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. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 12:43 pm

    Marc, I’d argue the entire season to date qualifies as a “triumph of hope over experience”. :-D

    But hey – meaningful baseball in July!

  2. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 12:49 pm

    Good start inclusive of some BABIP luck.

    I’ll take it.

  3. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 12:52 pm

    Nice stroke by Ackley. He’s had a good series.

  4. Dennisss on July 20th, 2014 12:54 pm

    Hope is pretty much stomping experience so far.

    There are a lot of times when this team scores a run or two, and I think something like “OK, to get here we needed Romero, Smoak, Hart, and Ackley to get on base consecutively. How does this ever work?”

  5. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 1:06 pm

    Ackley has gotten our hopes up – and then dashed them – almost as many times as Smoak has!

  6. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 1:08 pm

    Romero’s not much on defense, but fortunately his bat makes up for it.

  7. LongDistance on July 20th, 2014 1:16 pm

    The odd thing, if we’re going to use the words hope and Ackley in the same sentence, is that there are actually people around the league — serious trade-minded people — that think Ackley might turn everything around just with a change of geography. They see him as a possible plus factor in a package deal, and not just packing peanuts. We, here, don’t believe that for a second. But I’m certainly willing for anyone to believe whatever they want, whenever they want… and especially that.

    Go Jack!

  8. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 1:20 pm

    I get the impression that Boras is behind the “interest in Ackley” trade rumors. Agents and rival teams often are behind the rumors. Unless a trade rumor says “imminent” – its hard to buy any of them. At least for me it is.

  9. Seattleguy527 on July 20th, 2014 1:26 pm

    I don’t really like Ackley and look forward to him being gone, but I’m not surprised there are teams who have interest in him. I say that because there are some very obvious holes in his swing – namely, he pulls his hips literally every time he swings the bat. You would think this would be something we would have fixed years ago, but for some reason we either haven’t addressed it or haven’t been able to fix it.

    I’m sure other teams assume they can fix his issues so they probably view him as a low risk/high reward type of guy (if they don’t have to give up much to get him, that is — and they shouldn’t have to).

  10. Dennisss on July 20th, 2014 1:29 pm

    Five swinging strikeouts for Young in two innings. Baseball is endlessly odd.

  11. LongDistance on July 20th, 2014 1:30 pm

    msfanmike… you’re probably right. But on the other hand, rumors are about all that Ackley’s got left.

  12. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 1:36 pm

    Okay, this is where being a fly ball pitcher is sometimes problematic – when you’re facing really good hitters.

  13. Seattleguy527 on July 20th, 2014 1:40 pm

    Yeah, Westside, this game had trouble written all over it before it even started. I hope I’m wrong, but I think this is one of those games that gets out of hand and ends up being a blowout.

  14. Dennisss on July 20th, 2014 1:43 pm

    All we need is for Hart-Ackley-Zunino-Miller-Chavez-Bloomquist to answer back.

  15. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 2:04 pm


    Why is a public utility like Seattle City Light paying to sponsor a Mariners game?


  16. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 2:11 pm

    That was a hell of a nice play by Miller.

  17. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 2:23 pm

    Mike, I know you’re not an UZR fan, but so far this season UZR seems to think Rad Miller is a decent fielding shortstop.

    He’s certainly not Brendan Ryan… but few are.

  18. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 2:32 pm

    Defensive stats also liked Almonte in a SSS which didn’t align with the eyeball test, but I hear ya. The defensive stats/metric are dubious … But they are better than nothing.

    Miller has the Fundies of a preying mantis, but he does have some ability and he does pull off some nice plays on occasion.

    How much more does Oozer like him than any average shortstop?

  19. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 2:39 pm

    Zunino … Finally!

  20. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 2:45 pm


  21. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 2:46 pm

    Miller’s UZR/150 is currently at 6, which would be pretty good if he kept it up. But even UZR’s proponents say you can’t count on it for prediction until there are a few seasons included.

  22. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 2:52 pm

    Good to see we are still ahead. Went to the garden at 3-1. Came back and we are still putting up runs. Good deal! Now let’s show why we have the league’s best BP now and win the series!

  23. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 2:58 pm

    That looked like a kidney shot. Ouch!

    Good time for a double play.

  24. WTF_Ms on July 20th, 2014 2:59 pm

    Looked more like it got him on the hip….that’ll leave a mark.

  25. juneau_fan on July 20th, 2014 3:02 pm

    *head desk*

  26. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:03 pm

    Tough hitter here.

  27. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:32 pm

    WTF was he doing?

  28. juneau_fan on July 20th, 2014 3:44 pm

    *head desk again*

  29. juneau_fan on July 20th, 2014 3:46 pm

    I hate Rodney.

  30. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 3:47 pm

    Okay, this may be heresy but – at this point I just want the game to end at regulation.

  31. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 3:48 pm

    Glad he got Albert all riled up. That was a good move.

  32. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 3:49 pm

    I am pretty sure you will get your wish Westy.

  33. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:51 pm

    I know this is sacrilege, but Rodney deserves this. You don’t kick a hornets nest at their hive.

  34. juneau_fan on July 20th, 2014 3:52 pm

    Yeah, don’t be an ass, Rodney. You’re not *that* good.

  35. SilverLance on July 20th, 2014 3:52 pm

    They shot an arrow into Rodney’s A$$!

  36. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:52 pm

    At least unless you can escape to the clubhouse immediately after. That was bad form from Fernando. Just dumb.

  37. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:53 pm

    You never, ever saw Mariano show anyone up. He was pure class and fun to watch. And, I hate the Wankies!

  38. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:56 pm

    Serves him right. Let’s get the Mets! Go M’s!

  39. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 3:56 pm

    Yep … Pretty much deserved that one.

  40. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 3:57 pm

    I missed it – what did Rodney do to show up Pujols?

  41. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 3:59 pm

    End of the eighth after the third out, he shot one of his “arrows” into the Angel dugout. Pissed off the Angels bench as you can imagine. Bullshit act on Rodney’s part. Especially with 2-3-4-5 coming up in bottom of the ninth.

  42. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 4:03 pm

    Yeah he deserved his comeuppance then. That’s pretty childish.

  43. Dennisss on July 20th, 2014 4:09 pm

    As good as Rodney has been this year, it just doesn’t feel very surprising to see him let one get away. He seems like he is always on the brink.

    Not sure what he thought he was doing in the eighth, but the Angels were right to show him up for it.

  44. Eastside Suds on July 20th, 2014 4:13 pm

    I was embarrassed for him and the Mariners.

  45. msfanmike on July 20th, 2014 4:54 pm

    Eastside: I’m going to guess that if one of your players had done something like that, they would have been running wind sprints for a while. I had a high school coach (Bob Waits) who probably would have chased the player while he made him run.

    I’m not equating high schoolers to mlb players, but it was just kinda silly what Rodney did. The Angels were already hacked that their pitcher didn’t make the all star team over Rodney and getting through Trout, Pujols and Hamilton was going to be tough enough without any “extra” motivation.

    Quick, Westy … Is their an imaginary arrow metric stat available for further analysis?

  46. Westside guy on July 20th, 2014 5:13 pm

    Unfortunately FanGraphs doesn’t appear to track AAR (Arrows Above Replacement) in real time.

  47. sawsatch on July 20th, 2014 8:10 pm

    Texas or Colorado among other hitter’s l park teams could use Smoak.
    Many N.L teams could use Ackley for his speed and late inning versatility.
    Some decent bats are out there .We need them. Even if we make post season, Felix starting in a 1-0 loss to Anaheim isn’t pretty.

  48. Woodcutta on July 20th, 2014 9:42 pm

    Unless I have missed something, Rodney has never done anything like that before. So until proven otherwise I’ll believe he mistakenly thought it was the end of the game as he usually only pitches the 9th in save opportunities. I just don’t see someone that seems so even keel showing someone up like that on purpose. IMO, what both Trout and Pujols did in response was even worse and on other teams one of them would have at least been called out on it. Would have loved to see what McCann would have done.

  49. nvn8vbryce on July 20th, 2014 10:52 pm

    Woodcutta, I would have to assume the same thing, however, given that he was pointing right at the Angels’ dugout, I’m not sure that it was as simple as a mental lapse…

  50. The_Waco_Kid on July 20th, 2014 11:52 pm

    It was weird and I hated seeing it. I thought it was weird in the All-Star Game, but then I was like, “Eh, it’s the ASG, whatever.” If he didn’t know what inning it was, he needs to ask Brendan Ryan for some meds.

  51. 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!

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

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

    Am I the only one here? Another baserunning mistake.

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

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

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

    I’m here

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