Game 18, Mariners at Marlins

marc w · April 20, 2014 at 9:34 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Brandon Maurer vs. Kevin Slowey, 10:10am

Happy Easter

Ah yes, the reshuffled line-up. The first step in breaking a losing streak – one level below “closed door team meeting” and three steps below “fire the hitting coach.” That sounds snarkier than I really intend it, but there’s something about losing to the Marlins that has everyone feeling fatalistic. And it’s not like Miller hasn’t earned himself a day on the bench.

Brandon Maurer – not sure at all how this is going to go, but a successful Brandon Maurer would really, really help the M’s pitching depth. Kevin Slowey’s the ex-Twin whose career looked to be over when HR problems made his command skills unworkable. Really, Blake Beavan’s been trying to make this skillset work: very low walk totals, a few Ks, and a low BABIP driven by extreme, Chris-Young-style fly ball rates. Like Beavan, avoiding walks and giving up elevated contact meant giving up lots of HRs. Like Henderson Alvarez, Slowey’s been better in Marlins park, in part because the park suppresses HRs, and in part due (I guess) some sort of mechanical tweak. He returned with Miami last year and while he wasn’t great, he ran a sub-4 FIP over 90+ innings.

Unlike Beavan, though, he doesn’t have big platoon splits. While Beavan’s actually OK against righties, Slowey’s splits are completely normal, and hasn’t been great (or awful) against opposite-handed hitters. Part of the problem seems to be that his curve ball wasn’t great, so righties teed off on it. We’ll see if he adjusts and starts throwing more of his cutter. After last night’s game, he’s probably feeling fairly confident.

Line-up:
1: Almonte, CF
2: Bloomquist, 3B
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, RF
5: Ackley, LF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Franklin, SS
8: Buck, C
9: Maurer

OF James Jones was optioned to Tacoma to make room for Maurer on the 25-man roster.

On the plus side, the Marlins line-up is extremely right-handed, with only Garrett Jones and Christian Yelich batting lefty against Maurer who struggled mightily against lefties in 2013. Sure, some of the righties include Ozuna and Stanton, but this isn’t a bad match-up on paper.

Comments

56 Responses to “Game 18, Mariners at Marlins”

  1. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 9:40 am

    Always nice to see the best hitter batting 2nd.

  2. Microsoft Zunino on April 20th, 2014 10:18 am

    Has Maurer made any adjustments against lefties since his struggles coming up with the big club? Have they been successful? I can’t recall him or any of the blogs mentioning it, and it was such a big question mark for him.

  3. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 10:33 am

    Things are looking better already when I crawl out, turn on the computer, and the Mariners have a 1 in their row and the opposing team has a zero.

  4. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 10:49 am

    Let me be the one to go ahead and jinx this, but Maurer looks pretty solid out there.

  5. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 11:24 am

    ^The Mariners are the one team that are unjinxable. If there’s a way to lose, they’ll find it without help!

  6. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 11:24 am

    I know we’re all thinking it, so I’ll go ahead and say it: The Mariners are winning because Buck is catching.

  7. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 11:27 am

    That’s exactly what I was thinking!

    Ironically, I was thinking about Zunino’s lack of walks and bad choice of pitches to chase in the early going.

  8. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 11:34 am

    Well hell, now we’ve seen it all…. Almonte called out on strikes looking.

  9. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 11:37 am

    I think Almonte wants to see if he can get to a 50% strikeout rate. Sort of a personal challenge.

  10. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 11:38 am

    McClendon sends Cano with two outs and Hart at the plate.

    Brilliant. I hope we see more aggressive calls like this moving forward.

  11. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 11:45 am

    Mac really is a lot like Wedge. Which isn’t too surprising, given the front office is the same.

    Mariners’ managers – now with 60% more irascibility!

  12. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 11:57 am

    I’ve been trying to give Mac the benefit of any doubt, but damn… he just keeps doing weird shit.

  13. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:09 pm

    Ugh.

  14. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:19 pm

    Farquhar pitching in a meaningful situation? Shocking

  15. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:22 pm

    Oh, one walk means Farquhar is done.

  16. G-Man on April 20th, 2014 12:23 pm

    Dobby The Bench Elf is cheated out of his PH appearance.

  17. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:24 pm

    I sort of appreciate how Mac will pull pitchers the moment something goes wrong. Not sure if the results are any better than leaving them in as things implode, but at least my scalp is better for me not ripping out my hair.

    But if this lead holds, Fernando in the 9th. *gulp*

  18. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 12:26 pm

    Medina might disagree with that.

  19. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:29 pm

    True, Steve.

    And ugh at the two up and two down with a struggling pitcher.

  20. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:42 pm

    Well, they’ve learned something in these games.

  21. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:42 pm

    I don’t know if I agree with just putting the winning run on base for free.

  22. G-Man on April 20th, 2014 12:48 pm

    Keep showing replay angles, please – better than showing umps standing there.

  23. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:48 pm

    These games are so painful.

  24. Nate on April 20th, 2014 12:49 pm

    Kind of hard to beat a team if *this* is the home strike zone…

    This happened in the Bot 8, 2 on, one out.
    Not nice.

    https://db.tt/wYKYBDOS

  25. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:51 pm

    They always find a way to make losses more and more brutal.

  26. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 12:53 pm

    So, we can expect McClendon to burn through pitchers fast and early, then hang who’s left out to dry when the game is on the line?

  27. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 12:53 pm

    And Stanton scores anyway.

  28. Nate on April 20th, 2014 12:54 pm

    I hope they put up the video clip of the play that was overturned. I’m not watching live, just gameday updates. Was it similar to Seager’s the other day?

  29. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:54 pm

    Nate, the runner just beat the throw. It was a bad missed call in the first place really.

  30. californiamariner on April 20th, 2014 12:55 pm

    Just a reminder, the winning run was put on base without actually doing anything.

  31. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 12:56 pm

    No, that scoring play was just a bad call. Yelich was clearly across the plate in time. Smoak bobbled the ball, which resulted in a late throw. Might have been safe even if Smoak hadn’t hesitated

  32. G-Man on April 20th, 2014 12:58 pm

    SLIDE please!

  33. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 12:58 pm

    Ooh, glad I wasn’t watching the last couple of innings…

  34. Nate on April 20th, 2014 1:00 pm

    Thanks. So not a ‘catch that wasn’t really a catch’ call then.

    Let’s get a couple back here. Go Hart!

  35. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2014 1:07 pm

    *sigh*

  36. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 1:07 pm

    COME ON CONDOR!

    (P.S. I hate side-armers)

  37. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 1:10 pm

    This guy is pretty wild.

    Crap.

  38. G-Man on April 20th, 2014 1:10 pm

    Swept by the #&%# Marlins.

  39. Dennisss on April 20th, 2014 1:11 pm

    Another routine, soul-crushing loss.

  40. msfanmike on April 20th, 2014 1:13 pm

    I wonder if the Hall Of Fame is going to be asking for a copy of Lloyd’s lineup card.

  41. greentunic on April 20th, 2014 1:14 pm

    They are almost creative in their ability to find ways to lose.

  42. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 1:15 pm

    At least the M’s weren’t duked into thinking they actually needed a center fielder, a better first baseman, or more than two lefties in the pen.

    Jack’s brilliance is going to pay off, we just have to be patient.

  43. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 1:17 pm

    We did see the M’s best three hitters batting in a row.

    That’s about it for positives with the hitting.

  44. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 1:18 pm

    I think Corey Hart would be an acceptable first baseman. I’m not sure he is able to stay healthy, though – plus the team is using him in a way that maximizes his chances of not staying healthy.

  45. msfanmike on April 20th, 2014 1:27 pm

    Was Rizzs trying to make that play at the plate sound like a controversial overturned call (on the postgame show?) Really Rick, really?

    Come on.

  46. stevemotivateir on April 20th, 2014 1:28 pm

    If they had been able to re-sign Morales to DH and brought in Hart to primarily serve as the first baseman, I would have felt fairly comfortable.

    It’s weird how the M’s can sign someone like Hart, Morse, and Ibanez, then minimize their productivity by playing them out of position. I suppose it’s too early to say that with Hart, but the potential is there.

  47. MrZDevotee on April 20th, 2014 1:41 pm

    So, we’re running guys out there named Wilhelmsen, Furbush (against righties) Noesi, and a closer everyone knows can be wild for spells… And expecting new, dependable results. Instead, they’ve cost us at least 4 games already.

    There should be no surprise in those results. It would actually be the safe bet if money was on the line.

    So, if we want to be taken seriously as contenders, those are some minor, fairly solvable issues we should try to fix. Y’know, if we’re not interested in finding some legitimate outfielders, some experienced starters, and some bullpen lefties.

  48. HighlightsAt11 on April 20th, 2014 7:30 pm

    The next three games the Ms will find out who is the worst team in the American League. I think I already know.

    We cancelled attending Memorial Day weekend games in Seattle. I would need to be paid to sit through a Seattle-Houston game.

  49. Mariner.lovechild on April 20th, 2014 7:32 pm

    “So, if we want to be taken seriously as contenders”

    nawwwww

  50. Westside guy on April 20th, 2014 7:39 pm

    I still expect the Mariners to take 2-3 in Houston. The Astros are awful.

    And if they manage to win at least two in convincing fashion, I’m sure we will read not about how awful the opponent was, but how Mac gave them a tongue lashing or held them accountable or the veterans doing veterany things blah blah blah team is now turned around. We’ve been there before.

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

    Oops. I guess they’re playing in Seattle! It’ll be interesting to see what the attendance is.

  52. Steve Nelson on April 20th, 2014 8:32 pm

    We got home from Easter services as the game was in the seventh inning. I faced a choice between watching the Mariners or working the Sunday NY Times crossword. I decided on the crossword. I chose wisely.

  53. LongDistance on April 21st, 2014 7:34 am

    Go Ms …

  54. jak924 on April 21st, 2014 8:50 am

    Can we send Dave Sims on another vacation. That would be a ‘perfecto’.

  55. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2014 12:28 pm

    So, I see we’re well on the way to the same path most M’s team this decade has taken:

    Phase 1: Burying self in division by Memorial Day
    Phase 2: An outbreak of false hope by 4th of July
    Phase 3: followed by further collapse

    To wit:

    April 2014: 7-10
    April 2013: 12-17
    April 2012: 10-12 (11-13 including March)
    April 2011: 13-15
    April 2010: 11-12
    April 2009: 13-9 (obviously the big exception)
    April 2008: 12-15 (13-6 including March)
    April 2007: 10-10
    April 2006: 11-15
    April 2005: 12-12
    April 2004: 8-15

    It seems to a great extent, as April goes, so do the Mariners. Obviously that’s sort of ridiculous, but it’s clear this team doesn’t get off to hot starts very often. The ONE somewhat hot start in 2008, was the one where they led the division at the start of play May 1…

  56. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2014 12:42 pm

    That should read”The ONE somewhat hot start in 2009″…

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