Game 133, Mariners at Astros

marc w · August 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Jordan Lyles, 5:10pm

The Seahawks have a preseason game, so if you’d like to tune in to this game, it’s on 770am and 104.5fm in Seattle.

Hey, at least the M’s didn’t lose yesterday’s game on a shady balk call, right? Huh?

At some level, we’re looking past *every* M’s game these days. It’s another lost season after decade full of lost seasons. Yes, yes, there are individual players to keep an eye on – growth, development, the ever-elusive taking-a-step-forward that we’ve seen from Kyle Seager and essentially not one single person in ten worthl…sorry. Anyway, today’s game is even more overlookable to coin an ugly phrase. Tomorrow’s game is the major league debut of the most exciting M’s pitching prospects since King Felix. Tomorrow’s game may come hours after resolution of Michael Morse’s status with the club. Today’s game, however, is a contest between two bad teams. Today, Taijuan Walker is tossing a football with his new teammates and Michael Morse is suiting up and pretending that the whole situation – his season, the waiver claim, all of it – isn’t completely awkward. Half of Houston can’t watch this game, and many fans in both cities may take a day off.

That’s not to say it’s worthless. I think Erasmo’s an important part of the M’s 2014, but some of his shine’s off after his second DL stint in two years, and the rough road to recovery he had in 2013. He’s just crossed the 100IP mark in his brief career, and so much has gone wrong – from a big HR spike this year to the time off and the command issues that time off’s spawned. But he’s been a perfectly serviceable pitcher, racking up 1 WAR in 1/2 a “season” of play. Plenty’s gone wrong, and he’s had some ugly patches, and he’s still more or less league average. If he catches a break, or if his HR/FB comes down, it’s easy to see him as a pretty good pitcher in a rotation that really needs some pretty good pitchers. His last two starts have been his best, and he has the advantage of playing the Astros tonight (though the Astros have hit well recently and still play in a hitter-friendly park). The projection systems all had his K rate falling this year, and it’s to his credit that it’s right where it was in 2012 despite everything. The HR and increased walk rate show that he’s not got pinpoint command, but there’s something about Erasmo that makes me want to accentuate the positive.

Jordan Lyles is the groundballing FB/Curve/Slider/Change guy that the M’s have seen several times this season, the last being in late July. As I mentioned then, his raw stats had improved over his career averages thanks to a drop in his previously-ugly HR rate. Well, since that time, he’s yielded 7 HRs in 5 starts and a couple of relief appearances and his raw stats now look exactly like those of his two previous seasons. Nothing to see here. The curve’s helped his GB rate, but he’s given up a few HRs to righties with it. The slider helps minimize HRs, but lefties and righties have no trouble barreling it up. He’s not a terrible pitcher, especially taking his defense and park into consideration, but he’s not a good one either.

1: Miller, SS
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Seager, 3B
4: Ibanez, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Gutierrez, RF
7: Saunders, LF
8: Ackley, CF
9: Quintero, C
SP: Erasmooooo

Happy birthday to Henry Blanco, who turns really, really old today.

Rainiers need to win tonight to keep their playoff hopes alive. They send Hector Noesi to the hill in the last game of the homestand. It’s been raining all day, but who knows, they could get it in. Anthony Vasquez and Stephen Landazuri start in AA and high-A, respectively. Of note, South African control artist Dylan Unsworth continues his road back after an injury scare, as he starts today for Clinton. Unsworth went down with shoulder soreness in early June, then made three short appearances in the Arizona League. Tonight’s his first start back with Clinton, where he’s amassed an impressive 44:2 strikeout to walk ratio. Yes, that’s a 2. Add in his rehab appearances in Peoria, and it’s 54:2 in 68 IP this year. Can’t wait to see how he fares in High Desert next year; stay healthy, Dylan.


11 Responses to “Game 133, Mariners at Astros”

  1. msfanmike on August 29th, 2013 5:16 pm

    Dustin: our plan for you is to give you the fewest AB’s possible – but to still play every day – because its working.

  2. Westside guy on August 29th, 2013 5:21 pm

    Hey Hey Nick Franklin!

  3. Westside guy on August 29th, 2013 6:06 pm

    Ah, it’s nice to be facing the Astros again!

  4. B13a on August 29th, 2013 6:51 pm

    I couldn’t care less about football. Now, if only the M’s can break their slide…

  5. scraps on August 29th, 2013 6:57 pm

    Seattle, run difference -108, vs Houston, run difference -182! We got it made!

  6. scraps on August 29th, 2013 7:01 pm

    Of course, without Houston, we have the worst run difference in the AL. But look at the difference!

    (Just trying to look at happy things. The Mariners are making it hard.)

  7. casey on August 29th, 2013 7:47 pm

    the Astros have some nice players (Castro, Wallace seems to be their version of Ackley) and have to say I am quite enjoying the game. Baseball is such a great game whether it is a towering home run, a nice fielding play, or just a pretty girl in the stands.

  8. scraps on August 29th, 2013 9:58 pm

    Wow, seven comments and we won?

    Guti is awesome. Dammit.

  9. mrakbaseball on August 30th, 2013 1:06 am

    We’re approaching the final hours of the Michael Morse Era in Seattle.

  10. Westside guy on August 30th, 2013 8:39 am

    ^ I hope so, but I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Jack say Morse was staying because the Orioles didn’t blow him away, and he thought the team would be better off making Morse a Qualifying Offer.

  11. ivan on August 30th, 2013 10:52 am

    Per Drayer, Morse is gone, officially, to the Orioles, for a PTBNL. I never could stand him as a player. He was one-dimensional.

    When he was here the first time he had no power, and to this day I will defend the trade that sent him to DC for Langerhans. At the time of the trade, Langerhans was a better player.

    Morse gained power, sure, and Langerhans failed to make contact at the plate consistently enough to be a keeper. But few people were projecting at the time of the trade that this would happen — just like no one was predicting at the time of the Figgins signing that Chone would be a monumental flop. Baseball has a way of making idiots out of all of us, certainly starting with me.

    I hated the trade that sent Jaso away for Morse, for the same reasons. For all his subsequent power outburst, Morse remained a one-dimensional player. Jaso, just by being able to get behind the plate at all, was the more valuable player, even though his defense was, and remains, nothing special.

    People say Morse is a nice guy, and on a personal level — even on a baseball level — I wish him the best. I have seen no evidence that he ever dogged it, or was a bad presence in the clubhouse. But he was a bad fit for the Mariners, both times he played here.

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