Game 160, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · September 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Bartolo Colon, 7:10pm

Ah yes, the final series against the A’s in a lost season. I know thee well. The classic of the genre, a tragedy, naturally, occurred in 2008, when the M’s came in to the final series at 58-101 and proceeded to sweep the hapless A’s and rise from 30th to 29th in baseball, thereby missing out on first pick in the 2009 draft – Stephen Strasburg. Yes, Strasburg’s been injured, and the M’s have been intermittently pleased with Dustin Ackley, but the whole thing was seen by many as perhaps the most Mariners thing ever – they lost 101 games, but in the end, they couldn’t even lose effectively, and in doing so lost out on a generational talent.

Tonight’s match-up is one of those completely incongruous Cy Young battles. Felix has the edge in WAR (behind Max Scherzer who, let’s be clear, is going to win), while Colon’s got the edge in ERA and the whole going-to-the-playoffs thing. I’ve mentioned so many times that the A’s are one of the strangest good teams in recent memory, and it all begins with their portly ace, Bartolo Colon. He came out of retirement or rehab or whatever the hell he was doing in 2010 to post a surprisingly decent 2011 with the Yankees. That’s all well and good, but you’d have had a hard time convincing anyone at that time that the A’s signing him to a free agent deal in 2012 was one of the most important deals of the off-season. With Oakland, he refined the approach he’d shown with the Yankees – gone were the big fastball and hard slider. In their place was, by and large, well-located fastballs. That’s….that’s it.

Like many, I saw Colon as a classic regression candidate. Not only was he 40 years old without much in the way of offspeed pitches, he’d been suspended for PEDs, which made his success seem tainted. Instead, he’s returned this year to post even better numbers. He’s throwing a few more (softer) sliders this year, but he’s fundamentally a four- and two-seam fastball guy who pitches to weak contact. None of this seems sustainable, particularly if you’re watching the 40-year bowling ball putting this approach into practice. But here we are, with the A’s as two-time defending AL West champs, and with Colon racking up nearly 6.5 fWAR in two abbreviated seasons.

(Since that final series in 2008, the A’s have won 418 ball games. The M’s have won 358.)

1: Miller, SS
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Ibanez, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Saunders, CF
8: Zunino, C
9: Franklin, 2B
SP: King Felix


40 Responses to “Game 160, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. stevemotivateir on September 27th, 2013 6:25 pm

    Portly ace….. whether humor was intended or not, that really made me laugh!

  2. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 6:36 pm

    Poor Eric Wedge. What a crappy position to be in heading into the final home stand.

    They should just let him take these next three games off.

  3. Sowulo on September 27th, 2013 7:03 pm

    After such announcement, I’d just tell him to leave.

  4. marc w on September 27th, 2013 7:13 pm

    Yeah Steve, humor definitely intended. Not sure how else to react to Colon and his 2013 season. Revulsion is too strong the other way. I might accept ‘confusion.’

  5. MissouriMariner on September 27th, 2013 7:14 pm

    I guess Wedge could have waited three more days before he “quit”….

  6. Sowulo on September 27th, 2013 7:23 pm

    No. He wants the maximum “everyone should feel sorry for me” he can get out of it.

  7. msfanmike on September 27th, 2013 7:41 pm

    Why would Z say that he was looking forward to continuing working with Wedge – when he clearly was not. Did I hear that correctly? If I did, What a bunch of horseshit. Z has turned himself into an infomercial salesman.

  8. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 7:50 pm

    I think Felix has a lot on his mind right now – can’t keep his focus on the game.

    He’s probably wondering what he’s chained himself to.

  9. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 7:58 pm

    I think folks are being slightly harsh on Z in regards to Wedge… Not that he hasn’t “made this bed” for himself, and quick criticism is out of line. But I think coming off a stroke it was simply being prudent to wait until the season was over to assess things (including health).

    I don’t think during the last week of the season is the time to sit him down and say “how do you feel”, “where’s your head at”, etc. He should be worried about finishing his job, instead of whether he gets to try again next year.

    I’m thinking they told Wedge they didn’t want to discuss it till after the season, and Wedge took that as “no way you’re coming back” and then overreacted by quitting first.

    Of course, I’m awesome at being wrong– but it seems more logical to me than 3 days before the year ended they told him “We’re not bringing you back, sorry” but we’ll let you decide how to spin it.

  10. msfanmike on September 27th, 2013 8:06 pm

    I think it was pre-emotive on Wedge’s part. He knew it was coming. He did it first. A seinfeldian pre-emotive breakup … Except it was accepted.

  11. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 8:09 pm

    I’m thinking just the opposite, MrZ. I think Z has marginalized Wedge the same way he did with Wak once he’d decided the manager was going to take the fall. It was pretty clear from Wedge’s interview a few days ago the front office had left him hanging. It sure sounded to me like Wedge had been asking about his status and was being stonewalled.

    Wedge may have decided he wasn’t going to take it anymore. Or he may have taken one for the team, being the person he is.

  12. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 8:12 pm

    It just seems they could have come to a decision before now and if they had come to a decision already they would have simply told him to take the rest of the year off when he had the stroke.

    Problem solved. No PR nightmare like he has now.

    Nothing changed in the last month to decide his fate one way or the other.

  13. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 8:12 pm

    Mike, maybe Z and Wedge were both sitting at the table and both suddenly blurted out “I hate you!” simultaneously.

  14. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 8:12 pm

    The irony of looking into the visitors dugout and seeing BoMel in there, another stupid, incompetent, clueless drone with no leadership skills (sarcasm) taking his team to the play- offs with a fraction of our payroll tells me that there is more to winning baseball than having the right field manager. Don’t get me wrong Wedge is (was) not the best manager in even M’s history by a long shot. Other than Felix name all the pitchers that have come up through the farm system. Same with position players, other than Seager what have we done lately? I don’t know Choo, Jones? Name the last one we kept? A-Rod? No. How about maybe Edgar? I think the lack of production by the farm system far outweighs all the lack of leadership and decision making in the dugout

  15. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 8:18 pm

    Come on, guys. Win one for the Wedgie!

  16. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 8:24 pm

    I also think Felix is still doing great, but he’s struggling on purpose ’cause he doesn’t like Wedge and wants him fired.

    “I can’t pitch for this guy.”

    (Okay, I completely made this up.)

  17. msfanmike on September 27th, 2013 8:39 pm

    If everything you’ve ever done has been wrong, then the opposite must be right.

  18. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 8:42 pm

    Will be interesting to see the reaction when Wedge pulls a guy in the middle of an inning

  19. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 8:54 pm

    Ugh. Last thing I want right now is to hear more from Zduriencik – I think I’ll be skipping the post game show.

  20. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 9:05 pm

    That could be the Mariners episode of Seinfeld, seriously…

    Wedge could be George:

    “Why did it all turn out like this for me… It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s often wrong.”

    Or I could be George… We could all be George?

    Sometimes I wish our series would get cancelled.

  21. msfanmike on September 27th, 2013 9:16 pm

    Yes, it is definitely the “bizarro world” and Elaine would probably be certain that nobody in the Mariners FO is sponge worthy.

  22. msfanmike on September 27th, 2013 9:18 pm

    However, a loss tonight will cement a top ten pick next year … Unless the Mets had already won their game earlier.

  23. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 9:26 pm

    Instead of “win one for the gipper” it’s “lose one for the picker”.

  24. juneau_fan on September 27th, 2013 9:29 pm

    Is it Fan Appreciation Night? Can’t explain the crowd otherwise. And I assume they gave the tickets away.

  25. Eastside Suds on September 27th, 2013 9:32 pm

    If we continue to lose, and lose we will, it appears we will have the 6th pick in the amateur MLB Draft in June. Some really good kids available early although its not being advertised as a deep draft. The death march continues…left, right, left…..

  26. MrZDevotee on September 27th, 2013 9:32 pm

    2nd thought, George’s comments work better for Z… (sigh)

  27. Eastside Suds on September 27th, 2013 9:35 pm

    Watching Colon highlights with that belly hanging out and the portly stature allows me to re-think my own body image, improve my psyche and love me more. Just sayin.

  28. Westside guy on September 27th, 2013 9:41 pm

    Yes it’s Fan Appreciation Night, Juneau.

  29. juneau_fan on September 27th, 2013 9:44 pm

    Whoo. hoo. (Doing my part for the wave then.)

    I dunno, anyone see the A’s going far in the playoffs? Not that stars make the team successful, but who are these guys?

    Other than Colon, who’s sort of famous for all the wrong reasons, who’re their starting pitchers?

    And I mean for the semi-casual fan who needs to watch the playoffs to make it worth putting on TV.

  30. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 9:52 pm

    I dunno either lose in the ALDS or win it all wouldn’t surprise me. It’s freaking baseball. I was just thinking who I am going to root for and I was thinking the A’s. The junkyard dogs at Westminster

  31. Eastside Suds on September 27th, 2013 9:55 pm

    I’m quite confident these Mariners are counting the hours this cruise rides into port. To have our young kids go through what has transpired today and be a laughing stock is more than they deserve. What an embarrassment this organization continues to be.

  32. Eastside Suds on September 27th, 2013 10:00 pm

    Rooting for Detroit. Fister, touiasosopo and Bonderman. Love watching Cabrera and Prince.

  33. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 10:09 pm

    Isn’t it funny how , folks keep picking the AL team to win,BUT

  34. Longgeorge1 on September 27th, 2013 10:13 pm

    Hey the tying run is in row 11

  35. Eastside Suds on September 27th, 2013 10:15 pm

    Out of curiosity, who pays for Kuma’s interpreter? Anyone want to venture a guess?

  36. pgreyy on September 27th, 2013 10:28 pm

    Yep. The car goes default to the last guy…because nobody won.

  37. pgreyy on September 27th, 2013 10:49 pm

    The fireworks were nice. Wish the team on the field could manage some fireworks every so often…

  38. MrZDevotee on September 28th, 2013 12:32 am

    Wedge’s story as reported by SeattlePI:

    “Ultimately I didn’t feel like I could manage here, with the circumstances that they are,” Wedge said before Friday’s game at Safeco Field, in a press conference broadcast on 710 ESPN Seattle radio.

    Mariners manager Eric Wedge told the ballclub Friday that he will not return in 2014.

    “I’m sad first and foremost for the players, because I wanted to be a part of helping them move forward, and I wanted the opportunity to be able to do it again. But it became obvious it wasn’t going to happen here.”

    “It’s tough, it’s frustrating, it’s upsetting, it’s disappointing,” he added. “But sometimes people don’t see things the same way and it just doesn’t work out. … I wanted it to work, but it’s just not going to.”

    710?s Shannon Drayer reported that Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik disagreed about a potential new contract. Wedge was looking for more than the one-year contract he was being offered, Drayer reported, but the Mariners were dragging their feet. A meeting on the subject had been scheduled for Monday.

    Zduriencik said there was no plan to not bring Wedge back for another season. In an interview on 710?s afternoon show, Zduriencik said he and Wedge met on Thursday to talk about the team and its future, when Wedge brought up his contract.

    “Eric wanted to meet (Thursday) and we had an impromptu meeting,” Zduriencik said, “and at the end of the meeting, Eric decided — he left, and then I got an email from him (Friday) that he didn’t want to return. … It’s unfortunate he made this decision.”

    “There was never a discussion of not having Eric return as our manager,” Zduriencik added.

  39. Woodcutta on September 28th, 2013 2:09 am

    Hey, I’ll be the manager and they won’t have to even pay me as much.

  40. scraps on September 28th, 2013 11:21 am

    Really, Woodcutta? You’ll be sorry.

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