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.


86 Responses to “Game 25, Mariners at Yankees”

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

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

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

    Breath holding time.

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

    So far so good, Rodney.

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

    Which Rodney has shown up tonight?

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

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

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

    The 3 faces of Rodney.

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

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

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

    Mariner-Rodney showed up.

  9. 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.

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

    Save situation!

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

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

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


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

    Didn’t see that win coming.

  14. 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.

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

    Nice framing job by Zunino to help end the game.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

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

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

  20. californiamariner on April 29th, 2014 8:17 pm
  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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

    Unlike Oakland, the Yankees apparently follow weather forecasts. 😀

  32. 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.

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

    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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

    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. 😀

  36. 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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