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.


64 Responses to “Game 107, Mariners at Indians”

  1. 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.

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

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

  3. 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.

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Wow, glad I missed that one.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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”.

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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

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