Game 129, Angels at Mariners

marc w · August 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Aaron Harang vs. Jered Weaver, 1:10pm

There’s something about the way the M’a raise expectations and then methodically smash them again. It’s been the story of 2013 – maybe longer, depending on your expectations. The M’s returned from a good road trip against great teams. They came home to face the reeling Angels, a team sunk by poor pitching (except Jason Vargas), and they’ve scored one run through two games. It’s like they detected excitement, and instinctively reacted until nice, comfy apathy returned.

Jered Weaver’s still the nominal ace of the staff, and while he’s been hurt for a chunk of the season, his FIP is right where it was last year. That said, his velocity continues to decline each year; it was 90-91 in his excellent 2010, down to 88-89 last year, and 87-88 this year. His strikeouts are still at career norms, but his HR rate is creeping up. And let’s face it: injuries and velo losses aren’t great signs. He’s facing the M’s in Safeco today, but who knows. Maybe the team that was baffled by Garrett Richards will find Weaver more to their liking.

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

After some bad starts, Harang’s been solid of late. Similarly, Hector Noesi’s pitched two consecutive good games for Tacoma. I.. I have no idea.

Welcome back, Nick Franklin.

Tai Walker, Anthony Fernandez, and Eddie Campbell start today in the minors.


58 Responses to “Game 129, Angels at Mariners”

  1. Eastside Suds on August 25th, 2013 12:28 pm

    Harang has been absolutely nuked in 3 starts by the Angels this year. Hope he can last till the 6-7th and keep the score close.

    11.2 26 16 13 2 9 2.4 10.03

  2. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 12:44 pm

    According to Divish, Michael Saunders has been out with a sore neck the past couple games.

  3. Eastside Suds on August 25th, 2013 12:50 pm

    That really hurts as does Franklin being gone. We have no depth to counter the losses of our “athletes”. Nice to have Franklin back. Sure wish we had Guti back.

  4. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 1:12 pm

    Decent catch there by Morse!

  5. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 1:31 pm

    Apparently Harang has been paying attention to the amount of run support the team’s been providing, and decided he’d better step up his game.

  6. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 1:47 pm

    Ackley! Dinger number two… For the season!

  7. CAMariner on August 25th, 2013 1:54 pm

    First homer since Toronto! I felt obligated enough to finally make an account after following this site since the start of the season.

  8. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 2:00 pm

    Kyle Seager t-shirt night: Ackley has his NC gander up.

    I thought about this 3 runs ago.

  9. Breadbaker on August 25th, 2013 2:00 pm

    That looked foul

  10. CAMariner on August 25th, 2013 2:01 pm

    So is this enough for the Mariners to finally think about cutting ties with Aaron?

  11. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 2:06 pm

    Whelp, 4 runs.

  12. jordan on August 25th, 2013 2:06 pm

    I agree… but it was close enough that I cant muster up too much anger. Looked out at first as well in the next AB

  13. taylor.mariner on August 25th, 2013 2:14 pm

    Well, both hits have been off of Weaver’s breaking ball. I would guess the plan is to hope for three more solos off of the slow curve and pray that someone can hit another in the 9th. Fool proof.

  14. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 2:21 pm

    People have paid good money to not see Harang pitch much longer in this game.

  15. taylor.mariner on August 25th, 2013 2:27 pm

    Yeah, unfortunetly I’m one of them…

  16. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Ugh, ugh, ugh, is all I can say, coming into the game at this moment.

    Glad to see the guys were just missing Wedge’s leadership to go over the top to a strong finish for the season.

  17. djw on August 25th, 2013 2:37 pm

    This inning isn’t exactly backing up Zduriencik’s “who cares about outfield defense” approach to roster construction.

  18. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 2:39 pm

    Raul’s failure to get to that fly ball led to all this.

  19. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 2:39 pm

    I care!

  20. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 2:42 pm

    I’d like to hope that, after seeing this season, Jack will realize his approach was wrong. I’m worried, though, what will happen is he’ll say something along the lines of “we brought in offensive power and we got lots more dingers; mission accomplished!” – ignoring the 100 extra runs the team’s giving up in 2013.

  21. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Blowers, just before this last homer, said: “Harang can’t afford to give up any more runs.”

    Turns out the pitcher brought his full wallet to the table.

  22. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Harang is what he is. Putting guys like him and Saunders in the rotation, then backing them with guys like Raul and Morse in the corners… the results were fore-ordained.

    This is Jack Zduriencik’s roster construction in action.

  23. CAMariner on August 25th, 2013 2:55 pm

    Hopefully Raul retires after this season and Morse never sees the Mariners again. The only good acquisition has been Morales. With a few good outfielders hitting free agency this coming offseason, hopefully the Mariners spend some money, speaking that only $30 million is committed to the team for next year.

  24. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 3:00 pm

    I actually think J. Saunders wasn’t a bad pick-up, and is an ok 4 or 5 starter; a bit like Kevin Millwood last year. He can eat some innings and occasionally throw in a great performance. But those are role players on a GOOD team, not the kind of people to build upon or shore up weaknesses. Same goes for Morse, Ibanez and Harang. You have four roster spots taken up by guys who occasionally deliver, but should not be everyday players. But no one on this blog needs me to tell them that.

    Now I’m just hoping the Pirates can score some runs for A. J.

  25. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 3:10 pm

    Yeah, I don’t blame Harang or Saunders for taking the check. They’re at the end/fringes of their careers. Any of us would probably do it too. And it’s not like they’re trying to fail.

    But they are the face on the screen, looking slightly puzzled as the balls just keep flying off the bats. I can’t help but feel momentary rage.

  26. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 3:13 pm

    I’m not disagreeing with you, SeniorMariner. I wasnt meaning to harangue (hehe) on Harang or Saunders in this case – but pointing out that putting mediocre pitchers on the roster, then adding bad outfielders behind them, is not likely to lead to success.

  27. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 3:27 pm

    No offense at all taken Westside guy, and really no fundamental disagreement. I was amazed (I live in Hungary and follow from a great distance) during the last off-season, seeing how this year’s team was being assembled: something like 7-8 players who fit the 1b-DH-OF(slow) position. Smoak and Morales could definitely be good long-term fits, but this was just crazy strategy. How nice it would’ve been to have a rotation of: Hernandez, Fister, Iwakuma, Vargas and, say, someone like Saunders or Ramirez? Just ONE position player of value and we’d be up there with Oakland right now. The future does look better, but management seems to lack a certain vision. Also, a confession to make: I love the A’s, and love seeing what they do every year to put a TEAM together that can compete within a limited budget.

  28. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 3:29 pm

    Whenever Sims talks about how the Angels’ pitching and defense has been largely responsible for their woeful season – something he’s said numerous times – I can’t help but think how he could simply replace “Angels” with “Mariners” and still be spot on.

  29. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Hungary! Wow! You might win the prize for the furthest away participant on here!

    Although we’ve also got a guy in China who’s here occasionally, so it would be interesting to measure – but you’ve certainly got the Londoner beat!

    (P.S. I also have a soft spot for teams like the A’s and the Rays, since they’ve succeeded despite the strikes against them – however those years when the A’s have had the Mariners number have been frustrating)

  30. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 3:36 pm

    My dad’s at this game, which is one reason I’m staying up late to see what happens, as I know his trip back up to Bellingham won’t be a happy one, at least as far as the baseball result is concerned.

    I’ve lived in Budapest for a long time, but attended the first-ever M’s game (hence my blog name), against the Angels. Lost 7-0 to Tanana. I still have the scorecard.

  31. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 3:36 pm

    It’s nice to see Ackley swinging the bat better. I’d love to see more consistent power, but I can live with him at least putting up a respectable OBP.

  32. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 3:40 pm

    But then Ackley’s stuck down in the order and when it does get a hit, the rally dies on Blanco’s bat.

  33. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 3:42 pm

    The Ack will definitely be back. His issues are mental. I predict he comes back with a real solid hitting year in 2014, even without a guaranteed position in the field…and even that might do him good. But, my, how I miss Zunino.

  34. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 3:50 pm

    juneau_fan. If Blanco performs at current level for another 11 years, he will break Lou Gehrig’s record for career grand slams. Is that not a worthy investment?

  35. mrakbaseball on August 25th, 2013 3:53 pm

    Zunino will probably be back when the rosters expand. He’s not far off.

  36. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 3:57 pm

    They finally are putting some hits together! Too bad it’s the bottom of the ninth…

  37. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 3:58 pm

    LOL, at Blanco’s grand slam record.

    What the heck, Angels. Give us a pity run.

  38. Breadbaker on August 25th, 2013 3:58 pm

    We’ll be in Budapest in December. I’ll be the guy in the M’s cap.

  39. Woodcutta on August 25th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Smoak now 0-12 with the bases loaded this year.

  40. juneau_fan on August 25th, 2013 4:01 pm


    And again, ugh.

  41. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 4:02 pm

    Well, we are still a game up on the Angels anyway!

  42. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 4:04 pm

    ‘Smoak now 0-12 with the bases loaded this year.’

    C’est incroyable.

    Breadbaker, my son will be wearing the Ichiro shirt. :)

  43. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 4:09 pm

    After 129 games…

    2013 Mariners: 59-70 RS 508, RA 602 (diff -94)
    2012 Mariners: 62-67 RS 507, RA 503 (diff +4)

    At this point it looks like all we’ve done in a year is punt 100 runs defensively…

  44. SeniorMariner on August 25th, 2013 4:16 pm

    Westside guy: Stats like that are why I regularly visit this blog.

    My comments tonight are because all’y'all seems like good, fun people.

    As for being a lifelong M’s fan (from 14 years old), I just have to say: ‘Winning isn’t anything.’

  45. jak924 on August 25th, 2013 4:23 pm

    Another fine mess.

  46. casey on August 25th, 2013 4:52 pm

    but hey there was another homer … sure the faithful went home happy

  47. casey on August 25th, 2013 5:13 pm

    batting average and OPS since all-star break after today’s game

    Saunders .256 .832
    Ackley .330 .833
    Chavez .250 .548
    Ibanez .200 .569
    Morales .293 .763
    Morse .155 .485
    Smoak .241 .745

    know this is hindsight but as manager you need to be watching the trends. Do you continue to bat Morse ahead of Ackley. Do you continue to bat Ackley 8th in front of the old man catcher. Do you sit Saunders against a tough righty so you can get both Morse and Ibanez in the lineup? I guess I assume the Mariners have this information at their fingertips, also information like modern fielding metrics, or even Westside’s season to date numbers…am I right in this assumption because it doesn’t often hit the field.

  48. mrakbaseball on August 25th, 2013 5:33 pm

    Saunders sat out the past couple of games because of a sore neck.

  49. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 5:58 pm

    Wedge seems to put a batter’s career numbers against the opposing pitcher ahead of everything else, from what I’ve seen (which has been shown to not be predictive of future success). Next he looks at left-right match ups, but seems oblivious that some pitchers/hitters have reverse splits.

    Past that, I’m fairly sure it’s all gut feeling and veteran grit.

  50. HighlightsAt11 on August 25th, 2013 6:04 pm

    Somebody said “Welcome back, Nick Franklin.”

    Are you sure about that? 3 strikeouts.

    Go completely young right now and let the young guys make their mistakes for awhile. Don’t really care if they lose. Maybe eventually the Mariners will find success as the Rays and the Pirates have done, or even the Orioles and Indians. I don’t dream anymore of the M’s making it into the World Series, or let alone even capturing a wild card. In the short term, or in my lifetime, finishing above .500 and fewer than ten games back would be well and good. But I don’t see current management meeting even that less lofty goal.

    At least it’s safe to assume none of the current M’s are on PEDs.

  51. KiWiNiNjA on August 25th, 2013 7:13 pm


    New Zealand here. I win! ;)

  52. stevemotivateir on August 25th, 2013 7:13 pm

    I picked up on all of that a long time ago too, Westy.

    So, we can safely conclude that he is in fact a stats guy.

  53. stevemotivateir on August 25th, 2013 7:20 pm

    New Zealand doesn’t count, because culturally you’re closer.

    Kidding. There’s more than a few of us scattered around the globe, though. Kinda cool.

  54. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 8:20 pm

    The team needs to do a better job putting a competitive group on the field – all you world travelers have shown your dedication to the club, they need to show some dedication back! ;-)

    BTW Kiwi is right – I searched relative distances to Seattle, and he’s got Guangzhou beat by about 400 miles. But Sao Paulo is right up there too – fewer than 100 miles difference between there and Auckland!

  55. Westside guy on August 25th, 2013 8:29 pm

    São Paulo to Seattle – 6775 miles
    Auckland to Seattle – 6989 miles

    It appears I originally misread the latter distance, since it’s 214 miles further. Still, I didn’t realize how far away São Paulo is!

  56. Hunter S. Thompson on August 25th, 2013 9:30 pm

    My Sister has moved to Christchurch, NZ, its 17 hours in air from there to Seattle, that’s a long trip.

    In Franklin’s defense the home plate ump is a camera hound and was determined to put that rookie who dared speak his piece to him in his place.

  57. KiWiNiNjA on August 25th, 2013 10:35 pm

    7136 miles to my town.

    Christchurch is a nice place, apart from the earthquakes.

  58. OzMariner on August 25th, 2013 11:02 pm

    7911 miles. Wow Canberra is miles from anywhere!

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