Game 38, Rays at Mariners

marc w · May 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Cesar Ramos, 7:10pm

Happy Felix Day

It’s was a gorgeous day in the Northwest, Felix is pitching and the M’s are above .500. Seems like a pretty good evening for a ballgame.

Lefty Cesar Ramos was a first rounder (pick 35, so just barely) in the 2005 MLB draft that M’s fans try not to talk about. The Padres picked him, and for a while, everything looked OK. Ramos was primarily a FB/CU pitcher who had pretty good stuff, but generally pitched to contact. It wasn’t a huge surprise that he wasn’t striking anyone out in the minors, but I think people hoped he could be a back-of-the-rotation guy eventually. Upon reaching AAA, though, his control – one of his calling cards – began to desert him. He bounced to the big leagues for brief fill-ins, but couldn’t stick, and his performances in AAA weren’t getting any better. The Pads tried him in the pen, and then, following a poor showing in 8 IP with the big club, packaged him with prospects for SS Jason Bartlett of Tampa Bay.

Bartlett went on to produce -0.9 WAR for SD, while the Rays have converted Ramos into a decent reliever/swing man. His control is still AWOL, his velocity’s down since 2010-11, and his FIP has been bad, but he’s given the Rays some decent innings, and can make spot starts like tonight. He throws a four-seamer, but he’s primarily a sinker/slider guy these days, with a change-up that he’ll throw right-handers. Of note, he had a pretty good GB% (SSS alert!) with the Padres, and the Rays got him to throw his sinker instead of his rising FB. So it’s a bit odd to me that Ramos now looks like a clear fly-ball pitcher – his sinker now gets fewer grounders per pitch, or grounders per ball in play than his four-seamer did years ago.

Ramos has walked *14* batters in five very brief starts, so the M’s should be patient. He’s never made it six innings in his career (again, he’s mostly been a reliever), but the right approach will get the M’s some at-bats against the back end of the Rays bullpen.

Felix has been frustrating to watch in recent starts. He’ll look great for a while, then succumb to a big inning. He’ll strike out a number of hitters, then do whatever that was against the A’s five days ago. Right now, his strand rate’s at 66.7%, the lowest rate of his career. Hitters have a .310 wOBA against him with men on, compared to just .260 with the bases empty. Is it a lack of focus? Boredom? I’d forgive him that, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on. With runners on, Felix strikes out MORE hitters and walks FEWER. His FIP’s great. The big difference is BABIP, and while it’s a bit simplistic to say that BABIP=luck, it’s pretty clear that sequencing and luck have been Felix’s undoing (Ok, that’s too strong – “the things that have made him look less regal”), not something more meaningful like terrible command or tons of HRs. Felix needs his D to pick him up a bit, and frankly, Felix’s D needs Felix to pick them up, too. Get some K’s, Felix.

1: Jones, CF
2: Romero, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
SP: El Cartelua

In the Minors, Tacoma continues its series against Las Vegas with Erasmo Ramirez taking on Jacob deGrom – both of whom will almost certainly play in the Majors later this season. Perhaps the bigger story is the return of AA righty Victor Sanchez. The zaftig righty went on the DL with “forearm tightness” about a month ago, but he’s scheduled to start tonight against Tennessee.

Comments

91 Responses to “Game 38, Rays at Mariners”

  1. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 6:00 pm

    Hope Felix is back to normal tonight.

  2. 11records on May 12th, 2014 6:15 pm

    I’d prefer that Ramirez be in the M’s rotation in place of Maurer. I guess we’re stuck for at least this turn thru. Although, there are 2 off days coming up, so maybe some re-shuffling will happen.

    Great to see that Sanchez is back and throwing. Forearm tightness is so often a euphemism for TJ surgery. And kudos on ‘zaftig.’

  3. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 6:48 pm

    Why did Sims say 34 years 119 games when Felix got his perfecto?

    I assume the 34 years was the history of the Mariners.

    But 119?

  4. naviomelo on May 12th, 2014 7:09 pm

    It seems like Tacoma is always playing Las Vegas. Please, Felix. Start off the game by striking out DeJesus.

  5. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:18 pm

    34 seasons plus an additional 119 games into the 35th season, perhaps?

    That’s my take, anyway.

  6. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 7:18 pm

    Fly out, pop out, strike out, I will take it.

    Dumbest commercials: Vern Fonk, Geico, Jack in the Box?

  7. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 7:20 pm

    Jones might be what .lloyd thought Almonte was. I hope, anyway.

  8. bookbook on May 12th, 2014 7:24 pm

    Smooth so far. Let’s see if we can steadily put this game out of reach.

  9. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2014 7:24 pm

    Hart is not fast?

  10. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 7:26 pm

    Hey what’s going on here! who are these guys and what are these “runs” I’m seeing!

  11. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 7:26 pm

    Hahaha, two of those in a row.

  12. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:26 pm

    Weirdness ensues … In a good way. Mostly good way.

  13. MissouriMariner on May 12th, 2014 7:28 pm

    So Hart got thrown out on a ball that was hit far enough to bring on a HR review? How did that happen?

  14. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Hart wasn’t running full speed, he thought it was out.

  15. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 7:31 pm

    Mike thanks on the 119, that makes sense. It was the way he phrased it that got me.

  16. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:31 pm

    Hart went into a home run trot around 1B and then kicked it up a notch before sliding – but it was too late. Tampa played what they saw and Hart played what he hoped he saw. Still never saw if he was actually out or not at 2B, but he was called out and the review was specific to whether or not the ball left the park. It didn’t. It hit the yellow line. Back to back yellow line hits by Cano and Hart.

  17. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:35 pm

    Sure paul. Problem is, I think it was 35 seasons plus 119 games – when it actually occurred. Not sure when the complete game happened, anymore – but someone will figure out the math. It is possible to get 35 seasons in 34 calendar years, so it’s probably picking nits.

  18. Section329 on May 12th, 2014 7:41 pm

    8-15-12 home with a concussion and dragged myself down to the Safe for the 9th inning of Felix’s perfecto. Well worth it!

  19. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2014 7:46 pm

    Well, they’re hitting Ramos hard. Wonder how long he’ll last.

  20. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:48 pm

    Good memory for you no doubt, 329. I assume.

    With 1977 being the inaugural season, it would have been 119 games into the 36the season (35th calendar year) so Sims is as right or as wrong or as “neither” as anybody might care to make him.

  21. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 7:48 pm

    Glad Zunino didn’t hit the yellow stripe, that would’ve been TOO weird…

  22. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:49 pm

    Hey, we are playing against the Mariners from yesterday

  23. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 7:49 pm

    Man, Tampa is looking like the Mariners were a game ago.

  24. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 7:50 pm

    It’s nice to see the other team blowing the game every now and then!

  25. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 7:50 pm

    Great minds and all that, Mike!

  26. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 7:50 pm

    I like this Jones kid.

    I seem to remember a Jones we used to have who turned out pretty good, lets hope that happens with this one. (wishful thinking)

  27. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 7:52 pm

    What, Grayfox3d – you want him traded along with six other guys for a decent pitcher who can’t seem to stay healthy?

  28. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:54 pm

    I am wondering how that could possibly apply to us, Westy.

  29. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 7:54 pm

    lol westside, no not that part…. i still have nightmares of that very dark time.

  30. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 7:57 pm

    I see what you did there, Westy. Which probably justifies my comment above.

  31. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 7:59 pm

    I’d be fine if they wanted to do this kind of thing more often.

  32. Section329 on May 12th, 2014 8:00 pm

    Yes it was awesome msfan mike(autocorrect makes you mega mike). Saw Humberto’s perfecto and the multi pitcher Ms no hitter. Died and went to heaven!

  33. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:00 pm

    The locust are on their way.

  34. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 8:01 pm

    This is getting embarrassing for Tampa.

  35. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:02 pm

    How about “snarky minds think alike”, Mike?

  36. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 8:02 pm

    Are pigs flying near Safeco or what?

  37. stevemotivateir on May 12th, 2014 8:02 pm

    Four errors. Wow. Talk about a weird game.

  38. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:02 pm

    Mega Mike … I think I am going to have to like that. It sounds a lot better than my previous super power name (Captain Flatulence).

    Besides, Mr Z Devotee now has that particular title.

  39. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:05 pm

    Snarky minds … Copy!

    That tracks.

  40. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:05 pm

    Normalcy has returned. Earths axis no longer tipped. Miller made an out.

  41. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 8:06 pm

    Brad Miller the Rally Killer!

  42. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 8:06 pm

    No one in the bullpen for Tampa? Why bother at this point?

  43. MissouriMariner on May 12th, 2014 8:06 pm

    So the guy is struggling with control and Miller swings at the first pitch…UGH

  44. JasonJ on May 12th, 2014 8:09 pm

    Somebody needs to sit Miller down in the corner with a dunce hat on.

  45. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:10 pm

    Speculative and unimportant conspiracy pandering time:

    Is it possible that Franklin has not already been called up to replace Miller because the org was pissed about Franklins “heading to Vegas” tweet – before the team officially announced the roster move? It kinda seems like something the Mariner front office would do. Miller looks like shit, is not making progress, had three one-pitch at bats yesterday and Lloyd is talking about his progress.

    I wonder what Piniella would have been saying about Miller at this time.

  46. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:15 pm

    And tweeting … Come on!!! Find something else to do with your time, Nick. You are a grown man. It’s a loaded gun. Stay away from it.

  47. Section329 on May 12th, 2014 8:15 pm

    Don’t even have to guess what Pinella would have said, Mega.

  48. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:16 pm

    I have to wonder what’s going on with Franklin, Mike. Not that I thought this was a smart plan… but they were talking about having him play some right field (along with the other 1000 guys already there) – yet I don’t think he’s spent an inning there since returning to AAA.

    Maybe the org thinks it only works if you put them out there fresh in the majors?

  49. groundzero55 on May 12th, 2014 8:17 pm

    Wow, a leadoff guy who can get on base. Can we have nice things??

  50. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:17 pm

    I’ve still got some “sani’s” from back in the day. They were a general pain in the ass, for anybody who never had the pleasure of knowing.

  51. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:19 pm

    Three step sock install process (3 layers). Plus tape for balky ankles.

    Pain in the ass.

  52. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2014 8:20 pm

    So Hart learned to just stop at first?

  53. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:22 pm

    For a guy who doesn’t hustle, Cano almost hustled himself into some trouble there.

  54. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:22 pm

    Cano and Jones got jumbled up at 2B, so I think he just retreated to stay out of the fray

    Weird day. Sunshine in Seattle is probably the reason for it.

    That and the nick Franklin punishment theory which will now take over the blogging twitter crap fest of whatever it is.

  55. Paul B on May 12th, 2014 8:23 pm

    Yup.

    What a wild game.

  56. WalterNeff on May 12th, 2014 8:25 pm

    The errors should communicate to Cano this simple lesson: always run hard to first base

  57. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:26 pm

    So Angie is looking at her phone while a mysterious hand reaches in for the NW Sports Desk sign?

  58. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 8:27 pm

    Liking this James Jones guy

  59. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:34 pm

    Seager looks a little leaner – and better. Not an ideal way to get there, but he looks a little thinner. I had the noro virus last year and lost 11 pounds in just over one day of continuous non-stop action.

  60. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 8:50 pm

    at this point I prefer to have Brendan Ryan back at SS… I know I’m gonna get flamed for that but this is getting pathetic.

  61. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 8:54 pm

    I liked Brendan Ryan. I wonder if his at bats wouldn’t be as frustrating now that we have other guys that can actually hit?

  62. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 8:56 pm

    Westside, His D was superb, and I never thought he looked lost at the plate like Miller does right now.

  63. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 8:59 pm

    SS is way too valuable of a position to be getting killed by the guy playing it – on both sides of the ball (offense & defense). I think everyone would prefer .200 Brendan Ryan at this point, but man – that guy was awful to watch at the plate. Super frustrating at the plate. When .200 is a step up – the answer pretty much presents itself, but the mariners remain steadfast. Just like with Almonte.

    Steadfast is important.

  64. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:00 pm

    I loved Brendan Ryan’s defense, but at least with Miller you feel like there is some potential for him to do something on offense. Ryan was pretty much a finished product. And his finished product at the plate was pretty awful.

  65. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:02 pm

    If you really want to get flamed, add Ichiro along with Brendan Ryan – to your wish list.

    Check out the LL article on the 2-hole production this year and then wonder out loud if Ichiro couldn’t produce at that level … Half drunk and right handed.

  66. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:07 pm

    I was really hoping that we would put a nice dent into the Ray’s bullpen, but Maddon sticking with this kid and making it thru 6 is pretty suprising.

  67. Section329 on May 12th, 2014 9:09 pm

    Ah,yes, but do you really want a non-team player who doesn’t dive for the ball or speak English ? Teasing.

  68. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:09 pm

    Price vs. Iwakuma should be fun tomorrow.

    Weird stat!: David Price has only made 1 start in his career against the Mariners.
    (He’s made 10 vs Texas, 9 vs the Angels, and 7 vs Oakland)

  69. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 9:13 pm

    Hey, maybe that’s why we haven’t seen Franklin come up yet – the Mariners are still hoping to trade him for Price, and they don’t want to give the Rays a chance to see his defense up close and personal.

  70. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:15 pm

    This is starting to get eerily familiar, big lead late in the game only to let the other team come charging back…

  71. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:18 pm

    You have been a mariner fan for too long grayfox.

  72. Grayfox3d on May 12th, 2014 9:25 pm

    Msfanmike,

    All my life my friend, Well as long as I can remember at least.

  73. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    And that is how you keep an emotional edge in a really long season … Get upset about little things to keep yourself pumped up for the next appearance.

    I guess.

    It’s really okay, Felix – you pitched a nice game.

  74. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Boy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Felix so pissed before… not surprised that he got tossed, and I think it was a well-deserved chewing he gave the ump.

  75. californiamariner on May 12th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Mad Felix!

  76. JasonJ on May 12th, 2014 9:27 pm

    Was a strike – just barely, but the ump has been calling it all night. It’s a 9-0 game, call the strike, moron.

  77. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:41 pm

    This Tampa Bay pitcher reminds me of Anthony Vasquez. It’s hard to forget the Anthony Vasquez experience. Glad the guy is now healthy – but wow – he was memorable!!!

  78. msfanmike on May 12th, 2014 9:56 pm

    Woodstock theme, huh. That might help to explain the 4 early errors by the Rays.

  79. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 10:00 pm

    Dang… That ball is in orbit!

  80. nvn8vbryce on May 12th, 2014 10:07 pm

    Sheesh… Save some runs for tomorrow guys!

  81. Eastside Suds on May 12th, 2014 10:09 pm

    Samoakin!! What is up with him? Has the fine wine begun to mature on the shelf? Whatever it is, I’m a fan.

  82. juneau_fan on May 12th, 2014 10:20 pm

    The bandaid is very slowly being pulled off…

  83. Westside guy on May 12th, 2014 10:27 pm

    A very nice game. It’s good to have one that doesn’t raise my blood pressure too far, at least once in a while.

  84. MrZDevotee on May 13th, 2014 12:09 am

    Woohoo…
    We’re leading the Wild Card hunt. 4th team to 20 wins in the AL… The 3 division leaders, then us and then Texas… (All but 3 teams in the AL are between 16 and 20 wins right now… Pretty incredible.)

  85. LongDistance on May 13th, 2014 2:40 am

    Still in prolonged apnea mode with these guys, and this may be a season-long thing, but it’s a good sort of not breathing. WTF. I’ve decided to be stupid, and enjoy the nearly forgotten game day sensation of feeling they might/can win, rather than trying to think/imagine/hope how the hell they might win.

  86. naviomelo on May 13th, 2014 11:13 am

    Nick Franklin is not in the lineup in Las Vegas today.

  87. Westside guy on May 13th, 2014 12:07 pm

    According to Curto, apparently Franklin is being disciplined for some “mental lapse” in the previous game.

  88. msfanmike on May 13th, 2014 12:50 pm

    Mental lapse in the previous game (defensively) … which most assuredly means he is ready to be called up, now.

    He is potentially being punished for a quick twitter finger and most certainly being punished for a recent defensive mental lapse. Okay, good enough … call up Taylor.

  89. Westside guy on May 13th, 2014 3:05 pm

    I’d be interested in seeing Taylor – but that would require a 40-man move.

  90. msfanmike on May 13th, 2014 3:23 pm

    I’d be interested in a 40-man move because they could easily make a few with no discernable loss. IMO

    Franklin did PH today and drew a game tying passed ball in advance of being walked, so the ‘punishment’ does not appear to have been too severe.

  91. MrZDevotee on May 13th, 2014 4:48 pm

    Just heard an interesting stat on the Radio… The Mariners lead the league in “Hard Hit Balls”… ie, average velocity off the bat, for all balls put in play.

    Justin Smoak is 3rd in the league, and Kyle Seager is 4th, for position players/DH’s in all of baseball.

    Smoak also LEADS the league in Line Drive outs, with 13.

    Supposedly this stat over a season is a fair predictor of hitting success. I know nothing about it, other than they were talking about in on the radio as a reason to be optimistic about the M’s offense moving forward.

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