Game 67, Rangers at Mariners
Felix Hernandez vs. Nick Tepesch, 7:10 pm
Happy Felix Day.
Today’s test of how closely I’ve been paying attention informs me that Nick Tepesch threw nearly a hundred innings last year, whereas I only know him from the most recent start against us. Unlike Whitley yesterday, I can actually find info on Tepesch in my BA Prospect Handbook from a few years back. To add to the general knowledge of him, he wanted seven figures as a HS draft pick and was expected to turn himself into a first-round pick at Missouri, which he plainly didn’t. Such things happen. Like with Kevin Cron, who wouldn’t sign with us in the third round and then drifted to the 14th round out of college, the same round Tepesch was selected in years prior. Suckersssssss.
Tepesch’s profile seems to have switched around a bit since last season. He’s lost about a mile and a half off of all of his pitches and has gone from a pitcher with an above-average groundball rate to one who gets a lot of infield pop ups. He’s also walked more, struck out fewer, and hasn’t been good generally, so don’t think that lost velocity means increased command. It doesn’t! He got knocked around by Cleveland last time out and by the Nationals the time before, but I think that the Mariners have too often felt like a team you could bounce back against. Maybe even turn it into a little three-game win streak.
Last night’s game was frustrating as the Mariners collectively had Justin Smoak-power. I kept listening all through because it seemed like something was going to happen and Rizzs even had me convinced on the Cano non-homer. When you give up contact that hard, it feels more likely that something’s going to happen.
It got me thinking about margins of victory and loss and how I’ve been a skosh more invested in (and considerably more optimistic about) the team this season, what with more of the rotation being actually watchable. Here’s what I’ve got for you on number crunching coming into today:
Win, 4 or More Runs: 13 (opening series had three of those)
Win, 3 Runs: 3
Win, 2 Runs: 12
Win, 1 Run: 6
Loss, 1 Run: 9
Loss, 2 Runs: 9
Loss, 3 Runs: 7
Loss, 4 or More Runs: 7
It took until April 25th for us to win a one-run game and prior to that it had only been 4+ or two as margins of victory. Fun.
The data corroborate with my original feelings/sentiments. If you take a non-save situation as the baseline for a blow out, then we’ve blown out teams almost twice as often as opponents have done it to us. Even without the first Angels series, our advantage is pretty solid there. Where we really have gotten in trouble in our losses are the one- and two-run games which we’re still effectively “in.” Given that information, I don’t feel like it’s all that surprising that the Mariners are being considered buyers right now, but in the overall reckoning I tend to agree with Matthew and Jeff. What, in the way of external options, would be worth it for what we would have to give up? It looks as if we could pick up a lot of wins merely with incremental improvements. We just need to have a back-up ready once the Chris Young fairy dust wears off.
Here’s some cool unrelated stuff on Alex Jackson negotiations.
CF James Jones
3B Kyle Seager
2B Robinson Cano
1B Logan Morrison
DH Stefen Romero
LF Dustin Ackley
C Mike Zunino
SS Brad Miller
RF Cole Gillespie
Welcome Logan Morrison, to the “somebody has to bat cleanup” parade.