Game 157, Mariners at Blue Jays

marc w · September 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. RA Dickey, 4:07pm
Wildcard…:sigh:….odds – 8.0% 7.6%

Happy Felix Day. The M’s fanbase could use a bit of happiness today after yesterday’s debacle. Paxton had been so sharp, and he picked an unfortunate time to turn in a disaster start. The day I write about his ultra-low BABIP, he goes and gets BABIP’d to death and the M’s playoff hopes now dangle by a thread. C’mon Felix. You got this.

Beyond the fact that the M’s have King Felix, the favorite for the AL Cy Young award on the hill today, check out the Blue Jays line-up. Munenori Kawasaki is starting at 3B, and batting *fifth*. Dalton Pompey, until recently a solid player in the Florida State League, starts in LF. In CF is Anthony Gose, he of the 74 career wRC+ in about a full season’s worth of disappointing play. Ryan Goins! Josh Thole!

RA Dickey’s 2014 has gone a bit better than his 2013 thanks to some regression in his HR rate. In 200 IP this year, he’s allowed 1.11 HR/9, or dead on his career average. His K rate’s essentially unchanged, his BB rate’s actually a touch worse, and his BABIP’s still reliably low. It’s just that fewer balls have left the field of play. This in itself is somewhat odd – in his peak seasons with the Mets, Dickey was something of a ground-baller. Not an extreme one, but he topped 50% grounders one season, and was around it for all three. Last year, he was just above 40%, and is at 42% this year. That, plus the whole designated hitter thing, and a dash of park effects, explain why he’s now giving up more HRs than he did in New York. That said, Dickey’s move to Toronto worked out pretty well for all involved. It’s really strange to say about a defending Cy Young award winner, but Dickey wasn’t paid to be the ace of the Blue Jays staff – he was paid to be a league-average starter, and that’s actually what he’s been. I think the Blue Jays certainly hoped he’d be better than that, but they didn’t pay through the nose for a high-ceiling star. They paid for a guy with a really strange career who was in his late 30s.

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


85 Responses to “Game 157, Mariners at Blue Jays”

  1. Jake on September 23rd, 2014 5:59 pm

    Morales really is playing like a piece of shit with movable arms.

  2. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2014 6:00 pm

    If there’s a worse way for the team to squander the good vibe this season has helped build, I am not sure what it would be.

  3. JMB on September 23rd, 2014 6:00 pm

    Yeah, just looked, if things hold up we will be three back with five games to play.

    I thought the same thing about Felix and the Cy, Mr. Z. He should have one more start to get to 15 wins. Who has more and a shot? Kluber and Scherzer.

  4. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:02 pm

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… (nice.)

  5. Ralph_Malph on September 23rd, 2014 6:02 pm

    Wow. Just, wow.

  6. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:03 pm

    There’s a lot of chatter for Kluber, even before tonight… I think he’s really the only one with a shot…

  7. seasick on September 23rd, 2014 6:04 pm

    I can hear a distant flushing sound that just won’t stop.

  8. msfanmike on September 23rd, 2014 6:05 pm

    They drilled Muni???!!!

    What a dick move that was.

    Take your medicine, Mariners … You’ve earned it.

  9. Ralph_Malph on September 23rd, 2014 6:06 pm

    I don’t know that Erasmo has good enough control to hit anybody on purpose.

  10. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:06 pm

    I find it hard to believe that Erasmo could actually accomplish hitting someone on purpose… I think it was an inside pitch that go away…

  11. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:07 pm

    Ha, you beat me to it Ralph… (laugh)

  12. Sowulo on September 23rd, 2014 6:07 pm

    Just when things got interesting this team quit. Well, this whole year has been an ordeal for me trying to follow this team from China. streaming is complete garbage now. I’ve only been able to watch 3 or 4 complete games since the middle of June. They are completely unresponsive to my emails. After 37 years of following this team, I just don’t know if I can generate enough energy to bother next year. Good luck to the rest of you.

  13. bookbook on September 23rd, 2014 6:08 pm

    Ouch. Honestly, I don’t think Felix should get the Cy Young. His return to mortality has been a large factor in the M’s slide out of playoff contention. (And Kluber at this point has a better case.)

  14. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:08 pm

    Okay, we can do this… 3 runs an inning and we can pass ’em… That doesn’t sound like that many…

    Go M’s!

  15. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:11 pm

    book book-
    I agree, for the most part… But the Cy is for the best pitcher, and Felix has the little Ace in his pocket of doing something NOBODY has ever done, and passing Tom Seaver in the process, with that streak of 7 innings, 2 runs or less starts…

    Not just best in the AL at that, but best ever…

    Don’t know how much influence that might have, so I was really hoping a strong start tonight, and that record might get it for him…

  16. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2014 6:14 pm

    How can ALL of the starting pitchers start sucking so badly, all of a sudden? The odds against that are probably ridiculously small.

  17. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2014 6:15 pm

    Okay, whelp, time for me to head home. Smell y’all later.

  18. SergeantSuj on September 23rd, 2014 6:21 pm

    How did Jack Z get an extension again?

    M’s offense (AL rank in runs; ’13 added Hou for 15 total AL teams):
    09: Last
    10: Last
    11: Last
    12: Last
    13: 12th
    14: 12th

    Midseason trades (avg/obp/slg):
    Morales .206/.274/.335
    Jackson .242/.278/.278
    Denorfia .200/.261/.325

    Again, Jack Z should be fired this offseason.

  19. SergeantSuj on September 23rd, 2014 6:24 pm

    Even with the recent struggles, let’s not forget the M’s pitching staff was still historically good this season. The M’s are not in the playoffs because of Jack Z’s inability to create even a league-average offense in 6 seasons. What are the odds they are league-average next season? Zero percent?

  20. mariner68 on September 23rd, 2014 6:26 pm

    Oh well, isn’t this just regression to the mean? I’ve been informed numerous times that there is no such thing as “clutch” anything in baseball.

  21. MrZDevotee on September 23rd, 2014 6:31 pm

    Toronto has looked pretty “clutch” the past two days…

  22. williebfan on September 23rd, 2014 6:41 pm

    …so did Houston for that matter.

  23. mariner68 on September 23rd, 2014 6:42 pm

    I’m just unhappy, but as it’s been stated – 4 straight starts where the pitcher couldn’t even make it through the 5th – and this was one of the best staffs in the A.L. for years statistically, what else can you say. I don’t really think this will build any character for the future either, there just isn’t anything good about it. They couldn’t score for 9 innings vs. a AAA Angels team, and all these games with Houston and Texas where they failed to win the series. I’ll grant that Oakland and KC have also been playing poorly, none of them are in a strong position heading into the playoffs.

  24. williebfan on September 23rd, 2014 6:42 pm

    BTDubs, not sure lack of offense by the M’s is entirely the issue for this game.

  25. eponymous coward on September 23rd, 2014 7:30 pm

    How can ALL of the starting pitchers start sucking so badly, all of a sudden? The odds against that are probably ridiculously small.

    Well, let’s see, team ERA of around 3, half a run better than the previous Mariner record which was a pretty good staff and defense…

    What is “regression to the mean, Alex”?

  26. Woodcutta on September 23rd, 2014 7:46 pm

    There is regression to the mean and there is absolute suckage. In the four biggest games of the M’s season their 1-4 starters pitched 14.2 innings and gave up 27 ER.

  27. Westside guy on September 23rd, 2014 8:14 pm

    Dave needs to show up and re-post that dumpster fire image…

  28. martini on September 23rd, 2014 8:18 pm

    Ugh. Maybe the team overachieved for most of the year, but going out this way sucks.

    It is time to think about next year. Overall, the pitching is fine (quite good, actually), but I would gut at least 25% of the offensive roster in the offseason. At least make it so that Mac cannot play the so-called matchups with sub .200 hitters against lefties. That cost the team more than a few games this year. Throw Morales, Hart, Smoak, and Denorfia to the curb. Sell Montero’s contract to Baskin-Robbins. Rescind Jack Z’s extension.

    The team is okay, but all it showed this month is that it can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when it matters most.

  29. eponymous coward on September 23rd, 2014 8:19 pm

    Well, lots of pressure-packed innings all season long, because this is a team with barely any offense, you get a road trip, and… boom.

    I’m guessing the BABIP is pretty ridiculous.

    Meh. Remember, this was a ~80 win team. It’ll probably end up somewhere around 85.

    I still say if !B/DH/OF being such a goat**** is the what killed this team. Last year’s Kendrys Morales and one more adequate OFer and this team’s in Oakland’s position, leading the WC chase, and the starters are resting. Instead we had a team where the designated (non)-hitters OPS’ed .554, CF OPS’ed .566, and 1B OPS’ed .706.

    Princess Willie F. Bloomquist’s lifetime OPS is .665.

  30. Dennisss on September 23rd, 2014 8:22 pm

    I agree Woodcutta. This has not really been an epic collapse in one sense, given that their odds of making the playoffs were never higher than 60% or so. However, they haven’t just lost — they have been destroyed game after game, played their worst baseball of the year in the games that made the most difference to their playoff chances. Just awful.

  31. mariner68 on September 24th, 2014 8:02 am

    I’m concerned that how they played in these games might create a monkey on their back in the future – none of these players have played in big games before – and they might now feel extra pressure in future big games. They shouldn’t have been tired, as McClendon used the bullpen heavily this year, and if anything you’d say he has had a quick hook for the entire staff (except for Rodney – apparently he thinks Rodney is 29 not 39 and has a bionic arm).

  32. Westside guy on September 24th, 2014 8:39 am

    Condor has played well in these games… but I’m sure it’s all because Lloyd hardly let’s him play. Keep it up, Lloyd! Keep the Condor on the bench!

  33. Westside guy on September 24th, 2014 11:54 am

    Here we go – Wednesday’s game and Saunders is sitting again. And Logan Morrison is in right field?!

    Lloyd, I was kidding earlier! And you’ve got to be kidding now!

  34. Woodcutta on September 24th, 2014 1:56 pm

    There is possibly a silver lining to this collapse. If you look through the history of successful teams/franchises in sports many of them had to get that taste of winning/success before really breaking through. This could be a turning point for the franchise but the front office can’t become complacent b/c they made the big splash last offseason.

  35. eponymous coward on September 24th, 2014 2:50 pm

    This could be a turning point for the franchise but the front office can’t become complacent b/c they made the big splash last offseason.

    Why would you be complacent when your DHs and CFs are worse hitters than WFB, and your 1Bs are pretty much garbage-replacement level?

    (I’m not really buying that LoMo is an improvement on Smoak.)

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