Game 103, Orioles at Mariners

marc w · July 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Kevin Gausman, 7:10pm

This is as high-profile a pitching match-up you’ll see in a game involving Baltimore. Kevin Gausman went #4 overall in the 2012 draft and his fastball averages over 96mph. He pairs it with the au currant splitter and the occasional slider, and despite less-than-stellar minor league numbers, he shot through the system, reaching the big leagues a bit under one year after being drafted.

That said, he’s not in that Sonny Gray/Jose Fernandez category of young pitchers who’ve made an immediate big league impact. He’s thrown 90 innings thus far in his career, and while the FIP’s pretty good, he’s been a bit over replacement level by RA9. Gausman just allows more runs than anyone with a 96mph fastball and a working splitter should. To break his career down into even less statistically significant chunks, he was burned by the long ball in 2013, but changed his approach and hasn’t had much of a problem this year. However, his command’s taken a step back in 2014, and coupled with a high BABIP, even the lack of HRs can’t push his RA9/ERA under 4.

The big problem looks like his strand rate, which cracked 70% this year, but remains mediocre. In this respect, he reminds me of Brandon Morrow, who struggled with runners on after moving to the rotation, and thus disappointed relative to his FIP (and his velocity). Of course, that problem abruptly went away in 2012, when Morrow flashed elite-level talent before falling victim to injury. Like Morrow, Gausman doesn’t have big platoon splits if you just look at his raw results. That’s pretty much what you’d expect, given that Gausman’s got a splitter to keep lefties at bay. But those narrow splits are partially the product of some weird BABIP issues against righties. Like some other pitchers we’ve looked at recently, Gausman’s a very different pitcher against lefties. Against righties, he walks few and gets an above-average number of grounders. Against lefties, he’s a bit more wild, and gives up Phil Hughes-like fly ball rates. Lefties elevate the ball, and thus, lefties have hit HRs against him.

And, as it happens, the M’s have a new lefty in their line-up to try to take advantage of that fact. Welcome back, Kendrys Morales. The M’s acquired the DH from Minnesota in exchange for reliever Stephen Pryor, who simply never looked the same after his torn lat muscle last April. Minnesota wasn’t going to get much for Morales, as he’s hitting just .234/.259/.325 thus far in the Twin Cities, good for a 57 wRC+. What they got was some salary relief and the ability to take a look at younger players in what’s become a lost season.

Morales isn’t *this* bad, as we all know. His rest-of-season ZiPS projection at Fangraphs is much better – a 105 wRC+. which is a far sight better than what the M’s have received from the DH spot, and a bit better than the 98 that ZiPS sees Corey Hart regressing towards. Kendrys is just 31, about a full year younger than Hart; neither of them are really at the age when skills just fall apart. Of course, plenty of hitters *have* actually lost it around 31, and the fact that Kendrys Morales’ top bbref comparison is Erubiel Durazo is not pleasant. Predictably, acquiring Morales pushes Montero back to AAA Tacoma.

It’s been a very interesting 24-48 hours in Mariner-land.

1: Chavez, RF
2: Jones, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Ackley, LF
7: Morrison, 1B
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS
SP: King Felix

The M’s talked about platooning Morrison and Hart at 1B, and with a righty on the hill, the M’s now get eight lefties into the line-up without doing weird stuff like playing Endy Chavez at DH. Endy Chavez is still leading off, so it’s not sunshine, rainbows and lollipops here.

The combination of Miller and Taylor allow the M’s to mix and match a bit more, and play the platoon advantage more than they did previously, but as with previous M’s teams, the problem isn’t that they’ve got tons of hitters facing same-handed pitching, the problem is that their hitters haven’t been good. This was always the issue with Justin Smoak, who obviously had the platoon advantage every PA, but couldn’t exactly turn that into a REAL advantage. The two best hitters on the M’s are lefties, and they’ll struggle – at least at the margins – against lefties until Zunino becomes a more complete hitter, until Kendrys Morales starts hitting like it was 2009, or Corey Hart wakes up.

King Felix is awesome.

Matt Palmer starts tonight for the surging Rainiers as they welcome the Sacramento Rivercats. If you can’t go see Felix, maybe see Matt Palmer the red hot Rainiers. Tyler Pike takes the mound for Jackson, Lars Huijer for High Desert, and Everett’s got a doubleheader featuring Dan Altavila in game one and big-time prospect Luiz Gohara in game two.

Comments

118 Responses to “Game 103, Orioles at Mariners”

  1. islandan on July 25th, 2014 5:46 pm

    the way the Ms have (not) swung the bat lately, this could be a true no-hitter night vs Gausman.

  2. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 6:25 pm

    If they’re going to win a game against Baltimore, this one seems like the best possibility.

    Maybe.

  3. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 6:25 pm

    The M’s have not faired well vs hard throwing right hangers this year. Their youth has shown through when facing 95+ velo. This should be interesting. Welcome back Kendrys. Boy, do we need help.

  4. SeattleSlew on July 25th, 2014 6:39 pm

    It must be tough to pitch knowing that if you give up more than 3 runs the team will not win.

  5. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 6:46 pm

    No hitters by both teams thru 9 innings? Has that been done before?

  6. ivan on July 25th, 2014 7:11 pm
  7. joser on July 25th, 2014 7:13 pm

    Reds & Cubs, Fred Tooney and Hippo Vaughn, May 2, 1917.

    Edit: Ivan beat me to it.

  8. islandan on July 25th, 2014 7:21 pm

    Hippo Vaughan…….gawd I love the nicknames of yesteryear.
    Can you imagine, what person in their right mind would allow a nick like that today?

  9. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 7:28 pm

    Hippo?

    Jesus “Hippo” Montero would probably allow it if it meant he could finally get off the non-stop round tripper between Tacoma and Seattle…

    Although I suppose Hippos are blazingly faster than Jesus is…

  10. SeattleSlew on July 25th, 2014 7:32 pm

    @islandan Back then people weren’t so sensitive and didn’t get their feelings easily hurt. Today we live in a world obsessed with political correctness.

  11. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 7:32 pm

    Wow.

  12. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 7:32 pm

    Wow.

  13. msfanmike on July 25th, 2014 7:33 pm

    That ball was crushed. Blistered. Pasted. Perhaps obliterated. Screaming meamy missile.

  14. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 7:33 pm

    Ooh, a right handed power hitter– those are kinda cool looking. Should we maybe be looking for one of those?

  15. ivan on July 25th, 2014 7:33 pm

    Well, there’s another dinger by the guy who it was pretty unanimous around here that nobody wanted.

  16. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Is that the Count doing color on the TV side?

  17. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 7:39 pm

    But Ivan we already have the pure natural batting of Dustin Ackley in LF, plus a whole bunch of DH’s… What could we have possibly wanted with Nelson Cruz?

  18. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 7:51 pm

    im pretty sure alot of ussm posters were against the signing of Cruz.

  19. kimalanus on July 25th, 2014 7:56 pm

    The memory of Ibanez and Morse in the same outfield was too, too fresh.

  20. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 7:59 pm

    Nelson Cruz also didn’t seem to want to come here.

  21. kimalanus on July 25th, 2014 8:01 pm

    Which would have meant an overpay to reel him in and it just didn’t seem worth it….

  22. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 8:05 pm

    No he didn’t. Too bad. We could have used his right handed pop

  23. islandan on July 25th, 2014 8:08 pm

    @SeattleSlew
    No kidding………

  24. joser on July 25th, 2014 8:09 pm

    We could have gone with the preferences of a lot of people a while back and be paying Prince Fielder a lot of money this year.

  25. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 8:09 pm

    Why does it feel like we are being no hit?

  26. Seattleguy527 on July 25th, 2014 8:10 pm

    It wasn’t just the posters who didn’t want Cruz, it was the site authors, too. And you’re being very nice by saying they “didn’t want” the M’s to sign Cruz. I remember a few posts that implied it would be borderline catastrophic if the organization picked him up. I would be lying if I said I was gung ho for the M’s to sign him, because I wasn’t, but all the hand-wringing over the fact that we *might* sign him seemed a bit overboard. I guess he’s proving all of us wrong — at least so far.

  27. ivan on July 25th, 2014 8:20 pm

    If we all wrote posts like Jay did today about the things we all were wrong about, it would crash all the servers. Baseball has its ways of showing us all to be full of it at times, from fans in grade school, to adult fans, to bloggers, to statheads, to reporters, to scouts, to managers, and to GMs. None of us are immune from being shown up.

  28. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 8:24 pm

    Morales is immediately making a difference.

  29. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 8:26 pm

    I meant it more along of the lines that it seemed to me from observation that everyone was against signing him to the 3 or 4 years he wanted, and while I agree that may have been a bit much, did the Mariners at least try for a 1 year deal like Balt. did?

  30. Will on July 25th, 2014 8:34 pm

    Dating back to July 4th (18 games), the M’s have scored 37 runs. That’s 2.05 runs per game.

    With a makeshift rotation outside of Felix and Kuma, we can pretty much kiss our playoff hopes goodbye.

  31. Seattleguy527 on July 25th, 2014 8:36 pm

    I think you’re right, Grayfox3d. I think the length of the contract he wanted, as well as how much money people were speculating he would get per year, is why people didn’t want him.

    I think Westside is right, though. I think Cruz just didn’t want to play here. I don’t know if it was ever confirmed to be true, but I think Divish floated a rumor that he turned down a 5-year, $75M offer from the M’s. If they actually offered that, I’m glad he turned it down.

  32. Will on July 25th, 2014 8:39 pm

    Also of note: the M’s OF’s have posted a 79 wRC+, tied with the Cubs for the worst in baseball. Tired of consistently running three replacement level players out there. Can we at least trade for a right-handed OF bat worth starting (Scott Van Slyke)?

  33. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 8:42 pm

    Doesn’t it seem like Brad Miller gets hit by balls in play at an oddly high rate?

  34. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 8:43 pm

    WHAT WAS THAT???

  35. JasonJ on July 25th, 2014 8:44 pm

    I’ve never seen somebody get thrown out by that much….

  36. islandan on July 25th, 2014 8:44 pm

    Endy, your 35 not 25………….that was ugly. You can excuse Jones last night, for his youth, but jeepers……..

  37. Will on July 25th, 2014 8:44 pm

    That’s BULLSHIT, why the hell was Chavez sent there? Fire Datz after this game, that’s unacceptable…

  38. msfanmike on July 25th, 2014 8:44 pm

    Brilliant move to send the runner with Cano coming up next.

    Was Chavez out by 40 – or was it 50 – feet?

    In a one run game. A freaking one run game!!!

  39. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 8:44 pm

    I swear the M’s more than any other team will send a guy where he doesn’t even show up on the screen when the ball reaches homeplate.

    Even Endy had a “What the hell” look on his face when he pulled up…

    Dumb. Especially with the 2nd best avg in the AL coming up next. And Jones able to steal 2nd and get in scoring position fairly easily.

    *sigh*

  40. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 8:45 pm

    I agree – if the third base coach sent him, he should be fired the moment he steps into the dugout.

  41. JasonJ on July 25th, 2014 8:46 pm

    What the hell was the third base coach doing? He acted like he had no involvement whatsoever…hold? waive him home? Not my job…

  42. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 8:47 pm

    Haha, when your own broadcast team is saying live that it was a dumb move…

  43. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 8:48 pm

    Fortunately Endy makes up for it by providing stellar defense.

    (Yes that was sarcasm)

    And that side view proved Krueger and Sims wrong. That ball was not going out.

  44. JMB on July 25th, 2014 8:50 pm

    Still in shock. You could tell the moment the ball was hit that it was hit too hard for Chavez to score.

  45. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 8:53 pm

    Bad baserunning seems to run rampant through this organization the past few seasons, does it seem like that to anyone else? I understand being aggressive, but there’s a time and a place for that, and with Cano coming up with a chance to have a runner on 3rd is a better scenario then what conspired from being aggressive.

  46. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 8:55 pm

    Well that was a waste of a 2-run triple… Thank you Mr. 3rd Basecoach.

  47. Will on July 25th, 2014 8:56 pm

    So in essence we flushed two runs down the toilet…

  48. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 8:56 pm

    AWESOME slide… He slapped that baby right before the tag…

    Beauty slide, Robbie…

  49. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 8:57 pm

    Look at that 3-4 punch!

  50. JMB on July 25th, 2014 8:57 pm

    That’s some fancy slidin’.

  51. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:05 pm

    Markakis has a cannon

  52. JMB on July 25th, 2014 9:08 pm

    King Felix, you’re a freaking BEAST.

  53. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:08 pm

    And Felix is really good!

  54. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 9:09 pm

    King’s got the record assuming he doesn’t implode next inning…

    14 consecutive starts of 7+ innings, and 2 or fewer earned runs.

  55. Will on July 25th, 2014 9:11 pm

    Too bad he’s not going to get the win.

  56. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:12 pm

    Logan Morrison is an out. Pathetic and approaching the Mendoza line.

  57. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 9:12 pm

    Pinch run Chris Taylor?

    I guess not…

  58. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:13 pm

    Not a bad call Z

  59. msfanmike on July 25th, 2014 9:16 pm

    LoMo is not exactly seizing the day

  60. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:16 pm

    No maybe you run for zunino

  61. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 9:16 pm

    Pinch run Chris Taylor for Brad Miller, so he doesn’t get hit by the ball again? (ba dum *cymbal crash*)

  62. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 9:17 pm

    Eastside-
    Yeah, that’s what I meant, run Taylor for Zunino and then put in Sucre…

    Taylor has some of the best speed in the organization… I wanna get Felix a run!

  63. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:17 pm

    It’s those crazy legs

  64. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:19 pm

    I knew what you were thinking. A good move when you have Sucre on the bench.

  65. Will on July 25th, 2014 9:21 pm

    Was curious to see what Carter Capps was doing with Miami. Been injured, but a 2.48 FIP and 11.25 K/9. Kinda wish we had hung on to him, 100 MPH heat isn’t that easy to find.

  66. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:22 pm

    This is oddly where we could use WFB

  67. Will on July 25th, 2014 9:24 pm

    Well, Romero has a 53 wRC+ versus LHP in 106 PAs in the MLB. Jones has a 77 wRC+ in 78 PAs. Dumb move.

  68. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 9:24 pm

    Romero made an out?! Good thing I was sitting down for that surprising bit of news.

  69. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:25 pm

    Yeah I didn’t understand that one. Endy to center

  70. bookbook on July 25th, 2014 9:27 pm

    Where’s good cop Vinnie Catricala when you need him?

  71. JMB on July 25th, 2014 9:27 pm

    102 pitches and he’s out? Really?

  72. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Looked to me like it was his choice JMB

  73. Seattleguy527 on July 25th, 2014 9:33 pm

    Yeah, maybe it’s just my recollection but I don’t think Felix has had very many games where he went much past 100 pitches this year. Not sure if it’s his choice or they’re just not letting him go real deep into games.

  74. Will on July 25th, 2014 9:40 pm

    This is going to be a really long extra innings game that I don’t feel like watching tonight…

  75. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:46 pm

    You know, if you strike out fine. But at least swing at strikes. All three of those guys. Jeeez

  76. alfredodm on July 25th, 2014 9:47 pm

    Any way we can start a massive petition, a viral hashtag or whatever it is kids do these days to attract attention and promote change TO HAVE LLOYD BAT SEAGER 2ND?

  77. Eastside Suds on July 25th, 2014 9:48 pm

    Oh…..but what about the table setters? I hear you!

  78. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 9:50 pm

    Why is Rodney being used in this situation? maurer only went what, one inning? sometimes Lloyd baffles me with his bullpen usage.

  79. kimalanus on July 25th, 2014 9:57 pm

    So, this must be the Mendoza lineup. Morrison .205, Zunino .203, Miller .205….

  80. Will on July 25th, 2014 9:58 pm

    Nice job, Morrison. Jeez… he refuses to wait out an at-bat.

  81. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:00 pm

    way to go LoMo!….

  82. Will on July 25th, 2014 10:00 pm

    I’m looking forward to watching an M’s roster someday that doesn’t consist of 15 scrubs that belong on a minor league team somewhere.

  83. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:01 pm

    Morrison had that few game stretch where he was hitting, and now the wheels have completely disintegrated from whatever he came riding in on.

  84. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 10:03 pm

    Good thing they sent Montero back down.

  85. WTF_Ms on July 25th, 2014 10:04 pm

    Dave Sims is awesome…”Maybe Zunino can get into one.”…Such optimism!

  86. Will on July 25th, 2014 10:05 pm

    There’s your Mariners for you, SCRUBS…

  87. Will on July 25th, 2014 10:07 pm

    Zunino has a 9.29 K/BB ratio at the plate… that has to be one of the worst ratios in the majors.

  88. juneau_fan on July 25th, 2014 10:10 pm

    *sigh*

  89. WTF_Ms on July 25th, 2014 10:10 pm

    Of all the games I’ve watched this season, this one is depressing for some reason…

  90. msfanmike on July 25th, 2014 10:10 pm

    Furbush again. Right down Broadway.

  91. Will on July 25th, 2014 10:10 pm

    See you guys for another pathetic offensive showing tomorrow, I’m heading to bed.

  92. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:10 pm

    Well, at least we got to experience a really fun (for the most part) first half of the season, Now its time to break out whatever you drank to get through the last few seasons, and pour us all a glass.

  93. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:13 pm

    Only positive so far in this game, is that Felix was Felix and at least he will not get the L.

  94. WTF_Ms on July 25th, 2014 10:14 pm

    Another Cy Young season with low win/loss record = no Cy Young award.

  95. Dennisss on July 25th, 2014 10:17 pm

    Top of the order leading off next inning. We’re doomed.

  96. Dennisss on July 25th, 2014 10:18 pm

    Might have brought in Farquhar one batter too late.

  97. Jake on July 25th, 2014 10:19 pm

    Romero’s season WAR might be -1.1 after tonight.

  98. alfredodm on July 25th, 2014 10:19 pm

    This is all on Jack Z. Waited/waiting too long to make a real upgrade. I am done with this guy, even if they manage to turn it around on their own. This is pathetic.

  99. Jake on July 25th, 2014 10:20 pm

    They’re not turning it around, this team is what it is, a .500-ish team over 162 games.

  100. Jake on July 25th, 2014 10:22 pm

    Nothing like sticking around for a fireworks show after another depressing extra inning loss.

  101. californiamariner on July 25th, 2014 10:23 pm

    It seems like this season is just slipping (or already slipped) away. Wonder if Jack makes any panic moves soon.

  102. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 10:24 pm

    I bet the fireworks won’t light…

  103. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:24 pm

    Cmon Morales, be the hero!

  104. Jake on July 25th, 2014 10:25 pm

    Christ..this game is going to end on an overturned extra replay call.

  105. JMB on July 25th, 2014 10:26 pm

    I think he was out on both ends, honestly.

  106. JMB on July 25th, 2014 10:27 pm

    Right call, sadly.

  107. msfanmike on July 25th, 2014 10:27 pm

    Replay … Awesome.

  108. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 10:28 pm

    There’s one time where Cano perhaps could’ve hustled a bit more down the line.

  109. ripperlv on July 25th, 2014 10:29 pm

    Well we knew before the season we needed offense and couldn’t spring for Cruz. We’ve known all season we needed offense and finally spring for a struggling Morales. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed. It was just a matter of time before the stats caught up. Fire JZ!

  110. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 10:29 pm

    I was hoping we wouldn’t relinquish the whole wildcard thing so QUICKLY after the break… Y’know, play .500 ball for awhile, tease us with hope…

    But no… We’ve played 6 games under .500 SINCE the All-Star break… In just 8 games.

  111. Grayfox3d on July 25th, 2014 10:29 pm

    So this is what a 90 million dollar payroll gets ya huh.

  112. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 10:30 pm

    Well, a 90 million dollar payroll in the hands of a sub-par GM, anyway.

  113. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 10:31 pm

    I thought Felix was aleady at 13 before tonight? Math is not my strong suit. Next start he’ll set the record.

  114. Westside guy on July 25th, 2014 10:32 pm

    On the bright side, maybe a prolonged losing streak would finally convince ownership it’s time for a change at the helm.

    And I don’t mean right now – I mean if they continue to tank. Right now they are still in the hunt, even though they are currently fading rather quickly.

  115. MrZDevotee on July 25th, 2014 10:39 pm

    I’m just blowing hot air… We have the opportunity to win just about every game, given our pitching. We just have to get back to scoring 3+ runs, instead of 2 runs a game or less… Although even 2 runs would have won this one in 9 innings.

    Two of the Angels games were completely winnable… Miller’s hit goes 1 foot higher instead of off the wall and we win that game… That would make us 5-3 after the break…

    A game of inches…

    I haven’t thrown in the towel yet. We could still find a left fielder out there somewhere who can both hit and play the field without needing the assistance of a beard.

  116. justcruisn on July 25th, 2014 10:58 pm

    What was Charlie thinking? 0-2 count, hitter who hit 53 bombs last year, why wouldn’t you bury one and try to get an over aggressive swing instead of tossing one into the hitting zone and hope for him to watch it go by like LoMo, or Miller, or Hart, or Ackley does.

  117. justcruisn on July 25th, 2014 11:04 pm

    Mario Mendoza would be a hitting star on this team…

  118. LongDistance on July 26th, 2014 1:18 am

    It’s not like they’re not trying… read Stubbs et al. What’s frustrating, is this outfield/offense thing has been pointed to since day one… since before day one. So lamentable that WFB has been a singular contributor. I mean… really?

    It’s just getting so late, they would have to nearly give away the farm to accomplish something.

    Cano — WFB.

    This F.O. is schizophrenic, at best. I’m watching through my fingers at what happens. It could be fucking anything. But one thing’s for sure, if nothing happens, this season will curdle. Because we’re going to be seeing quite of bit of contenders who will HAVE made moves looking towards the playoffs… and the status quo of our .500 foundation, so far, will no longer exist.

    August, here we come.

    Go Jack (wherever in the hell you are) go!

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