Game 25, Mariners at Yankees

marc w · April 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. CC Sabathia, 4:10pm

Thanks to the Late Night segment featuring Robinson Cano, today’s M’s game is one of the more anticipated match-ups on the daily schedule. Can’t think of the last time that would’ve been true; maybe Felix’s first post-perfection start? Ichiro’s first game in pinstripes would qualify as well.

One of the stories of the pre-season was CC Sabathia’s dramatic weight loss. The formerly hefty lefty had lost at least one MPH in average fastball velocity in the last two years (from 2011-2012, and from 2012-2013), so re-focusing on stamina, core strength and the like seemed to make sense. But the early returns aren’t great, at least if velocity was the target of CC”s program. Instead of halting the decline, it’s picked up speed, and Sabathia’s average fastball today barely cracks 90mph.

The formidable slider that used to destroy lefties doesn’t have quite the same bite, so he’s a bit less effective against lefties in recent years. That said, he’s faced righty-dominant lineups routinely, and to the degree he’s slipped, it’s really been a function of right-handers hitting him a lot harder than they did in 2010 and before. Still, this an experienced and extremely talented pitcher, so Sabathia’s not a pushover at all. His K% is up this year, and his GB% is suddenly at a career high – over 10 percentage points above his career average. He’s using a sinker much more than he did in the past – basically doubling the percentage he throws to righties, and as righties make up 3/4 of the batters he sees, that’s a lot of sinkers.

Chris Young’s superficially the same pitcher he always was – he’s got a very low BABIP and a sky-high strand rate, and thus his FIP is atrocious but his ERA’s more than adequate. Sure, he’s faced Houston and Miami, but he’s also faced Oakland twice, and that’s a much better offensive club than New York is. That said, Oakland/Seattle are much, much better parks to pitch in than new Yankee stadium with its inviting right-field fence.

1: Almonte, CF
2: Romero, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Gillespie, LF
7: Seager, 3B
8: Zunino, C
9: Bloomquist, :sigh:
SP: Young

Andrew Carraway and Scott DeCecco make the only two starts in the M’s system today, as Clinton’s double-header was postponed.

Comments

86 Responses to “Game 25, Mariners at Yankees”

  1. Paul B on April 29th, 2014 4:09 pm

    Why dont they just send Miller and Almonte to AAA and be done with it.

  2. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 4:12 pm

    I wonder what happened to “the players determine the lineup”. In the Mariners’ previous game, Michael Saunders had two walks in four at bats – facing a lefty.

    It seems like most of the other non-rookies have been given long stretches of playing time to have every chance of getting into a groove… so why not Condor?

  3. Paul B on April 29th, 2014 4:14 pm

    Low attendance on a cold windy wet night.

  4. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 4:24 pm

    Leading off the game, Almonte struck out. On three pitches.

    I am shocked. SHOCKED I say!

  5. Paul B on April 29th, 2014 4:49 pm

    That day off really helped Almonte.

  6. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 4:49 pm

    Abe, Abe, Abe… what’s this absurd obsession you have with watching strike three go by?

    He’s two for two today… in strikeouts that is.

  7. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 4:52 pm

    Okay, I can’t watch any more of this – it’s just too painful.

  8. JasonJ on April 29th, 2014 4:59 pm

    Why is our worst hitter (relative I know since they all seem like the worst) batting lead-off every single night? Saunders at his worst is not this bad and he has an actual track record of being good in the majors, even if it was only for a little while.

  9. pgreyy on April 29th, 2014 5:05 pm

    Ahhhh…boom, boom.

  10. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:28 pm

    Pretty sure McClendon had a gut feeling Almonte was due.

    Really gotta wonder when both he and Miller return to Tacoma. I’m not thrilled about Willie playing short, but I really wouldn’t have a problem seeing Franklin in there for a decent look.

  11. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 5:31 pm

    Challenge that!

  12. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:32 pm

    Zunino was safe. This should be overturned.

  13. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 5:32 pm

    You don’t need baserunners, you need to stall until the rain washes out the loss.

  14. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 5:34 pm

    It is probably just the effect of replay leading to overturned calls, but it feels like there are more bad (initial) calls this season.

  15. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:34 pm

    There we go! Have Willie bunt, play for ONE run in a game that might be over after this inning.

  16. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:35 pm

    OK, I posted that too soon.

  17. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:35 pm

    Nice job Willie!

  18. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:37 pm

    Almonte get’s credit for a hit. How funny is that?!

  19. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:43 pm

    Ha! HART!!!

  20. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 5:43 pm

    Hart!

  21. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:49 pm

    Nice. Pour it on!

    I’m hearing the national broadcasters for this game. Great to hear them call-out the Yankee fans for their rudeness and point out the irony of that NY fan holding the “SELL OUT” sign.

  22. msfanmike on April 29th, 2014 5:53 pm

    Come on rain!

    Rain rain rain!!!!!!!!

  23. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 5:57 pm

    Yeah, no kidding Mike! Get this game in the books!!

  24. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 6:03 pm

    Jeez, bunting again. Don’t try to start a rally or anything.

  25. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:03 pm

    Seager has some kind of magic working for him right now.

  26. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 6:04 pm

    You didn’t have to take me literally, Willie.

  27. msfanmike on April 29th, 2014 6:07 pm

    Almonte does not need to waste his time in AAA. He needs to be in AA. He is a AA talent.

  28. Jake on April 29th, 2014 6:07 pm

    Striking out on almost 40% of his ABs, your starting center fielder, and lead off hitter everyone.

  29. Jake on April 29th, 2014 6:08 pm

    Why would you bat Romero after Almonte anyway?

  30. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:08 pm

    Not only was that clearly a pitch Almonte should have laid off, he pulled the trigger after the ball was breaking. What the hell is he thinking up there?!

  31. msfanmike on April 29th, 2014 6:10 pm

    Wasted opportunity that inning. Damn!

  32. bookbook on April 29th, 2014 6:10 pm

    MLB needs to consider lowering the mound. Pitchers’ mechanics and, ahh, nutritional supplementation, have improved to the point where everyone throws 93+, especially for an inning or two. You can’t shrink the strike zone without creating an annoying number of walks, but there are just too many strike outs.

    Or, maybe a bigger baseball :-)

  33. The_Waco_Kid on April 29th, 2014 6:12 pm

    Westy, I agree the lineups are weird. Another day off for Miller, while Almonte’s had just one, and has never moved from leadoff. It’s starting to look a bit like Wak’s belief system. Ackley seems to be getting benched a lot, even though he’s been OK. And Saunders hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t really gotten a chance and when he’s led off, he’s gotten on base. At least they’re playing Romero. Play the rookies or send them down.

  34. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:14 pm

    I would love to see Cano make a curtain call after the game.

  35. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:28 pm

    Nice job Cano

    Followed up with an insulting steal. Even better!

  36. msfanmike on April 29th, 2014 6:34 pm

    Lloyd like Ackley’s defense enough to sub-out Gillespie, huh? Interesting. I sure hope he drives in a run.

  37. msfanmike on April 29th, 2014 6:35 pm

    Good call Lloyd. Good call.

  38. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 6:45 pm

    Stupid 8 game losing streak. They’ve actually been fairly interesting besides that stretch (although 8 games is a big chunk at this point HA!)

  39. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 6:52 pm

    Man, it is raining pretty hard there.

  40. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:54 pm

    Should be the last inning–not because of the rain, but to put Yankee fans out of their misery.

  41. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 6:56 pm

    So I’m checking back in and notice Almonte got a hit to go along with his three strikeouts. How was the hit?

    And man, at least Hart has worked out pretty well eh?

  42. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 6:57 pm

    The hit was a bunt with nobody covering first for the Yankees.

  43. Jake on April 29th, 2014 7:00 pm

    He made contact. Baby steps.

  44. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:01 pm

    Almonte doesn’t strike out!

    Baby steps, Abraham…. Baby steps.

  45. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:01 pm

    Quit reading my mind, Jake.

  46. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:04 pm

    Great signage by the Yankees fans tonight. Apparently Cano’s a sell out, but Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, and Tanaka are clear. Apparently Cano’s also a traitor, but Ellsbury doesn’t fit the profile.

  47. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Steve, I know it has probably been said a million times, but the irony in Yankees fans proclaiming Cano a “sell out” or “all about the money” is simply hilarious. I can’t get over how incredibly ignorant they are.

  48. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:12 pm

    Yeah, you’d think that Cashman could buy them a clue.

  49. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 7:14 pm

    Farquhar, please just be absolutely dominant every time you pitch so Lloyd is forced to see how good you are!

  50. Section329 on April 29th, 2014 7:26 pm

    Hang on to your crooked hat-Rodney time.

  51. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Fernando Rodney in the pouring rain, this has to go well.

  52. Giant Squid on April 29th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Breath holding time.

  53. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 7:29 pm

    So far so good, Rodney.

  54. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 7:30 pm

    Which Rodney has shown up tonight?

  55. bookbook on April 29th, 2014 7:31 pm

    Imagine if they’d spent the Rodney money on a CF?

  56. Giant Squid on April 29th, 2014 7:31 pm

    The 3 faces of Rodney.

  57. Ichirolling51 on April 29th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Why does everything have to be a fu**ing adventure with Rodney?

  58. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Mariner-Rodney showed up.

  59. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 7:39 pm

    Ut’s particularly grating when seen right after Danny Farquhar. Danny would have been an adequate closer, and he’s a bargain.

  60. bookbook on April 29th, 2014 7:39 pm

    Save situation!

  61. Ichirolling51 on April 29th, 2014 7:39 pm

    I can’t watch this AB, I’ll look away now.

  62. Section329 on April 29th, 2014 7:41 pm

    Breathe

  63. juneau_fan on April 29th, 2014 7:41 pm

    Didn’t see that win coming.

  64. G-Man on April 29th, 2014 7:42 pm

    If it’s excitement you want, Rodney’s your man. I guess the marketing department lobbied Jack Z to sign him.

  65. stevemotivateir on April 29th, 2014 7:42 pm

    Nice framing job by Zunino to help end the game.

  66. Ichirolling51 on April 29th, 2014 7:43 pm

    At this rate, I’ll have a full head of gray hair by June. If Rodney remains our closer.

  67. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 7:58 pm

    Lloyd’s a genius. It doesn’t matter that Almonte struck out three times tonight – what matters is he’s a WINNER.

  68. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 8:03 pm

    I know it is probably getting old complaining about Almonte hitting leadoff but it is flipping annoying. How much longer can it realistically go on?

  69. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 8:06 pm

    Lloyd has the pencil, CM. It could go on another 130 games.

  70. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 8:17 pm
  71. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 8:24 pm

    The weird thing about Almonte’s defense is very few people think he looks good out there, despite the stats. So I don’t know if the stats weight range really heavily or what’s going on there. But I know I’ve seen several really bad plays by him – plays I can’t picture a true “plus” fielder blowing more than once in a season.

  72. Westside guy on April 29th, 2014 8:26 pm

    Another thing I really don’t understand is how Zunino is currently succeeding while simultaneously demonstrating perhaps the worst batting approach in all of baseball.

    He swings at almost HALF of the balls (meaning non-strikes) thrown to him. His strikeout to walk ratio is 20:1. And he’s not running an absurd BABIP. it has to be a small sample size fluke, but it’s a really weird one.

  73. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 8:29 pm

    Oh I know what you mean, there’s no way I would have thought the stats would have Almonte graded that high. I probably would have bet that he was a negative out there.

  74. Don Money on April 29th, 2014 9:47 pm

    Another good night for Smoak, Ackley, and Seager ! Jack Z’s plan is starting to pay off.

  75. Adam S on April 30th, 2014 12:11 am

    Very small sample size on defense leads to weird values. Anything less than half a season is almost useless. Though it’s possible even though he looks ugly out there, he’s actually gotten to a lot of balls.

    Miller is off to a bad start, but is there any way, shape, or form that Almonte isn’t the worst hitter on the team aside from bench players? If you insist on running him out there, why wouldn’t you bad him 8th or 9th? Is it a belief in speed leading off?

  76. groundzero55 on April 30th, 2014 8:36 am

    It’s definitely all about speed leading off.
    Although I have to say that what’s worse than Almonte leading off is following him up with Romero, another guy who isn’t major league ready.

  77. G-Man on April 30th, 2014 9:01 am

    IF not Almonte, whom? Too many M’s hitters have issues. LM has tried to put Ackely, Smoak and Miller in slots that make them comfortable. It seems like he doesn’t want to screw with anyone else by batting them leadoff, so he’ll try to take care of the other guys and let Almonte sink or swim for the moment.

  78. Westside guy on April 30th, 2014 11:50 am

    McLendon made a decision on Ackley after eight at bats.

    Ackley has been struggling overall. It seems unlikely he went 0-8 specifically because he was batting in the 2 hole.

    The best bet (caveat: given this roster) for lead off right now might very well be Michael Saunders. However that would require they give him regular playing time, which would interfere with whatever thing they think they’ve got with Abe Almonte. Plus a fair bit of Michael’s value comes in taking walks, while there’s every indication the org sees walking as a waste of an at bat.

  79. Westside guy on April 30th, 2014 12:06 pm

    In the two games Saunders led off, his on-base percentage was .428. Mac talks about players making the lineup decisions… but the M’s seem hell bent on not giving Michael a chance to get into a groove.

    My expectation is – if Almonte eventually gets sent down, a different AAA fielder will be brought up and immediately get put in that full-time lead off role. It won’t be Saunders.

  80. MrZDevotee on April 30th, 2014 12:41 pm

    Just heard on the radio that today’s game (Wednesday) is already postponed… Elias will get the start tomorrow, 4pm our time, assuming the game can be played.

  81. Westside guy on April 30th, 2014 12:58 pm

    Unlike Oakland, the Yankees apparently follow weather forecasts. :-D

  82. Ichirolling51 on April 30th, 2014 1:57 pm

    It’s been raining here in NY the last 2 days non-stop, granted I live upstate, but this weather needs to stop. Last week it was 85 and sunny one day, and 35 and snowing the next. And, no that is not an exaggeration.

  83. MrZDevotee on April 30th, 2014 2:44 pm

    Ichiroll…
    It was 40′s here in Seattle last week… And hitting the 80s today and tomorrow. Just the opposite. Too bad the games weren’t in Seattle, it’s beautiful.

  84. G-Man on May 1st, 2014 12:11 pm

    So I hadn’t heard of the cancellation and turned on the game about 4:10 yesterday. I wondered who the pitcher was, it sure looked like CC, who’d pitched Tuesday. Finally, I realized they must be showing a replay. It was quite awhile before they ran a crawl when I was watching (I was multiprocessing, as usual). I guess they ran it periodically. Thanks a lot, ROOT Sports. Putting up a fixed message would have been a lot more useful.

  85. Westside guy on May 1st, 2014 1:53 pm

    Twitter is currently the best place to track current baseball news (such as lineups, game cancellations, trades, and the like). I used to use @DCameronFG’s baseball list, but he wasn’t great at updating the membership as people came and/or went in the local media – so I set up my own. Anyway, if it’s useful to you feel free to track it.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/WSGardener/lists/mariners-and-baseball

    If it’s not useful, then you’ll get double no money back!

    I don’t really “do” Twitter, I just follow people who do. :-D

  86. MrZDevotee on May 1st, 2014 2:02 pm

    Westside… Saunders is leading off (just saw the lineup)…

    Seems getting on base actually is just as good as striking out a ton of times (a’la Almonte) to McLendon. Good to see.

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