Game 9, Mariners at Dodgers

marc w · April 15, 2015 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Taijuan Walker vs. Brett Anderson, 7:10pm

Last night’s game going to sting for a while. Another late lead blown, and a lack of offense after David Huff came out of the game doomed the M’s, and they head into tonight’s game looking to avoid a sweep behind a pitcher who gave up 9 runs in 3+ innings in his first start.

Fangraphs’ odds give the Dodgers a 60% chance of winning, but despite Walker’s rough outing, that may be overstating things a bit. Walker was hit fairly hard by the A’s, and most of the damage came on fastballs. Walker’s command in Oakland was poor-to-nonexistent, so some improvement in that regard might help his results look different. And for whatever reason, Walker’s gone away from his curve a bit, and might need to mix a few more in to give hitters something else to think about. His split and cutter/slider are thrown hard enough that hitters can be expecting a fastball, react and still drive the ball – as Ben Zobrist did in the first inning in Oakland. A few more curves may make it harder for the Dodgers to sit on his fastball.

Brett Anderson, the oft-injured ex-Athletic gets the start for the Dodgers. Anderson spent a season rehabbing and occasionally pitching for Colorado, managing all of 43 1/3 IP in Denver.* With the A’s, Anderson was a ground-ball machine despite a four-seam and slider-heavy pitch mix. As time went on, he threw his sinker more, and that may have helped push his GB rates from the mid 50s up over 60% in very, very limited action in 2013-14. When healthy, he’s displayed great control, and though his velocity’s down from where it was 5 years ago, he’s not yet a soft-tossing lefty. In addition to his slider, he’ll use a change-up and a curve.

Despite his repertoire, Anderson’s run reverse platoon splits over his unfortunately brief MLB career. I wouldn’t want to bet on anything involving Anderson, but it’s odd that it’s persisted in every year except one of his career, and it’s true for slash lines and FIP as well. The reason is that his slider’s been much more effective on opposite handed hitters, which is just not something you see every day. There are a number of pitchers, Madison Bumgarner in particular, whose slider is effective against both, but I’m not sure I can think of too many players who have a breaking ball like this (as opposed to a change/splitter) with reverse splits. Maybe it’s luck, but righties whiff on the pitch more, swing at it more, and put it in play less than do lefties. Anderson’s a very effective pitcher, but he’s not the guy you want to overhaul your line-up to face.

Let’s see here….
1: Weeks, LF
2: Jackson, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, RF
5: Seager, 3B
6: Morrison, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Miller, SS
9/SP: Walker

Not bad, I suppose. Ackley would help the defense, but Weeks’ own platoon splits come into play as well.

The Rainiers take on Albuquerque as Roenis Elias takes the hill. Jordan Pries had another rough go yesterday, and the M’s lost in the 9th, 6-5. Carlos Rivero continues to rake, while Chris Taylor went 1-5 with 2 Ks as the DH.

Jackson takes on the Mississippi Braves with Stephen Landazuri getting his second start. The righty went six scoreless IP in his first game, striking out 5.

The performance of the night came from Edwin Diaz, who went six scoreless innings against Modesto, giving up just one hit and striking out 8 in a 1-0 Blaze win. The two teams played today, with Modesto taking it by a score of 3-2, with Ryan Yarbrough getting a no-decision after 6 IP, giving up a run on 2 hits, a walk and 1 K. The 2-3-4 hitters of Tim Lopes, Tyler O’Neill and Austin Wilson all have slugging percentages under .200, so runs have been at a premium in Bakersfield.

* Anderson was traded from Oakland to Colorado for Walker’s adversary back on Friday, Drew Pomeranz.


24 Responses to “Game 9, Mariners at Dodgers”

  1. Vortex on April 15th, 2015 6:09 pm

    Thanks for adding in info about what is going in the minors to your already fantastic game write-ups. It is much appreciated.

  2. Westside guy on April 15th, 2015 6:14 pm

    Seconded! Thank you Marc!

  3. Kazinski on April 15th, 2015 6:38 pm

    Lloyd is probably the perfect manager to handle a struggling closer like Rodney. After all when Lloyd managed the Pirates in 2005 his closer was Jose Mesa, very close to the end of his career. Lloyd let Mesa rack up 2 wins and 8 losses as a closer before he pulled the plug on him. Mesa probably got the 2 wins the same way Rodney got his win Sunday too.

    Let’s hope Lloyd learned his lesson, because he got fired at the end of the season, and you can bet the way he handled Mesa was probably a big part of it.

  4. MrZDevotee on April 15th, 2015 7:01 pm

    I also enjoy the minor league highlights, and “Player of the Day” updates…

    Thanks for your hardwork!

    (On a side note, Marc, you don’t have any experience pitching the 9th inning with a lead, do you…? Just keeping our options open…)

  5. djw on April 15th, 2015 7:33 pm

    So…how’s Elias doing?

  6. californiamariner on April 15th, 2015 7:42 pm

    Just checked fangraphs team batting stats. When I sorted by BABIP, I found the Mariners in last place, 19 points behind the Cubs. Makes me feel a little better about the offense at least. They’ve probably been unlucky thus far.

  7. wtnuke on April 15th, 2015 8:15 pm

    So I think I found our problem – turns out we suck and none of us realized it!

  8. marc w on April 15th, 2015 8:34 pm

    Thanks a lot Westside, Mr Z, Vortex, et al. It’s fun to dive into the system, and as the old timers remember, I got into this through the minors and arguing with Dave about prospects.

  9. marc w on April 15th, 2015 8:38 pm

    Djw – you don’t wanna know. Elias gave up 6 R in 5 2/3, so that’s 10 earned runs (and 14 hits) in 10 2/3 on the year.

  10. bongo on April 15th, 2015 8:39 pm

    Do not despair. There are solutions for what ails us in Tacoma, where Gutierez, Elias, Montero, Kivlehan, Taylor and Hicks now play. Should Weeks, Jackson, Walker, Morrison, Ruggiano, Miller and Zunino continue to stink it up, they will find themselves DFA’d, benched or demoted by June. Then the real season will begin.

  11. Section329 on April 15th, 2015 9:02 pm

    I cant believe it Cano

  12. californiamariner on April 15th, 2015 9:03 pm

    Are you kidding me? And Cano of all people.

  13. msfanmike on April 15th, 2015 9:05 pm

    Heads up play, Robbie


  14. JMB on April 15th, 2015 9:06 pm


  15. williebfan on April 15th, 2015 9:07 pm

    No one seems to be focused. Least of all Lloyd. Piss poor decisions.

  16. roosevelt on April 15th, 2015 10:14 pm

    Stumbling out of the gate in a disoriented fashion.

  17. ensignofcommand on April 15th, 2015 10:30 pm

    I was going to post something cynical, but then I realized the Rockies have a sub 2.5 ERA, and we have 153 more games to play.

    The regression of the pitching staff has been hard to watch though. Our xFIP is middle of the road, but we’ve allowed 48 runs.

    Outside of interleague play, Cruz should be a full-time DH, and where’s Ruggiano? I like Weeks. He’s got a lot of power and he mashes lefties, but so does Justin, and he can actually play the outfield.

  18. WestyHerr on April 15th, 2015 10:39 pm

    We need a bat.

  19. Westside guy on April 15th, 2015 11:21 pm

    Oh man, I just saw the video of Cano’s blunder. Wow what a brain fart!

  20. Woodcutta on April 15th, 2015 11:50 pm

    Where was the 3rd base coach on that play? Cano was halfway to home.

  21. LongDistance on April 16th, 2015 3:52 am

    Note to Robbie: You can’t channel Cobb unless the catcher actually expects you to use your cleats.

  22. Dennisss on April 16th, 2015 10:22 am

    It’s a good thing the Mariners missed the Dodgers’ best starting pitchers, or this could have been a really crappy series.

  23. MrZDevotee on April 16th, 2015 10:55 am

    “or this could have been an even crappier series.”

  24. Dennisss on April 16th, 2015 11:50 am

    One thing that is pretty consistent over the years: When the Mariners are playing good teams, their defense, hitting, pitching, everything starts to look suspect. When they play lousy teams, suddenly it all comes together, not every time of course, but often enough.

    Based on that pattern, I expect much happiness and optimism over the next 15 games.

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