Game 98, Mariners at Astros

marc w · July 21, 2013 at 9:54 am · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Jordan Lyles, 11:10am

Happy Felix Day. There are very, very few things better than those three simple words, and if we’re honest, a majority of them are merely modifiers of the underlying sentiment. Such it is today, as the M’s go for a sweep of Houston on this happy Felix day.

Jordan Lyles is a righty grounballer with a four- and two-seam fastball, a slider, a curve and a change. He’s had home run problems in previous years, which makes sense given his home park, but so far in 2013, he’s largely avoided the long ball. As with Bud Norris, there’s no easy explanation for this outside of the ol’ standby: luck and random variance. That said, he’s gradually shifted from using the slider as his primary breaking ball to the curve, and, at least focusing on results, that’s been a positive change for Lyles. Not only does his curve generate more whiffs/strikeouts, it has less platoon splits and he’s given up fewer homers on it. He doesn’t have the clear, obvious platoon splits that Norris had, but this is a better match-up for the new lefty-dominated M’s batting order than last night.

1: Miller, SS
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Ibanez, LF
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Saunders, RF
8: Ackley, CF
9: Blanco, C
SP: King Felix

Not a huge day for pitching in the M’s minor leagues, but Chance Ruffin gets his second start in AAA for Tacoma. The Rainiers snapped a nasty losing streak last night with an 11-4 win over Fresno; Rich Poythress hit two homers to pace the offense.


74 Responses to “Game 98, Mariners at Astros”

  1. don52656 on July 21st, 2013 2:14 pm

    There are trades to be made to get rid of the excess “talent” the M’s now have coming off of the DL. I can’t imagine a scenario where the players that have this team on a roll are benched. I would expect to see several pieces sent to other teams, such as JSaunders, Chavez, Ryan, Gutierrez.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the M’s go 5-2 or better on the next home stand against Clev/Minn. Getting to .500 before the end of July would make things a whole lot more interesting, even if it’s a tremendous long-shot that they can get into the playoff picture. However, they are going to be a handful no matter what, and if I were a contender I wouldn’t want to be playing them in September.

  2. Westside guy on July 21st, 2013 2:15 pm

    Anyone else remember the media rationalization that Zunino would only be up until Sucre came off the DL? 😉

    I love Mike Zunino, don’t get me wrong. But Sucre may be “taking one for the team”.

  3. msfanmike on July 21st, 2013 2:32 pm

    The easiest roster move decision of Jacks tenure will probably occur tomorrow – courtesy of Bobby LaFromboise

  4. Westside guy on July 21st, 2013 2:32 pm

    Remember when the Mariners’ bullpen was a strength?

  5. juneau_fan on July 21st, 2013 2:33 pm

    This is like one of those chess moves that all the moves are bad and good at the same time.

    If Zunino is the future and Blanco is there to train him, then sending Z down when Montero is ready serves no purpose. But getting rid of Blanco and carrying two young, hot and cold hitting catchers doesn’t seem wise, particularly if one is intended to move to another position.

    A Montero suspension would probably serve the team, other than getting nothing for money spent, so to speak.

  6. juneau_fan on July 21st, 2013 2:34 pm

    Hell, I didn’t even know this Bobby LaFromboise was on the team!

  7. 9inningknowitall on July 21st, 2013 2:34 pm

    msfanmike: I’ve watched Austin Wilson play a couple of games this year and my thought both times is he is slow and strikes out way too much. Not impressed at all and not looking for him to go any where to be honest.

  8. californiamariner on July 21st, 2013 2:42 pm

    I don’t expect Montero to ever be considered a catcher again.

  9. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2013 2:45 pm

    Good sweep. Six in a row going back home. Ugly at the end when LaFromboise and Farquhar have the opportunity to shine for the skipper. Obviously still a major weakness of our bullpen (depth). But, M’s comin’ home on a high note!

  10. Westside guy on July 21st, 2013 2:48 pm

    Okay, now I can exhale.

  11. terryoftacoma on July 21st, 2013 2:51 pm

    Looking at our schedule for August, we could fall back real fast even if we made it to .500 by the end of july. Ofcourse, we could also impact the races but throwing a few monkey wrenches into the mix.

    There isn’t any pressure to recall Montero before the rosters expand in September. He’s not in Tacoma because of rehab. Guti on the other hand is which could get interesting. Morse hasn’t even started rehab.

  12. californiamariner on July 21st, 2013 3:01 pm

    Mariners are now 27-24 vs the AL West, with winning records against every team but Texas. Small sample nonsense but interesting!

  13. californiamariner on July 21st, 2013 3:08 pm

    Also interesting (or not) they don’t play another division game until August 16.

  14. casey on July 21st, 2013 4:41 pm

    re Austin Wilson how do you write a 20 year old kid off after 25 professional games?

  15. dnc on July 21st, 2013 5:36 pm

    “msfanmike: I’ve watched Austin Wilson play a couple of games this year and my thought both times is he is slow and strikes out way too much. Not impressed at all and not looking for him to go any where to be honest.”

    Well his strikeout rate is 19.4 which is a tad higher than you’d like but nothing like the Pimentel/Castillo/Peguero category of probably hopeless, and certainly not in the Joe DeCarlo WTF range.

    This is why making any type of judgement after watching someone for two games is a bad idea. Wilson is a project, and may never materialize into anything, but it’s way too early to say that.

    Casey, I agree, but just as an fyi Wilson is actually 21. Doesn’t change the point.

  16. 9inningknowitall on July 21st, 2013 7:33 pm

    I do agree that a 21 yr old should never be written off. However, I’ve seen a lot of great players come through the Northwest League and Wilson reminds me of just another average player. I watched him bat against average and below average players and get beat. DJ Peterson on the other hand is the real deal. The youngest Seager has some work but he has a lot of potential. Could be really good.

  17. dnc on July 21st, 2013 8:20 pm

    Justin isn’t the youngest Seager, that would be Corey who is in the Dodgers organization. Unless there’s a younger one who isn’t in the pros yet, which I suppose is possible. But Justin’s the middle of the three professional baseball playing Seagers.

  18. stevemotivateir on July 21st, 2013 8:28 pm

    Drayer posted a piece regarding Montero the other day. They apparently plan to use him at DH and 1B for the rest of the season.

    No more catching! Now if he can just figure out how to hit.

  19. Westside guy on July 21st, 2013 9:13 pm

    We’d heard that before, Steve – right after he got sent down. Then, not long after, we heard he’d injured himself while playing catcher. :-O

  20. Phightin Phils on July 21st, 2013 10:11 pm

    Random: take a look at Franklin’s expression after his Salami. I read it as him showing satisfaction at crushing a pitch (as if it was expected), and some show of pure *joy* of the game.

    Do you see that joy in Smoak? Ackley? Saunders?

  21. dnc on July 21st, 2013 10:51 pm

    Making judgements about players based on your interpretations their expressions is a really good way to craft a false narrative.

    And yes, I’ve seen Smoak have that look many times, not that it means anything.

  22. GhostofMarinersPast on July 21st, 2013 11:41 pm

    Seriously?! Guys. C’mon. We’re writing off Wilson already!? For my money, the guy can look like shit for a while. He’s a toolsy upside guy. He’s a learner. Let’s let him learn. Or……if you like, we could trade him right now for Heathcliff Slocumb JR. Sound good? Lets sit back a bit. I haven’t gotten to watch him play, and would love to hear some REAL analysis on his potential. Or lack thereof. But I think we should pump the brakes on the lost cause talk.

  23. hangsoutatcostco on July 22nd, 2013 8:54 am

    Everyone is forgetting the M’s still have to face their toughest opponent over the years . . . August.

  24. Phightin Phils on July 22nd, 2013 10:24 am

    dnc — nah, wasn’t about player evaluation. It was about being a fan of this team, and having to sit though the bad parts. Players that don’t show any passion makes it even tougher.

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