we can ALL come together in the celebration of universal natural rights. All of us except Texans, maybe.

Texas was created as a Republic, bitterly divided between those who wanted to gradually join the Union, and those who wanted to stay a republic, drive out Native Americans and march west to the sea. Eventually, the unionists won out, but the victory proved temporary. Texas was one of the original seven states of the Confederacy; less than 20 years after joining the union, they took up arms against it. Following *that* defeat, they continue to observe Confederate Memorial day as a state holiday. I’m all for having holidays. I’m drinking a beer and I’m not going to work right now. But it seems a bit odd to really celebrate the 4th of July seven months after Confederate Heroes day*.

Martin Perez, as I’ve mentioned before in these previews, was a Top 100 prospect for what felt like a decade. A rough introduction to AAA in 2011 was followed by a rough start to 2012, culminating in a disastrous start in Tacoma in which the likes of Scott Savastano battered a laboring Perez to a pulp. After a regroup and work with the Rangers’ coaches, Perez started to put things together down the stretch – aided by the fact that his velocity ticked up a bit. He touched the mid-90s routinely as a teen and into his early 20s, but was in the low-90s early in 2012. When he debuted with Texas he was averaging 92-93, and has progressed further this year, as he’s sitting at about 94 with his four-seam fastball.

A brilliant outing in relief last year – against the M’s – saw him rack up 5Ks in 4+ innings, still his career high (tied with a 6IP start vs. Oakland), and pushed him into the starting rotation in September. His results there were mixed, and he wasn’t able to lock down the 5th spot in the Rangers’ rotation this spring. Injuries and great run of form for Round Rock have led to another opportunity, though, and he appears to be capitalizing – he’s coming off six shutout innings against a good Cincinnati team. Perez’ success has come without the aid of strikeouts, and without much of any success at all against righties. His FIP’s OK thanks to a very low walk rate and fantastic luck on HR/FB, but his K rate’s worse than Blake Beavan’s 2012 mark because he’s got nothing to throw to righties.

Last year, he tried a curve ball along with his slider and change, but he’s largely scrapped that in favor of the change in 2013. The change isn’t a terrible pitch, but it’s not exactly a swing-and-miss pitch, and unlike last year, his fastball’s not fooling any right-handed hitters. He’s kept it in the park, but BABIP and HR/FB won’t make up for actual stuff. That said, scouts have been raving about Perez’s stuff for years, so it’s possible he’s got more stuff than he’s shown thus far. Still, a full-strength M’s team would be a decent match-up, as a 2-3-4 of Franklin, Morse and Morales would presumably trouble the Venezuelan. But the M’s *aren’t* at full strength, and filling out a line-up that reflects Perez’s weakness means giving Brendan Ryan a start. Ah well.

1: Bay
2: Franklin
3: Ibanez
4: Morales
5: Seager
6: Smoak
7: Chavez
8: Blanco
9: Ryan
SP: Iwakuma

The M’s are going for their first sweep in Texas since September of 2001. Do it for America, Mariners!

The Rainiers are in Salt Lake, with Brian Sweeney on the hill. Roenis Elias is pitching right now for Jackson in Pensacola, and Andrew Carraway’s making a rehab start in Everett tonight (he threw four hitless innings against Spokane five days ago).

* In bitter, Texas-sized irony, Confederate Heroes’ Day sometimes coincides with Martin Luther King day.

Comments

92 Responses to “Game 85, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. Don Money on July 4th, 2013 3:21 pm

    Good night for Smoak, his timing looks good, now the power kicks in!

  2. PackBob on July 4th, 2013 3:23 pm

    The call to reason is worth celebrating as it rarely comes to fruition.

    Combining that with the celebration of a standout Iwakuma start and series sweep would make for a sweet 4th of July.

  3. Will on July 4th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Doesn’t get much worse than the bottom of the lineup today…

  4. Paul B on July 4th, 2013 5:26 pm

    The M’s have experience with lineups that have a bad section.

  5. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 5:31 pm

    Came in just in time to see Smoak do *that*. He struggles so badly with RISP. It might as well be a stat called RIP.

  6. Will on July 4th, 2013 5:33 pm

    Can’t say Zunino is tearing it up in the majors, but think I would hae prefered to have seen him there…

  7. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 5:37 pm

    At the game now…Blanco looked like the slowest player in the majors on the DP.

  8. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 5:38 pm

    I hope Beltre didn’t hurt you with that ball he just hit, naviomelo.

  9. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Msfanmike…He hit it just as I posted that…I’m in the last row of the upper deck behind the plate, and my green Ackley jersey sticks out like a sore thumb here.

  10. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 5:44 pm

    If anyone gives you any trouble, just flash the “hook em horns” sign and tell them you lost a bet. Then, hope for the best.

  11. don52656 on July 4th, 2013 5:48 pm

    So the bench tonight is Ackley, Miller, Saunders, and Zunino. Instead we get Chavez, Ryan, Blanco. No wonder we haven’t won more than 3 games in row this season.

  12. Paul B on July 4th, 2013 5:56 pm

    Are these the regular Mariner road uniforms now?

  13. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 6:15 pm

    Msfanmike, you got a good rise out of the local faithful with that. Thanks to you, they forgive my misplaced allegiance.

  14. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 6:28 pm

    Came in just in time to see Smoak do *that*. He struggles so badly with RISP. It might as well be a stat called RIP.

    That may very well be the funniest comment I’ve ever seen posted on this site. Sad thing is, he’s probably right!

    Make it happen, Mike!

  15. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 6:35 pm

    I am glad for the opportunity to be helpful this evening Steve & Naviomelo. I should quit while I am ahead, but I doubt I am that smart.

    I just figured out what is missing tonight (other than Mariner runs). Westy has not yet posted a comment about Raul in the gamethread.I thought it was a daily tradition.

  16. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 6:36 pm

    Pinch hitters after Chavez!!!!!

  17. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 6:56 pm

    Sixth inning, Mariners down one to zero.

    Two hits, runners on 1st and Second:

    Our “manager” does absolutely nothing!

    Here are the options.

    Run Ackley for Smoak (takes over at first)
    Bunt Chavez
    PH Saunders for Blanco
    If they go with a match up lefty you can PH Zunino for Saunders or stay with Saunders
    No matter what happens pinch hit Miller for Ryan

    Nothing!

    And Miller

  18. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:01 pm

    To continue

    And Brad Miller should not be sitting against a lefty. If you are developing him as a full time player he needs to hit against lefties all the time until he proves that he can not. To think positively, as our manager never does unless it is about Raul’s baserunning speed, you want to develop and encourage his skill and confidence and experience against lefties.

    Now you plant the seed in his mind that the manager does not have confidence in him to hit lefties or, worse, that he is weak against lefties.

    If he needs a rest, sit him against righties.

    It is ridiculous how predictably dumb Wedge is and how he has already started his “young player development magic” on Brad Miller two weeks into his career.

  19. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:08 pm

    Westy goes deep again!!!

  20. Westside guy on July 4th, 2013 7:10 pm

    Gopilots70, I suspect Wedge’s “young player development magic” is at least partially to blame for the struggles most of our young guys have run into.

    Also, Rauuuulll! Yes, please do send him to the all star game – I’d love to see one of those classic Raul defensive plays happen in front of the entire nation.

  21. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:16 pm

    Time for some RBI, Smoak. Make it happen!

  22. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:16 pm

    That is cruel, Westy. Do you really want a Mariner to be in the spotlight that way?!

  23. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 7:16 pm

    I just lost it when Raul hit that!! My entire section now knows Raul’s HR total and age. Go M’s!!!

  24. terryoftacoma on July 4th, 2013 7:16 pm

    I need to find my broom.

  25. Longgeorge1 on July 4th, 2013 7:16 pm

    Raul is a DH our outfield is on the DL

  26. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:18 pm

    Hey Westy, que pasa?

  27. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:19 pm

    Washington just turned Smoak around to the left side. Thanks Ron! You have increased the Mariner chances, substantially.

  28. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:20 pm

    They brought in a RHP to face Smoak?

    They must have seen his RIP, Mike.

  29. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:22 pm

    He K’s

  30. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:23 pm

    RIP outweighs handedness, apparently.

  31. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:24 pm

    Pinch hitter pinch hitter pinch hitter

  32. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:24 pm

    Death doesn’t care what hand you lead with, Mike.

    Death doesn’t care.

    Death doesn’t care (tears streaming).

  33. Grayfox3d on July 4th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Right on Que Blanco!….

    Why do I get the feeling that Wedge does not care about winning tonight? to me his logic feels more like

    “we won the series right! who cares about tonight’s game”

  34. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:27 pm

    Can’t believe Smoak and Blanco didn’t come through. I even opened a beer to celebrate the sure thing.

  35. Longgeorge1 on July 4th, 2013 7:27 pm

    One more inning from Kuma PLEASE!

  36. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:29 pm

    Sometimes, I swear it’s sheer stubbornness. His man could be 0 for the last 17, with zero walks, and Wedge figures he’s due, so he leaves him in.

  37. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:32 pm

    Exactly Westy! Two weeks into his career Miller sits against a lefty. “By the Book” ?

    More insanity. One out in the 7th and up by 2 runs. Kendrys on third and no pinch runner.

    1) He is slow
    2) He has been injured this year and a major major injury in his career, so don’t want risk another with a play at the plate. We need him and we need the run.

    3) It is the seventh inning and we lead. Is Wedge playing for extra innings?

    If Saunders or Ackley is on third you be aggressive and maybe score on the ball that got away from catcher.

    Eric Wedge–worst major league manager since Maury Wills. At least our organization is in the top two in something.

    And, yes, I really can be positive sometimes!! Raul!!!! Sign him up for DH only next year now..

  38. bigsmooth on July 4th, 2013 7:32 pm

    I’m honestly stunned right now. How the heck does Blanco get an AB in that situation? Am I overreacting? Just unreal.

  39. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:33 pm

    Is “flat beer” a thing in Brazil, Steve? It might be a while before you can drink that thing, now.

  40. Longgeorge1 on July 4th, 2013 7:34 pm

    Guess I didn’t get my wish

  41. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:35 pm

    Na, I was smart…. finished it before either could burst my bubble.

  42. Longgeorge1 on July 4th, 2013 7:37 pm

    Gee did you see that Wedgie – A pinch runner!

  43. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 7:39 pm

    Just as stunned as you guys about the Blanco indecision.

  44. Longgeorge1 on July 4th, 2013 7:40 pm

    If you see Kay

  45. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:42 pm

    Prepare for a verbal abusing, Naviomelo.
    Texas style!

  46. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:42 pm

    Chalk this one up and a big L for the manager again. Could have easily been 5 or 6 to 1.

  47. Woodcutta on July 4th, 2013 7:42 pm

    What?!? Ibanez didn’t gun him down?!?

  48. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:42 pm

    I can’t believe that!!

    Raul actually got on top of it, made a decent throw.

  49. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 7:43 pm

    So…Arlington isn’t the greatest place for an M’s fan right about now.

  50. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:45 pm

    This the Mariner team I know.

  51. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:45 pm

    Keep working your magic, Wedge … Keep working your magic.

    And hire a Realtor.

  52. juneau_fan on July 4th, 2013 7:45 pm

    Ignoring the suck that is the game for now…

    I was in the yard, listening to the radio feed. Rizz described the 2nd Beltre homerun as going ‘Onto the Grassy Knoll.’

    Please tell me that they really don’t call it that.

    Although if they don’t, I guess it’s a sign that Rizz is sliding to dementia.

  53. Woodcutta on July 4th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Why is Furbush getting so much playing time? Where iss Oliver Perez?

  54. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Steve,

    You are right. It seems that Wedge always goes with “a hunch”, rather than the best percentage move.

  55. Woodcutta on July 4th, 2013 7:48 pm

    The AARP outfield strikes again.

  56. ensignofcommand on July 4th, 2013 7:49 pm

    Raul is second among active left fielders with 83 assists, and has led the league twice (2007 and 2009.)

    He has always had a decent arm.

  57. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Well, that’s not how I expected the inning to end.

  58. henryv on July 4th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Having a lot of outfield assists means people run on you a lot.

    A more valuable question is what % of runners does he throw out.

    Defense matters, kids. Just a reminder, since apparently Wedge isn’t aware of that fact.

  59. Woodcutta on July 4th, 2013 7:50 pm

    ensignofcommand,

    It is 2013 and he is 41. His “decent” arm has vastly deteriorated.

  60. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:51 pm

    I have heard the grassy knoll reference several times in the past – from Mariner announcers. It’s nothing new if that is what you were asking.

  61. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:53 pm

    Again, I am sorry, but Raul should never be playing left field in the bottom of the 7th inning in a game we lead 3-1.

    So so wheels, poor fly ball judgment, poor range, iffy arm.

    Why???

  62. ensignofcommand on July 4th, 2013 7:53 pm

    As opposed to the cannons of Bay, Ackley and Saunders? What are you saying? Can’t expect the double play and you shouldn’t expect a left fielder to gun down an above average runner at home.

  63. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 7:53 pm

    Eric Wedge words of wisdom.

    You only pinch hit or run when you are behind

  64. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 7:53 pm

    3 pitch AB by Ackley. That was scintillating.

  65. henryv on July 4th, 2013 7:54 pm

    At this point, I send Ackley back down. He’s clearly clueless at the MLB level, and rakes in AAA. It’s unfair to everyone involved to keep him up. The Rainiers fans deserve something besides watching their starting pitchers not start.

  66. henryv on July 4th, 2013 7:57 pm

    Raul Ibanez would be one of the best DHs in the league, if he weren’t playing “LF”.

  67. Grayfox3d on July 4th, 2013 7:58 pm

    No more Wedge please…. he’s clueless out there.

  68. Grayfox3d on July 4th, 2013 8:01 pm

    If we send Ackley down, who plays for him? another clueless at the plate outfielder in Saunders? its a no win situation it feels like right now.

  69. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 8:05 pm

    Ensign,

    When I talk about Raul in left, I am not hindsighting about the play at the plate. It’s true it was a good throw and probably our replacements do not get an out either.

    But, before the inning starts with a 3-1 lead, a sane manager puts a good fielding left fielder (Saunders) instead of staying with a poor fielding left fielder.

    A good manager plays the highest probability to protect a lead, increasing the odds of getting outs on any type of ball hit to left. A good manager does not assume when we be trailing in the game later on.

    It is sheer stupidity and some false Eric Wedge type unnecessary reverence to veteran players who know and expect that other managers would pull them in that situation. (Raul out of left and Kendres pinch run at third)

  70. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:07 pm

    Is Saunders completely unable to play in the outfield? If so, what good is he on the roster? The DL serves a very important purpose. Playing with 2 legitimate OFers on the entire roster is pretty much fucking insane.

    Holy flying fuck. I just realized the only OFs not in Seattle on the 40 man are Julio Morban and Carlos Peguero. Wow. I mean, just Wow. This roster is just, just… Man… There are NFL rosters with more OF depth than this franchise.

  71. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:09 pm

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the M’s are not getting the bottom of the strike zone?

  72. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 8:10 pm

    Call up Kenny Easley, now!

  73. naviomelo on July 4th, 2013 8:10 pm

    Juneau – apparently it’s called Green’s Hill. Straight from the source.

  74. Westside guy on July 4th, 2013 8:10 pm

    Saunders’ average and OBP turned around starting a few weeks ago.

    Power hadn’t returned much, and Wedge starting sitting him after his numbers improved for some reason (probably typical Wedge logic of some sort). Now he has a spiked finger.

  75. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 8:16 pm

    Nobody’s on base Justin, its safe to get a hit now.

  76. Westside guy on July 4th, 2013 8:17 pm

    Hi Mike – nada mucho. Sorry for the delayed response, I fell asleep! Mariners baseball!

  77. Westside guy on July 4th, 2013 8:18 pm

    NOW Wedge subs for Blanco..

  78. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 8:19 pm

    Should have had 7 runs in this game at this point.

  79. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:21 pm

    Wow, what a bullshit strike zone.

  80. Westside guy on July 4th, 2013 8:21 pm

    Lefty strike zone, Michael. Have you been taking lessons from Ackley?

  81. msfanmike on July 4th, 2013 8:22 pm

    At least he didn’t re-injure his finger by swinging the bat (not even once). But yeah – that last pitch was wide.

  82. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2013 8:23 pm

    Raul’s had positive dWAR just once in his career. His sabermetric fielding stats show a whole lotta negative signs in front of the numbers. I don’t think anyone’s fooled into thinking he’s a good outfielder.

    But nobody should fault him for that sacrifice run scoring. I joked about it, but he did about all you could expect. Most fielders probably wouldn’t have had any better luck. And it’s not like that was the key to the game.

  83. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:23 pm

    Nathan threw 5 called strikes. Only 2 were actually in the strike zone.

    Apparently Nathan looks like Mariano Rivera.

  84. mossi on July 4th, 2013 8:23 pm

    Saunders should have offered a defensive swing and tried to foul it off. It was too close to take. Oh well, “That’s Mariner Baseball”.

  85. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 8:24 pm

    With all of these confounding managerial non-moves all season long:

    I am beginning to wonder if Jack Z. even watches the games anymore.

    Is he just sitting down in Tacoma waiting for Taijuan Walker to pitch again?

  86. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:27 pm

    The M’s had 10 pitches outside the strike zone called strikes against them. Not a single pitch in the strike zone was called a ball.

    The Rangers had 3 pitches outside the strike zone called strikes. They had 2 pitches in the strike zone called balls.

    That’s a huge fucking difference.

  87. henryv on July 4th, 2013 8:28 pm

    Z and Wedge are right now working on their resumes. They’ve got important shit to do, and watching shitty baseball isn’t one of them.

  88. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 8:42 pm

    I know that Raul staying in left was not a key the game but it is still another stupid non-move that was consistent with the other non-moves that did cost us the game today and many other days.

    Yes, often the manager gets away with keeping Raul in left. Several times this year Wedge got away with not pinch running for Raul, but last week he did not and it cost us a game against the Cubs last week.

    Stupid moves or non-moves often don’t cost you, but in the long run sometimes they will and they will cost the Mariners at least ten games this year. Stupid moves sometimes even pay off but in the long run they do not.

    I can guarantee you that many players were sitting on the bench in the sixth and seventh innings when the Mariners were up and thinking where is the manager. And I am sure that they have stopped wondering why Raul is in the field late in the game when we are ahead.

    This kind of managing deflates a team. Puts players in a position to fail and shows no confidence in the bench.

    We should be heading out of Texas with a sweep and instead players are thinking that the manager is out to lunch and the losing just continues. Yes, we are happy with two out of three, but a good manager keeps us on a big roll today.

    Today players put in a position to fail…Smoak (running again) , Blanco (hitting twice), Ryan(hitting), Morales (running), Raul (fielding)

    What I mean by this is staying with these players in a skill area they are poor at, when there are much better alternatives on the bench in key situations.

    Today no confidence in bench players shown to Ackley, Saunders, Miller, Zunino (the entire bench) Not used in obvious key sitations.

  89. mossi on July 4th, 2013 11:35 pm

    Maybe a lot of our young players (Mauer, Ackley, Saunders, Montero, etc.) look overmatched in the major leagues because that’s the outlook their supposed leader is projecting. Wedge just doesn’t seem very confident of anything, especially as he nervously fidgets with his moustache. His comment that he didn’t pinch hit for Blanco in the game’s key moment because he didn’t want to change catchers on Barra’Kuma was not logical. If that’s the case, take them both out. Perhaps Raul’s next emergency position could be player-manager.

  90. gopilots70 on July 4th, 2013 11:43 pm

    mossi, you hit it dead on. Not logical and just plain dumb. You must have read, what I just read in the TNT.

    Ryan Divish did not have to say anything more than this:

    “The veteran catcher personally stranded eight runners on the day. Wedge chose not to pinch hit in that situation despite having plenty of left-handed bats on the bench.

    Did he consider it?

    “No, because he’s still out there with Iwakuma,” Wedge said. “You don’t want to change your catcher with your starting pitcher in the seventh inning. They’ve been together the whole time. You’ve got to keep those two together.”

    Iwakuma never made it out of the seventh inning”.

    Now back to my rant:

    Iwakuma has been pitching great this year no matter who the catcher is:

    Shoppach
    Montero
    Sucre
    Bantz?
    Blanco
    Zunino

    It’s not the catcher getting guys out, it’s the pitcher.

    Wedge said that not hitting with runners in scoring position was the difference in the game.
    No. Eric Wedge’s incompetence was the difference in the game. Again.

  91. Westside guy on July 5th, 2013 12:28 am

    After 85 games…

    2013 Mariners 37-48 RS 314, RA 372 (diff -58)
    2012 Mariners 35-50 RS 329, RA 362 (diff -33)

    They’re scoring worse than last year and giving up more runs than last year – but have won two more games! Veteran grit!

  92. Woodcutta on July 5th, 2013 2:25 pm

    The sad thing is they should have at least 5 more wins than they do now. This is why I hate incompetence.

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