Game 147, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · September 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Sonny Gray, 7:10pm
Wildcard odds – Fangraphs.com: 55.9% Baseballprospectus.com: 50.1%

I’m tempted to leave Jeff’s piece below up to function as the game thread, because it encapsulates what this game feels like so well. As it turned out, the M’s didn’t exactly build off the momentum they had following that sweep of the Blue Jays. Instead, they meandered around for a few weeks, getting some huge wins, but losing to the Astros. Playing well against Oakland, but dropping a series to Texas. That can be frustrating, in that you can see what a difference a few wins would make in the standings right now, but a part of me is glad we get this game, in this situation, with these two guys on the mound. This doesn’t feel like a playoff race, this feels like a playoff game.

King Felix stumbled in recent weeks, as his incredible run of HR prevention gave out for a time. He’s now essentially right at the same HR rate he’s run for the past few season, and that means his FIP is now merely incredible instead of otherworldly. His numbers are down across the board in the second half, which makes sense as they essentially had nowhere else to go. Still, Felix is the M’s ace, and even down the stretch in a long, unusually hot summer, he’s still the guy the M’s want to see on the hill. Put aside the fielding independent stats, and he’s (mostly) the same guy. BA allowed in the first half? .199. In the second? .198. His slugging is up thanks to that HR barrage a while back, but you just expect Felix to pitch like an ace.

Contrast that with Sonny Gray, who, like the rest of his team, has declined in the second half. Gray’s fastball/curve combo was so effective because it neutralized lefties and righties equally, and because he gets ground balls, he could be effective at home and in places like Arlington and Houston. Gray’s still a work in progress, as his control isn’t ace-level yet, and while the curve’s been useful in generating bad contact, he hasn’t racked up as many K’s as he should at Felix’s age. In the second half, Gray’s numbers have declined across the board, and unlike Felix, he couldn’t fall as far and still be great. In the 2nd half, Gray’s FIP and ERA are in the low 4′s, and his K:BB ratio is a pedestrian 1.96. Gray’s still an extremely talented young hurler, but you wonder if he’s wearing down a bit; remember that Gray fell in the draft as evaluators saw his size as an impediment to his development as an ace/workhorse.

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

Best M’s news I’ve seen in a while, courtesy of Ryan Divish: The M’s have announced that today’s game is a sell-out. Nice work, M’s fans.

Dustin Ackley’s ankle continues to bother him, hence Endy Chavez in the 2 spot tonight. Michael Saunders gets a day off.

Logan Morrison’s first half/second half splits still look identical, thanks to an abysmal July, but he’s followed a decent August with a good start in September. With Zunino fading a bit, and with Morales still stuck a bit, the resurgence of both Morrison and Brad Miller has been critical to the M’s offense.

For the scoreboard watchers, the Tigers are playing Cleveland tonight, while the Royals take on Boston. Ex-Rays prospect turned Rule 5 guy Kyle Lobstein’s pitching for Detroit against diminutive fireballer Danny Salazar, while the Royals have Jeremy Guthrie taking on Sox prospect (ex-Dodgers prospect) Rubby De La Rosa.

Comments

65 Responses to “Game 147, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. Paul B on September 13th, 2014 6:04 pm

    The Indians are up a run, but KC is winning handily.

  2. zzyzx on September 13th, 2014 6:07 pm

    This is the most stressed I remember being before a M’s game in ages.

  3. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:13 pm

    Go Marineros?

  4. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:15 pm

    A’s coming out extremely aggressive.

  5. zzyzx on September 13th, 2014 6:15 pm

    I hate seeing Felix give up fly outs. Makes me feel he doesn’t have his A game.

  6. djw on September 13th, 2014 6:17 pm

    Ugh. This organization so badly underappreciates their 3rd best hitter they start two sub-replacement level players instead. In an incredibly important game for their playoff chances. Complete and utter madness.

  7. msfanmike on September 13th, 2014 6:18 pm

    If Lloyd had rested Jackson against a tough right handed pitcher, I would have totally gotten it.

    Resting Saunders instead … Huh!

  8. djw on September 13th, 2014 6:18 pm

    If someone needs a night off, maybe it’s Jackson. He’s looked completely lost lately.

  9. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:23 pm

    Endy Chavez 2 hitter with the base hit! I’ve been so anti Endy playing because I didn’t think it would work and I didn’t think he would succeed or help the team if he got to keep playing.

    It’s getting to the point though where it’s like what the hell, Go Endy Chavez baby! Come playoff time (practically now) we get to just root and hope like crazy for the short term success no matter how fluky it may be. It’s about time for me to just enjoy the craziness of baseball and hope we benefit from its randomness.

  10. djw on September 13th, 2014 6:28 pm

    Just as we can walk and chew gum at the same time, we can lament the prominent role foisted upon a sub-replacement level player, and we can root for that player to improbably perform well despite that error by management. There is no contradiction there at all.

  11. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:30 pm

    Nobody is saying there’s a contradiction. However, I didn’t even want him to improbably perform well for most of the season, because I knew it would just give him more playing time.

  12. Westside guy on September 13th, 2014 6:40 pm

    I got in a Twitter argument with Divish about Jackson never getting a day off…

  13. djw on September 13th, 2014 6:43 pm

    I appreciate Morrison’s spirited effort to help the team at all costs, but…yeah. You can’t do that.

  14. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:44 pm

    Geez, that slide was so obviously bad.

  15. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 6:51 pm

    Blowers myths:

    1) Ackley has Olympic speed
    2) Endy Chavez has above average defense
    3) James Jones has an amazing arm (as if accuracy doesn’t count)

    Did I miss any?

  16. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:52 pm

    Felix at 26 pitches through 3 is insanely efficient but it feels like they’re making pretty solid contact as a team.

  17. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 6:54 pm

    Now if Blowers said “James Jones has Olympic speed”– THAT I would buy…

  18. G-Man on September 13th, 2014 6:54 pm

    Jones doubters, repent! :)

  19. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 6:56 pm

    Show off that power James.

  20. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 6:57 pm

    Nice job, Rooks!

  21. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 7:03 pm

    Saunders and Ackley both coming off injuries and a short turn around tomorrow. Chavez is leading the M’s in OBP for the last month and 3rd in slugging. Don’t care what he did in 1842. Jones and Taylor look OK to me. Go M’s

    My opinion is that Lloyd has done an excellent job managing the roster.

  22. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:19 pm

    Nice play by LoMo… Go M’s.

  23. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 7:20 pm

    Felix is pitching a nice game so far, but we really have to stop letting Gray off the hook with these easy outs and double plays.

  24. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:21 pm

    91 mph changeup. Damnnnnnnnn… How do you pick that up?

  25. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:23 pm

    Not as good of a play by LoMo… Good hustle though.

  26. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:27 pm

    Cleveland let Detroit win that? Argggh.

  27. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 7:30 pm

    C’mon Cleveland!!! I though you guys rocked!? what happened!

  28. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:34 pm

    Felix is dealing… He’s found his groove again. Fun to watch…

  29. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Oops. Hung one… Damn.

  30. djw on September 13th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Aw, crap.

  31. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 7:36 pm

    MrZ you spoke too soon sir! that was on you lol.

  32. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 7:47 pm

    Another at bat, another strike out for Jackson.

  33. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 7:59 pm

    Nice throw and play…

    Felix doesn’t look like his usual self tonight. (EDITED from my earlier comments *sigh*)

  34. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 8:06 pm

    Yes we Cano!!!

  35. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 8:14 pm

    Constantly amazed how MLB hitters turn mistakes into “boom”

  36. G-Man on September 13th, 2014 8:26 pm

    Pinch hit THAT!

  37. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 8:40 pm

    Let’s see if you can steal with the whole word expecting it Mr. Jones

  38. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 8:42 pm

    Speed

  39. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 8:45 pm

    I think Jackson needs to watch the game tomorrow

  40. djw on September 13th, 2014 8:46 pm

    Jackson is just dismal right now. I know he’s talented, but it’s hard to see it.

  41. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 8:46 pm

    How much longer do we need to endure our “leadoff hitter” strike out constantly, and continue to dissapoint in key situations.

  42. djw on September 13th, 2014 8:56 pm

    Out. This better get overturned.

  43. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 8:57 pm

    I LOVE replay

  44. Westside guy on September 13th, 2014 9:05 pm

    Good job Kendrys!

  45. msfanmike on September 13th, 2014 9:07 pm

    Kendrys has me pining for a Justin Smoak at bat … At least from the left side. It’s a low grade horror movie with him at the plate as a lefty.

  46. bongo on September 13th, 2014 9:10 pm

    I find myself wishing Jackson will not swing. If he cannot hit at least he could walk.

  47. djw on September 13th, 2014 9:16 pm

    This ain’t good.

  48. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 9:16 pm

    oh yay! I love watching Rodney walk everyone.

  49. bongo on September 13th, 2014 9:16 pm

    Rodney gives new meaning to the term “walk off”.

  50. californiamariner on September 13th, 2014 9:17 pm

    That’s one reason you don’t put runners on base for free.

  51. bongo on September 13th, 2014 9:21 pm

    Rodney surprises Moss by throwing a strike.

  52. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 9:22 pm

    wow! at least 2 of those damn pitches were strikes!!! omg what a way to potentially lose a damn playoff placing ball game, thanks ump!

  53. msfanmike on September 13th, 2014 9:23 pm

    Well that sucked.

  54. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 9:24 pm

    I understand that losing is part of sport, but walking 4 in the 10th is inexcusable.

  55. groundzero55 on September 13th, 2014 9:24 pm

    That disaster was in no way on the ump. Rodney looked like he was only throwing strikes on accident. I have no idea why, in a game with the implications this one does, Rodney was allowed to stay in as long as he did.

  56. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 9:25 pm

    I cannot believe they left him in that whole inning… Can we have like a “team rule” 3 walks in an inning and you’re out of the game?

    Please? I mean, if we want to win baseball games. (So pissed right now…)

  57. msfanmike on September 13th, 2014 9:28 pm

    Groundzero is correct.

  58. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 9:28 pm

    And Doolittle gets THAT pitch? Really?

  59. MrZDevotee on September 13th, 2014 9:29 pm

    I always love ruining a closer’s confidence by sticking him in non-closer situations… Oh, hey Tom Wilhelmsen… No I was talking about Rodney, not you last year.

  60. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 9:30 pm

    Rodney blew it! BUT I am all for Trackman to call balls and strikes

  61. Longgeorge1 on September 13th, 2014 9:30 pm

    Rodney blew it! BUT I am all for Trackman to call balls and strikes

  62. Grayfox3d on September 13th, 2014 9:49 pm

    I was watching on gameday cast so that’s where I’m complaining about balls/strikes from. But the fact that we lost in this manner anyway is unacceptable in any way. A chance to take the top spot in the wild card and we let a pitcher throw ball after ball, issue walk after walk, while the Manager just waits for something to happen.

    This is not to mention the absolute horrible at bats put together by the guys tonight, And when will Lloyd finally have Jackson sit a game or two, he’s obviously lost in outer space at the plate.

  63. LongDistance on September 14th, 2014 2:04 am

    Lloyd must have entered some sort of zone of denial after the second walk. We’ve seen so many times this year how F-Rod had it all on the precipice, and then yanked it back.

    Games won this year with the Mariners only scoring 2 runs: 6. And every one of them gave Rodney the save.

    Games lost this year with the Mariners only scoring 2 runs: 12. Of all of those, Rodney threw in only two, giving up 0 runs in one — although giving up a 9th inning loss in the other.

    All in all, a pretty stellar, if jittery (walks, etc.), season for a closer.

    Jittery is the word of choice. And, somehow, he does the hat trick.

    But this one, finally, got away from Rodney and Lloyd should have recognized it while it was happening. There are balls, and there are balls. I think a lot of people could see, and certainly the umpire, how fast and far Rodney was disintegrating. And certainly faster than Lloyd.

    Lloyd has to absolutely forget about what happened during the season from here on out. This is playoff ball, and everything has to be judged … ball by ball.

    Go Ms!

  64. bookbook on September 14th, 2014 10:19 am

    If the 35-year-old $8 million arm is too fragile to pitch in a tie game… I really don’t know what to say
    I will suggest that Rodney is not a guy you want issuing intentional walks to anybody. That’s asking for trouble.

  65. Westside guy on September 14th, 2014 10:37 am

    I think Rodney has been a very good closer this year, and the Fernando Rodney Experience has been pretty uneventful this season… The guy we saw last night will show up on occasion; that’s just part of who Rodney is. But still – 45 saves, 3 blown saves this season. Better than I expected coming in – he’s been very effective. But when he blows it, he generally REALLY blows it, Jose Mesa style.

    (And yes, “saves” are a stat we’d be better off without)

    It’s also amazing how often intentional walks turn around and bite the issuing team.

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