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.


70 Responses to “Game 89, Twins at Mariners”

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

    Lol Eastside is all sorts of mixed up tonight.

  2. 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

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

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

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

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

  5. 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.

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

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

  7. 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.

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

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

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

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

  10. 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.

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

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

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

    for Jesus Sucre apparently..

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

    It’s Eastside’s fault!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

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

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

  18. 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?

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

    Ha, that was pretty clever highlights #jesussaves

  20. 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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