Game 76, Mariners at Royals

Jay Yencich · June 22, 2014 at 11:05 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Roenis Elias vs. Yordano Ventura, 11:10 am

For the second time this year, we’re going up against noted flamethrower Yordano Ventura. Last time we faced him, it was May 10th in Safeco and we basically waited him out and hit what he missed with, as he walked four and gave up two home runs which collectively helped draw three runs for us. It was one of his worse outings and I don’t know that we get so lucky this time out, except that he’s a pitcher of some volatility. That said, his splits, be they home or away, left or right, really don’t show that much of an advantage beyond the expected, so we gain no points for heavily platooning as we are wont to do. I might be tempted to send out a less experienced right-handed bat just to show said bat what it’s like to face that kind of velocity, but I don’t think that’s a method aligned with winning games as such.

Speaking of volatility, Mariners? We recently failed to score enough runs to beat the Padres, who can’t score runs but have a good pitching staff, and then went on to win two in a row against the Royals, who have at least a decent pitching staff but can score runs. I remember talking with the fellows prior to the season and the conclusion we all seemed to come to independently and then agree upon was that this year’s team would be around or over .500 but erratic. The losing steak was not surprising, nor the rebound after it. I would say that the results of these past four games, while still agonizing from a Felix perspective, are also not wholly surprising either. Not all .500-ish teams appear to be made alike.

What I can say about the team, as presently structured, is that it possesses a few high-end talents who can be relied on somewhat consistently (all talents slump now and then), Felix and Iwakuma for the pitching staff, Cano and Seager for the hitting. Sometimes things sync up to where those high-end talents are performing with the other occasional talents and we win games. Sometimes those talents alone are enough to keep us afloat, and sometimes not. In other instances, the stars struggle and we’re sometimes on the winning side and sometimes not, depending on how the supporting players are during that time. I don’t know that any of us phrased it particularly as such coming into the year, but it seems to make sense, in that way that is largely spitballing and not too reliant on data (to be fair, I wouldn’t know what to cite).

RF Endy Chavez
CF James Jones
DH Robinson Cano
1B Logan Morrison
3B Kyle Seager
C Mike Zunino
LF Dustin Ackley
SS Rad Miller
2B Willie Bloomquist

Some of you probably got the word yesterday that Raul Ibanez was released by the Angels. You could make remarks in an attempt to be clever about “oh he would be one of our better hitters” except haha no. Raul has been worth a 53 wRC+ this year and that’s been worse than every non-Almonte hitter we’ve had. Yes, worse even than Endy Chavez. So while it would be very Mariners to sign Raul for one final tour so that he can retire as a Mariner, the results aren’t there to support it and I don’t think we’re that dumb. He would only just be inside the top ten on our team in dingers and we all know how we value those. Fun fact: he also has three stolen bases. How?


33 Responses to “Game 76, Mariners at Royals”

  1. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2014 11:15 am

    Raul has had a nice career. If no one calls, he should still retire happy… but I do think he’ll be given another chance by some desperate team or another.

    As long as it’s not the Mariners, I will be happy! He does seem like a good guy.

    Once he retires, he’ll probably open up a chain of outfielding clinics – start teaching kids how to play the game the right way, spike a throw into the ground, that sort of thing.

  2. californiamariner on June 22nd, 2014 11:29 am

    Why is Seager sac bunting with a runner on 1st in the 2nd inning

  3. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 11:30 am

    A second inning sacrifice bunt by Kyle Seager – to get LoMo into scoring position.

    In the American League. With your teams second best hitter.

    Wow, that’s something.

  4. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 11:33 am

    It appears that we have both been similarly befuddled, Cali.

  5. californiamariner on June 22nd, 2014 11:33 am

    I mean I don’t agree with bunting in that situation with anyone really. However, taking the bat out of the hands of one your best hitters? Terrible.

  6. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 11:47 am

    Alex Gordon was the 2nd player picked in his draft year, correct.

    And his first 4 years were well below expectations … Especially years #3 and #4 – with some lengthy minor league stints along the way.

    There is some hope for you, Dustin Ackley.

  7. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 11:49 am

    Jones’ great arm sure has not shown itself yet. Every throw has that “left handed” tail on it. I have not seen him throw the ball straight one time.

  8. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2014 11:51 am

    If they manage to win today, everyone will say Lloyd’s decision to have Seager put down a bunt was the correct one.

    I don’t agree, though. I think this team often wins despite Lloyd’s stupid decisions rather than because of them. And the really maddening thing is – while no single bad decision has a huge cost against the season… cumulatively, if doing things consistently intelligently might gain one or two wins, for a .500ish team those wins would be huge.

  9. djw on June 22nd, 2014 12:02 pm

    Hey, the other guys give away an out on an outrageously stupid baserunning decision! Interesting change of pace.

  10. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:01 pm

    Zunino – Sweet!!!

  11. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:04 pm

    Come on Willie … Need it now!

  12. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:06 pm

    And that’s how that went … For crapping out loud.

  13. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:08 pm

    Great time for that “could have been a sac fly,” Endy.

  14. G-Man on June 22nd, 2014 1:09 pm

    It bugs me that we elect to give up an out after 3 stragith hits. OTOH, 1st and 2nd with no outs isn’t a bad time to lay one down, especially when you have a veteran small-ball guy like Willie to …………… hit into a force. Good play by the pitcher, though, bunt wasn’t terrible.

  15. Longgeorge1 on June 22nd, 2014 1:12 pm

    I think that Seager’s bunt in the first was an attempt to beat the shift, not an intemtional sac bunt.

  16. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:12 pm

    Admirable job at run suppression that half inning. If Lloyd had not minimized his own teams advantage, his hitters probably would have found a way to do it, anyway … so it all worked out.


  17. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2014 1:18 pm

    Boy, Zunino really is turning into Miguel Olivo with better receiving skills, isn’t he?

  18. Longgeorge1 on June 22nd, 2014 1:22 pm

    I don’t agree wit a lot of what Lloyd does but we are acoring more runs and winning more games tan what a lot of numbers say we should be.

  19. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 1:43 pm

    Zunino will only get better as a hitter. I think he will eventually be a better player than Olivo was. He’s only two years removed from the College World Series. He sure has a hard time with all things “bendy” but he should improve at pitch recognition. Kinda hard to believe a catcher has problems with pitch recognition, though. Maybe he should hit from an exaggerated crouch with his shin guards on.

  20. absolutsyd on June 22nd, 2014 1:48 pm

    Getting sick of Nelson calling balks…

  21. bookbook on June 22nd, 2014 1:52 pm

    I’m remembering back to my youth, Westside Guy. Wasn’t there some catcher named Mark Parent or something, who would hit .220 with 20 homers every year?

    Hopefully Zunino grows into something beyond that. But for now…

  22. bookbook on June 22nd, 2014 2:03 pm

    Pro: Miller’s above a .600 OPS.

    Con: baserunning disaster?

  23. Eastside Suds on June 22nd, 2014 2:07 pm

    Great job M’s!! Who are these guys?? Whooo Hoo!!

  24. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2014 2:09 pm


    This sweep certainly removes the sting from the two lost games in San Diego.

    Now, no more shitting of the bed when Felix pitches, please.

  25. Eastside Suds on June 22nd, 2014 2:14 pm

    If we could only compete like this at home, we’d be the talk of MLB.

  26. Eastside Suds on June 22nd, 2014 2:40 pm

    So…only five teams in the American League have 40 wins. Go M’s!!

  27. steve_lse on June 22nd, 2014 2:57 pm

    Good start to Sunday, now if the USA can beat Portugal everything’s set!

  28. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2014 3:01 pm

    Mike, I’m not sure Zunino will get better. He’s running a 4% walk rate and a 32% strikeout rate this season, which is worse than last season (and last season’s strikeout numbers weren’t great either). Those particular stats tend to stabilize very quickly.

    He’s also swinging at over 40% of pitches outside the strike zone. There was a short period where we thought he was starting to get more selective, but that appears to have been an aberration.

    It’s hard to see how he’s not turning into a replica of Olivo at the plate – low batting average, bad on base percentage, but can really hit the crap out of a mistake.

  29. Jay Yencich on June 22nd, 2014 3:22 pm

    He can also defend. Never forget that he can defend.

  30. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2014 4:58 pm

    I know, Jay – he’s an exceptional receiver. It’s just that I’ll always wonder if he could’ve been amazing on offense too, if only he hadn’t been rushed to the bigs.

  31. stevemotivateir on June 22nd, 2014 5:39 pm

    Is it just me, or do we see some real odd timing for bunts with Llyod callin’ the shots? He’s callin’ the shots, right?

  32. LongDistance on June 22nd, 2014 10:14 pm

    Yes, Lloyd’s calling the shots. Lest we forget, Chuck danced off with his golden parachute and Howard’s evidently off in a monastery in Nepal somewhere (we can only surmise/hope) taking his orders.

  33. ensignofcommand on June 23rd, 2014 1:10 am

    Relative to his ceiling Zunino has been disappointing offensively, but it’s a little early to call it a day on his upside. He just turned 23 and he’s only had 842 professional plate appearances (419 of those in the minors.)

    Besides baseball is more alchemy than science. From 04-10 (age 21-27) Yadi was a .268/.327/.361/.688 batter. He’s .309/.358/.471/.829 since.

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