Game 76, Mariners at Royals
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?