Game 21, Astros at Mariners

marc w · April 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Jarred Cosart, 12:40pm

Shhhh….shhh..it’s almost over now. The Astros and Marlins will be gone for a good long while. They were bullied themselves, you see, and can’t help but continue the cycle of violence, borne from their anger and helplessness. They lash out not because they want to, but because they never learned anything different.

Collin McHugh had and 8:5 K:BB ratio in 14 AAA innings coming into last night’s game, FYI. Either the PCL is no joke this year or the M’s…never mind.

OK, the M’s have avoided the Astros’ best pitcher to date, Scott Feldman, but today they’ll tangle with the Astros most *talented* hurler, Jarred Cosart. The strong-armed righty came to Houston in the Hunter Pence deal in 2011. He sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, but like Nathan Eovaldi, he’s had some control issues coming through the minors and never quite put up the strikeout numbers you’d imagine for someone with that kind of velocity.

What he has shown in the majors thus far is an ability to get plenty of ground balls and avoid really loud contact. His HR/FB was pretty lucky in 2013, and it could certainly regress – but he’s a righty who gets a staggering number of GBs against *left* handed hitters. He’s been better against lefties overall thus far because of it. He’s pitched all of a handful of big league games, so you wouldn’t forecast that to continue, but it’s something to keep an eye on – he had a slightly better MiLB FIP against lefties too, though this was due to a couple of HRs more than sustainable differences in K:BB/batted balls.

In fact, he reminds me a lot of James Paxton. Just looking at the vertical movement on their fastballs, you wouldn’t peg it as a grounder-generating machine, but it is. Like Paxton, he backs it up with a big curve ball that *also* gets ground balls. Paxon’s fastball has a bit more arm-side run despite his over-the-top delivery (and may be something that Paxton tweaked a bit during 2013), but Cosart’s more of a classic cutter. Depending on the pitch fx source you use, it may be that the cutter is essentially the ONLY fastball he throws (as Brooks Baseball suggests); others (MLBAM) think he uses it most often, but mixes in quite a few four-seamers as well. Looking at this chart, I don’t see a clear break between FC and FA, so I’d tend to believe the Brooks coding, but it’s not critical for game thread analysis: Cosart throws a lot (or nearly exclusively) 95mph cutters that allow him to get ground balls and frustrate lefties. He’s not close to a finished product; in his last start, he gave up 7 runs on 4 walks and 2 HRs in just one third of an inning. His control/command issues prevent him from taking the next step and becoming an elite starter, but Cosart is talented and has done an admirable job of learning in the big leagues. He was clearly due for some regression coming into 2014, but I’d like to have a guy throwing a 95mph cutter all day on my team.

Chris Young starts today. I’d say that things have to get better as he’s pitching in a fly-ball friendly park, but then, so is Marlins Park. I don’t know. Do something interesting, Mariners.

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

I feel like this season has already fallen into familiar patterns – snark about the M’s, add in some Felix-worship, talk about prospects – so what’s one more: the Rainiers are pretty fun to watch, and you should do so if at some point it stops raining. The R’s are crushing the ball despite playing most of their games in damp and chilly Cheney Stadium thus far. After a slow opening series, SS Chris Taylor is leading the charge with a .636 slugging percentage. AAAA vet Cole Gillespie didn’t seem to have a future here, as he’s not on the 40 man, but he’s at .362/.456/.741 so far, and he could get a look if Saunders/Almonte continue to struggle. Given that Nick Franklin’s already up, it looks like they’ll give the erstwhile IF further looks in LF/RF, but he’s slumping like everyone else. Anyway, go see the Rainiers some time if only to remember what it looks like when a team scores lots of runs.

Comments

99 Responses to “Game 21, Astros at Mariners”

  1. PackBob on April 23rd, 2014 12:32 pm

    Even league average scoring would be nice. Since the first series the M’s have averaged 2.6 runs per game and an even worse 2.3 rpg over the 8-game losing streak.

    This is so familiar. Sure, maybe this is just struggling as a team for a few games, but, then again….

  2. phineasphreak on April 23rd, 2014 12:33 pm

    Ackley, Almonte, and freshly “converted” RF Nicky Franklin, all roaming the OF with a flyball-friendly pitcher. How exciting!

    I wonder how many strikes our batters will simply stare at today? I’ll put the over/under at 35.

    Sigh…Go M’s.

  3. phineasphreak on April 23rd, 2014 12:36 pm

    @PackBob – That’s what has been the most depressing of these games. We see the opposing team score 2-3 runs in the first 4-ish innings, and, for me at least, I stop watching the game. Instead I’ll just glance at the gamecast.

    There’s no faith, lately, that this team will overcome even 2 or 3 early runs.

  4. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2014 12:44 pm

    I’ll take the “way over” if that is an option.

  5. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 12:51 pm

    Saunders is certain to “continue” struggling if he is never given a block of time to play. This “start one game, then sit for two or three more” stuff is almost guaranteed to lead to failure. If I were his agent I’d be asking the team to cut him loose – I’m sure he’d land somewhere better than here, and it’s readily apparent Zduriencik doesn’t want him.

    It’s also pretty obvious the team has given up on the season already, since they’ve decided to have another player learn on the job (Franklin). Nothing against him, but it would make more sense to have had him play in the outfield in AAA for a while to get used to it before bringing him up here.

    At this point my ideal scenario is for the Mariners to continue tanking to the point ownership has no choice but to fire Zduriencik during the season – then the guys would turn it around and show there’s hope for the future. But I realize that’s a pipe dream.

  6. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 12:52 pm

    I’m starting to actively dislike watching this lineup. Every young player except 1-1 James Jones is below .300 OBP. Hart, Buck, and Cano are just over .300, and Cano is showing no power.

    As the chances of a miracle playoff run disappear, it’s almost time to start rooting for the team to lose so that everybody is fired. This rebuild is a total failure.

  7. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 1:10 pm

    Hart is one of the best hitters and he’s probably gone after the season. Sigh

  8. kaleyk on April 23rd, 2014 1:11 pm

    Dang it … Cy Young on the mound AGAIN …..!

  9. bookbook on April 23rd, 2014 1:18 pm

    I think it may be Orphan Kershaw out there again.

  10. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 1:20 pm

    2-0. We’re screwed.

  11. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 1:20 pm

    And this one belongs to the Astros!

  12. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 1:21 pm

    Astros are good.

  13. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 1:21 pm

    Nice throw there, Mr. Franklin. Outfield is easy.

    /sarcasm

  14. Sea-Dog on April 23rd, 2014 1:26 pm

    Welp, I’m just going to hope that Felix throws a monster of a game on Saturday. If not this streak is going to get even uglier.

  15. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2014 1:30 pm

    Franklin has no answers for that inside fastball busting in at his hands. Saunders has no answers for anything that has a wrinkle, but he is still our best outfielder.

    Horrible AB by Franklin. It looked like he gave up while in the process of swinging at a pitch in on his hands and clearly inside.

  16. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 1:34 pm

    Cosart is good!

  17. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 1:39 pm

    This Astros team seems really good, especially the pitching staff. Wonder if they’ll win the division. Should be close between them and the A’s!

  18. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 1:40 pm

    Sooo, terrible hitting, mediocre pitching, inept outfield defense. They’re checking off all of the usual boxes early today.

  19. Longgeorge1 on April 23rd, 2014 1:41 pm

    Just returned to say Hi!, this team is a crime scene, I don’t think that there are more than two guys that deserve a paycheck. It is way beyond talent or approach. JZ has wasted 5years of my baseball life. Go A’s

  20. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 1:42 pm

    A good goal for the day would be to keep the strikeouts down to single digits. Oh and maybe at least one hit.

  21. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 1:44 pm

    I don’t agree. Unfortunately we just happened to run into a buzz-saw (Marlins & Astros).

  22. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 1:45 pm

    Kahn Noonien Singh expressing his opinion regarding Jack Zduriencik:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsYT8YHL-R0

  23. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 1:47 pm

    Wooo tying run to the plate with less than 2 out. It’s a moral victory.

  24. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 1:47 pm

    There’s the hit…

  25. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 1:48 pm

    A HIT! We’re in business now.

  26. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 1:52 pm

    Nice double play by the Astros.

  27. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 1:52 pm

    So: considering contract size, would we trade our position players for Houston’s, straight-up?

  28. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 1:53 pm

    I really hope for Smoak’s sake that he has a backup plan in case the whole baseball thing doesn’t work out.

  29. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 1:54 pm

    They’re projected to score 0.07 runs fewer per game according to fangraphs, are younger and cheaper.

  30. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 1:58 pm

    This team is a joke. We have nothing to gain by winning. Lets lose out so we get the #1 pick, which if JZ is still here will be a bust anyways, but hey if we lose out maybe, just maybe JZ will get fired.

  31. HighlightsAt11 on April 23rd, 2014 2:01 pm

    Best scenario… Mariners move to Vancouver. Oakland A’s move to Seattle.

  32. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:01 pm

    Ichi,

    I have to think this year is JZ’s last chance. He must feel his job slipping away as we speak.

  33. jak924 on April 23rd, 2014 2:07 pm

    Mariners are a full-fledged dumpster fire.

  34. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 2:09 pm

    Just look at every draft we have had in the last decade, it’s no wonder we are where we are. Just about every 1st round pick we have made has turned into a bust other than Walker. While we have passed on the likes of Mike Trout. Sure we have had some solid picks after the 1st, but the 1st is usually where you draft the corner stones of your franchise. Book is still out on Zunino, and Patterson though.

  35. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 2:13 pm

    Another quality start we had no business getting, about to be pissed away by the offense…

  36. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 2:16 pm

    To be fair, something like 20 teams passed on Mike Trout and every “expert” in the world would have pretty much told you to pick Ackley over him.

  37. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 2:19 pm

    Walker could easily be a bust as well. He’s showing all the signs of being injured and can’t get on the field.

  38. terry on April 23rd, 2014 2:21 pm

    Please just make it stop.

  39. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 2:22 pm

    Is it possible this team could be worse offensively that teams that played Brendan Ryan and Miguel Olivo all the time?

  40. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2014 2:26 pm

    Almonte needs to be a lot better on both sides of the ball. He needs to be moved down.

  41. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:27 pm

    What the hell was that, Almonte?

  42. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 2:32 pm

    I am so glad defense doesn’t matter! Otherwise I’d be going nuts right now.

  43. SergeantSuj on April 23rd, 2014 2:34 pm

    The M’s only have 5 players who make more than $3M, in that respect they are one of only 3 teams. The others are…wait for it…the Astros and the Marlins. The team has no depth. Why did anyone expect it to contend?

  44. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 2:34 pm

    Is it football season yet?

  45. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 2:35 pm

    I was going to type “on the plus side, Hart can at least hit” – but that wasn’t the right time to point that out. :-D

  46. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 2:36 pm

    At least my Packers are fun to watch, unlike this train wreck!

  47. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:36 pm

    Even if it didn’t matter, it looked awkward as could be. And that’s our only “true” outfielder.

  48. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 2:37 pm

    Thank God. It felt like Seager would never homer again.

  49. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:37 pm

    Hey, that was pretty!

  50. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 2:38 pm

    Kyle Seager lives?

  51. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 2:39 pm

    Quick everyone diss the Mariners, it seems to be working, I think they feed off it.

  52. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 2:41 pm

    Kyle Seager sucks. Matt Dominguez is better. Jared Cosart is better than Felix Hernandez too.

    Are those good enough?

  53. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 2:42 pm

    I bet the Astros AAA team could beat us. Which is probably true.

  54. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 2:47 pm

    Hurray for Kyle Seager!

    Er, I mean – Kyle Seager is garbage!

    Except he’s probably not going to bat again this game…

  55. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:50 pm

    We’ve been dissing this team for ten years…

  56. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 2:58 pm

    I have a pretty strong feeling that the Mariners won’t lose tomorrow!

  57. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 2:59 pm

    If we had a decent pinch-hitter, I would recommend we pinch-hit for our lead-off hitter here.

  58. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 3:03 pm

    Dissing Almonte didn’t work. I tried.

  59. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 3:04 pm

    Seriously though what happened to Brad Miller….

  60. JasonJ on April 23rd, 2014 3:05 pm

    He’s been a Mariner too long.

  61. pgreyy on April 23rd, 2014 3:07 pm

    There are few things in life sadder than hearing a pumping techno song being blasted at a thin and indifferent baseball crowd.

    Other than being part of the thin and indifferent baseball crowd, of course.

  62. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 3:10 pm

    I wonder if we’ll see Taylor at SS before too long.

  63. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 3:24 pm

    I missed most of this game. Was Young throwing horseshit pitches? I see Ackley resumed his hitting after moving down in the order.

  64. Gormogon on April 23rd, 2014 3:25 pm

    I’m going to predict – groundout to 2nd, pop up to SS, pop up to SS. All in 8 pitches.

  65. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 3:29 pm

    Smoak triple play?

  66. pgreyy on April 23rd, 2014 3:29 pm

    Josh Fields is Ramsay Snow.
    Mariners fans are Theon Greyjoy.

    We are now being tortured by hope.

  67. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 3:31 pm

    First two runners on? No big deal, Mariners just trying to show us another improbable way to lose.

  68. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 3:32 pm

    Woohoo!

  69. pgreyy on April 23rd, 2014 3:32 pm

    JOFFREY’S DEAD!!!

  70. WhyOWhy on April 23rd, 2014 3:32 pm

    Seager!

  71. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 3:32 pm

    Oh my freakin’ god!!!

  72. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 3:33 pm

    Wow. Nice job Kyle!

  73. MrZDevotee on April 23rd, 2014 3:33 pm

    I love you, Kyle Seager. That’s all. Goodbye for now.

  74. msfanmike on April 23rd, 2014 3:33 pm

    Thank you Kyle. Thank you!

  75. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 3:33 pm

    KYLE SEAGER. WINNING STREAK INITIATED.

  76. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 3:33 pm

    Wow, Cano and Hart!

    Oh, it’s Smoak.

  77. californiamariner on April 23rd, 2014 3:34 pm

    Finally.

  78. Soda Popinski on April 23rd, 2014 3:35 pm

    Finally, a first round Mariners draft pick delivers us a victory.

  79. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 3:35 pm

    Holly shit? Did I just see that correctly? I think there is something wrong with gametracker, it said Seager just hit a walk off HR? Yeah it must be broken.

  80. pgreyy on April 23rd, 2014 3:35 pm

    @SodaPopinski

    Josh Fields? ;)

  81. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 3:37 pm

    I’m willing to forgive Seager’s whole 20-game lousy start, for the moment. That was fun.

  82. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 3:37 pm

    Holy Cow! They won a game against the Astros!!

  83. Ichirolling51 on April 23rd, 2014 3:38 pm

    And of coarse while that was happening MLB Tonight cuts in to the Giants Rockies game, so I missed it.

  84. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 3:39 pm

    We’re getting excited about a win against the Astros?!

  85. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 3:43 pm

    Steve,

    After 5 straight losses to the Marlins and Astros, a 9th-inning walk-off bomb? Yeah, I’ll take it.

  86. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 3:48 pm

    That wasn’t a complaint! I was just weighing what the situation was.

  87. Dennisss on April 23rd, 2014 3:53 pm

    Fair enough. We’re kind of starving for some good news.

  88. Longgeorge1 on April 23rd, 2014 4:02 pm

    MY! OH! MY!

  89. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 4:09 pm

    It was obviously a direct result of having Franklin play right field! We need to see this same lineup again and again and again!

  90. stevemotivateir on April 23rd, 2014 4:12 pm

    Westy, it was obviously a direct result of having Ackley batting 8th again.

    Gawd.

  91. Westside guy on April 23rd, 2014 6:08 pm

    Of COURSE, Steve! You’re right – I can’t believe I overlooked that!

  92. HighlightsAt11 on April 23rd, 2014 7:05 pm

    My Oh My

  93. nvn8vbryce on April 23rd, 2014 8:45 pm

    Can you imagine our reaction if Mr. Pineda was still on the team today after Pine-gate?

  94. HighlightsAt11 on April 24th, 2014 4:47 pm

    Erasmo to High Desert/Tacoma; Franklin to Tacoma; Gillespie to Seattle; Leutge likely to Seattle

    http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article/sea/seattle-mariners-erasmo-ramirez-nick-franklin-sent-down-to-see-more-time?content_id=73221788

  95. Westside guy on April 24th, 2014 9:44 pm

    Mike Carp has an ERA of 9.00.

  96. MrZDevotee on April 25th, 2014 6:32 am

    Westy-
    You beat me to it… I was coming to post about Carp’s pitching debut last night…

    Other fun fact from that game– Brett Gardner scored 4 runs, without getting a hit. The odds of doing that have to be nearly infinity:1.

  97. MrZDevotee on April 25th, 2014 9:12 am

    Also… This just in– The “transfer rule” has been scrapped in its implementation. Effective immediately.

    Yay. Supposedly they’re simply returning to how it was previously enforced, meaning at the discretion of the umpires.

  98. Westside guy on April 25th, 2014 9:28 am

    Woo hoo!

  99. msfanmike on April 25th, 2014 12:24 pm

    To add some meat to the somewhat dry Mr Z-bone above, this:

    MLB said that the committee, chaired by New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, determined “a legal catch has occurred … if the fielder had complete control over the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after intentionally opening his glove to make the transfer to his throwing hand.”

    “There is no requirement that the fielder successfully remove the ball from his glove in order for it be ruled a catch,” the committee said. “If the fielder drops the ball while attempting to remove it to make a throw, the umpires should rule that the ball had been caught, provided that the fielder had secured it in his glove before attempting the transfer.”

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