Game 3, Mariners at Angels

marc w · April 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Hector Santiago, 7:05pm

Last season, the M’s had two great starters and, for most of the year anyway, a gooey mess of a back end rotation. Tonight, we get our first peek at the new and hopefully improved rotation as lefty James Paxton takes the hill. I’ve written tons about Paxton, but he’s become critically important this year. With Walker and Iwakuma’s delayed start, and with the questions surrounding Elias and Young, it’s vital that the M’s get actual production and not just replacement-level stand-ins behind Felix. The division is tight, and having Felix surrounded by four scrubs would certainly remove one of the four contenders. Erasmo Ramirez showed that he can be tough to hit when he’s healthy; now it’s Paxton’s turn.

Opposing him is lefty Hector Santiago who came in from the White Sox in the big 3-way trade involving Mark Trumbo. Santiago throws a bunch of pitches, but is primarily a fastball/change guy, with some surprising life on his fastball. Both in the rotation and in the pen, he’s generated high strikeout rates that have helped keep his runs allowed manageable given his two big problems: walks and home runs. Santiago’s walk rate is over 11%, and he’s given up over 1 HR per 9 innings pitched. It’s a big reason why his FIP and xFIP are in the mid-4’s – not someone you’d trade anyone of value for. But his ERA is lovely. Consider him a very poor man’s Hisashi Iwakuma. Like Kuma, Santiago’s ERA is a run lower than his FIP. His change-up helps him minimize platoon splits, but unlike Kuma, Santiago still has them. Kuma doesn’t walk anyone,* but the HRs and sequencing push his runs allowed far below what you’d expect looking at his three true outcomes. Santiago is only good by ONE of the three true outcomes, but on the plus side, he’s moving from a park that’s very HR friendly to a HR-suppressing park.

1: Almonte, CF
2: Miller, SS
3: Cano, 2B
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Hart, DH
6: Romero, RF
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Bloomquist, 3B
SP: Paxton, LHP

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Fangraphs now has pre-game win expectancy on their scores page. Here’s tonight’s. You can see that the model still isn’t buying the M’s offense, especially against a lefty. Last night’s game was one of the most lopsided, with the Angels having a hair over a 60% chance of winning. Tonight’s is a mere 58%. It’ll be fun to see how these change over the course of the season as the systems learn more about Paxton/Erasmoooo. Right now, they’re probably underrating them.

Willie Bloomquist makes his first start, giving Seager a night off. I’m curious to see how Seager holds up with increased rest this year.

Bob Dutton points out that Joe Beimel’s pick-off in last night’s game was called from the bench. Whether it was McClendon or the bench coach, nice call.

Carlos Triunfel is now the property of the LA Dodgers org.

* I said a VERY POOR MAN’s Kuma, ok?


163 Responses to “Game 3, Mariners at Angels”

  1. MrZDevotee on April 2nd, 2014 9:46 pm

    Toast. To quote Mr. G-Man.

    Nice SERIES kids… Let’s got get the A’s now… Bring your waders for the flooding toilets…

  2. just a fan on April 2nd, 2014 9:48 pm

    Hector Noesi, a charitable gesture by Lloyd McClendon.

    Did the two teams swap uniforms before this series? Awesome!

  3. MrZDevotee on April 2nd, 2014 9:48 pm

    Mr. Cameron might need to reconsider his prediction of the Angles as AL West Champs unless they totally revamp their bullpen. It’s really bad. “Weakness” as everyone called it turned out to be a wee bit optimistic about what they bring to the mound in late innings.

  4. Peleneur on April 2nd, 2014 9:48 pm

    I absolutely do not want to see Hector Noesi in a Mariners’ uniform ever again. I don’t wish him ill, I simply wish him gone. The man cannot pitch in the slightest adversity or with a gram of pressure, he is not presently cut out to be a professional athlete. Good stuff, head’s just not right for this kind of process. I don’t care who takes his place including a lingering partial vacuum, it’s time to cut the tow rope no matter what that makes Jack Z look like.

  5. MrZDevotee on April 2nd, 2014 9:52 pm

    It’s also fun to think we just swept, and DOMINATED, the Angels with our #1, #4 and #5 starters (when everyone is healthy).

    “Hope”, you’re a sexy beast.

  6. Eastside Suds on April 2nd, 2014 9:53 pm

    No way Angels win this division. More of the same with Hamilton and their bullpen is dog shit. A’s are the clear favorite. Texas will still be tough offensively and be competitive when they get healthy. The M’s… this club!

  7. zak24 on April 2nd, 2014 9:53 pm

    Jack Zduriencik is better at life than all of you put together.

  8. Dennisss on April 2nd, 2014 9:54 pm

    Noesi, leaving the Angels with something to feel better about.

    The Angels have their heads handed to them, and Trout has a 1.500 OPS according to the box score. You have to admire that guy.

  9. terryoftacoma on April 2nd, 2014 9:57 pm

    The Angel’s needed something they face the red hot Astro’s next.

  10. nvn8vbryce on April 2nd, 2014 10:26 pm

    MrZ, they had a nice little rain recently which also backed up the drains at the cesspool called

  11. The_Waco_Kid on April 2nd, 2014 10:37 pm

    ??? I must be dreaming. Crap, I’m probably late for work!

  12. Westside guy on April 2nd, 2014 10:38 pm

    In the end, 3-0 is better than 0-3. I’m gonna enjoy that while it lasts. And I’m gonna enjoy the Angels sucking, if that continues, irrespective of the Mariners’ season.

    I’ll defer any realistic thoughts for later. For today, one of our young question marks has turned into a stud.

    ADDENDUM: Haha, just watched Saunders’ fall + catch. It looked like he was laughing about it after he got back up. Good recovery though.

  13. Kazinski on April 3rd, 2014 12:52 am

    I really enjoyed the series, but lets make one thing clear: 3 games doesn’t mean shit in an MLB season.

    I hope they can carry it through thru the next 4 games with Oakland, because a month does matter, and two series to start the month does matter.

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