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.

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.


56 Responses to “Game 18, Mariners at Marlins”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Go Ms …

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

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

  5. 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…

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

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

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