Game 6, Mariners at Athletics

marc w · April 12, 2015 at 11:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Jesse Hahn, 1:05pm

Much different feeling today, after the M’s – behind their #5 guy – take down the A’s and their ace, Sonny Gray. Sure, there are still plenty of things to be worried about. The bullpen coughed up a late lead, the line-up looked flummoxed most of the day against Gray, and Happ was left in too long in the 7th. But at least there are some pretty big positives outweighing them – Nelson Cruz looked solid, and put together some decent at-bats even before his big 3R homer turned the game around. Brad Miller made a great play to save the team in the 10th, and then hit a game-winning double off of a tough lefty in the 11th. Mike Zunino *walked*. JA Happ was effective throughout, averaging 93 on his four-seamer. Still a few too many sinkers for my liking, but he used the four-seamer most of the time, and it was an effective outing overall.

Today, Felix gets his second start of the year, taking on the A’s and RHP Jesse Hahn. Hahn came over from San Diego in one of AJ Preller’s innumerable trades. The one-time Rays prospect had a great debut with San Diego, throwing 73 IP with a very good K rate, and a park-aided but still impressive HR rate thanks in part to a 50% GB rate. Hahn throws a four- and two-seam fastball at 93-94, with a curve as his primary breaking ball. He’s also got a change-up and a very rare slider. His platoon splits were on the low end of normal, with lefties hitting for more power and fewer strikeouts, but taking fewer walks. That’s going to be something to watch as Hahn transitions to the AL; last year, he faced exactly the same number of righties and lefties on the year. In his first AL West start five days ago, 17 of the 26 batters he faced were lefties.

Hahn typically threw a four-seamer to righties, and used his sinker against lefties, with everyone getting around 25% curve balls. It’ll be interesting to see if that changes in Oakland, following the noticeable shifts they made in the pitch mix for guys like Drew Pomeranz and Jesse Chavez. Against Texas, Hahn threw more four-seamers, including against lefties. It was one start, so it’s tough to know if that was a clear change of approach, something in the scouting report or both.

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

The Rainiers beat El Paso 10-2 last night behind HRs from Carlos Rivero and Franklin Gutierrez, but perhaps the story of the night was the return of SS Chris Taylor. Taylor’s rehabbing from that broken wrist he suffered on a HBP in the spring, and went 1-3 with a double before giving way to Leury Bonilla. The Rainiers knocked around San Diego prospect Robbie Erlin, the one-time Rangers prospect who moved to San Diego in exchange for reliever Mike Adams a few years back. Erlin suffered an elbow injury last year, but avoided TJ surgery. He’s bounced up and down between AAA and the Pads, but will need to show he can stay healthy this season. LHP Sam Gaviglio was solid in his M’s org debut, throwing five scoreless innings on 5H and 2BBs; he struck out 3 Chihuahuas. Mike Kickham starts today for Tacoma in El Paso – gametime’s 12:05. The lefty’s game looks a bit like his one-time teammate Madison Bumgarner, in that Kickham uses a fastball around 90-91, and a blizzard of sliders that he’ll throw to lefties and righties alike. While platoon splits haven’t really been an issue for him in the minors, righties have torched him in his short big league stints in 2013 and 2014 – Kickham’s RA/9 is well over 11.

South African control artist Dylan Unsworth makes his 2015 debut today for Jackson against Kendry Flores and the Jacksonville Suns. Flores moved from the Giants to the Marlins org in the Casey McGehee deal this off-season. He was a 10-20th ranked prospect in the Giants org after following a very good 2013 with an up, down and injury plagued 2014. Tyler Pike was so-so in his debut, walking and striking out 3 over 4 2/3 IP. He took the loss after the Generals managed only 1 R against Jacksonville. DJ Peterson has started slowly, going 0-11 with 1 BB thus far.

Caros Misell starts for Bakersfield against Rancho Cucamonga. The 22 year old could use a few good games to open 2014 following a poor year at Clinton in 2014. The Blaze have opened 0-3, with the line-up still struggling in the early going. Dan Altavilla struck out 8 in 5 2/3 yesterday, but took the loss. The Blaze have 10 hits and just 4 runs in total over their first 3 games; the Rainiers have scored 31 runs on 44 hits in three games.

Finally, NC State product Pat Peterson makes his MWL debut today for Clinton. The righty threw 11 solid starts for Pulaski last year, striking out 54 in 49+ innings. The LumberKings swept their DH yesterday, winning 5-4 and 2-1. Alex Jackson went 1-4 with a 2B in the first game, while the pitching of Osmel Morales and Jarrett Brown, a 22nd rounder out of Georgia last year, was the story in the nightcap.


40 Responses to “Game 6, Mariners at Athletics”

  1. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2015 2:02 pm

    Okay, I’m not a conspiracy nut, but something is up with the A’s mound. Even Felix is up in the zone and that never happens. Maybe that has something to do with why the A’s score so many runs at home?

    Hmmmm… If the slope of the mound was a little shallower than usual, then the pitchers foot would land higher than usual. And the release point would be higher than normal.

    Mike laughed at me for going off on all the M’s pitchers throwing belt high or higher, but maybe there’s a reason?

    Something’s not right.

  2. thinkfull on April 12th, 2015 2:21 pm

    Hey, Marc- just wanted to show my appreciation for your game previews. They are always interesting reads, and well written… Thanks for the hard work!

  3. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2015 2:32 pm

    I agree… Great job on game threads, always.

    But back to my rant… Funny thing googling “A’s mound”…

    CJ Wilson: “”I hate pitching there. The mound sucks…”

  4. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2015 2:47 pm

    Thank you, Josh “Nelson Cruz” Reddick, out there in right field.

    Tie ballgame.

  5. Paul B on April 12th, 2015 2:57 pm

    4 runs on 3 hits. Wow.

    Worried about Felix, tbough.

  6. mrakbaseball on April 12th, 2015 3:16 pm

    Tightness in his quad, doesn’t sound serious.

  7. nvn8vbryce on April 12th, 2015 3:17 pm


  8. MrZDevotee on April 12th, 2015 3:22 pm

    “Tightness in his quad”…

    Ah, well that would explain why Felix was up in the zone then…

    Conspiracy debunked.

    Although I’m sure a crappy mound doesn’t help a sore quad…

  9. Kazinski on April 12th, 2015 3:25 pm

    It’s nice to see some RH power off the bench. The platoon strategy seems to be a success so far. Lloyd probably feels a lot better this year looking down the bench for a ph, and seeing more than Endy, Willie,and Sucre.

  10. MontereyScot on April 12th, 2015 3:29 pm

    Rickie Weeks!! McClendon looks like a genius switching Weeks for Seth Smith. You certainly can’t win the World Series in April but winning this series against the A’s is massive. Yours, capt. Obvious.

  11. MontereyScot on April 12th, 2015 3:42 pm

    Of the 7 runs scored, 6 scored on two outs.

  12. Woodcutta on April 12th, 2015 3:58 pm

    Come on Rodney, end the craziness.

  13. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 3:58 pm

    Just another ho-hum 9th inning.

  14. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 3:59 pm

    Watching on Gameday, at least, it appears the Fernando Rodney Experience is going full throttle today.

    C’mon dude!

  15. okinawadave on April 12th, 2015 4:00 pm

    Do we even have anybody throwing in the pen or is that against policy?

  16. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 4:02 pm

    Nice grab by Miller. Butler hit that ball hard!

  17. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:02 pm

    Could’ve been worse, given Butler was hitting…

  18. Woodcutta on April 12th, 2015 4:03 pm

    Is anyone even warming up?

  19. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:03 pm

    Oh man…

  20. Woodcutta on April 12th, 2015 4:04 pm

    The defense wasn’t exactly helping him either. Why is Cruz playing RF when they are up 4 runs in the 9th inning?

  21. nvn8vbryce on April 12th, 2015 4:04 pm

    Why can’t we have nice things?

  22. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:05 pm

    Woodcutta – because, in Lloyd’s words, Cruz “gets to the balls he should get to”.

    Seriously, he just said that a couple days ago when he explained he had no intention of playing Cruz primarily as a DH.

    (or maybe it was “catches the balls he should catch” – same difference)

  23. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:08 pm

    C’mon Robbie!

  24. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:09 pm

    Did Cano just make an out? Gameday burped, and now he’s completely gone from the play by play – just like a Twilight Zone episode.

  25. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 4:10 pm


  26. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:10 pm

    Hey there’s the right fielder coming through!

  27. Woodcutta on April 12th, 2015 4:10 pm

    I really don’t understand why pitchers don’t just stay away from Cruz but since he’s on the M’s I’ll definitely take it.

  28. Westside guy on April 12th, 2015 4:11 pm

    .. oh, and Cano showed up again after Cruz’s home run. Must’ve just temporarily been in an alternate universe, fighting with Bearded Spock.

  29. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 4:12 pm

    I guess now would be a good time for the best defensive alignment. Ruggiano to RF.

  30. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 4:13 pm

    Nope – no such luck.

  31. msfanmike on April 12th, 2015 4:15 pm

    If Medina comes through, Rodney gets the win.

    Pitchers wins are truly valuable.

  32. MontereyScot on April 12th, 2015 4:20 pm

    Wow! That game had everything

  33. mksh21 on April 12th, 2015 4:25 pm

    I blame it on defined bullpen roles

    Rodney does not know how to pitch with a 4 runlead. Freaked him out. *groan*

    Greg Johns with the “string of 23 straight saves is over” tweet.

    Uh nope. Rodney managed to gas-can a non save situation (4 run lead). Can’t pitch yourself in to a blown save situation lol.


  34. WA-BraH on April 12th, 2015 4:32 pm

    Wow! This is such a great feeling to be able to beat the As in Oakland like this! We keep pulling out wins like this and I think we are a team to fear for sure!

  35. Breadbaker on April 12th, 2015 4:33 pm

    Mike, I was thinking the exact same thing. He’s rewarded for blowing a 4-run lead in the ninth. Of course, Felix was behind 3-0 when he threw his last pitch. All the other relievers did a great job.

  36. mksh21 on April 12th, 2015 4:37 pm

    oh yeah the win is the gravy for Rodney lol. My Felix watch ruined. He would have passed or tied like 13 people on the all-time wins list today 🙁

    Including black Jack McDowell 🙂

  37. mksh21 on April 12th, 2015 4:41 pm

    M’s and Astros together in first place. I assume that has to be a first.

  38. BackseatGM on April 12th, 2015 8:26 pm

    There is, or at least there used to be, a rule that says if the pitcher of record sucks he should not be awarded the win and that it should be given to the next pitcher, as long as he is effective. I can’t imagine a clearer case of that.

  39. roosevelt on April 12th, 2015 9:04 pm

    I wonder if the M’s brain trust signed Rodney to a multi-year contract????

  40. mksh21 on April 12th, 2015 9:36 pm


    Read a baseball digest article about how the official score keepers could do that, but they want no part of it. Apparently they get so much crap about what’s a hit and what’s an error they have no desire to “judge” who the winning pitcher should be, even in clear cut cases like this due to the headache.

    From the traditional baseball stats Rodney got the trifecta today. No loss, no blown save and a win. Only blot being the ERA.

    Well hopefully Walker and Rodney will get their ERA’s under 2 dozen and 1 dozen respectively within the next week.

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