Game 36, Royals at Mariners

marc w · May 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Yordano Ventura, 6:10pm

Back on April 18th, I mentioned that The pitching match-up between Chris Young and Nate Eovaldi had a chance to feature a rare gap between average fastball velocities of 12mph. Not for the first time, real life decided not to use my handy storyline and went with something boring. Chris Young had, for him, a lively fastball at nearly 87, while Eovaldi sat just above 97. It’s about as big a delta as MLB offers, but while Mark Buehrle still stymies hitters, we’ve got to do better. Thanks to Yordano Ventura, we will.

Ventura’s the talk of the AL, as he’s fixed the two issues that tarnished his first few MLB starts last year: walks and HRs. Ventura wasn’t dominant in MiLB largely due to the former malady, and I think many expected his HR rate to stay kind of high (Iwakuma high, not demote-him-now high) thanks to a FB that generated fly balls. This year, though, Ventura’s showing that a truly elite fastball makes its own rules. He’s striking out over 10/9, limiting HRs, and throwing strikes.

His curve has long been visually stunning, but with improved command, it’s turned into a real weapon. Batters swing and miss plenty, but they also top it for grounders, which helps Ventura keep his GB% over 50. But to me, the big improvement has been with his change up. It gets essentially the same number of whiffs and the same GB rate as the curve, giving him a third very good pitch, and allowing him to dominate lefties and righties alike.

The M’s offense could use a break after seeing two solid performances from Duffy and Vargas. Ventura, however, is not a break. Ventura is quickly moving from one of the most intriguing young arms to one of the best pitchers in the league. Sure, it’s really only been a month at that level, and maybe if the M’s are patient, his command could get a bit sloppy. Could easily happen. But right now, I’d rather face Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish.

1: Jones, CF
2: Miller, SS
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Buck, C
7: Ackley, LF
8: Saunders, RF
9: Bloomquist
SP: Young

Tough to face a guy like this with something of a second-choice line-up, but Seager’s illness forces their hand. Jones has been better than expected, but seeing him lead off is a reminder of just how bad M’s #1 hitters have been on the year – a combined .233/.287/.336 line.

3B Patrick Kivlehan, the ex-football player the M’s took out of Rutgers a few years ago, has been promoted to AA. Given his age, he absolutely needed to force a promotion. Well done to him for doing so – he was killing the ball. Of course, now DJ Peterson has the 3B role to himself, a fact that may have played into this move.

The big game in the minors is the rematch between Andrew Carraway and the Rainiers against Noah Syndergaard and the Las Vegas 51s. The first game was a pitchers duel the R’s ended winning in the 9th. Syndergaard is a flame thrower, and deservedly one of the top prospects in the minors, but the R’s made him work. Carraway was inefficient, but ended up with better results. Fun match up, and one with a massive FB velocity gap of its own.

Comments

51 Responses to “Game 36, Royals at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 5:22 pm

    “… and maybe if the M’s are patient, …”

    Hahahahaha! Good one, Marc!

    Although, interestingly, some of tonight’s subs might very well be more patient than the person they’re replacing. So perhaps it’s not quite as funny as I thought.

  2. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:15 pm

    Beautiful catch Ackley! Haha

  3. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 6:20 pm

    Come on Brad!

  4. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:20 pm

    My goodness, Brad.

  5. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 6:21 pm

    I guess I should have been more specific.

  6. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 6:22 pm

    Yeah, patience has really been on display here in the first.

  7. Jake on May 10th, 2014 6:22 pm

    Why is Miller so shitty in every aspect of the game now? What happened?

  8. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:23 pm

    I’ve been among the more patient with Miller, I was totally against sending him down, but at this point it may need to be done.

  9. Jake on May 10th, 2014 6:26 pm

    Nothing wrong with an MLB hitter being late on a straight 86 MPH fastball.

  10. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 6:26 pm

    The mariners probably don’t want to spring for the extra cost of a plane ticket to get someone to Safeco from Reno, so they will just wait this one out – for the Rainiers to return to Tacoma – before making the FUCKING OBVIOUS move.

  11. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:28 pm

    I thought Dustin Ackley taught me a valuable lesson. And then Brad Miller happened.

  12. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 6:29 pm

    Advice from the big league club to AAA Chris Taylor: Don’t turn your phone off the next couple days. Just sayin’…

  13. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:30 pm

    Chris Taylor? Not Nick Franklin?

  14. Jake on May 10th, 2014 6:30 pm

    They’ll have to make room on the 40 man for Taylor though, and there aren’t any obvious DFA candidates, or 60 day DL ones.

  15. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 6:31 pm

    California-
    That’s a sad statement. Little bit of heart pangs when given that perspective.

  16. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 6:32 pm

    I thought they’ve had Franklin playing Right Field– Taylor has been playing short stop in Tacoma last I heard?

    I could be wrong, haven’t been following them that closely.

  17. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 6:33 pm

    I think they could probably remove four or five guys from the 40 man roster with no noticeable negative impact. But I understand what you are saying. In theory, it would apply to a good teams roster.

  18. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 6:35 pm

    Franklin has not seen an inning of time in the outfield – playing for Tacoma. He has been rotating through SS/2B/DH based on Shannon Drayer and Ryan Divish write ups.

  19. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:35 pm

    I’m thinking and probably hoping that Brad Miller just got himself into a funk that happens to young players. And he will still become a valuable player in the near future. Believe!

    Franklin just seems to have nothing to prove in AAA and they seem determined to prove he can play SS. I don’t have anything to prove this, but I think it will be Franklin.

  20. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 6:39 pm

    Correction (after actually checking the Tacoma stats this time):

    So, um, Chris Taylor, sorry to be a tease but go ahead and turn your phone off… Nick Franklin, don’t turn your phone off the next couple days… Just sayin’…

  21. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 6:41 pm

    While Seager is on the mend, it might be both Franklin and Taylor. I think that would mean Gillespie goes back down – which I am not really in favor of (would like to see him get a longer look), but if Kyle could be out a while (a few to several days) they can live with one fewer outfielder for a while. I guess. The m’s tend to overvalue their crap 40 man roster, though – so I doubt they would make any move that doesn’t absolutely need to occur.

  22. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 6:44 pm

    Or one of the actual OF’ers could turn an ankle and ………..

  23. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 6:45 pm

    Is that Michael Saunders or Logan Morrison in right tonight? Man, he seems slow tonight.

    Ugh and he got hurt.

  24. Jake on May 10th, 2014 6:53 pm

    Another quality AB by Miller.

  25. Jake on May 10th, 2014 6:55 pm

    I wonder when Miller and Moustakas’ averages finally even out. That could be today or tomorrow.

  26. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 7:04 pm

    I was away – what happened to Saunders?

  27. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 7:06 pm

    Saunders stumbled and fell awkwardly, rolling his ankle. He finished the inning, but the next inning Romero replaced him.

  28. Jake on May 10th, 2014 7:07 pm

    Moustakas with a base hit to right, Saunders tried to cut the ball off and his left foot got caught, and he twisted it pretty badly. The ball got behind him out to the wall, for a triple, and the next hitter had a sac fly to score him.

    Saunders came out of the game the next half inning.

  29. nvn8vbryce on May 10th, 2014 7:07 pm

    Smoaked!

  30. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Nice job, Smoak!!!

  31. californiamariner on May 10th, 2014 7:08 pm

    SMOAKBOMB

  32. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 7:09 pm

    Yay Smoaky…

  33. Grayfox3d on May 10th, 2014 7:12 pm

    Ugh cmon Romero! 1 pitch and you let this guy off the hook….

    Nice job Smoakie!

  34. Grayfox3d on May 10th, 2014 7:24 pm

    brad millers line is really getting bad…

    19 hits 7 walks 35 strikeouts 115 at bats…

  35. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 7:43 pm

    Good job, Ackley!

  36. Westside guy on May 10th, 2014 7:45 pm

    Huzzah for Ackley!

  37. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 7:56 pm

    I sure hope Saunders isn’t injured badly enough to be a DL candidate, because you just know … YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW and FEAR that Super Abe would be getting the callup. He is 1-16 with “only” 6 K’s since his recent demotion, so he has shown some real improvement already.

  38. G-Man on May 10th, 2014 8:05 pm

    Inconclusive but I think he was out.

  39. G-Man on May 10th, 2014 8:06 pm

    Msfanmike, I am just happy that they don’t have Carlos Peguero to call up any more.

  40. nvn8vbryce on May 10th, 2014 8:08 pm

    That call went both ways… surprised they overturned it.

  41. Jake on May 10th, 2014 8:10 pm

    Waiting for the other shoe to drop on Chris Young, but so far so good.

  42. G-Man on May 10th, 2014 8:12 pm

    Yeah, Ackley’s not getting a Gold Glove anytime soon.

  43. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 8:24 pm

    Ackley has a lot less gracefulness than I thought he did. Runs kinda “heavy”. Pretty good speed, but not anywhere near the “outstanding” speed that Sims is always professing. He kinda runs like he is mad at the ground.

  44. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 8:24 pm

    Good job, Cano!

  45. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 8:25 pm

    Oakland down 1, bottom of the 9th…

    Correction, Oakland now tied… (damnit)

  46. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 8:28 pm

    Washington was up 3-1 in the 9th… They’re headed to extras now… (damn)

  47. G-Man on May 10th, 2014 8:28 pm

    Who was that guy in Rodney’s uni, throwing strikes?

  48. msfanmike on May 10th, 2014 8:29 pm

    Great job, Chris Young!

    Nice win.

  49. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 8:29 pm

    G-Man…

    “Little Rodney”?

    “Bernando Rodney”?

  50. MrZDevotee on May 10th, 2014 8:30 pm

    Young has looked good. Truly. He has good location the past couple starts.

  51. ivan on May 10th, 2014 9:14 pm

    James Jones, a single and two walks in his first start as a leadoff hitter. Smallest of samples, to be sure, but he didn’t look to be hacking like he had been before.

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