Game 90, Twins at Mariners

marc w · July 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Phil Hughes, 7:10pm

Ah, Phil Hughes. Jeff discussed Phil Hughes relentless tinkering and adjustments back in May at Fangraphs, and that’s the best piece to read to get a sense of Hughes. We’ve seen him many times through the years, but that matters less with a guy like this – you really need to know what he’s doing *now.* As you probably know, he vacillated between throwing tons of sliders and throwing none of them; he’s in a slider-free phase this year, which means he’s essentially a fastball/cutter/curve guy. The simplified approach seems to have paid some dividends in terms of his control, as Hughes has just 10 unintentional walks in 109+ innings on the year. His K rate’s a career high as well (excepting his time as a reliever, of course), and even his old nemesis, the home run ball, has mostly stayed away after he moved from new Yankee Stadium to Target field.

It’s all added up to a sparkling FIP of 2.79, and the best seasonal fWAR of his career even though we’re not at the break yet. As nice as it is for Hughes’ ERA to start with a 3 and not a 5, it’s still something of a disappointment given his fielding-independent stats. For years, Hughes matched or even outpitched his FIP, as HRs sent that measure ever higher. This year, it’s beautiful, but he’s been undone by BABIP and strand rate. He can certainly hope for that BABIP to come down over time, though the Twins defense isn’t going to make that automatic. But strand rate’s been an issue for Hughes for years now – his 69% mark this year is a tiny bit under his career average of 70.6% (a mark that is itself inflated by his year as a reliever). There’s no obvious culprit for that. Unlike his teammates, Hughes can actually get a strikeout every now and again. In the BBREF splits, he’s been decent with two outs (and hurt by BABIP in those situations). You’d point to it as an obvious regression candidate, but again: he’s thrown nearly 900 big-league innings at this point.

Hughes has shown nearly no platoon splits over the course of his career, but he’s running BABIP-driven reverse splits this season.

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

Jordan Pries, Cam Hobson and Brett Shankin are among the minor leaguers getting starts tonight, but with apologies to Pries, all eyes are going to be on Everett, where Luiz Gohara will try to shake off Brazil’s disastrous World Cup performance and get a win for the Aqua Sox. The big lefty made one start earlier this month in Hillsboro, and it went very poorly, but he’s as talented an arm as the M’s system has, and he’ll be making his first start at home. Go check him out.


51 Responses to “Game 90, Twins at Mariners”

  1. Eastside Suds on July 8th, 2014 7:16 pm

    Looks like lots of empty seats in Seattle tonight. Heat probably keeping people on the DL.

  2. californiamariner on July 8th, 2014 7:27 pm

    Is Dave Sims on vacation?

  3. msfanmike on July 8th, 2014 7:39 pm

    No, he’s on the radio.

  4. californiamariner on July 8th, 2014 7:43 pm

    Well, I’m not one to always bash Sims, but I do like Rizzs!

  5. Westside guy on July 8th, 2014 7:47 pm

    It’s a mini-vacation for Sims! He doesn’t shave, wears a Hawaiian shirt, and drinks Mai Tais while doing the radio broadcast.

  6. californiamariner on July 8th, 2014 7:55 pm

    The Mariners offense has also been on a mini-vacation.

  7. msfanmike on July 8th, 2014 7:56 pm

    … For the majority of the past decade

  8. Westside guy on July 8th, 2014 7:59 pm

    No way was Jones out.

  9. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:14 pm

    I really wish we had a better option than Hart…

  10. Westside guy on July 8th, 2014 8:22 pm

    I wish we had a better option than Ackley – one that could hit without sucking defensively.

  11. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:22 pm

    If Sam Fuld can hit a HR in safeco, than anyone should be able to, cmon man!

  12. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 8:24 pm

    Is World Cup Soccer a higher scoring game than MLB baseball? After watching the last four Mariners games that would appear to be true.

  13. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:28 pm

    Getting shut down by mediocre pitching each night is really fun to watch..

  14. Eastside Suds on July 8th, 2014 8:44 pm

    We make everyone look like an All Star

  15. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 8:54 pm

    Chavez pinch runs for Hart. Good sub.

  16. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:54 pm

    Did hell freeze over? Hart just got a hit! to bad he cant do that when it really matters.

  17. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:55 pm

    and then that happens!

  18. Kazinski on July 8th, 2014 8:55 pm

    I think having Ackley bunt in that situation should be as automatic as for a pitcher in the NL.

  19. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 8:57 pm

    I was just gonna say that Kazinski.

  20. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 9:00 pm

    the last 5 games, against 2 not very good teams, the Mariners have only been able to score 6 runs, and people want to talk about getting a WC spot…

  21. Eastside Suds on July 8th, 2014 9:03 pm

    Another solid outing by Young. Hopefully not a wasted effort as we are used to seeing. Z has to be concerned about our offensive woes. Wouldn’t be surprised to see something happen soon. Death Valley at DH and left field at the very least. And Sucre’s bat is certainly not the answer.

  22. PeterCampbell on July 8th, 2014 9:09 pm

    So my buddy and I are 90% sure we heard Jay Buhner say–in the top of the fifth inning, while Buhner, Rizz, and Blowers were discussing the Fuld home run–that Saunders was “almost [something]-jewed” by Fuld (whose father is Jewish) last night.

    I heard it live; my friend rewound the broadcast, and is almost sure I heard right, but my terrible DSL connection doesn’t give me DVR capability on to confirm for myself. Did anyone else hear this?

  23. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:21 pm

    SO who will be the hero for the Mariners this game. Step up to the plate!

  24. Eastside Suds on July 8th, 2014 9:22 pm

    Can’t recall that, but that would be so Buhner. He is such a redneck.

  25. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:22 pm

    Top of the order. Time to get something going…fast.

  26. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:23 pm

    Ok Mr Jones….show us your stuff.

  27. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:24 pm

    Ok Cano, bring em home.

  28. californiamariner on July 8th, 2014 9:27 pm

    Peter, I rewound it and tried to find the comment (more interesting than this offense). I think I know the part you are talking about. It sounded like “tricker-’something that sounded like jewed’” but I couldn’t be sure.

  29. californiamariner on July 8th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Double play, and this game is over!

  30. msfanmike on July 8th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Wow, that was some serious horseshit.

  31. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Another squandered opportunity. Blah.

  32. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Mariners really showing their true colors, I don’t see the rest of the games before the ASG going very well.

  33. HighlightsAt11 on July 8th, 2014 9:30 pm

    Who is pitching Thursday?

  34. Westside guy on July 8th, 2014 9:38 pm

    Obviously the DFA of John Buck has deeply affected the psyche of this team. ;-)

  35. seattleslew on July 8th, 2014 9:42 pm

    Good grief. This can’t continue.

  36. seattleslew on July 8th, 2014 9:43 pm

    They should bring Ichiro back for Montero and Almonte. :)

  37. msfanmike on July 8th, 2014 9:45 pm

    Please get a hit, Willie. I want to see another Ackley AB.

  38. Eastside Suds on July 8th, 2014 9:45 pm

    Nope, it can’t. They simply can not waste this excellent pitching staff.

  39. seattleslew on July 8th, 2014 9:48 pm

    Actually, Ichiro, Ryan, and Pineda for Montero and Almonte.

  40. stevemotivateir on July 8th, 2014 10:06 pm

    It may sound like Marc was joking about Gohara, but the day of games are recognized and/or treated as holidays in Brasil. The affect of that meltdown today is almost impossible to describe, but it’s probably like dealing with the death of a family member. The national team is all most Brazilians have.

    That game may very well have a negative affect on him. Hopefully he can forget about it for a few hours. If he can, I’ll have few doubts about his mental toughness.

  41. Westside guy on July 8th, 2014 10:32 pm

    Steve, some people may not realize your current abode is in São Paulo, Brasil.

    So I’m guessing things have been pretty somber down there this evening?

  42. stevemotivateir on July 8th, 2014 10:50 pm

    Actually, it was a mix of emotions. Right now it’s calm, but it’s almost 3am. There were tears, screaming, and yet lots of fireworks, but there was still a humbling for some. My wife, for example, recognized that Germany had a better team, or at least played better as a team. I should stress that Brazilians love excuses for fireworks.

    Many seemed to be in a state of shock; disbelief. And there was insult to injury, as Ronaldo’s record was broken in the process.

    This could very well be the worst day in Brazilian sports history.

  43. stevemotivateir on July 8th, 2014 11:03 pm

    It’s worth noting Brasil didn’t have their best player, or their captain. They had been far too dependent on just a few players, and it certainly showed today.

    Anyway, it looks like Gohara had a rough start. I’ll give him a pass given his inexperience and the additional circumstances, though.

  44. LongDistance on July 8th, 2014 11:08 pm

    A lot of people felt, right from the first round, that there was something of an imposter in the Brazilian team … that they were getting by, on luck, and with one great offensive player, and one great defensive player. And the wheels just came off the wagon when those two weren’t there. That only replacing them for the Germany match, man-for-man, without adjusting the rest of the team, was an obvious mistake. Considering how deeply soccer goes, down there, in the popular culture, and the problems and controversies the country has … there will be consequences.

    As for the Ms. DFA the deadwood.

    They’re playing better than expected. Granted. But it won’t make any advancement, zero, from here forward.

    Does the F.O. want that? I truly believe Jack does. But does he have any cards in his hand to work with?


  45. r-gordon-7 on July 9th, 2014 12:14 am

    Pete, Eastside, california,, I listened to the replay of the game just to hear what Buhner did or didn’t say. Yes, Buhner clearly used the phrase, “tricker-Jewed”, apparently to describe what Buhner viewed as Fuld’s attempt in the prior game to briefly pretend he had caught Saunder’s home run and trick the ump into calling Saunders out. (I wonder how this “slip” would’ve gone over had Aaron Goldsmith had been in the booth?) Anyhow, being Jewish myself (though I’ll leave to others the determination of how “tricky” I might or might not be), I’ve heard plenty of these good-ol’ boy anti-semitic slurs before, but this is a new one for me. Guess I’ve just never been to the particular trailer court in which Buhner must’ve been raised…

  46. Westside guy on July 9th, 2014 12:27 am

    Wow, that’s pretty bad if that’s what Buhner said. I can’t say I’ve heard that particular phrase before, though.

  47. stevemotivateir on July 9th, 2014 6:43 am


    A lot of people saw that and felt the same. Everyone rode Neymar’s back, until Colombia did the same–literally. But Thiago Silva and David Luiz were heavily depended on as well. In last night’s game, Silva was out from previous yellow cards and Luiz was played out of position.

    What Brazilians naively seemed to believe, was that they would player better as a team without Neymar. They couldn’t have been more wrong. This wasn’t the same team that they saw last year. They probably were lucky to get as far as they did. But last night was surreal for this country. Nobody had ever witnessed anything like that.

    Argentina is a very similar team. Today, they’ll face a very good Dutch team. They’ll be playing without Angel di Maria and they’ll likely be riding the back of Messi–again. I’m no futebol expert, but I wouldn’t put money Argentina.

    Brasil will find a way to refocus. I hope Gohara can do the same! There’s a lot to like about that kid and he’s just getting started.

  48. sawsatch on July 9th, 2014 9:26 am

    1- Yes, J. Buhner said it.
    2-How about a left fielder than can hit and hit decently from the right side?

  49. EricL on July 9th, 2014 10:14 am

    I saw Gohara pitch his debut in Hillsboro. The first inning looked good (only baserunner was a K+WP), but he had control issues in the 2nd.

    Physically, he reminded me a lot of a young CC Sabathia.

  50. MrZDevotee on July 9th, 2014 11:00 am

    Everytime I try to get depressed about these M’s I look at the standings, the win-loss record, and the run differential and say “holy crap, how’d that happen?”… (Tied for 3rd most wins in the AL, 3rd best run differential in all of baseball…)

    Pretty remarkable for a team that had Abe Almonte batting leadoff for a month, 40% of its presumed starting rotation out the first half of the season, and routinely starting Endy Chavez and/or Willie Bloomquist and batting them in the top half of the order on a daily basis.

    McLendon should be a magician with his own show in Vegas.

    Now if he could only start pulling some runs out of his hat.
    (With a tip of the cap at how “hat” shares an alliterative effect/assonance with “ass”)

  51. MrZDevotee on July 9th, 2014 3:02 pm

    Just in: Masahiro Tanaka put on DL and sent to NY for an MRI for discomfort/inflamation in his elbow…

    Damn. Not a Yankee fan, but I actually hope Tanaka is okay… Heckuva talent.

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