Game 128, Angels at Mariners
Erasmo Ramirez vs. Jason Vargas, 6:10pm
*Note the hour-early start time*
Well last night’s game certainly was disappointing. Felix labored early, but aside from a bad pitch to Chris Nelson, looked capable of subduing the Angels’ B-team even without his good stuff. The M’s bats, however, looked incapable of dealing with Garrett Richards. Raul Ibanez still plays LF for this team. I feel like I need to write that every once in a while, just to remind myself that it’s happening.
Erasmo Ramirez is coming off his best game of the year, a 7IP, 2R performance in Arlington. It was, not coincidentally, the first time he appeared to have the feel for his change-up that he demonstrated late in 2012. The pitch was great against a good line-up with plenty of lefties, and he’s enticing swings on it again. While working his way back, he relied more on his slider, and for what ever reason, that pitch has been his worst thus far. The sample is tiny, but batters (righties, really, since he’s got the change-up to use on lefties) are putting it in play and pulling the ball. His change and fastballs get grounders, but the breaking balls get hit in the air, and that’s part of the reason he’s been homer-prone this year. Some of it may be bad luck and rust, but I’d like to see more of his curve, and even more sinkers and four-seamers to righties as his command comes back.
Jason Vargas is still Jason Vargas. At this point, he’s clearly been better than Ramirez, though Ramirez’ pure stuff make him a decent bet to exceed Vargas’ value in the years ahead, though with two DL trips in two years, that’s not exactly a guarantee.
1: Miller, 2B
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Chavez, RF
7: Quintero, C
8: Ackley, CF
9: Ryan, SS
Hector Noesi starts for Tacoma in Tucson, Jimmy Gilheeney goes for Jackson, while Tyler Pike heads up the prospects, as he’ll toe the rubber for Clinton.