Game 9, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · April 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Tommy Milone, 7:10pm

Happy Felix Day – the first home celebration of our benevolent rulers long and oddly low-key reign. Not that we, as denizens of Felix’ fecund and forested kingdom, crave tumultuous events like war, famine, or commodity-driven bubbles and land speculation, but man, shouldn’t we annex a portion of Beanesville? Hell, how about a free-trade pact with Astreau just to make Darvishia wonder what we’re up to.

Tommy Milone looked to be the odd man out this spring, as he was slated for a stint in the A’s bullpen after two years of mostly solid work in the rotation. Nothing wrong with his work, but undersized guy throwing 86 is pretty much always going to face an uphill battle to keep his job once the club saw undersized guy throwing 96. Then, Ulnar, God of Elbows’ spring break pub crawl paid the A’s a visit, and Jarrod Parker went in for his second TJ surgery. Suddenly the A’s had an opening again.

Milone’s the same sneaky-slow fastball/solid change-up guy we’ve seen several times over the past two seasons – he’s made *8* starts against the M’s since 2012. And that neatly segues to his home run problem. Milone put up a 3.93 FIP in 2012, and saw that rise to 4.30 in 2013 despite a slight uptick in his K% (ok, his BB% went up too). But Milone’s problem, and you can see this coming when you throw an 86mph fastball and get a ton of fly balls, is and always will be home runs. He gave up 24 in 190 innings in 2012 (which isn’t great considering his home park, but isn’t the end of the world), then gave up 25 in 156+ innings last year. A part of it may be where he pitched – he made 18 starts in Oakland and Seattle in 2012, and just 13 everywhere else. In 2013, he made 12 starts in Oak/Sea and 14 elsewhere. Of course, he was great at home in 2012 and not great at all in 2013, so it’s probably a bunch of things.*

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

One of the oddities of the early Rainiers pitching staff has been Brandon Maurer pitching in middle relief. Unquestionably the most talented hurler on the staff, Maurer had some injury problems in the spring, but was reportedly tabbed as the long reliever for Tacoma. Then, he made a couple of brief relief appearances instead and DIDN’T start a double-header game that would’ve been perfect for a long-reliever (instead, the R’s went with a bullpen day with Nick Hill starting it off). Today, the M’s said that he’ll move into the rotation, and that they just wanted to get him built up. All of my speculative kremlinology, all my wondering if the M’s were upset with Maurer for some reason…none of it was true. He was hurt, they eased him in, now he’s in the rotation. Cool.

Today in the minors: Carlos Misell (Clinton), Dylan Unsworth (HD), Stephen Landazuri (Jackson), Anthony Fernandez (Tacoma). As I mentioned the other day, Unsworth’s first start in the Cal League went better than I would’ve expected- he gave up one un-earned run in 6 innings in the Adelanto wind-tunnel. Unsworth came over with a well-spotted FB in the mid-upper 80s, which is pretty tough to project. But he was also just 17, and some reports from last season say he added quite a few ticks. In the oft-mocked, over-used baseball twitter phrase, big, if true.

Speaking of High Desert, DJ Peterson’s strong start has garnered some attention, and a few deserved “Well, what do you expect” comments, but it’s great to see Gabriel Guerrero start off hot. The young Dominican had an awful start for Clinton last year.


* His change got good results both from a whiff and batted-ball-result point of view, so it’s not like batters exploited that weapon once they got to know it. Instead, I think Milone’s a good example of the old baseball cliche that an 86mph fastball up in the zone is a fairly risky strategy.


50 Responses to “Game 9, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. Kazinski on April 11th, 2014 5:42 pm

    Felix turned 28 on Tuesday, here are his comps age 27 and younger career war:
    Highest Pitcher fWAR up to age 27 from 1900 – 2014:

    1 Walter Johnson 63.4
    2 Bert Blyleven 60
    3 Christy Mathewson 50.6
    4 Hal Newhouser 49.7
    5 Don Drysdale 48.6
    6 Roger Clemens 46.9
    7 Dwight Gooden 46.9
    8 Bob Feller 44.7
    9 Sam McDowell 41.7
    10 Robin Roberts 41.6
    11 Felix Hernandez 41.2
    12 Tom Seaver 41
    13 Pedro Martinez 40.7
    14 Bret Saberhagen 39.8
    15 CC Sabathia 36.6
    16 Steve Carlton 36.6
    17 Mel Harder
    18 Don Sutton 35.7
    19 Greg Maddux 35.5
    20 Dizzy Dean 34.9

    Some of those guys turned out to be pretty good.

  2. Paul B on April 11th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Must have been some sort of delay because Root just replayed a few minutes of Miller and Krueger.

  3. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 7:18 pm

    Felix day!! How about the offense has a good game? 🙂

  4. Slats on April 11th, 2014 7:20 pm

    Now that’s a perfect bunt.

  5. Slats on April 11th, 2014 7:21 pm


  6. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 7:21 pm

    Wow this is great! Haha

  7. kfrei2 on April 11th, 2014 7:22 pm

    Not bad for a guy who never hustles to first base.

  8. Sea-Dog on April 11th, 2014 7:31 pm

    I love that Romero comes to the plate using the same song as the Monstars.

  9. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 7:33 pm

    Could’ve and probably should’ve scored a lot more runs there.

  10. Longgeorge1 on April 11th, 2014 7:58 pm

    Filthy Fifi!

  11. Paul B on April 11th, 2014 8:01 pm

    Cano doesnt seem to be hitting anything hard.

  12. naviomelo on April 11th, 2014 8:11 pm

    The pessimist in me thinks this game feels an awful lot like any game from years past. An opportunity not maximized in the 1st, Felix gives up a pity run or two, and you know how it ends!

  13. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 8:20 pm

    Excellent reverse curse, Naviomelo, hopefully…

  14. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 8:22 pm


  15. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 8:27 pm

    Ackley hitting!

  16. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 8:27 pm


  17. Slats on April 11th, 2014 8:28 pm

    Go M’s go!

  18. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 8:29 pm

    A 2nd run!

  19. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 8:29 pm

    And a 3rd run! A’s giving a lot of gifts tonight, I’ll take it

  20. naviomelo on April 11th, 2014 8:38 pm

    Did Seager have a HR taken away? said that he had hit one out.

  21. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 8:46 pm

    Yes, they overturned a Seager home run. It was clearly foul on the replay.

  22. kfrei2 on April 11th, 2014 8:58 pm

    I know it’s still early but I’m starting to think that Romero would be better off with some more time in AAA. He looks like he’s in way over his head trying to figure out all of Milone’s off speed stuff.

  23. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 9:09 pm


  24. naviomelo on April 11th, 2014 9:10 pm

    We have 4 guys slugging .500+!!!

  25. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 9:13 pm

    They’re slowly winning this game…

  26. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 9:16 pm

    Miller!! This is a fun game!

  27. naviomelo on April 11th, 2014 9:21 pm

    Looks like juneau_fan had it right all along… Go M’s!!!!

  28. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 9:31 pm

    Felix just ridiculous tonight. Hate to see him come out, but it is probably a good time to pull him right now after 7. No need to push that golden arm with the game all but in hand. Amazing start to the season for the King!

  29. kfrei2 on April 11th, 2014 9:39 pm

    Whoa! The King talked his way back into the game!

  30. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 9:45 pm


  31. juneau_fan on April 11th, 2014 9:50 pm

    Ouch. What a way to put a run on Felix’s ERA

  32. leon0112 on April 11th, 2014 9:54 pm

    Can Furbush save the game?

  33. leon0112 on April 11th, 2014 10:00 pm

    What a disaster!

  34. californiamariner on April 11th, 2014 10:01 pm

    This game is getting way too interesting. Don’t agree with sending Felix back out and don’t like bringing in Furbush over Farquhar. Please don’t blow the game.

  35. Longgeorge1 on April 11th, 2014 10:01 pm

    They just want to give Rodney a save oppotunity

  36. Woodcutta on April 11th, 2014 10:10 pm

    I wonder if the treatment Almonte is getting from the umps will follow him around all year.

  37. Westside guy on April 11th, 2014 10:14 pm

    What sort of “treatment” is Almonte getting from the umpires?

  38. naviomelo on April 11th, 2014 10:20 pm


  39. WTF_Ms on April 11th, 2014 10:28 pm

    Seems like Miller got that “treatment” too! Rodney is GOOD…REALLY GOOD!

  40. Woodcutta on April 11th, 2014 10:38 pm


    Since Almonte argued that bad called strike three that ended the game in Oakland he has seemed to be getting squeezed more. Just about anything close goes against him.

  41. Westside guy on April 11th, 2014 11:11 pm

    Hmm… I have a hard time believing in umpire conspiracies. One or two guys holding a grudge, maybe.

    Almonte has an absurdly low swing rate in the zone (56.6% in 2014) and overall (36.7% in 2014). 2013 wasn’t quite as extreme, but was still really low. He does watch a lot of strikes go by.

  42. MrZDevotee on April 11th, 2014 11:16 pm

    Almonte got called out on a (bad) check-swing judgement call… On the replay, watching Almonte’s bat, he clearly didn’t go around… BUT if you watch his hands, it’s easy to see why it could be called a strike by accident… He never brought the head of the bat through, but his hands were WAY out in front of his body…

    A quick glance from 90 feet away could easily see that as “going around”.

    Unfortunate, but I doubt it was some “ring this guy up if you can” conspiracy going on… I mean, if that was true, why wouldn’t the plate ump have just called him out and saved him the run down to first?

  43. Woodcutta on April 12th, 2014 1:35 am

    If a quick glance isn’t enough then check swings should be able to be reviewed through instant replay. Also, it isn’t just that and it wasn’t just this game. I was at the home opener and there were at the very least questionable calls against him during that series. It doesn’t need to be conspiracy in the sense that they have all been told and agree to squeezing certain players but more of a reaction to their viewing his actions as showing up an umpire. Or is could just be a veteran vs. rookie thing.

  44. groundzero55 on April 12th, 2014 11:22 am

    I’m sure we’ll read more about this later but it seems we just sent Noesi to Texas for a PTBNL or cash. So ends his chapter here.

  45. Westside guy on April 12th, 2014 11:51 am

    I’d guess in this case “cash” means – the next time the Mariners are in Texas, MacLendon gets to dig through the couch in the visitors clubhouse and keep any loose change he finds.

  46. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2014 2:18 pm

    Or we get to eat at their postgame buffet… But not the really nice meats– just cheese and vegetables?

  47. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2014 2:20 pm

    I’ve been watching all the games and I haven’t noticed anything. Just sayin’. Doesn’t mean it’s not happening, but can’t be that bad– I like to complain about EVERYTHING and I didn’t notice a thing until you brought it up.

  48. HighlightsAt11 on April 12th, 2014 4:44 pm

    What are the odds TWalk will start at Texas this Tuesday?

  49. californiamariner on April 12th, 2014 6:10 pm

    Highlights, they already announced Beavan as the starter and Taijuan will get another minor league start.

  50. HighlightsAt11 on April 12th, 2014 6:28 pm

    California….Thanks for the update. Good TWalk will get more work in pitching a AAA game.

    But not so good news hearing Blake will start for the Mariners. In two starts at Tacoma Beavan has pitched 13IP for 3R and 9H. Good for a AAAA pitcher. While his modus operandus with the Mariners has seemed to be four innings of average pitching then getting jacked by home runs in the fifth. On his recall to the Mariners hope he succeeds and can get fans back on his good side.

    I suspect Leutge will be sent back to Tacoma, when the Beavan call-up is official. I guess that’s really the only good news part of this roster change.

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