Game 107, Mariners at Indians

marc w · July 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Corey Kluber, 4:05pm

For a while, Corey Kluber was just a fill-in starter, beloved only by Carson Cistulli for reasons that we’ll never really know. He was a fill-in in one of the Ryan Ludwick trades, a deal that involved Jake Westbrook, if that helps you rememb…no? Yeah, me neither. He was never one of the Indians top prospects; he ranked #25 in John Sickels’ list *of Indians prospects* coming into 2011. Why would he? He was a sinker/slider guy in a system that seemed to have struck a rich vein of pure sinker/slider guys. Josh Tomlin had the great control and the big league resume. Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez/whoever was the established star of the group – the guy who won 19 games with a 64% GB rate back in 2007. Justin Masterson was up and coming. Jeanmar Gomez. Mitch Talbot, I guess. Easy to get lost in a see of fungible sinker/slider guys.

Look at the Fangraphs leaderboard for pitcher WAR this year and there’s Corey Kluber, holding down the #3 spot. He’s become a true ace, with swing-and-miss stuff, solid command, and the ability to avoid mistakes. Unlike Bauer, he’s able to get ahead in the count, and unlike Bauer, he’s fond of targeting his fastball to the low and away zone to lefties/righties. His sinker’s quite hard, at 94mph, and he’s got a cutter at 89 as well as a slower slider around 83. He’s got a change-up that racks up impressive swing-and-miss rates, but he doesn’t throw it all that often, even to lefties. He’s given up a few HRs on it, but it seems odd that he’d get scared off of what looks to be a pretty good big league pitch.

Especially when you consider his platoon splits. The Indians have been through this with Justin Masterson, who dominated righties but struggled against lefties before learning to control them and making the leap to All-Star level performance. Kluber’s an ace, but he’s still having some issues with lefties. They’re currently posting an above-average wOBA against him, which should tell you how well he’s neutralized right-handers.

M’s line-up:
1: Ackley, LF
2: Chavez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Miller, SS
9: Jones, CF
SP: Feeeeelllliiiixxxx

Speaking of Masterson, the Indians dealt him today to the Cardinals. Their all-star last year, their opening day starter, traded for a minor league OF, but no, not THAT Cardinals minor league OF. Couple of ways to see it – the Indians thought they weren’t really in the race, Fangraphs playoff odds be damned, and cashed in on Masterson because the return was better than the draft pick they’d get by giving him a QO. The other way is that this neither helps not hurts their chances; he’s on the DL and has been awful this year. They saw an opportunity because St. Louis wanted a lottery ticket. The answer may be in between.

Comments

64 Responses to “Game 107, Mariners at Indians”

  1. joser on July 30th, 2014 1:13 pm

    The M’s lineup can make any other pitcher look like Kershaw, but against Kluber… well, at least they’re lefty-heavy (and Progressive Field is somewhat LHB-friendly). Whatever the outcome, this should be must-watch baseball for fans of pitching.

    Happy Felix Day!

  2. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 1:33 pm

    Luckily, with Felix on the mound, even IF we make Kluber look like Kershaw, there’s a chance it won’t be good enough…

    Although, my favorite stat of the day:

    Clayton Kershaw has a higher OBP this season than he’s allowed to opposing hitters…

    Clayton Kershaw 2014 OBP: .237
    Opponents OBP vs Kershaw: .220

    That’s pretty good stuff, right there.

  3. Westside guy on July 30th, 2014 1:37 pm

    That’s one of the reasons why Blengino referred to Kershaw as the best pitcher in the game – that’s a pretty amazing stat for a starter.

    Fortunately we don’t have to face Kershaw right now. :-D

  4. Kazinski on July 30th, 2014 1:54 pm

    I was kind of taking the narrative of Felix being especially unlucky with a grain of salt, so I looked it up and he’s been a little unlucky, but not a lot.

    I went on Baseball reference and looked for pitchers with the most games without a win in an ultra quality start (>= 7.0ip, <= 2 runs) since 2000. And sure enough Felix is #1 with 51. However he only has 8 losses in his ultra quality starts which puts him way down at 41, which is fewer than you'd expect because he's thrown the 6th most Ultra Quality starts in that time frame (137). So he's been unlucky with the no-decisions, but can't complain too much about the losses, other than it sucks too pitch that well and lose.

  5. Woodcutta on July 30th, 2014 2:51 pm

    In one of my season on the latest MLB: The Show, the M’s traded for Kluber after he went nuts in the first few months. Hopefully that doesn’t happen tonight. Oh, and how could the Indians only get a fringe MLB prospect in return for Masterson? He’s had a bad season but it isn’t like he has a horrible track record.

  6. Kazinski on July 30th, 2014 3:49 pm

    Oh, and how could the Indians only get a fringe MLB prospect in return for Masterson?

    He’s just coming off the DL, hasn’t been good all season, his FB velocity is down 2.5 mph from last year and he’s only signed through the end of the season?

  7. Paul B on July 30th, 2014 4:09 pm

    Apparently the Cards got a lottery ticket.

  8. Longgeorge1 on July 30th, 2014 4:14 pm

    Looked up for a laugh!

    Babe Ruth – 1917 – OBP – .411 – WHIP – 1.079 I think it works out to about .250 OBP

  9. kfrei2 on July 30th, 2014 4:24 pm

    So…first team to reach second base tonight wins?

  10. Longgeorge1 on July 30th, 2014 4:26 pm

    Go Kyle – listened to an interview with Joe Maddon the other day. On the topic of the shift, the shift is not a good defense but an answer to bad hitting

  11. JasonJ on July 30th, 2014 4:33 pm

    Looks like the Indians were instructed to be super aggressive at the plate.

  12. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 4:50 pm

    Wow, so Dustin doesn’t pick up Kluber’s pitches very well… Watch a K, watch a K, whiff…

  13. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 4:53 pm

    Go Robbie go…

    Nice hit.

  14. JasonJ on July 30th, 2014 5:06 pm

    Zunino’s magic at work…beautiful pitch framing low in the zone.

  15. Paul B on July 30th, 2014 5:08 pm

    Some nasty pitches to Seager there.

  16. Will on July 30th, 2014 5:15 pm

    awww

  17. Will on July 30th, 2014 5:18 pm

    Horrible rout by Chavez…

  18. californiamariner on July 30th, 2014 5:25 pm

    Well shit

  19. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 5:26 pm

    Zunino earning his dollars with blocking pitches and a man on 3rd…

  20. Will on July 30th, 2014 5:38 pm

    The Mariners are now giving consistent PAs to four guys that have combined to post -3 WAR this season (Morales, Hart, Jones and Morrison) and that doesn’t even include Stefen Romero, who’s posted -1 WAR himself this season.

    The M’s have FIVE guys ranked in the bottom-thirty in WAR for hitters. Half of our lineup isn’t even considered replacement level. Ridiculous!

  21. Will on July 30th, 2014 5:40 pm

    If you had given that playing time to replacement level players, this is arguably a 58-60 win team right now.

  22. Kris on July 30th, 2014 5:42 pm

    Just incidental note: the umpire crew for this series includes Morales and Hernandez.

  23. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 5:52 pm

    This game is surely destined to be an instant classic.

  24. SeattleSlew on July 30th, 2014 5:53 pm

    It smells like Kluber is going to throw a complete game shutout.

  25. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 5:54 pm

    Will-
    You mean “replacement level players” like Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Asdrubral Cabrera? (A combined 0.00 WAR on the season)… That would be way better than some other “not replacement level” guys like Prince Fielder, Shin Soo-Choo and Mitch Moreland! (a combined -1.1 WAR, none of them in positive numbers)

    You’re playing the statistical equivalent of rosterbation. Don’t drive yourself nuts like that.

  26. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 5:55 pm

    SeattleSlew-
    Or it just smells?

  27. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 6:01 pm

    How fitting would it be for Felix to set the all-time record for “Ultra Quality” starts on a night he takes a loss?

    Priceless.

  28. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 6:02 pm

    It smells like another “buzz saw” night reference to me.

  29. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:02 pm

    Once again, the Mariners have five of the worst positional players in major league baseball. It’s unacceptable that the team is trying to make a playoff run with these guys getting regular playing time.

  30. SeattleSlew on July 30th, 2014 6:06 pm

    Next year Root will have another commercial about Felix’s individual accomplishment tonight while the team continues to struggle to win games. Pathetic.

  31. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 6:07 pm

    With some luck, though, Will – James Jones might put a ball in play in his next at bat.

    Just think of it … He might actually hit a ball and put it in play!!!

    Let’s see some replacement level player try to do THAT!

  32. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 6:10 pm

    But… Being in the playoff hunt is COMPLETELY acceptable to me, given where I expected us to be at this point…

    And again…
    Nick Swisher
    Michael Bourn
    Prince Fielder
    Shin Soo-Choo
    (all guys M’s fans screamed for us to go after)

    They’re all having lousy years too…

    It’s a crap shoot… But hey, baseball.

  33. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:10 pm

    Another problem the M’s have – they don’t draw walks. Once again, six players in the bottom-thirty in baseball in BB% (Romero, Bloomquist, Chavez, Jones, Morales and Zunino).

  34. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 6:11 pm

    (tiny little rainbow fart…)

  35. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:13 pm

    But… Being in the playoff hunt is COMPLETELY acceptable to me, given where I expected us to be at this point…

    I never had high expectations for the team, but when they are trying to make themselves out as a playoff contender while running out a ton of scrubs every night, it’s frustrating. At some point, you just have to give other guys a chance (Montero, Franklin?). The M’s are just so stubborn in giving washed up, 35-year-old veterans a ton of playing time.

  36. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:14 pm

    I’m depressed

  37. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:14 pm

    It really isn’t that much different from five or six years ago when they were giving playing time to Jose Guillen, Jose Vidro, Ben Broussard, etc…

  38. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 6:14 pm

    This game did kinda have a multi-colored melodorous flatulence flair to it.

  39. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:16 pm

    We need to trade for a Hargrove Sexton type player. Get it done tonight Jack!!!

  40. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 6:16 pm

    Come on Jones … Rooting for contact.

  41. msfanmike on July 30th, 2014 6:16 pm

    Sweet!

    Scorched it.

  42. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:16 pm

    Kluber’s gonna have an 80-pitch complete game shutout. FUCK THIS SHIT!

  43. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:17 pm

    And we made this guy look like Kershaw, just as we feared.

  44. SeattleSlew on July 30th, 2014 6:17 pm

    WOW! Kluber only has 80 pitches with 2 outs in the 9th. I have never seen that before.

  45. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 6:18 pm

    Montero and Franklin aren’t gonna move the meter much on the “positional players” meter…

    I was hopeful for some moves before the deadline, but they haven’t materialized, and that’s the reality.

    It’s not our year (most likely) but it was fun for a long while… More fun than most recent seasons.

    Everyone knew the difficult schedule coming (3rd hardest in the league after the all-star break)… We were optimistic, sure, but reality is what it is.

  46. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:18 pm

    Sad, but true Z

  47. MrZDevotee on July 30th, 2014 6:20 pm

    I think this game was a snapshot of what making the playoffs would be like for these Seattle Mariners…

    We just don’t hit the ball very well. (Winking at Cano and Seager.)

    Felix is the man, though. The sad, defeated man. But the man, none the less.

  48. SeattleSlew on July 30th, 2014 6:21 pm

    Does anyone know what is the record for least amount of pitches in a CG SHO?

  49. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:21 pm

    Montero and Franklin aren’t gonna move the meter much on the “positional players” meter…

    Well if you don’t think so, then might as well trade Franklin for someone who will because he still has a ton of value…

  50. Jake on July 30th, 2014 6:22 pm

    I don’t know which game was more depressing offensively (taking Felix out of the equation) this game, or the famous Aaron Cook CG from two years ago.

  51. JasonJ on July 30th, 2014 6:23 pm

    Imagine if Kershaw pitched against the Mariners every game. I honestly believe he would end the season with a sub 1.00 ERA and something like 15 CG’s.

    In fairness to Kluber, he is the real deal so it’s not too embarrassing but he was walking on easy street tonight.

  52. Jake on July 30th, 2014 6:24 pm

    If Kershaw pitched every single game, he’d have closer to 130 CGs.

  53. Will on July 30th, 2014 6:27 pm

    The Mariners should seriously consider putting Iwakuma on the block and see what they could get. I’m sure we could get a blue-chip prospect and more for him since he’s under control for next season at $7M compared to Price for $15-20M. He’s 33-years-old and the team is heading downhill quickly.

  54. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:28 pm

    Red Barrett Fifty-Eight Pitch Complete Game August 10, 1944 at Crosley Field

  55. JasonJ on July 30th, 2014 6:28 pm

    LOL. I meant every 5th game but yes, if he pitched 162 games against the M’s he’d have over 100 CG’s.

  56. Eastside Suds on July 30th, 2014 6:30 pm

    It was Barrett’s Boston Braves against the Cincinnati Reds. Now that was pitching to contact! 2 hitter with no strikeouts

  57. Westside guy on July 30th, 2014 6:37 pm

    Wow, glad I missed that one.

  58. Kazinski on July 30th, 2014 10:17 pm

    “Does anyone know what is the record for least amount of pitches in a CG SHO?”

    I remember John Halama getting a 87 pitch CG SHO once, so you don’t actually have to be good to do it. That is the Mariner record. Bill Krueger??!!?? had 85 in 1992, Chris Bosio (86,87) and Jamie Moyer (87) are on the list of the top 50 too, but none of those games were with the Mariners.

    The Major League record for a 9 inning CG shutout was John Lieber with 78 in 2001.

  59. Mariner.lovechild on July 30th, 2014 11:29 pm

    I wanted Nelson Cruz, despite the naysayers. But then I don’t think he wanted to be here. Maybe he’d just suck here anyhow, between the big field and… Seattle’s ability to dissolve baseball talent.

  60. destinationtubes on July 31st, 2014 2:35 am

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of the best places to pitch this year. That makes me want to barf.

  61. eponymous coward on July 31st, 2014 12:16 pm

    So it looks like our trade deadline haul could end up being Kendrys Morales and Chris Denorfia for AAA relievers and Abe Almonte.

    I can live with this- incremental upgrades without raiding the farm too much, we still have Franklin/Walker/Paxton. It’s not sexy, but I don’t think we’ll average 2 runs a game for the rest of the year, anyway. It’s worth a shot.

    If you’re reading this, MrZDevotee, imagine my post said “puppies”.

  62. Woodcutta on July 31st, 2014 12:31 pm

    At this point, Morales and upgrade don’t go together.

  63. eponymous coward on July 31st, 2014 12:40 pm

    At this point, Morales and upgrade don’t go together.

    Have you seen what our season-long production is at DH? Willie Bloomquist’s lifetime OPS would be an upgrade.

  64. Woodcutta on July 31st, 2014 1:10 pm

    .215/.246/.297…I’m pretty sure that isn’t an upgrade.

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