Game 79, Red Sox at Mariners

Jay Yencich · June 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Clay Buchholz, 7:10 pm

Returning from the DL, the Mariners get a version of Clay Buchholz that has been rather poor this season. Of course, he has never been as good as everyone thought he would be. Back in the day, everyone said ace starter, top ten prospect in all of baseball, etc. This is a guy who has never had higher than a 3.5 WAR and has only exceeded 1.5 twice since 2008.

Injuries? Injuries. I’m looking at the Wikipedia page for him and seeing shoulder fatigue, torn fingernail, hamstring, esophagitis, neck strain, and most recently a hyperextended knee. When he’s healthy, he’s been all right, despite having a career K/9 of under seven, but he hasn’t been healthy often enough. This year, he’s had the highest walk and home run rates he’s had since his rookie season. I feel like I typed out something very similar for Peavy. This also happens to be a winnable game that may or may not be won and we may or may not sweep out the defending world champions. These are things that are actually happening, to the Mariners.

I was listening to the pre- and post-game content as I often do. Among the interesting pre-game content was that Endy Chavez said that one of his main reasons for being up here is to mentor James Jones in the outfield trade, defending, how to lead off, etc. James Jones was batting .277/.333/.386 when Chavez arrived. He is now batting .279/.314/.346. Whoops.

Among the interesting post-game content was that Lloyd McClendon, when asked about the work of the bullpen, emphasized that the team cannot continue to tax it in the way that it has. What was omitted, or I perhaps missed as I was paying attention unevenly, was the frequency with which it was happening, particularly in Erasmo’s starts. I mentioned that potentially dangerous meeting of his high walk rate with the Red Sox’ own high walk rate, and sure enough, we saw five walks in four and a third innings. Goldsmith, in that sly way of his, mentioned Erasmo’s scoreless streak in the context of him having allowed and stranded ~30 baserunners in ~20 innings. WHIP is a statistic of limited uses, but a 1.50 of that should not equate to a 0.00 ERA. We all knew that, though it was hard to take Erasmo out while people were talking about how he was “gaining confidence” and such as.

I emphasize all of t his because last night, Taijuan Walker threw a complete game shutout with 107 pitches. He had twelve groundballs to only three flies and a 8/1 K/BB with four hits allowed. If the Mariners were looking for a “statement” game, that was it. He’ll have his struggles, tax the bullpen himself now and then, and may even be not-so-amazing next time out on account of throwing so many pitches in the shutout. He should still be up to make the start next time the rotation turns around. I would be surprised if he weren’t.

The first step in this process (note: I wrote the above at around 2 pm, and the rest is tacked on at 4 pm) has been Erasmo’s demotion to Tacoma in order to get an extra relief arm in Brandon Maurer. Reports in Tacoma have had Maurer in the mid-to-high-90s and using his slider to great effect. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be talking about him as a relief candidate, but in an ideal world we also probably wouldn’t have the dozens and dozens of arm surgeries for pitchers this year and it would be harder to break through as such. We have needs in the bullpen and other arms who have handled starting better, so Maurer is in the ‘pen for now. I’d expect his tenure to last only as long as it takes us to get to that rotation slot again, barring weirdness. Baseball is so weird.

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


47 Responses to “Game 79, Red Sox at Mariners”

  1. rowlandice on June 25th, 2014 4:34 pm

    Romero in RF tonight kinda feels like a “last chance” to make an impression before Saunders and Hart are activated.

  2. Paul B on June 25th, 2014 5:30 pm

    No Buck? We’re doomed!

  3. sexymarinersfan on June 25th, 2014 5:45 pm

    I’m so pissed that I’m gonna miss another damn series of Seattle Houston games and it’ll probably involve a Felix day, Walker’s first start of the year AND Iwakuma!!! Living in Dallas sucks until Houston figures out their damn tv deal situation!!! I’ve seen every game to date with my Extra Innings package EXCEPT when we play the f’ning Astros because they claim Dallas as there area! Pisses me the F off!!

  4. kenshabby on June 25th, 2014 6:02 pm

    Maurer in the ‘pen should be an interesting experiment. Could turn out great, could turn out awful, but I’d like to see him focus his energies in increments of < 1.0 IP.

  5. MrZDevotee on June 25th, 2014 6:29 pm

    Dallas is a local area for Houston? That’s just bizarre, especially with the Rangers there.

    I remember when my sis-in-law bought me MLB Gold (I think that was the name), the “extra stuff included” package, one year for my birthday, only to realize everything was blacked out ’cause I live right here in Seattle. Total buzzkill, and waste of money.

  6. Westside guy on June 25th, 2014 6:40 pm

    A jailbroken iOS device plus a location faker does wonders.

    There’s also the website – just don’t install their desktop app, which is full of crapware.

    Not that I’m advocating such behaviors, of course.

  7. Paul B on June 25th, 2014 7:06 pm

    In Hawaii, the Mariner Padre games were locked out, even though the TV here only shows Angels and Dodgers.

    Go figure.

  8. MrZDevotee on June 25th, 2014 7:18 pm

    David Ortiz can still hurt a baseball. Yep.

  9. HighlightsAt11 on June 25th, 2014 7:21 pm

    I hate mistakes…when pitching to Ortiz.

    Hope the Ms can copy the last two evenings at the plate this evening.

  10. Longgeorge1 on June 25th, 2014 7:27 pm

    Count me among those that will be surprised if TW is not starting in Seattle for his next start.

  11. Eastside Suds on June 25th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Even though Lloyd didn’t come right out and say it last night in the post-game, he did. I loved it when he said last night was NOT a great night because of the lack of consistency with the starting pitching. He obviously is through muddling through Ramirez’s starts. Good luck in Tacoma E-Ram. Bring on Taijuan!!

  12. pgreyy on June 25th, 2014 7:40 pm


  13. juneau_fan on June 25th, 2014 7:40 pm


  14. Slats on June 25th, 2014 7:40 pm

    Mike Z!

  15. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 7:40 pm

    keep it up boys!

  16. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 7:42 pm

    I really hope that when Saunders comes back, Romero is the one to go away.

  17. Eastside Suds on June 25th, 2014 7:43 pm


  18. HighlightsAt11 on June 25th, 2014 7:46 pm

    Nice going Kyle, Lomo and Z. My 7:21 hope was just answered.

    Now Kuma to close out this game (hoping).

  19. HighlightsAt11 on June 25th, 2014 7:47 pm

    Or maybe not?

  20. Eastside Suds on June 25th, 2014 7:48 pm

    I believe he will be Grayfox. I’d be shocked if Endy or Gillespie go anywhere. Romero needs to play everyday. He’s not a bust. Just a young prospect. He needs to be treated as such.

  21. Eastside Suds on June 25th, 2014 7:57 pm

    12-10 Mariners? LOL

  22. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 7:58 pm

    C’mon Iwakuma, get it together!

  23. SilverLance on June 25th, 2014 8:01 pm

    The Boston Bandwagon crowd is out tonight!!!

  24. Moriner on June 25th, 2014 8:04 pm

    Several pitches up in the zone to good effect. To bad he gave one low to Ortiz.

  25. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 8:07 pm

    Endy the DH and leading off tonight? wow we really have nothing better do we?

  26. Jake on June 25th, 2014 8:10 pm

    Endy/Buck/WFB the 3-headed DH monster.

  27. Moriner on June 25th, 2014 8:16 pm

    Endy’s hitting just fine. The other 2 not so much.

  28. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 8:20 pm

    The Mariners really are getting away from the method of making pitchers work it seems. I have seen way to many 1st or 2nd pitch outs, and that is so frustrating to see. Fresh of the DL and Buchholz is only at 38 pitches through 4 innings.

  29. msfanmike on June 25th, 2014 8:32 pm

    Damage minimized and they are still in this game. Kuma just had an off day.

  30. Moriner on June 25th, 2014 8:41 pm

    Wow. We’re still letting him get through innings without throwing any pitches.

  31. californiamariner on June 25th, 2014 8:59 pm

    Darn, Seager hit that ball pretty hard up the middle too. Cano and Seager coming up with 2 on, no outs…. I was expecting more

  32. Moriner on June 25th, 2014 9:01 pm

    Question: with Maurer coming up, probably until the 5th starting slot comes up again…can you promote and demote players as often as you like? So in effect you have an endless bullpen? Or are their limits on these moves?

  33. pgreyy on June 25th, 2014 9:17 pm


  34. Westside guy on June 25th, 2014 9:20 pm

    When David Ortiz is at bat, you’d think MLB At Bat would have the decency not to put a white batter up as his avatar. But you’d be wrong.

  35. pgreyy on June 25th, 2014 9:22 pm


  36. msfanmike on June 25th, 2014 9:25 pm


  37. Jay Yencich on June 25th, 2014 9:25 pm

    Rad Miller, gents and ladies.

  38. Eastside Suds on June 25th, 2014 9:25 pm


  39. JMB on June 25th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Miller Time ™.

    Might have a shot in this one after all.

  40. JMB on June 25th, 2014 9:27 pm

    And yeah, Maurer looked good. Amazing what can happen when you move a starter into the bullpen.

  41. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 9:32 pm

    Lloyd, what is the point of these two pinch hitters?

  42. Jay Yencich on June 25th, 2014 9:40 pm

    Lloyd, what is the point of these two pinch hitters?

    To ensure that Montero sees no further plate appearances before being optioned.

  43. Grayfox3d on June 25th, 2014 9:53 pm

    Well, cant win them all. To many missed opportunities tonight, and Iwakuma not being sharp really hurt.

  44. Jay Yencich on June 25th, 2014 10:26 pm

    Called it

    Ryan Divish ?@RyanDivish 11m
    Montero cleaning out his locker. Looks like he’s heading back to the Rainiers

  45. Westside guy on June 25th, 2014 10:39 pm

    Huh. While Montero is one dimensional, he was hitting reasonably well – and he’s right handed.

    I really don’t get the logic in keeping Romero up with the big club right now.

  46. Eastside Crank on June 26th, 2014 12:25 pm

    I was at the game last night in seats along the right field line. The Boston right fielder lying on his tummy made a better play on a fly ball than any of the ones Romero made standing up. He looks like a DH trying to play in the outfield. Once he fields a ball he does a lot of dancing and fakes before he throws it towards the infield. It used to be fun to watch the right fielder for the Mariners play. Now we get Ibanez 2.0.

  47. sawsatch on June 26th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Smoak, Ackley to N.L.
    Can be used as a late bat with defense capability in the case of Smoak, and late bat with versatility in the case of Ackley. Both are 4A players and shouldn’t be on an A. L starting roster.

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