Game 55, Tigers at Mariners

marc w · May 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Drew Smyly, 7:10pm

Tonight’s game’s an interesting match up in that it pits two pitchers with the same fundamental approach against each other. Chris Young’s famous for allowing more fly-ball contact than anyone and relying on guile and a certain je ne sais quoi to prevent those fly balls from becoming home runs. Drew Smyly also has a fly-ball generating fastball, with 12″ of vertical rise and very little horizontal movement. He’s also got the advantage of throwing left-handed AND averaging around 92mph with his fastball as opposed to Young’s 86. They both balance that FB with a slurvy-curve ball (Brooks Baseball classifies Smyly’s as a curve, while MLBAM calls it a slider, same as Young’s).

The differences are telling, though. Smyly’s velocity and sharper breaking ball allow him to get whiffs and strikeouts, particularly to lefties. His lack of a solid change make him vulnerable to righties, though. Young’s fastball-reliant approach minimizes platoon splits, but also prevent him from getting strikeouts…as if an 86mph fastball wasn’t enough to suppress K’s. On paper, you might take Smyly’s arsenal – more velo, more whiffs, and the ability to just neutralize lefties. Between the lines, though, Young’s been pretty effective despite his lack of velo and his reliance on whatever form of sorcery allows him to reliably yield 280 foot fly balls and not 350 foot fly balls.

1: Bloomquist?, 2B
2: Chavez?, CF
3: Zunino, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Romero, RF
7: Buck, C
8: Gillespie, LF
9: Franklin, SS
SP: Chris Young

The M’s maximize their right-handedness, as they should against someone with such prominent platoon splits. But the result is…uh, I mean…it’s kind of hard to argue that this is a major league line-up. Zunino’s RH power is a good match up, but he’s not a typical 3 hitter, and the less said about the top 2 the better. This looks pretty Pacific Coast League, frankly.


24 Responses to “Game 55, Tigers at Mariners”

  1. Vortex on May 31st, 2014 6:06 pm

    They’ve run out some terrible lineups in the past, but this one might actually take the cake.

  2. phineasphreak on May 31st, 2014 6:08 pm

    Anyone that paid for tonight’s game should get a refund. This is pathetic. Only two real major leaguers in this lineup.

  3. jak924 on May 31st, 2014 6:15 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out how Ackley EVER makes contact. On every swing, his butt is bailing out. It almost looks like he’s running away from the pitch as he actually tries to swing at it. I think the Mariners need to conclude that Ackley is never going to be the next coming of Chase Utley. This is a damning indictment of Jack Z. and his program.

  4. casey on May 31st, 2014 6:27 pm

    really Jak – Ackley is not in the lineup tonight.

    by same token is Seager exceeding expectations and turning into a power hitter an affirmation of Jack Z and his program.

    Ackley is pretty disappointing – thought he was going to be special (and likely will be once he gets dealt to the Red Sox). What I want to know is why Mike Morse turns into an offensive monster when he leaves Safeco, same for Beltre; except for Ibanez sucking in LA. If it is Jack Z’s fault I guess so but think there is more going on here.

  5. Westside guy on May 31st, 2014 7:05 pm

    The weather is nice… think I’ll spend my evening doing something other than watching this team.

    I think it’s become quite clear why Lloyd McLendon hasn’t had a shot at managing since he left Pittsburgh. However he does appear to fit right in with this organization.

  6. Grayfox3d on May 31st, 2014 7:13 pm

    So that Nelson Cruz guy that everyone seemed to be against signing is having himself a pretty decent season so far.

  7. G-Man on May 31st, 2014 7:46 pm

    Oooo, Kinsler looked like he had a play, but the replay showed that he didn’t have a good grip on it.

  8. Kazinski on May 31st, 2014 8:26 pm

    Thank God they sent Maurer down, if we have to see Endy 2 or 3 times while he’s here, then I’m willing to pay that price.

    I have a feeling Endy is getting this start just to give Jones a day off, and he’ll be dfa’d within a week.

  9. Paul B on May 31st, 2014 8:47 pm

    If the Mariners win, Lloyd will run this lineup again, or something close to it.

  10. Kazinski on May 31st, 2014 9:07 pm

    I got a feeling that despite having a good day, Willie isn’t going to threaten Cano’s playing time.

  11. OldFan on May 31st, 2014 9:19 pm

    Who is announcing with Sims tonight? What a vacuous motormouth.

  12. naviomelo on May 31st, 2014 9:52 pm

    8th inning, up by one run, and we call on Medina to face Hunter, Cabrera, and Martinez? When is Farquhar going to get out of the doghouse?

  13. juneau_fan on May 31st, 2014 10:15 pm

    Gak, and now Rodney…

  14. G-Man on May 31st, 2014 10:16 pm

    It’s gonna be one of THOSE Rodney nights.

  15. G-Man on May 31st, 2014 10:17 pm

    OldFan, that’s Bill Krueger.

  16. juneau_fan on May 31st, 2014 10:30 pm

    *wiping sweat from brow*

  17. G-Man on May 31st, 2014 10:30 pm

    Another ho-hum save.

    Good night.

  18. Don Money on May 31st, 2014 10:38 pm

    Now that was entertaining! A real shame if anybody missed this one.

  19. MrZDevotee on May 31st, 2014 10:38 pm

    Never would have guessed that lineup could beat the Tigers. Our offense tonight was the parallel universe partner of having Chris Young on the mound. Mysteriously effective.

    We were at the game and I was honestly pissed when I saw them running through the video presentation of the lineup a half hour before the game. (We still left early– 8:30ish– ’cause we had 2 little ones with us… Watched the end on TV…)

    But it was an oddly satisfying game overall.

    Still, please don’t EVER do that again, Lloyd McLendon. Unless your only point was to show Jack Z what an awful lineup we have when facing lefthanders. I would have bet on Tacoma, if the Mariners were playing the Rainiers tonight.

  20. naviomelo on May 31st, 2014 11:08 pm

    MrZ, your first paragraph made me laugh! Great game, maybe the most exciting win of the year so far.

  21. LongDistance on June 1st, 2014 12:27 am

    casey: (way up above)… the answer to Morse is simple. They’re playing him in the least-likely-to-injure position on the field. For him, that’s a load off. Also, expectations were so-so out of the gate. He was a fingers-crossed acquisition. He’s found his happy Nirvana place in the universe. I was actually asked about that yesterday … cruelly, a guys asking why the Mariners seem to mismanage these sorts of players. To try to answer that, briefly, it just popped out that the Mariners tend to find themselves backed into the corner with certain players, i.e. no, you can’t just park people wherever you want, when the parking lot’s full.

  22. Westside guy on June 1st, 2014 1:18 am

    Hahaha, well my record for intentionally missed games seems intact – they always seem to win in that circumstance. I can’t believe that lineup actually managed to pull it off! But good for them.

  23. Sowulo on June 1st, 2014 8:50 am

    For those of you complaining about the M’s line ups against lefties this year…..I believe the M’s are now 15-8 against left-handed starters.

  24. Westside guy on June 1st, 2014 10:50 am

    You might want to actually look at those games… they’ve won because of good pitching performances. Three runs a game will not generally win very often in MLB.

    Look at what Romero is hitting – despite bing heavily platooned. Look what Buck is hitting, and Willie (although given how horrible Franklin and Miller have been, I can’t really fault Willie’s playing time – maybe he should get more). Endy didn’t exactly set the game on fire last night either.

    If they’re winning against lefties, there’s a good case to be made that it’s DESPITE the lineup rather than because of it.

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