Game 132, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · August 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Colby Lewis, 12:40pm
Wildcard Odds – 52.2% 50.8%

Hey, someone on the Rangers I’ve heard of! Colby Lewis, to his great credit, has come back from serious injury and an extremely long layoff and has put up, by FIP, a fairly typical Colby Lewis year. He’s got a decent K%, a good (though less good than it once was) walk rate, and he’s actually limited HRs fairly well this year despite a very low ground ball rate. Unfortunately, it’s been far from a typical year from an ERA and runs-actually-scored point of view. From an RA/9 WAR standpoint, Lewis has been well below replacement level. From a FIP-based WAR standpoint, he’s nearly league average. Is this the result of historically bad luck – the microcosm of the entire Rangers season – or is he doing something differently?

As a big fly baller, Lewis typically ran very good BABIP numbers. In his three seasons from 2010-2012, his HIGHEST BABIP was .279. This year, it’s .365. That sounds remarkably unlucky, but it’s buttressed with a line-drive rate that’s among the highest in baseball. Even when he was good, Lewis always struggled against left-handed hitters; his wOBA-allowed to lefties ranged from .360 in 2011 before improving to .331 in 2012 and collapsing now to a .406 mark in 2014. More troubling is that he’s no longer able to get righties out. From not allowing a wOBA better than .277 from 2010-2012, righties are hitting .342 this season. While the movement and velocity on his fastball haven’t changed, the results clearly have. This started a bit in his injury-shortened 2012, when righties started to hit his four-seam fastball harder. He was able to balance that with some very good results on his breaking pitches, particularly his slider/cutter, but it hasn’t worked to the same degree in 2014. Why? Because far more balls in play are falling in for hits this year. This is where we really need scouts; the data we have are somewhat contradictory and clearly limited. He’s getting hit harder, but he’s also paying a much higher price for all kinds of contact than he’s ever paid before. Is this the beginning of the end, or is this what happens when literally everyone in the pre-season depth chart gets hurt?

Today’s line-up:
1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, DH
4: Morales, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Zunino, C
7: Morrison, RF
8: Taylor, SS
9: Miller, 2B
SP: Erasmo Ramirez

As we speculated yesterday, Erasmo didn’t make that scheduled start in Tacoma, and thus Tacoma had a bullpen night. Andrew Carraway started and pitched five very good innings against Kris Bryant and the Iowa Cubs. I misspoke yesterday in saying it was the series finale…it’s not. Tonight’s game is, so you’ve got one more chance to see the heralded 3B in the minor leagues. Bryant struck out three times last night, against three different Rainiers hurlers. He’s a huge talent, but there are still some facets of his game that need a light finish.

The M’s announced the players they’ll send to the AFL this, er, fall. They are C John Hicks, 3B DJ Peterson, 1B/3B/)F Patrick Kivlehan, and pitchers Matt Brazis, Stephen Landazuri, and Matt Anderson.


63 Responses to “Game 132, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. californiamariner on August 27th, 2014 2:40 pm

    That’s a good call HighlightsAt11. Lloyd also said that there would be no more off days, because it is the stretch run. He seems to be contradicting that as well as the “team chemistry” comment.

  2. Jake on August 27th, 2014 9:23 pm

    Hey, Hector Noesi helped tonight by getting the Win against Cleveland.

    The Yankees beat up on David Price, and beat the Tigers.

    Mariners are still up by .5, but watch out for New York.

  3. Don Money on August 27th, 2014 10:01 pm

    In his previous six starts, he have up a total of 4 earned runs. Why do you never want to see him in an M’s uniform again? I remember when the same was being said about Tall
    Tom last year and Maurer earlier this year.

  4. HighlightsAt11 on August 27th, 2014 10:26 pm

    Mac wasn’t able to couldn’t convince his daughter to schedule her wedding earlier in the season or after the season? So in his first season as manager Mac has to take 3 days off smack during the most important part of the season in the middle of a wild card chase. Of course family comes first but you would think the kid would not put her father in such an impossible position.

  5. Woodcutta on August 27th, 2014 10:54 pm

    Was Paxton really sent down to AAA? What possible reason could there be to send him down?

  6. Woodcutta on August 27th, 2014 10:56 pm

    Nevermind, I saw it on the bottom of the screen on MLB Network and now know it was to make room for Erasmo.

  7. djw on August 28th, 2014 5:39 am

    In his previous six starts, he have up a total of 4 earned runs.

    This tells us nothing about Ramirez’s performance. I believe people who don’t want to see him pitch for the team any more because he appears to be, and is performing as, a below replacement level pitcher. (I hope he goes down, figures it out, and pitches like it’s 2012 again for the Mariners in the future. But it’s obviously not likely this year.)

    HighlightsA11, I see no reason to believe having someone else making decisions for three days makes the team less likely to lose those games. We’re not dealing with Earl Weaver here. Don’t overrate the importance of managers; McClendon missing three games isn’t anything to worry about.

  8. eponymous coward on August 28th, 2014 8:25 am

    For a manager who says he does not like to play with ‘team chemistry’ this sixth starter back and forth between Tacoma and Seattle experiment has failed. Responsibility lies with Mac/Z.

    Yeah, I sure consider it “failing” when a pitching staff is a half-run a game better than the team that won 116 games.

    Have you ever considered that there might be a forest behind that really ugly tree?

  9. HighlightsAt11 on August 28th, 2014 11:47 am

    I sure consider it “failing” when a pitching staff is a half-run a game better than the team that won 116 games.

    So you attribute that success to moving Erasmo back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma?

    Have you ever considered that there might be a forest behind that really ugly tree?

    That ugly tree is part of the forest.

  10. Eastside Crank on August 28th, 2014 12:04 pm

    McClendon is not being treated any differently than Wedge was. That means daily calls from Uncle Fester and Lincoln telling him who to bat when and how often to have the players practice. Remember, that is what drove Wedge away – telling him what to do and than letting him explain why he kept making such dumb decisions. McClendon has done an expert job of making this work with a lineup that still prominently features DH’s pretending to play in the field. I suspect the wedding was being planned long before it looked like the Mariners would be vying for the last wild card spot. McClendon’s coaches will do fine running the team in his absence and I admire him for putting his family first.

  11. Westside guy on August 28th, 2014 1:07 pm

    I must admit I wondered what was behind Mac’s statement – when asked about his relationship with Jack, right after the extension was announced – that “we’re about as dysfunctional as dysfunctional gets”.

  12. HighlightsAt11 on August 28th, 2014 10:17 pm

    If Mac is not a crucial part of the mix, an not needed for three days, then why not give him a full week off to refresh his batteries?

    If my Dad managed a MLB team I would not even think of scheduling my wedding late in the season Or I would have scheduled during All-Star break. Well maybe if my Dad managed the Yankees I would schedule it for the weekend of a Boston-NYY series, just in spite.

  13. eponymous coward on August 29th, 2014 8:29 am

    So you attribute that success to moving Erasmo back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma?

    Well, let’s see…

    Felix Hernandez, second half 2013: 2-6, 4.11 ERA, numbers down, only made 3 starts in September.

    Iwakuma has lots of injury history, Elias is probably close to an innings limit, Young hasn’t pitched this many innings since 2007.

    You tell me; is being worried about keeping well rested the biggest strength your club has down the stretch (the pitching staff) stupid given this data?

    Now, if you think that maybe it might not be such a stupid idea, who do you start to give the extra day off, instead of the guy who’s been doing OK in Tacoma?

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