Game 98, Mariners at Angels

marc w · July 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Tyler Skaggs, 12:35pm

It certainly feels nice to steal a win in a pitcher’s duel once in a while. After Friday’s game, yesterday’s looked so predictable, and while they couldn’t score two runs for Felix, at least they got two in extras to defeat the Angels who squandered Garrett Richards’ gem.

Today the M’s face Tyler Skaggs, the Angels prospect shipped to Arizona where he shot up prospect rankings before command issues and a troubling velocity drop made him extremely hittable. After a rough go with Arizona and then an equally rough trip through the PCL in 2013, he moved back to Anaheim, who promptly made a mechanical tweak that returned much of the missing velocity. The other big change concerns his batted ball profile. He’s got a fastball with plenty of vertical rise, so it wasn’t a big surprise to see him post low GB% in the Arizona system and in his MLB call-ups. But he’s a fairly extreme GB guy this year despite not much change to his pitch movement or pitch mix. He throws a four- and two-seam fastball, with a change-up and curve. He’s toyed with a slider this year, but he’s still mostly a four-pitch guy. In the past, his curve occasionally got grounders, but everything else generated fly balls. This year, the sinker and change in particular have been much better at getting ground-ball contact.

All those worm burners have really helped his biggest problem – the home run ball. His HR/9 rate has fallen substantially this year (though of course his entire career suffers from small sample size problems), and he’s been much better against righties. He seems like the kind of guy who’d have platoon splits, but he’s faced so few lefties, there’s no way to really know. He’s running reverse splits this year, but he’s faced only 82 lefties this year, compared to over 300 righties. Pretty much impossible to make much out of that.

Robinson Cano’s out today with a sore hamstring. Hopefully it’s nothing, but Willie Bloomquist gets his second start at 2B.

1: Chavez, CF
2: Bloomquist, 2B
3: Seager, 3B
4: Romero, RF
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Hart, DH
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
SP: Young

I think Skaggs will see more lefties today (4) than he has in any other game. Romero’s a righty, and does better against lefties, but starting him in the clean up spot seems like the triumph of hope over experience. But hey, Go M’s. Let’s get a series win.


57 Responses to “Game 98, Mariners at Angels”

  1. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 12:20 am

    If he would have pointed above the “Big A” and shot the arrow, I would give him an inch of leeway. But, he didn’t. He pointed it right at the dugout, to grown men and they were offended. I don’t blame the Angels at all for shooting the arrows at 2nd base. Rodney rubbed it in their faces and it was a bush move. Angels had to love beating him in the ninth.

    And Mike, I had no idea you played for the master. Bobby Waits remains a legend by the “old school” baseball coaches in this state. And, if one of my pitchers did that, they’d still be running, and then send an apology to the other team. I would be fit to be tied!

  2. Woodcutta on July 21st, 2014 12:44 am

    Rodney said that was at the fans and not the dugout. I could see that since they booed him and the whole Richards thing. I’m pretty sure he won’t do it again, though.

  3. MrZDevotee on July 21st, 2014 8:26 am

    From reading the post game stories, Pujols and Rodney are friends and Pujols had told Rodney if he got a big hit off him he was going to do the arrow before the series even started… So I think Rodney WAS doing it to the bench/Pujols on purpose, in a show of good natured bravado ABSOLUTELY knowing they were coming up the next inning, and they did it back when they got on base against him. The players didn’t make a big deal about it afterwards, it just looked bad to all the people who didn’t understand what was going on… Including us.

    I think we would have seen some big juicy quotes from the Angels if it was some sort of personal insult. All I read was Pujols making light of it, and the quote that he told Rodney he was gonna do it this series if he got a chance and had a big hit off him.

  4. msfanmike on July 21st, 2014 9:15 am

    Thanks Eastside, that is nice to hear. The “legend” only lived until the age of 35, but yeah … he made quite an impact on a lot of people along the way. I really miss Coach Waits.

    If you weren’t already aware, there is currently an effort underway to get his credentials re-reviewed by the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. He did play for the Portland Mavericks after his college career – for a couple seasons – and I have not yet seen the new documentary about that team, but I have heard it is quite good. I also remember a couple stories that Waits had while playing for the Mavericks with Kurt Russell … and another fading memory of a story he told me once about playing college basketball against UCLA (Lew Alcindor).

    Whether Waits is eventually enshrined into the WSU Sports Hall of Fame is not overly important. It would be a better “Hall” if he were in it and it sure seems like some long overdue recognition, but even though he didn’t live very long, he made quite an impact on a lot of people while he was alive. I am in touch with his son and he and his sister both did grow up to have happy, productive lives. I believe their mother still lives in/around Spokane … at least part of the year.

    I am also pretty sure I would know how he would feel about “bunting” in today’s game … but maybe you and I should “go there” offline sometime.

  5. Woodcutta on July 21st, 2014 7:30 pm

    Am I the only one here? Another baserunning mistake.

  6. stevemotivateir on July 21st, 2014 7:52 pm

    ^Yes, you’re alone. Everyone else is on the game 99 thread–which is invisible.

  7. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 7:57 pm

    I’m here

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