Game 85, Mariners at Astros

Jay Yencich · July 2, 2014 at 10:44 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Brad Peacock, 11:10 am

How about them ‘Ners, right?

I had intended to use the bulk of this preview space to talk about Chris Young, and how what he’s doing is bonkers, but I woke up yesterday morning to find at Fangraphs Tony Blengino’s “Chris Young: Is it Real or is it Safeco, which goes into far more detail than I had intended to myself. The summary is that Young is off on his own little island in the middle of the ocean. Among the other things I could add or find interesting, his BB% is higher than league average by 1.5%, as well as being above his career marks, though he has multiple full seasons in double-digits. His K% is also about 8% off league average and close to 7% off his career norms which, granted, were mostly pre-surgery. And his BABIP is eighty points lower than the league partly because of all those infield fly balls. That said, it’ll be harder to get the ball to stay in the park in Houston.

As much amusement and intrigues as there are in trying to analyze High Mariner, I suppose there’s the other guy on the mound to consider, though Marc has probably covered all the basics before. The White Sox series will be more relaxed. Brad Peacock, in his 72.2 innings has the same xFIP as he did last year in 83.1 innings and that’s not something you see every day. Ks, BABIP, and walks have all trended in the wrong direction, but he’s stranding more and not allowing as many home runs. He’s scaled back the fastball this year and increased usage of both of his breaking balls and the results, I suppose, are all right. Despite the fact that he throws two breaking balls and doesn’t show much of a change-up, he’s had reverse splits in the majors, contrasted with his minor league work, which ran as expected. I was prepared to complain about the knee-jerk “play the splits” lineups, but I suppose this one could be excused.

DH Endy Chavez
CF James Jones
2B Robinson Cano
3B Kyle Seager
1B Logan Morrison
C John Buck
RF Michael Saunders
LF Dustin Ackley
SS Rad Miller

Your other news: Jarred Cosart, on twitter, described his performance as “[running] into a buzz saw.” Jeff wrote about Taijuan Walker this morning. Mavericks pitcher and local product Andrew Kittredge struck out five in an inning, which was neither the first time it has happened nor the only time recently. Paxton threw on flat ground today, is still alive, should get another bullpen and then a sim game shortly.

Another thing I’ve thought about recently: Minute Maid Park, Tropicana Field, two AL stadiums that you could nickname “The Juice Box.”


44 Responses to “Game 85, Mariners at Astros”

  1. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 11:15 am

    Orange juice obviously commands some serious dinero…

  2. Jay Yencich on July 2nd, 2014 11:17 am

    Big Balanced Breakfast is just [bacon] greasing the palms of all the local pols.

  3. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 11:22 am

    Mmm… bacon…

  4. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 12:16 pm

    Come on guys, put something together.

  5. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:21 pm

    Was Buck suppose to go to second?

  6. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:26 pm

    Bottom of third: Marwin Gonzalez – Strike (looking), Strike (looking), M Gonzalez homered to right

    It would be a shame for Young to lose this one-hitter, due to one bad pitch for a home run.

  7. Jay Yencich on July 2nd, 2014 12:27 pm

    Well, the good news is that it’s no longer a one-hitter.

  8. Dennisss on July 2nd, 2014 12:32 pm

    I feel like I should get college credit for reading a Blengino column, but thanks for the link. The Elias/Young combo is possibly the biggest reason the team is doing well this year.

  9. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:38 pm

    Damn. A two home-run two hitter.

    Peacock is pitching tough. Both pitchers @15-16 pitch per inning, thus likely relief will show up in the eighth. Hoping M’s can do some damage then.

  10. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:40 pm

    Or maybe do some damage now…come on LoMo…

  11. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:43 pm

    LoMo gets it done with RISP.

  12. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:46 pm

    Buck gets it done on full count pitch. Zunino would have struck out.

  13. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 12:51 pm

    Hey, Mr. Morrison – if you could continue on like this and make the organization feel compelled to keep Smoak down in AAA, we’d be much obliged to you.

    Maybe Justin’s “general soreness” warrants another trip to the DL? You want to be really careful with guys like him…

  14. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 12:54 pm

    How long can he M’s keep Smoak jailed in “rehab”?

  15. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:00 pm

    Good job Mr. Young. So does he pitch the seventh? Or anyone warming in the bullpen?

  16. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 1:09 pm

    I believe the rehab assignment limit is 20 days or thereabouts.

  17. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:24 pm

    8 pitch count seventh. Young at 99 pitches. Young in the eighth?

    Or will it be Beimel, Furbush, Farquhar, or Medina in the eighth? Rodney in the ninth.

  18. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:27 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, The Times reported Hart’s rehab could last til 7/5 and Smoak’s til 7/10.

  19. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 1:27 pm

    Oh Ackley, Ackley, Ackley – WHY must you tease us this way? WHY raise our hopes again, you cruel young man?

  20. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:29 pm

    Ackley’s doing some things at the plate in Houston. Hope he can continue that in Chicago.

  21. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:32 pm

    Westside – why do you want so much for players to continue to choke?

  22. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 1:33 pm

    Dr Z’s favorite relief pitcher is on the mound.

  23. Msfanchicagoland on July 2nd, 2014 2:33 pm

    Nothing personal, but I hope “‘Ners” never catches on.

  24. Jay Yencich on July 2nd, 2014 2:43 pm

    Nothing personal, but


    (It’s not even my invention, but I have fun with it.)

  25. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 2:53 pm

    Please – nobody complain about “Rad” Miller! I want it to become a thing!

  26. leon0112 on July 2nd, 2014 5:39 pm

    Why are the Mariners winning so many games?

    1) Cano is a definite upgrade at second base and third in the line-up.
    2) James Jones has come out of nowhere.
    3) Kyle Seager has continued to improve.
    4) Chris Young has surprised everyone on the upside.
    5) Roneis Elias has come out of nowhere.
    6) The bullpen is great.

    Thank you. I needed to explain this to myself.

  27. Jay Yencich on July 2nd, 2014 6:34 pm

    We’ve also stopped punting defense and are hitting in the clutch, the former of which is somewhat sustainable, the latter, ehhhhhh

  28. HighlightsAt11 on July 2nd, 2014 8:18 pm

    Jay, yes the latter is indeed the question. Hitting with RISP. Will the M’s be able to get it done consistently when coming up against stronger pitching? It’s great to be at the start of July and be able to ask that question as if it really mattered. Who would have thunk such a month ago? Happy Mariner Fan.

  29. nvn8vbryce on July 2nd, 2014 8:22 pm

    I’ll say it right now, but this feels like a team that can get us to the playoffs. Not sure how deep it’ll go, but there’s something about Lloyd that is starting to make me think that it’s a real possibility. The next month will make or break us.

  30. Kazinski on July 2nd, 2014 8:56 pm

    Last 14 days, there are 6 Mariners that are slugging over .500. That’s pretty good contribution from a lot of guys.

    One of those 6 is our new DH Endy Chavez, so I’m betting that there is some luck involved. In fact I’ll bet Lloyd is using the off day tomorrow to swing by Vegas to hit the craps table while he is red hot.

  31. leon0112 on July 2nd, 2014 9:27 pm

    The idea that Chavez will continue this seems very unlikely to me. But, hey, to win a pennant some guys need to have career years.

    And the Mariners are only 4.5 games out of first place. On July 2.

    I find myself rooting for the Rangers to beat the Orioles because the O’s are a bigger threat to the M’s making the playoffs. Boy, is that a change.

  32. Westside guy on July 2nd, 2014 9:43 pm

    It’s okay to situationally root for the Rangers this year, since they’ve lost about 100 players to injury and are undeniably terrible – it’s not like they’re going to come back and be competitive (in 2014 anyway).

    Thing is, as Jeff wrote a little while back… even if you don’t believe this team is as good as its record (and I don’t), they can’t give away the games they’ve already played. If they can play .500 ball the rest of the way out, they have a decent shot at a playoff spot. So we need to enjoy it while it lasts, which hopefully will be the case clear through September.

  33. Kazinski on July 2nd, 2014 10:27 pm

    “they can’t give away the games they’ve already played.”

    Actually we’ve seen them do that several times, but hopefully those days are over. I hate to bring this up but July 5th 2011 the Mariners were sitting at .500, just 2.5 games out of first place when the 17 game losing streak started.

    I am not the pessimistic type and its the last thing I expect this year, even though we’ve seen them drop 8 earlier, but we actually can give back the games we’ve already played, and more.

    As for Endy having a career year, its taken pretty much an unconcious 2 weeks (.318/.362/.523) to get almost back up to replacement level. At 36 thinking that Endy is going to make a major contribution is your heart speaking. If were going to let our hearts dictate our roster decisions I’d rather we bring Raul back to DH. And yes I understand how crazy stupid that sounds, but ZIPs thinks Raul would be .8fWAR better than Endy over the rest of the season than Endy (.4 vs -.4).

    I really hope we have better options than that. In fact I’d much rather bring back Ichiro than keep playing Endy. He would be almost free, and if were going to have a near replacement level veteran on his last legs taking up at bats, why not?

  34. LongDistance on July 2nd, 2014 11:26 pm

    So who’s this new guy …? Dusting Awklee (Aklee? Ackley?)…? Anyone know anything about him?

  35. Jay Yencich on July 3rd, 2014 1:59 am

    So who’s this new guy …? Dusting Awklee (Aklee? Ackley?)…? Anyone know anything about him?

    Some dude who hit .165/.233/.215 in June.

  36. Westside guy on July 3rd, 2014 10:39 am

    If this team has hopes of competing for the playoffs, they probably should pick up a serviceable left fielder.

    Doesn’t have to be a star, but league average on both offense and defense would be nice. I really hope they don’t do the “we need a bat so we’ll punt defense” thing; and given we’re talking about a one game playoff, they shouldn’t sell the farm for a star. But much as I hate to say it, Ackley probably shouldn’t be starting.

    Sorted by WAR, Ackley is 15th out of 20 qualified left fielders.

  37. Westside guy on July 3rd, 2014 10:46 am

    Speaking of left fielders, Michael Morse seems to be coming down to earth. His June wRC+ was 77.

    It will be interesting to see his totals at the end of the season. And, if they’re not particularly good, it will be interesting to note whether people will notice – or if they’ll only remember his torrid start and lament “why do they always get better when they leave?” again.

  38. HighlightsAt11 on July 3rd, 2014 11:30 am

    Kazinski… Ibanez signed with KC, and last I looked Ichiro is doing well enough with the NYY. So unsure why are you pointing these guys out as players you would like to replace Endy? May as well point out Ken Griffey or Willie Stargell.

    Do you have any suggestions for replacement outfielders the Mariners would have a reasonable possibility to signing?

  39. stevemotivateir on July 3rd, 2014 1:48 pm

    Endy’s been fine facing RHP. He’s hovering around 100 AB’s/PA’s (almost the same, since he rarely walks), so it’s a small sample size, but he hasn’t been a liability–yet.

    But my fear is that the M’s feel content. They can do better than Ackley, Chavez, or Gillespie. I would argue they need better if they expect to contend.

    Who knows who’s available right now, though. Many teams are probably looking for upgrades. Maybe the Rays are willing to part with someone? Kiermaier gives them a very full boat, though Myers in on the 15 day DL right now.

  40. LongDistance on July 3rd, 2014 1:49 pm

    Westy: just your mentioning in two back-to-back posts my two favorite not-favorite outfielders (although one has been stationed to 1B so his feet of clay are less obvious) reminds me of how grim things have been and continue to be in the OF.

    Highlights: For outfielders, just take a look at the Padres. They’re going to shop so many that a trade with them could end up looking like a dog’s dinner. Me, I think the Padres really, really need Ackley and Smoak. But that’s just me.

    Westy: I should add that having Ackley at bat, basically turns no matter what Lloyd runs out there, into a NL lineup.

    Go Jack.

  41. Westside guy on July 3rd, 2014 2:34 pm

    Westy: I should add that having Ackley at bat, basically turns no matter what Lloyd runs out there, into a NL lineup.

    LongDistance: There are a few NL pitchers who would take offense at this statement. 😀

    Actually my joke may not be far off the truth.

  42. Westside guy on July 4th, 2014 9:19 am

    Hart’s been activated – bye, bye Cole Gillespie.

    I imagine Gillespie will get picked up pretty quickly, given his performance this season.

  43. JMB on July 4th, 2014 9:30 am

    Gillespie has never really gotten a shot. Career .392 OBP in the minors, though, he should have gotten a shot by now.

  44. stevemotivateir on July 4th, 2014 11:42 am

    Doesn’t surprise me at all to see Gillespie go, I just didn’t expect it this quick. I figured he’d go after the M’s trade for someone worse to replace him.

    Maybe we’ll see that happen with Ackley?

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