Game 89, Twins at Mariners

marc w · July 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Kevin Correia, 7:10pm

Just before and after I got back from abroad, everyone talked about how well the M’s were playing and the fact that they jumped to the top of the wild card race. Sounds great! And then the team scores three runs in three games on the south side, getting blanked by Hector Noesi. I…are you sure it’s…they’re really leading the WC standings? The team with Endy Chavez starting? I’m not unhappy, I’m just confused.

The M’s get another chance at a weak AL Central team as the Twins come to town. Today’s starter, Kevin Correia, is like the platonic ideal of a Twins pitcher, and now that he’s pitched for a season and a half in the Twin cities, you have to admire their work in getting Correia to strike out even fewer, to generate nearly no whiffs. I have no idea *why* the Twins seem to hate strikeouts – this pathological need for their sub-par defense to make plays on every plate appearance – but they picked up the right guy in free agency. Correia now has the lowest K/9 of any starter this year, and none of Correia’s pitches have a whiff rate above 10%.

I find that latter figure absolutely incredible. Mark Buehrle has one, Kyle Gibson (the guy one spot above Correia on the K/9 trailerboard) throws two, as does Chris Young. Even bad, show-me sliders and change-ups get a few whiffs, especially if they’re thrown in the zone reasonably often. Henderson Alvarez managed to throw a season without any pitch with a 10% whiff rate back in 2012, when his K/9 slipped below 4, and his FIP crept above 5. It’s clearly possible, it’s just really, really ill-advised. There’s often beauty in simple, clean design, but this whole pitching without stuff or deception isn’t beautifully simple (shaker furniture), it’s naive and limiting (microwaved french fries as dinner). It’s actually funny to remember that Correia came up as a guy with nearly-league-average K rates. He seemed to *choose* to pitch this way when he moved from the Padres to the Pirates, and once you’ve chosen not to strike anyone out, it’s only a matter of time before the Twins pick you up.

Correia signed a 2-year, $10 million deal before the 2013 season, and has been a decent #4-or-so starter for them thanks to good control and good health. He’s odd, but he’s not without his uses; he seems to be roughly worth that contract, and if you’re going to complain about odd Twins signings, the Kendrys Morales deal was stranger (and the results have been uglier, at least so far). Partly because everyone can make contact, and in part because his breaking stuff eschews sharp, er, breaks, he has small platoon splits.

1: Saunders, RF
2: Jones, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Ackley, LF
9: Miller, SS
SP: Iwakuma

Speaking of Morales, he spoke (through an intepreter) about contract negotiations with Seattle to Todd Dybas of the News Tribune here.

Tyler Pike, Lars Huijer, Matt Palmer and Rigoberto Garcia are on the hill for M’s affiliates today.

Comments

70 Responses to “Game 89, Twins at Mariners”

  1. Rick L on July 7th, 2014 5:47 pm

    They aren’t leading the wild card race. Anaheim is. But your point stands. Getting blanked by Noesi is inexcusable.

  2. 11records on July 7th, 2014 6:16 pm

    This lineup has 9 legitimate major league bats in it. I mean, some are below average, but there’s not one guy who simply doesn’t belong in the big leagues. Which is in and of itself kind of exciting.

  3. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 6:24 pm

    Saunders makes some sense at leadoff, given the roster. I wonder if McLendon is trying to take some pressure off of Jones, given he’s kept him out of the first spot for a while now.

    Note: This was not a complaint! I like this lineup, and mostly like the order. It would be nice if Hart could get things going…

  4. kenshabby on July 7th, 2014 6:38 pm

    So Morales declined a 3/$30 mil deal and a qualifying offer of $14.1 mil. That’s wonderful news! We can instead put that money toward a Tulowitzki deal.

  5. MrZDevotee on July 7th, 2014 6:44 pm

    This is the lineup I’d been hoping to see for awhile (with Saunders and Jones interchangeable)… Hopefully they can score some runs and make it stick for a few games.

    Also… Congrats to Kyle Seager getting named to the All-Star Team, as Encarnacion’s (15 day disabled list) replacement… Can’t remember the last time the M’s had 2 position players on an All-Star roster…

  6. californiamariner on July 7th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Hopefully 3 out of 4 can be taken from the Twins. Need to capitalize on these weaker teams.

    Also, cool to see Kyle Seager get a chance to be an all star!

  7. californiamariner on July 7th, 2014 7:17 pm

    Nice to have Rizzs calling the game.

  8. lokiforever on July 7th, 2014 7:22 pm

    Kevin Correia and the pitch to contact philosophy.
    Thank you immensely for this, ” …and once you’ve chosen not to strike anyone out, it’s only a matter of time before the Twins pick you up.”

  9. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 7:26 pm

    How long do the Mariners sit and wait to see if Hart ever gets it together.

  10. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Cmon Kyle! you get into the All star game and then you swing at a pitch like that with RISP.

  11. californiamariner on July 7th, 2014 7:36 pm

    It is interesting to hear Blowers talking right now about not wanting your hitters to try to “beat the shift”. He started talking about it with Willingham and continued about Seager, saying you want them to hit home runs and drive in runs.

    I’m not sure I agree. I’m not saying I think you should change your swing and try to slap the ball all the time the other way, but I don’t see a problem with dropping a bunt sometimes or even hitting the ball the opposite way.

  12. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 7:47 pm

    Mikey!

  13. Dennisss on July 7th, 2014 7:47 pm

    I don’t think pitching to contact to Zunino is a good idea.

  14. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 7:48 pm

    I really don’t know why anyone ever throws Zunino a strike intentionally. He swings at 42.4% of pitches outside the strike zone.

  15. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 7:54 pm

    WOW. Safeco is empty.

  16. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 7:54 pm

    I really really dislike first pitch swings, I know sometimes they go for base hits, but for us it seems all we can do is pop them up.

  17. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 7:56 pm

    Haha, Zunino’s single game wRC+ is currently 1338.

  18. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 8:16 pm

    LoMo…

  19. californiamariner on July 7th, 2014 8:45 pm

    Iwakuma is about as sharp as he has been all year tonight.

  20. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 8:45 pm

    If Hart doesn’t turn it around soon, I’d like to see them bring Montero back up. Yes, he’s one dimensional; but basically so is Hart, given his injury issues.

  21. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 8:48 pm

    Hear ranting about Chavez and Ackley being in the line-up, but why no rants about Hart? How much longer does Mac put up with the lack of productivity, especially for a non-position player? He’s a sunk cost.

  22. Dennisss on July 7th, 2014 8:50 pm

    9 stikeouts, no walks, 2 singles through 6 innings, and Iwakuma is barely hanging on to the lead.

  23. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 8:51 pm

    Hart is now at 171 plate appearances. He’s 32 years old, and seems to have trouble staying healthy nowadays. Hopefully they won’t keep running him out there much more unless he starts to turn things around both quickly and dramatically.

  24. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 8:53 pm

    4 straight games now of glaring offensive holes, I really hope Jack Z is actually watching this and realizing what needs to be done in order to stay relevant.

  25. Dennisss on July 7th, 2014 8:54 pm

    Corey Hart hasn’t produced this year, but he has a track record as an above-average hitter. Montero has a track record as a below-average hitter. Maybe Hart has lost it, maybe Montero has found it, but I would give Hart more time before taking a flyer on Montero.

  26. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 8:58 pm

    Dennisss…I assume you are assuming Hart and Montero are the only options available,

  27. Dennisss on July 7th, 2014 8:59 pm

    M’s respond to a no-strikeout pitcher by putting up a sub-200 BABIP.

  28. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:02 pm

    This game is really not a “pitching duel” in the remotest sense.

    The M’s are not taking advantage of walks/RISP.

  29. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:02 pm

    The M’s arent taking advantage of anything.

  30. Dennisss on July 7th, 2014 9:04 pm

    Highlights, yeah, I am assuming that, but if there is a third option, I’m all for it. Hanging their hats on Hart is risky.

  31. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:05 pm

    Weird sub there for Morales. That didn’t work out well for the Twinkies

  32. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:11 pm

    Dear Baseball God,

    If there is such, please let the Mariners score a few more runs… pretty please! ill do my chores, and wont swear, and will help old ladies cross the road. thank you.

  33. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:14 pm

    So, what’s the over/under on the M’s picking up Soriano? I don’t believe this current offensive configuration can duplicate their first half record, even with great pitching.

  34. bookbook on July 7th, 2014 9:18 pm

    The M’s are currently scouring the trade routes for any and every sub-.300 OBP bat available. The next phalanx will be procured. And we shall be unstoppable.

  35. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:18 pm

    To be quite honest, I have the lingering fear that Jack Z is not going to do anything, and if he does, it wont be very significant.

  36. juneau_fan on July 7th, 2014 9:19 pm

    *groan* Or??

  37. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:19 pm

    and the Condor strikes!!!!

  38. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Hey, Condor!

  39. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:26 pm

    Happy Morales did not make it home, and did not sign with the Mariners.

  40. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:29 pm

    Jack’s track record makes me think the M’s will not make the right mid-season adjustments. But if any are forthcoming it better be soon.

  41. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:33 pm

    Mr. Z’s Farquhar did good.

    Who ever thought M’s overall pitching would be this successful? How long can rely on it?

    So has it been decided who is pitching on Thursday? Maurer?

  42. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:34 pm

    Highlights, that’s exactly what i fear, stated by my post earlier. And of course he will claim that he had lots of offers but nothing that immediately helped the club.

  43. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:34 pm

    I’m done with Buck. Is it a coincidence that our offense has totally sucked since he came back?

  44. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:34 pm

    I have no Heart for Hart today.

  45. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:34 pm

    Eastside, do you mean Hart?

  46. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:35 pm

    He is so one dimensional. Reminds me almost of Charlie Sexton. Cano will struggle more as well hitting in front of him.

  47. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:36 pm

    Yes….meant Hart. Sorry. I loves me some John Buck!!

  48. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:36 pm

    Poor Buck. Even when he is not playing he gets spit on.

  49. kenshabby on July 7th, 2014 9:37 pm

    The Mariners are the only team left in MLB to have allowed < 300 runs.

  50. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:39 pm

    Eastside…how much suds have you already consumed this evening?

    Charlie Sexton (the musician) DNE Richie Sexson (the ex-mariner strikeout artist)

  51. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:42 pm

    Lol Eastside is all sorts of mixed up tonight.

  52. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:42 pm

    A few I think. Yeah he reminds me of the big swing and miss guy. Sexson

  53. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:43 pm

    Might be the Crown Royal talking. LOL. Don’t judge me!

  54. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:46 pm

    Indeed, subbing Parmalee for Morales appears to have back fired on the Twins.

  55. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 9:46 pm

    I don’t know how Rodney gets anything over the plate with that windup but I’ll take the win and the save! A frustrating night at least ends on a good note.

  56. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:48 pm

    Save 28 for Rodney. Whatever the technique might be described, he’s getting it done.

  57. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:51 pm

    Mmmm…me like some Crown Royal. I usually save it for the days the King is pitching. Ninkasi IPA was tonight’s blessing. Along with the M win.

  58. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 9:51 pm

    On pace for 50 plus saves. Who woulda thought way back in January?

  59. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 9:54 pm

    Is it safe to assume Felix and Rodney will be selected for the All-Star game?

  60. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 10:01 pm

    Eastside remember how horrible Rodney looked in spring training? ya I was not looking forward to him at that point.

  61. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 10:04 pm

    Ryan Divish just said “John Buck DFA’d”… dunno what this means

  62. Grayfox3d on July 7th, 2014 10:05 pm

    for Jesus Sucre apparently..

  63. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 10:08 pm

    It’s Eastside’s fault!

  64. californiamariner on July 7th, 2014 10:16 pm

    Wow, surprising to see Buck designated for assignment. I kind of like Sucre though anyway. He should be up.

  65. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 10:28 pm

    Apparently they don’t think Zunino needs any veteran mentorship. Or they figure Boom Boom and Endy have that covered already.

  66. Westside guy on July 7th, 2014 10:36 pm

    But seriously, it hope something else is going on because replacing Buck with Sucre (who I actually like) doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. It doesn’t make the team better overall, and while Sucre may be a better defender he is a black hole at the plate.

    What are they going to do, bring back Henry Blanco?

  67. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 10:36 pm

    The veteran purge is on. Watch out Endy and Mike Blowers and Jay Buhner.

  68. HighlightsAt11 on July 7th, 2014 10:41 pm

    Maybe Jack is hoping having a Jesus on the roster will help answer his daily prayer the Mariners make the playoffs and saves his job?

  69. taylor.mariner on July 7th, 2014 11:17 pm

    Ha, that was pretty clever highlights #jesussaves

  70. Eastside Suds on July 7th, 2014 11:35 pm

    My God, what have I done?? I meant Hart. I meant Hart!!

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