Game 135, Nationals at Mariners

marc w · August 31, 2014 at 11:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Tanner Roark, 1:10pm
Wildcard Odds – Fangraphs.com: 37.6% Baseballprospectus.com: 31.4%

The M’s look to avoid a sweep behind Hisashi Iwakuma, but they’re facing yet another tough righty, sinkerballer Tanner Roark. Roark was cut by his college team, played a bit of independent league ball, where he posted an ERA over *20* but got signed by the Rangers anyway. After inconsistency and a trade to the Nats organization, he ditched his four-seamer for a two-seamer and re-discovered his confidence and command. After posting decent but nothing special walk rates in the minors, he’s been a strike throwing machine in the big league (though not quite as machine-like as Iwakuma).

His two-seamer comes in at 92mph, and he’ll throw a curve and change to lefties, and a slider to righties. Thanks in part to his curve ball, he’s excelled against lefties. He’s still got platoon splits, but lefties haven’t done as much damage as you’d expect against an average-velo righty who throws lots of sinkers/two-seamers. Against righties, though, he’s been dominant – a K:BB ratio of about 7, and a FIP in the low 2′s. Roark is essentially the Nationals’ version of Chris Young. There’s nothing eye-popping about him, and his overall FIP is good, but nothing all that special. But he’s been phenomenal at limiting runs. He’s now pitched 220 career innings for the Nats and his ERA is just 2.49. Sure, you can expect the strand rate to come down a bit, and maybe some of his success against lefties is BABIP related, but 1: he’s been doing this for over a full year and 2: he has room to regress and still be an extremely effective pitcher. The big key for him has been command – as Dave described, he seems to be able to put his fastball exactly where he wants it to go. C’mon M’s lefties. We need this.

1: Jackson, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Denorfia, DH
7: Chavez, RF
8: Zunino, C
9: Miller, SS

Not really sure why you’d bring in Denorfia to DH against a righty sinker/slider guy, but on the other hand, this is a good day for Miller to get a start.

Stephen Landazuri gets the start for Jackson today, his final start before heading to the Arizona Fall League. Lars Huijer starts for High Desert. No word on who the Rainiers will send up against Fresno tonight.

Comments

21 Responses to “Game 135, Nationals at Mariners”

  1. mwb on August 31st, 2014 1:14 pm

    Well, I can hear that Joyce is calling balls and strikes.

  2. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 1:23 pm

    Denorfia as DH. Sigh…

  3. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 1:55 pm

    This is not a good time for the team to be going flat…

  4. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 2:16 pm

    Ouch. Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to be having any trouble hitting the ball out of Safeco

  5. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 2:21 pm

    It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between being “flat” and just being pounded by a better team. Better teams make inferior teams look flat.

    This was an important series for the mariners best players to play well.

  6. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 2:23 pm

    No argument that the Nats are the better team, Mike. It’s just a depressing time to have the Mariners stop playing over their heads.

  7. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 2:29 pm

    Copy that.

    They have got to find a way to win this game today. Simple as that.

  8. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 2:39 pm

    Hell yeah!

    Ackley awakens the masses

  9. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 2:40 pm

    Whoa!

  10. stevemotivateir on August 31st, 2014 2:40 pm

    Hey Mike, this is Dustin. Got your message.

  11. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 2:43 pm

    Man, Kendrys is so bloody slow. That would not have been a double play against pretty much any other hitter.

  12. The_Waco_Kid on August 31st, 2014 2:45 pm

    I was definitely about to give up on the entire season. Thanks, Ackley!

  13. The_Waco_Kid on August 31st, 2014 2:51 pm

    Morales, if you’re gonna run like Edgar, you have to hit like Edgar!

  14. Westside guy on August 31st, 2014 3:34 pm

    During this series, I’ve learned that I have been mispronouncing “Rendon” for the past several years (on those rare occasions I say it).

  15. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 3:39 pm

    I have to admit, I noticed no pronunciation issues within any of your posts.

    Ren-doan, my brother. Not Rendon as in Tendon.

  16. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 3:43 pm

    I hope Saunders is eating 5,000 calories a day, running, lifting and hitting like a mad man … Cuz the team needs him back, yesterday.

    What kind of virus did he have, anyway?

  17. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 3:56 pm

    With the added dimension of “speed” that Jones brings for these types of situations, why wouldn’t the team bring up Xavier Avery for the exact same reason – in September?

    Why the hell not? 40 man roster issue? Can’t they 60 day DL Hultzen, Fernandez and Bloomquist?

  18. Section329 on August 31st, 2014 3:57 pm

    Fifth disease. Caught from his daughter and fairly serious when you get it as an adult. Lost 12lbs and has no strength.

  19. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 3:58 pm

    Utterly Endy!

  20. Seattleguy527 on August 31st, 2014 3:59 pm

    Glad for the hit, but I think that was more of a horrible pitch than anything. Belt high fastball down the middle? Anything within a foot of the plate and Endy was swinging.

  21. msfanmike on August 31st, 2014 4:12 pm

    Fifth disease … Never heard of it. Must google, now.

    At least it wasn’t Ebola.

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