Game 157, Royals at Mariners

marc w · September 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer vs. Yordano Ventura, 7:10pm

The M’s open a three-game set with the Royals tonight, as KC fights for the final AL Wild Card spot. Much has been said/written about the off-season Dayton Moore had, and what kind of season would justify The Trade. At this point, the Royals are still long-shots to make it, just given the number of teams ahead of them in the standings (the gap is small, but there are several teams wedged into it). If you ask me, I think I’d still prefer Wil Myers, but for better or worse, the Royals are the team that “Went for it” and are now in the position of playing meaningful baseball games in late September. I love that Royals fans like Rany Jazayerli are so into this chase in spite of their misgivings about the trade and the man who made it. A part of me is nervous as hell that we could have a GM thinking he needed to throw caution to the wind and trade anyone who wasn’t bolted down for a great OF or two, but a part of me is envious that someone out there is living and dying on every twist and turn in a baseball game these days. Contrary to popular belief, being an analytical fan does NOT mean you don’t go crazy or get swept up in meaningful, dramatic moments in a game. It just means you know what to do in September of another lost season.

Today’s match-up is an interesting one, as Brandon Maurer’s actually coming off a pretty good showing against the Tigers in Detroit. Another step forward would be a pretty welcome sign, just to show that the competition for the 5th starter job next season isn’t already over. Still, the guy to watch tonight is Yordano Ventura. There are a few things to know about Mr. Ventura: first, he throws really, really hard. He hit 102mph in his first MLB start the other day, the fastest pitch recorded by a starter in years. The second is that his listed weight is 140lbs, roughly the mass of Billy Butler’s left leg. This is the confusion, the cognitive dissonance, that Ventura introduces: how is that physically possible? Is his arm going to just separate from his body at some point? After two Tim Lincecum Cy Young awards and the entirety of the Billy Wagner experience, after Pedro Martinez, do we care too much about what BP’s Jason Parks calls Ventura’s “junior-high body?”

I don’t really know. I just know that he’s interesting, and interesting will do for right now. Ventura’s made exactly one start, during which his four-seam fastball averaged 99mph. Over nearly 6 innings and 23 batters faced. Carter Capps had eye-popping, you-better-tune-in velocity last season, and actually posted the third-highest average FB velo last season at about 97mph. Aroldis Chapman averages 98, and his record-breaking peak velos (and unreal stats) were one of the stories of 2012. It’s been one game, but Yordano Ventura’s averaging what Capps did last year…and Ventura is a starter. Ventura also mixes in a plus curve ball, which seems unfair. He’s also got a cutter and a change, and has showed essentially no platoon splits in the minors. The reasons he wasn’t listed as the Royals top prospect was 1) that he’s had control/command lapses and 2) that he looks like an emaciated bat boy. I’m told that part of the appeal of NASCAR is watching machines pushed to the very limit of their structural tolerances, and the tension brought by the fact that everything could blow apart at any minute. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I want to watch Ventura tonight.

1: Miller, SS
2: Almonte, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Ackley, CF
9: Franklin, 2B
SP: Brandon Maurer

Good to see Brad Miller back in action.


74 Responses to “Game 157, Royals at Mariners”

  1. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 10:42 pm


  2. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 10:42 pm

    He never tagged him.

  3. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 10:42 pm

    On to the 11th- What a shock

  4. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:44 pm

    Uh… That was not a good throw, it was rather off line.

  5. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:47 pm

    Good job by Ruffin!

  6. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 10:47 pm

    Has anyone ever shown whether it is faster to run or slide if the catcher is off the plate?

  7. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:49 pm

    That’s a good question!

  8. gopilots70 on September 23rd, 2013 10:54 pm

    So the manager respects his aging veterans, but does not show any respect for last years number three pick in the draft who is out there getting his head knocked in behind the plate everyday?

    We don’t want to give our future star the opportunity to get experience in these types of clutch situations? Winning this game is more important and giving one more at bat to the another decrepid veteran who has no business batting on September 23 in a lost season.

    Yes, that is a great way to develop young players: Show no confidence in them in a meaningless game in September.

    It just goes beyond any rational explanation other than our manager has gone completely nuts.

  9. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:59 pm

    Hehe Jason Churchill tweeted after Wedge pinch hit for Zunino:

    “Has a manager ever been dismissed during a game? If I were Jack — and I assure you I am not — I’d fire Wedge right this second.”

  10. KiWiNiNjA on September 23rd, 2013 10:59 pm

    Gone nuts?

    Was Wedge ever sane?

    Bases loaded, one out. Let’s bring this years least valuable Mariner to the plate. Because, you know, he bats left handed.

  11. gopilots70 on September 23rd, 2013 11:04 pm

    Thanks Westy, I did not see that tweet from Churchill. I would be feeling the same way (well, almost) if Endy had hit a grand slam.

  12. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 11:06 pm

    How are there 2 outs? Every time I look up, this guy’s throwing a ball.

  13. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 11:07 pm

    That’s how you get an out at the plate: you touch the guy with the ball before he touches the plate.

  14. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 11:10 pm

    Walk, bunt run Oh well – still too pissed to talk about Endy PHing thought the squeeze was on

  15. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 11:13 pm

    I know BREAD -just would you get to the plate faster by running through – the general wisdom at first is to run but at the plate with the tag necessary does the equation change

  16. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 11:13 pm

    Churchill is on a roll…

    “Why is Seager batting here? Isn’t Quintero, the veteran, still available?”

  17. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 11:16 pm

    That was a gift of a swing, Kendrys.

  18. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 11:19 pm

    What are Kendrys and Guti swinging at?

  19. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 11:20 pm

    So do they walk Saunders again?

    Oh man they are ALL swinging at that thing!

  20. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 11:21 pm

    They’re apparently swinging at change-ups that are significantly slower than the fastball. Why Kendrys swung when he was up 2-0 is beyond me.

  21. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 11:25 pm

    Haha I could read Condor’s lips after that strike three call.

    But that was a good pitch.

  22. Sowulo on September 24th, 2013 6:17 am

    Read his lips? His words were audible! And here I was thinking Canadians always added “eh?” to such a statement.

  23. spikeowenfan1 on September 24th, 2013 7:03 am

    So now that we have almost played an entire year with the walls being moved in what impact did that have on the team statistically?

  24. stevemotivateir on September 24th, 2013 10:17 am

    And here I was thinking Canadians always added “eh?” to such a statement.

    Huge misconception with Canadians. Anytime you hear eh, it should be proceeded with fuckin’ and end with an exclamation point. Question marks are outdated. This is the official and real Canadian English of today.

    Worth noting, when you hear this come from baseball fans, it’s safe to assume the eh itself is short for Eric.

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