Game 16, Mariners at Marlins

marc w · April 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm · Filed Under Game Threads, Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Nate Eovaldi, 4:10pm

The M’s face the Miami Marlins, this time in *actual* Miami.

Chris Young and Nathan Eovaldi have very similar repertoires, as both rely heavily on 4-seam fastballs, and pair it mostly with sliders. They both mix in occasional curves, though Young’s heart clearly isn’t in it, and they both have change-ups, seemingly just to be able to tell pitching coaches that they do. Fastballs and sliders, platoon splits be damned. Both have OK K rates and somewhat poor walk rates. Peas in a pod, right?

As you probably know, this is a match up between one of the league’s hardest throwing starters and one of its softest tossers. Eovaldi has averaged – AVERAGED – about 97mph on his four-seamer this year while Young’s at 86.5mph. This gap of about 11mph doesn’t sound incredible, but it’s actually tough to find games with a larger disparity. If you exclude RA Dickey, whose “fastball” functions more as a gimmick pitch or a change-up to his knuckler, about the maximum gap you can have nowadays is around 12-13mph – between Eovaldi/Garrett Richards/James-Paxton-on-a-good-day/Jose Fernandez on one end and Mark Buehrle on the other. But these guys don’t match up all the time, and thanks to the miracle/curse of regression, baseball itself seems to abhor such gaps; Stephen Strasburg isn’t throwing 98 anymore, and Livan Hernandez is out of a job (though given all the injuries, he may not be for long).

So if Young’s velocity’s down a bit from 86+, and if Eovaldi is amped up to face, uh, the…ok, nevermind…we could see something we don’t often get to see. It’s by no means unprecedented, as Buehrle faced off against a hard-throwing Sonny Gray last year. Rookie year Strasburg opposed Bronson Arroyo back in 2010 too, but these games are actually rarer than you’d think. Buerhle faced off against Yu Darvish last year, but Buerhle averaged a respectable-for-him 85 while Darvish sat at 93. Anthony Vasquez opposed guys like Everett Teaford and Colby Lewis, not Strasburg or Verlander.

There you have it. A safe, identifiable thing to watch when you can’t bear to actually get invested. This is poor example of a kind of post that Jeff does so well, I know. Part of the reason I love things like this is that Jeff’s a good writer, but part of it is for the reminder that some odd and occasionally remarkable things occur that we don’t even notice at the time. We’re caught up in the at-bat, or the game, or the race, and we miss something fascinating, something lesser men will demean with the adjective “quirky.” For some, these things are a distraction from the things that matter. For others, these things are a distraction from the things that hurt. The M’s scored six runs in an INNING yesterday, and even as that inning came to a close, I knew how the game would end. I bet a lot of you did too. So yes, I’m going to find some strange angle to this game and the next few until Brad Miller reminds me that I wrote this without trying to be satirical.

The M’s are better than they *feel* right now, and they’re facing a mediocre team with an Angels-grade bullpen. But holy hell did that Texas series suck.

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

Riiiiiiight, this is where the pitchers hit for some reason. Got it.

Sooooo, 1B prospect and current Tacoma Rainier Ji-Man Choi was suspended 50 games for testing positive for methandienone, an anabolic steroid. As Todd Milles writes, this opens the door to Jesus Montero, who is now the clear starter, and not in a job-sharing role. Sooooo…..yeah. Choi’s had trouble staying on the field, but has hit very well – the stocky lefty had a .500 OBP through 10 games this season, after posting a .377 OBP for Jackson last year. With his suspension, Choi moves to the restricted list, which opens up 40-man roster spot. We’ll see who grabs it.

Speaking of good-hitting, injury-bedeviled prospects, OF Julio Morban’s also been called up to Tacoma. Not sure if it’s just a paper move, as Morban hasn’t yet played this season due to…wait for it…injury.

Brandon Maurer will be called up to make a spot start against Miami on Sunday. The probable starter’s been labeled “TBA” for a few days, but with Beavan’s injury, the M’s didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. It really came down to Maurer and lefty Anthony Fernandez, and Maurer’s the right call there.

Comments

66 Responses to “Game 16, Mariners at Marlins”

  1. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 3:41 pm

    I can’t believe ANOTHER PED suspension is ruining Jesus Montero’s career?! (You know, by forcing him to play everyday, exposing the fact he’s a human weakness, head to toe.)

  2. californiamariner on April 18th, 2014 3:43 pm

    Hey looking at this lineup and I don’t have any complaints.

  3. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:10 pm

    Cali-
    My only thought is that I would bat Chris Young further down in the order, but that would require the AL be hosting the game. (laugh)

  4. jorax on April 18th, 2014 4:21 pm

    MrZ – I guess we’re not concerned about Montero doing poorly/even worse because of how bloggers and internet commenters affect him? You saw what it did to poor Ackley last year…

  5. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:23 pm

    Hart is going to take Eovaldi to his pitch limit, all by himself!

    Given how awful the Marlins bullpen supposedly is, that’s a very good approach to take.

  6. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:30 pm

    So Stanton WASN’T watching the ball when he hit it… Wow. On the super slo-mo he was still looking out over 2nd base when he hit that ball out over the outside edge of the plate. NEVER changed his view.

  7. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Jorax-
    Dammit. My bad, he’ll probably suck now. (lowers head in shame)

  8. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Hey it’s the old Keystone Kops routine!

  9. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:33 pm

    YEAH! We’re thumpin on these sucky Marlins. It’s obvious why they have a worse record than us.

  10. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:34 pm

    Can we request they move the camera angle, so it’s not quite SO obvious how slow AND straight Chris Young’s fastball is… The over the shoulder thing makes me want to grab a bat.

  11. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:45 pm

    This ump calls a pretty nice strike zone. No surprises so far.

  12. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:47 pm

    Yeah!!

  13. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 4:48 pm

    Wow. Small but pretty nasty little hop there on Stanton. Total luck.

  14. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:49 pm

    I’m watching the Miami feed, and from one camera angle it looked like the ball was almost rolling before it suddenly jumped up about a foot and a half in the air.

  15. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:55 pm

    That was an exceptional throw by Zunino.

  16. californiamariner on April 18th, 2014 4:55 pm

    Zunino is a pretty good catcher guys.

    Or he just seems amazing after the other guys we’ve watched.

  17. Paul B on April 18th, 2014 4:56 pm

    I want to see a Honda sales guy completely mess up the answers to the cardboard people.

  18. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:56 pm

    Marlins commentators were talking about how there’s no DH in the game but Seattle has a number of DH’s on their roster…

  19. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 4:59 pm

    Nice throw by Adventure Time there – that was was just about perfect! Too bad Seager dropped it.

  20. dogkahuna on April 18th, 2014 4:59 pm

    Mind jumping back off the…’wait for it’…wagon? It’s really…wait for it…stupid.

  21. Paul B on April 18th, 2014 5:08 pm

    Is this roof retractable? If so, why is it closed?

  22. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 5:11 pm

    Before the game at least, Drayer reported it was raining like crazy – so they closed the roof.

  23. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 5:13 pm

    Almonte’s strikeout rate is now at 35%.

  24. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 5:15 pm

    Chris Young’s is somewhat lower than 35%.

  25. Paul B on April 18th, 2014 5:27 pm

    They really like lime green at that park.

  26. californiamariner on April 18th, 2014 5:28 pm

    Come on Franklin!

    Never mind

  27. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 5:40 pm

    MUCH better, Abe!

  28. Paul B on April 18th, 2014 5:42 pm

    Sometimes it looks like he will be a good hitter.

  29. californiamariner on April 18th, 2014 5:46 pm

    Starting to get annoyed by what Aaron Harang is doing this year.

  30. Paul B on April 18th, 2014 5:57 pm

    Two hit game for Seager!

  31. Section329 on April 18th, 2014 6:08 pm

    Yes, Harang throwing a no hitter through 6th tonight-yuk!

  32. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 6:19 pm

    Don’t forget, last year too, Aaron Harang threw a 4 hit, complete game shutout in his 7th game, and then a 2 hit, complete game shutout in his 10th game.

    I remember being incredibly shocked BOTH times (and had to look it up to be sure I hadn’t dreamed about remembering that…)

  33. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 6:21 pm

    Mr. Hart is playing well… Sure he’s not the most mobile guy in the field, but he makes the plays he should, and has been swinging the bat really well. Gotta be fun for HIM after missing a year and not knowing what a “comeback” would hold for him…

  34. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 6:21 pm

    All right Hart!

  35. Longgeorge1 on April 18th, 2014 6:22 pm

    A fucking two out hit from a free agent that we signed – I’ve seen everything

  36. Longgeorge1 on April 18th, 2014 6:24 pm

    I’m tempted to go to a bar with no TV, I don’t want to get gutted again, I can’t take it

  37. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 6:41 pm

    All right Jones!

  38. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 6:42 pm

    That was Ichiro fast down the line for Jones there… Nice speed.

  39. Section329 on April 18th, 2014 6:42 pm

    Harang no hits through 7. Too many pitches-out of game.
    Ryan Rowland-Smith DFA’d when Cody Ross back from DL.

    Go Jones!

  40. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 6:52 pm

    McClendon better hope this doesn’t go to extra innings – he’s almost out of bench guys already!

  41. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:09 pm

    Nothing bad came of it, but what the heck was that out in the field Hart?

  42. juneau_fan on April 18th, 2014 7:13 pm

    These games are soul-crushing.

  43. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:15 pm

    Is Eric Wedge managing the Marlins? That was just totally stupid.

    Good for the Mariners though (although they’re not out of the woods yet).

  44. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 7:16 pm

    Crap. The guy at 3rd is gonna be safe. He didn’t have control before the player was on the base.

    Bases loaded. No outs. We already know this one.

    (sigh)

  45. Section329 on April 18th, 2014 7:17 pm

    Wedge is an ESPN commentator.
    Nice play Medina!

  46. stevemotivateir on April 18th, 2014 7:18 pm

    I bet this gets overturned.

  47. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:18 pm

    I hope, for LongGeorge1′s sake, he went to that TV-less bar…

  48. stevemotivateir on April 18th, 2014 7:19 pm

    Geez. This just got real ugly.

  49. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:20 pm

    That transfer rule change is sure worming its way into a LOT of plays. I doubt the powers-that-be expected that.

  50. juneau_fan on April 18th, 2014 7:20 pm

    *crushed*

  51. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:20 pm

    Whelp.

  52. stevemotivateir on April 18th, 2014 7:21 pm

    Geez. This just finished ugly.

  53. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2014 7:21 pm

    Hey, you guys (Marlins) wanna trade Walker for Stanton, straight up? Please… Like maybe, 5 minutes ago?

  54. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:22 pm

    The Marlins’ manager just lucked his way out of some stupid decision making.

    Well, lucked and Stanton’ed his way out.

  55. tmesis on April 18th, 2014 7:24 pm

    Help me on the transfer rule. (Not a fan) If Seager had simply left the ball in his glove and had not tried to remove it to throw to first, would the out have stood?

  56. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:25 pm

    Ozuna was hitting .339/.371/.492 and they had him bunt in that situation.

  57. nvn8vbryce on April 18th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Coulda seen that coming 2500 miles away…

  58. stevemotivateir on April 18th, 2014 7:29 pm

    Having Yelich bunt seemed like a ridiculous call. Smoak helped make it look smart. Bunting Ozuna looked ridiculous–especially with Stanton coming up, because first would have been open had he laid down a good bunt, but Seager bobbles the transfer for a no-throw.

    This is becoming a common theme. Just when you think the opposing team is making a mistake, they find success against the M’s.

  59. stevemotivateir on April 18th, 2014 7:31 pm

    I suppose we should give props to the Miami outfield.

  60. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 7:35 pm

    tmesis, as I understand it – with a live ball, now it’s not considered a catch until the player has transferred the ball from his glove to his throwing hand.

    So having control of the ball in the glove isn’t enough.

    The rule was implemented because of some problem or other they’ve been noticing specifically around second base – but, as we’ve seen, it’s having a big impact everywhere, both infield and outfield.

    A baseball guy like msfanmike can probably explain it better – and might correct parts I likely got wrong. :-D

  61. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 8:12 pm

    Dave Cameron wrote about the rule change and its unintended consequences over on FanGraphs:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/baseballs-new-strategy-drop-the-ball-on-purpose/

  62. msfanmike on April 18th, 2014 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out Westy, I will try. Removing the ball (under control) from the glove is a rule that has been on the books for about as long as there has been a book. It evolved into something else well before my baseball consciousness came into existence – and I am 50.

    With that said, I would really like to slam the asinine situation we now see on an all too frequent basis, but I covered that “rant” in a game thread the other day. Bottom line, MLB tightened up the interpretation of the rule because they had to with instant replay now ruling the roost. The “technical” rule is now going to be called. We have seen it work for the mariners against the mariners and against the A’s.

    I don’t like what i am seeing and I have to believe that some tweaks will be made to the system of replay reviews and for the interpretation of this call in particular, but FUCK ME … They all know the rule and they keep fumbling the fucking ball. Don’t blame the rule and the interpretation – blame the oily handed fielders who are not executing. What did Seager think he was going to do? Turn two? Fuck Kyle – secure the goddamn ball. You know the rule. Get the fucking out. Then watch Stanton hit a 3 run bomb instead of a grand slam.

    Sorry, the voices in my head alstarted getting louder. The bipolarity of me combined with the hilarity of a rule gone amok, I guess.

  63. Westside guy on April 18th, 2014 8:55 pm

    Thank you Mike – so, like the “catchers can’t be in the third base line without the ball” rule, it’s not actually a rule change… it’s just they’re now enforcing what the rule book has said all along.

    But all the bobbles we’re seeing are weird. I know we are paying more attention, but it sure seems like it’s happening a lot so far. Is it just that the players are thinking about the rule too much?

  64. msfanmike on April 18th, 2014 9:08 pm

    The worst thing a baseball player can do is “think too much” – so probably. Also, Seager might not have really had the ball securely within his glove and his 2B playing instincts to do what he could to control the ball and … Oopsie! Don’t know, I only saw it twice and twice was enough.

    Coaches used to come out and argue if they thought a player lost the ball without making a clean transfer (especially in a key situation) but there were far fewer questions then than now. We all just had to live with what was called – and then for some reason – over the past couple years – there were a flurry of bad transfers called outs, so they tightened up the interpretation in line with replay being implemented.

    For all I know, Torre and Schierholtz are laughing their asses off now that baseball players have to make a true baseball play as written. Or, maybe they hate it. Who knows, who cares … It’s here and people wanted replay. Now we have replay.

  65. BackseatGM on April 18th, 2014 9:41 pm

    Re. the catch/transfer situation there’s one thing I haven’t heard or read anyone mention. If a catch is not “completed” until the fielder transfers the ball to his throwing hand, what is the ruling if the fielder has tagged and come off the base before the ball is secured in his throwing hand. The Mainers recently benefited from a catcher bobbling the ball during transfer on a potential home to 1st double play. But the thing is, even if he didn’t bobbled the ball he had come well off of home plate before the ball moved towards his throwing hand. Even if Seager had transfered the ball without a bobble tonight, the runner had possibly reached 3rd base before Seager would have had the ball in his hand. If it’s not a catch until the ball reaches the throwing hand, many force outs, including most plays at 1st base, are not following the letter of the new law. I won’t even bring up the possibilities if the player never uses his throwing hand at all. This interpretation needs to be changed immediately. It’s only April. It has changed the game immensely and none of the change has been good. They CAN’T leave this in for the entire season. This is many times worse than the rubber basketball the NBA forced on the players a few years back. It sucked and they dumped it, never to be mentioned again.

  66. sawsatch on April 19th, 2014 9:22 am

    Mariners:
    Weak up the middle
    No outfield to speak of
    Little speed
    Poor player development (compare with Hawks)
    Expected outcome playing in Safeco?

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