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.

Line-up:
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.

Comments

74 Responses to “Game 157, Royals at Mariners”

  1. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 5:36 pm

    Looking forward to the game until I got to SP. Could be a very long (or short) night

  2. Eastside Suds on September 23rd, 2013 5:59 pm

    If Saunders was in center and Ackley in left, I’d be very happy. Don’t understand why Condor isn’t playing every day other than we’d he’s indifference to him.

  3. PackBob on September 23rd, 2013 6:07 pm

    In hindsight, if the Royals’ purpose was to have a shot at the playoffs, The Trade was worthwhile. This is not to disagree with Dave’s early assessment. On paper it looked like a very slim chance and worth panning. But they don’t play the games on paper.

    It seems the Mariners have been on the other side of results. On paper it looked like they acquired some good players, including Chone Figgens. The prospects all looked good on paper. Even Michael Morse, if you took the injury-free period when he hit well, looked okay on paper if he could repeat that for the M’s.

    Unfortunately for the M’s they don’t play the games on paper (or maybe fortunately considering the moves for the 2013 season).

  4. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 6:22 pm

    Speaking of Saunders… JOE Saunders is apparently and mercifully (for us) done for the season.

    He reminded me too much of Jarrod Washburn. Not in his pitching, really – but in his attitude regarding blaming others for their shortcomings while not appearing to take responsibility for his own.

  5. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 6:28 pm

    As far as Michael Saunders goes – I wish he was playing every day, but I’m still holding out hope that this whole management group will be out soon, and hopefully the next front office will actually possess a clue.

    It’s the only hope I can cling to regarding this organization.

  6. MissouriMariner on September 23rd, 2013 7:01 pm

    I will be quite surprised if there are any major changes in the organization…I am holding out hope…would love to see Wedge go away…

  7. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 7:12 pm

    This game’s going to be brutal, but the alternative is watching MNF and the commentators down on their knees before Peyton Manning and I’m not talking about praying.

  8. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 7:51 pm

    Just went to baseball reference to check some numbers and there’s an ad for MNF and a picture of Peyton on the page. Apparently Peyton is the object of “worship” everywhere.

  9. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 8:05 pm

    Does AA have the most inaccurate throwing arm in baseball?(including Little League).

  10. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 8:11 pm

    His throwing is so bad that the booth crew were forced to make a sort of critical comment about it.

  11. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 8:29 pm

    It’s absolutely insane to think that Ron Washington may lose his job this off-season if Texas doesn’t make the playoffs.

    Come on north, buddy!

  12. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 8:33 pm

    Almonte made another bad throw? (I don’t have the TV on right now)

    A sane org would probably put him in left, but this isn’t a sane org. Not to mention we have a veteran “left fielder” already, plus Ackley should probably be there if he’s in the outfield.

    Our best center fielder is still Saunders, but even he is better suited to a corner (although he can at least cover right) since Guti… well we all know about Guti.

    But in any case this org won’t care about the best place to play Almonte – he’s fast so they won’t consider anything else about his game since defense doesn’t matter, they’ll just flip a coin. Maybe he’ll be catching…

  13. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 8:42 pm

    He cost a run, Westy. His throw to third had the distance and then some,going over Seager’s head and into the camera well, automatically advancing the runner home and allowing the slowest man in baseball, Billy Butler, to get to second and negating a double play possibility.

    Mauer had a permanent stinkface from then on, which was sort of amusing. The booth crew then mused how Mauer needs to work on his body and facial language during the off season.

  14. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 9:03 pm

    Sweet!

    Dyson Raul’ed it!

  15. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:05 pm

    Die by the over-aggressive outfielder, find new life by one!

  16. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:08 pm

    What muscular calves that young man has.

    His beard also looks like one of those costume store props you hook over your ears.

  17. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:10 pm

    And Franklin does what Ackley wouldn’t–swing the bat.

  18. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 9:13 pm

    Raul as a verb: I love it! If only we could get Sims to say it.

  19. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 9:15 pm

    Come on Abraham!

  20. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:17 pm

    Maybe Kyle can Raul it

  21. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:18 pm

    Bases left full what a surprise damit

  22. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:22 pm

    Yes, we blame the bullpen for a lot of these losses, but what kind of pressure must it be to maintain a one or two run lead for innings because this offense can’t put together more than one or two good innings?

  23. Eastside Suds on September 23rd, 2013 9:27 pm

    The bottom line is that you can’t win a lot of games, especially in the AL, scoring 2-3 runs. It just isn’t going to work out well.

  24. G-Man on September 23rd, 2013 9:30 pm

    The Royals giveth, and the Royals taketh away (the lead).

  25. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:30 pm

    And now po’ ol’ Charlie gets to be this game’s goat.

  26. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 9:35 pm

    That wasn’t Ackley’s fault.

  27. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:40 pm

    This is one of the worst pens in the league. Other than Furbush and Farq none are keepers.

  28. Eastside Suds on September 23rd, 2013 9:43 pm

    More than that George, they are horribly managed. How many times has Wedge left Furbush in to face good right handed hitters for no good reason? Makes me sick to my stomach to watch it. No excuse for his continual shitty decisions.

  29. G-Man on September 23rd, 2013 9:44 pm

    That’s the best seat that they can find for the governor? On a Tuesday night in September?

  30. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 9:46 pm

    Sleepy Hollow is a lot more fun, FYI.

  31. Section329 on September 23rd, 2013 9:46 pm

    That’s all the governor can afford.

  32. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:47 pm

    If only he doesn’t hurt himself rounding the bases

  33. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 9:48 pm

    Guti!
    And Condor!!

  34. Eastside Suds on September 23rd, 2013 9:49 pm

    Nope. No reason to start Condor when we can have Raul in left. CRAP!!!!

  35. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:51 pm

    Ok Do we go with Farq (assuming a tie) or save him for later. I go with Farq

  36. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:53 pm

    Raul hit a dinger yesterday EastS S, but yea I’d rather just go young, but we have the Teddy thing Oh Fuuuuuu

  37. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 9:55 pm

    Even if Farq blows it he is my choice

  38. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:06 pm

    Yeah I think the little guy was the right choice even if he blows it here…

  39. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 10:09 pm

    To quote Earl Weaver, I wish you’d take the sacrifice bunt and shove it up your ass. I mean you, Eric Wedge.

  40. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 10:09 pm

    Who do we go to now?

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

    Dammit Wedge…

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

    Earl had Eddie Murray we don’t

  43. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 10:13 pm

    Things I never want to hear: “there are quite a few Royals fans here.” Does the team really want to market to out of town fans in smaller markets?

  44. juneau_fan on September 23rd, 2013 10:29 pm

    Good gods. Show’s over and this game’s still going?

  45. Longgeorge1 on September 23rd, 2013 10:31 pm

    Who do you bring in to pitch the 11th? We ain’t scoring here!

  46. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:32 pm

    Okay, HERE a bunt would not be out of the question… if Kendrys weren’t the one up.

    Okay they walked him. Suicide squeeze baby!

  47. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:36 pm

    Come on Condor!

    Cowards!!

  48. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:39 pm

    Endy’s career numbers don’t mean squat now that he’s 37, Blowers.

  49. Breadbaker on September 23rd, 2013 10:39 pm

    Endy needs to channel Carlos Guillen 13 years ago.

  50. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2013 10:41 pm

    That was a dumb decision.

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

    *sigh*

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

    He never tagged him.

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

    On to the 11th- What a shock

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

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

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

    Good job by Ruffin!

  56. 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?

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

    That’s a good question!

  58. 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.

  59. 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.”

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. 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

  66. 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?”

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

    That was a gift of a swing, Kendrys.

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

    What are Kendrys and Guti swinging at?

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

    So do they walk Saunders again?

    Oh man they are ALL swinging at that thing!

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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?

  74. 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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