Game 99, Mets at Mariners

marc w · July 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Roenis Elias vs. Jon Niese, 7:10pm

The M’s take a break from intra-divisional contests (and their importance for the wild card chase) to host the Mets, who are still (let me check…) mediocre. I’ll admit I don’t think about the Mets often, but I just sort of assume they’re posting a .450 winning percentage or thereabouts. They’ve won between 70 and 79 games in each of the past five seasons, and that sounds about right for 2014 too. I know the M’s haven’t exactly been the toast of baseball since 2009 and have frequently been worse than mediocre, so I’m not pointing and laughing at them – they’re just freakinshly consistent.

Lefthander Jon Niese gets the start today. Niese has been a guy with a solid control and some sink, so he’s been fairly consistent too. He doesn’t overpower anyone – his four-seamer’s been in the 91 range, and his cutter was generally around 89 – but he had decent command and his curveball gets whiffs to lefties and righties. After some HR problems in his first few years in the rotation, he put up a very good season in 2012 thanks perhaps to increased command. And he did it despite the fact that the Mets brought their outfield in for the 2012 season, and lopped eight feet off the height of the wall. He’s never managed 200 innings, however, and he missed time due to injury in 2013.

He’s just coming off the DL to make this start, in fact. Looking at his peripherals, you see warning signs everywhere. First, his velocity’s down fairly dramatically. After averaging 91+ on his four-seam fastball every year since 2010, he’s down to 89.5 this season. After averaging 30-31% o-swing rate (getting batters to swing at balls) from 2011-12, he’s at just 26% this year. As you’d expect from that, his contact rate is up over three percentage points this season. His GB% is the lowest it’s been since 2010, and his K% the lowest it’s been since 2009. Thus, it’s not exactly a shock to look at his ERA and FIP and find…wait, what? Niese’s ERA is below 3, and his FIP’s staying steady in the mid-3 range, where it dropped to in 2012-13. If you guessed BABIP, yes, that’s clearly part of the explanation. A career .310 BABIP hurler, Niese and his defenders are allowing batters to post only a .283 mark this year. His HR rate’s stayed low, too, and he’s stranded more runners than he has in the past.

Thanks to that curve ball and a solid change-up, Niese’s platoon splits are fairly ordinary. He’s a bit better against lefties, as you’d imagine, but he’s been fairly tough on righties as well. They’re smaller, over his career, than his home/road splits, actually. That sounds promising and all, but essentially all pitchers benefit from Safeco.

The Mets have been a disappointment offensively, but they’ve posted solid defensive numbers; that’s clearly a factor in Niese’s low BABIP.

The line-up:
1: Bloomquist, SS
2: Jones, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Seager, 3B
5: Romero, RF
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Hart, DH
8: Ackley, LF
9: Zunino, C
SP: Elias

Go M’s


39 Responses to “Game 99, Mets at Mariners”

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

    Z Man!

  2. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:07 pm

    Need Hart gone, and Saunders back ASAP!

    Even Montero could of ran out that grounder that Hart hit, I was secretly hoping he pulled his hammy.

  3. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 8:09 pm

    Hart is a failed experiment that I don’t blame Z for. We just need to cut ties and move forward. Sadly, Cory is not a valuable commodity for the Mariners.

  4. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:15 pm

    The big question is, will they cut ties.. He’s dead weight.

  5. Westside guy on July 21st, 2014 8:17 pm

    I’m sort of here – only half paying attention to the game.

    I agree that Hart needs to go. He was worth a shot, but at this point they can’t afford to keep giving away DH at bats.

  6. Dennisss on July 21st, 2014 8:18 pm

    Just got home from dinner. Looks like Elias is trying to tiptoe through a minefield again tonight. Hasn’t gotten blown up yet.

  7. Westside guy on July 21st, 2014 8:21 pm

    You know who is only hitting a teeny tiny bit better than Corey Hart? Justin Smoak.

  8. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:25 pm

    WFB is 3-3! wowza!

  9. juneau_fan on July 21st, 2014 8:25 pm

    I only have audio, and MLB Audio wasn’t going to give me English feed, only Spanish. I was hoping that wasn’t a bad sign.

    “Really. You don’t want to know.”

  10. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:25 pm

    Juneau are you in the NW? its the free game of the day if your outside of the viewing area.

  11. Dennisss on July 21st, 2014 8:26 pm

    Every time Ackley, or Smoak, or Montero does well for more than a day or two, I get a tiny bit of hope that they can turn it around. Ackley has hit well now over several games…

  12. californiamariner on July 21st, 2014 8:26 pm

    This rally brought to you by Hart, Ackley, and WFB!

  13. juneau_fan on July 21st, 2014 8:28 pm

    Nope, in Alaska. The ‘area’ for the Mariners. 🙁

  14. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:28 pm

    Then J.Jones becomes rally killer.

  15. Don Money on July 21st, 2014 8:29 pm

    Our game is free on tonight. Willie is having another good game, Jack Z made a good move bringing him back.

  16. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:29 pm

    Oh ya the Seahawks are from Alaska as well arent they? lol, that “joke” annoys me.

  17. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:40 pm

    lol got a text alert from ESPN app –

    July 21, 1988 – Yankees traded OF Jay Buhner to the Mariners in a deal for DH Ken Phelps.

    Made me laugh, but I had to look at it twice because at first I thought we just made a trade.

  18. californiamariner on July 21st, 2014 8:50 pm

    Elias being hurt would be pretty bad. The pitching depth would get tested really quick. At least it sounds like Paxton is getting close.

  19. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 8:51 pm

    Yep….totally against George Costanza’s level-headed advice!

  20. msfanmike on July 21st, 2014 8:57 pm

    Ackley did a thing – on defense!!


  21. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 8:58 pm

    So, Dustin Ackley just did that…. pretty cool, haven’t seen our guys pull one back from someone in a while.

  22. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 9:01 pm

    Man I wish all these kids were good. You look in that dugout and it’s mostly guys that grew up as Mariners in A-AAA. They obviously get along and play hard for each other. Wish Smoak, Franklin, Ackley, Zunino (offensively), Miller, Romero, Paxton, Walker and Ramirez would all come of age. It would be so enjoyable to see this group improve and get it done!

  23. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 9:27 pm

    woah, thats where Dice-K went.

    What are all those marks all over the back of his neck, strange.

  24. Dennisss on July 21st, 2014 9:32 pm

    Along the lines of the kids getting good, Scott Weber at LL wrote today about being afraid to trade Nick Franklin to the A’s for fear that they will fix him and he’ll be really good. And it’s such an indictment of this organization, feeling that the players might be so much better if they were somewhere else.

  25. Dennisss on July 21st, 2014 9:41 pm

    Just saw the replay of Zunino’s home run. My goodness that young man is strong.

  26. juneau_fan on July 21st, 2014 9:42 pm

    Yeah, the whole Dice-K ending up with the Mets bullpen is really sad.

  27. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 9:45 pm

    nice hit hart, to bad you can’t do that when there’s someone on base, its like scoring in a blow out in the NFL, it don’t even matter.

  28. Dennisss on July 21st, 2014 9:49 pm

    Ackley with his third hit. I like it while it lasts.

  29. Longgeorge1 on July 21st, 2014 9:53 pm

    D-Farq best mop-up guy in the majors???

  30. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2014 9:58 pm

    What a nasty pitch to Tejada!

  31. californiamariner on July 21st, 2014 10:01 pm

    Dustin Ackley, MVP!

  32. Longgeorge1 on July 21st, 2014 10:05 pm

    Gee nice comments about Ack and WFB – WTF

  33. Eastside Suds on July 21st, 2014 10:06 pm

    Tonight anyways! Go M’s!!

  34. californiamariner on July 21st, 2014 10:30 pm

    Smoak sent to AAA. Wonder who’s replacing him? Montero?

  35. Longgeorge1 on July 21st, 2014 10:40 pm


  36. californiamariner on July 21st, 2014 10:42 pm

    Sounds like it’s Erasmo, but I wonder who comes up when Erasmo goes back down.

  37. Westside guy on July 21st, 2014 11:07 pm

    They need to bring Montero up again and give him regular at bats. It sounds like he’s a prick, but he’s a prick that can hit better than all but a couple guys currently on the roster. Assign Endy and Boom Boom to mentor and/or dope slap him depending on the situation – this is the sort of situation where veteran leadership might offer a tangible benefit.

    I’m glad LoMo is getting an extended look at first base.

    I still think it’s time to part ways with Hart.

  38. b2 on July 21st, 2014 11:16 pm

    Divish thinks Walker comes up to start Wednesday’s game.

  39. MrZDevotee on July 22nd, 2014 1:14 pm

    I LIKE that idea… Endy gets DFA’d if Montero gains too much weight, and Willie gets cut if Montero says anything stupid to the media.

    Make it someone ELSE’s responsibility to keep him on the straight and narrow, since he can’t do it.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.