Game 11, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · April 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Colby Lewis, 6:10pm (Note the odd start time)

Happy Felix Day. This one couldn’t come at a better time – when the M’s have lost four in a row, with an offense sputtering to the lowest OBP in the league, and a pitching staff that’s put up the third-worst ERA in baseball. I always love Felix starts when the M’s are on a bit of a roll, and it feels like they’re up 2-0 before the game even starts. Those have been the exception, of course; we’re all a bit more familiar with these “Save us, Felix” starts in which it falls to Felix to halt a slide. It’s early, and Lloyd McClendon isn’t necessarily wrong when he says the team will click eventually – their FIP is a full run lower than their ERA, and the club’s worst-in-baseball BABIP means luck has played a role in the awful OBP. Still, this isn’t the start anyone wanted, and the Oakland series feels ages ago now. After putting up another poor performance against Gallardo last night, the M’s face long-time Rangers junkballer Colby Lewis.

Lewis famously reworked his mechanics and repertoire during a stint in Japan with Hiroshima, and returned to the AL in 2010 as a surprisingly good starter. Injuries and age have sapped some velocity and the bite on his slider, and his platoon splits have become more and more of an issue, but he’s giving Texas innings at a time they desperately need them. He was worth a bit over 1 fWAR last year, despite an ugly ERA, thanks to a consistently good K:BB ratio. That said, as a fly-baller who plays in Texas, he’s always had home run issues. And as he’s aged, that problem’s getting a bit worse.

Lewis’ four-seamer is now in the 88-89mph range, and his best pitch is a slider that comes in around 83. It’s got a lot of drop for a slider, and that two-plane movement has helped it be effective against lefties as well as righties – since 2012, he’s had better results with it to lefties, though that’s due in part to sample size and the situations he uses it in against southpaws. He throws about 1/3 sliders to righties, but he’ll mix it in with a curve and change to lefties; neither pitch is particularly effective, but they give batters something to think about. Despite the slider and a five-pitch mix, he continues to struggle against lefties. In his career, lefties have a .361 wOBA against him, while righties are at .318. This is an opportunity for the M’s to use their lefty-heavy line-up to good effect.

Felix scared us all a bit with his quad problem in Oakland. It obviously isn’t too serious as he’s making the start tonight, and it also provides a convenient excuse for Felix’s poor game in Oakland. If he’s healthy, this *should* be a decent match-up, and yes, I realize I said that yesterday.

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

Zunino in the 9th spot for the first time. Can’t say I mind. Smith started hot, but has yet to draw a walk on the season – hell, even Zunino’s got two of them.

As Jeff pointed out a week or so ago, the Angels are weighing their options to rid themselves of the Josh Hamilton contract. Ken Rosenthal mentions that the Angels are looking to trade him, but could buy out Hamilton – not sure how much savings they’d get on the $83 million they still owe him. It’s been a rough few months for Hamilton, who filed for divorce recently as well.

Pete Rose will join Fox as a studio analyst, according to, er, Fox. I guess they should know.

The Rainiers dropped their home opener to El Paso last night 4-2 after starter Mike Kickham walked 7 in 5 IP. It’s a gorgeous day today, and the Rainiers game starts at 5pm – plenty of sunlight left. Mike Montgomery gets the start after an encouraging 2015 debut. Very curious to hear how he looks and how hard he’s throwing these days.

Jackson lost 6-5 in 12 innings yesterday, but that’s OK. The Mississippi Braves scored the winning run off Carlton Tanabe, the catcher, who was pressed into service on the mound after the Generals had run through so many pitchers in the first week. More importantly, DJ Peterson showed some signs of life, going 3-6 with a double. Dylan Unsworth starts tonight’s contest.

The Bakersfield Blaze shut out San Jose, with Carlos Misell, Emilio Pagan and Brett Ash combining for 9Ks and just a single walk. Tyler O’Neill and Austin Wilson both had hits, but the offensive star was Tyler Marlette, again. He’s now at 12 for 24 on the year, with a pair of HRs. I was a bit surprised he started in high-A; maybe Marlette’s taking his frustration out on the Cal League, and maybe they wanted to give him some confidence for when he moves back up to AA. Jake Zokan starts tonight against DJ Snelton, a 9th rounder in 2013 out of Minnesota.

Clinton won 3-2 yesterday behind six shutout innings from Pat Peterson, who struck out 7 along the way. Joe DeCarlo continued his hot start with another HR – that’s 3 in 2 days for him. Clinton faces the Beloit Snappers today, and send Lukas Schiraldi to the mound.


37 Responses to “Game 11, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. LongDistance on April 18th, 2015 3:08 pm

    Well, lookee here. Deja vu. Four scoops of sh*t and suddenly, thankfully, it’s Happy Felix Day. Thank the baseball gods for small favors.

    Got nothing else, except this old thing, that needs to be reposted once a year (my turn): “Felix is a male given name and surname, stems from Latin (felix, felicis) and means successful, lucky, favored by luck, or the lucky one.”

  2. djw on April 18th, 2015 6:40 pm

    I think I need a new laptop. This thing must be broken; it’s trying to tell me that Felix just walked Carlos Peguero.

  3. Westside guy on April 18th, 2015 6:58 pm

    Hahaha, djw – I just came in, looked at GameDay, and thought exactly that!

  4. djw on April 18th, 2015 7:06 pm

    So I figured out this game is on MLBTV just in time to see Miller picked off. Three leadoff runners wasted ARGH.

  5. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:06 pm

    Hey everybody! Welcome to “We can’t run the bases” day!


  6. Westside guy on April 18th, 2015 7:07 pm

    It wasn’t Miller’s fault – he was still somewhat stunned that Peguero took a walk.

  7. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:10 pm

    True. My bad. But what about sending Jackson when the ball was practically already at home plate, and deciding “Hey, I know something we’ve never done before… let’s try a delayed steal with Seager”? Not sure Peguero can over all three of those…

    Do you think Felix had a conversation with the offense before going back out on the field…?

    “Look, we all know you guys have a hard time scoring when I pitch… Can we try NOT to do dumb stuff when we DO get on base? Please? I’ll sign your Bobblehead…”

  8. Cooperman on April 18th, 2015 7:13 pm

    Your 2015 Seattle Mariners coaching clinics featuring:

    1. Leisurely sliding; How not to run the bases

    2. OBWhat; Why walks are overrated

    3. Imagination; Why it is ok to pretend the bases are always loaded

    4. Who needs insurance? The stupidity of keeping a lead in the ninth inning

  9. Woodcutta on April 18th, 2015 7:16 pm

    5. Why when the closer is closing you should never have another reliever warming up unless the bases are loaded or the game is now tied.

  10. californiamariner on April 18th, 2015 7:17 pm

    So far one base runner thrown out on the bases per inning, let’s see if they can keep the pace.

  11. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:19 pm

    6. Bobbleheads, and why they matter

  12. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:20 pm

    I think they’re ready to aim higher… Maybe 2 guys thrown out in one inning?

    Seems like a lot, I know, but I think they can do it..

  13. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:22 pm

    Cano doesn’t count, he’s already tallied his “oh shit, the bases aren’t actually loaded” gaffe.

  14. djw on April 18th, 2015 7:26 pm

    That was why, as a fan, I like the shift toward more shifting. More strategic games between hitters and defense. How many times does Cruz have to do that before the defense adapts?

  15. msfanmike on April 18th, 2015 7:29 pm

    Wow, a run.

    A run!

  16. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:37 pm

    And “a lead”…

    I forgot that was a thing… It means we have more runs than the other guys have. I looked it up. If, and I know it’s a big IF, but if we make it thru the 9th with “a lead”– we’re awarded “a win”.

    (Too catty?)

  17. msfanmike on April 18th, 2015 7:39 pm


  18. californiamariner on April 18th, 2015 7:42 pm

    “A lead” means we get something called a “Rodney experience”.

  19. djw on April 18th, 2015 7:43 pm

    I’ve generally been impressed with the quality of review decisions but WTF was that?

  20. WTF_Ms on April 18th, 2015 7:45 pm

    I guess if you check swing, and it’s close, you can act like it hit your hands, and get a free base.The umps cause a tie game now, and nothing is to be said. What a crock.

  21. californiamariner on April 18th, 2015 7:45 pm

    Now the guy that doesn’t deserve to be on base is on 3rd! Woo replay!

  22. djw on April 18th, 2015 7:48 pm

    And there’s the damn run. Umps–we can beat ourselves just fine, we don’t need any help.

  23. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:49 pm

    I’m a little surprised McLendon didn’t go ballistic after that guy scored, and get tossed…

    Should have never happened.

  24. californiamariner on April 18th, 2015 7:50 pm

    Absolute bullshit. I don’t like to whine about umpires but that was terrible. Difference in 1-0 or 1-1.

  25. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:53 pm

    Zu-lander… There she blows…

  26. californiamariner on April 18th, 2015 7:53 pm

    Oh my god when Zunino hits it it can go far.

  27. djw on April 18th, 2015 7:53 pm

    I guess he had to make contact with a ball again eventually.

  28. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 7:54 pm

    Upper deck on a cool evening in Seattle is impressive…

    Did anyone clock the speed on that one… He found a speed he likes… Maybe 78 mph, 81 mph?

  29. msfanmike on April 18th, 2015 8:17 pm

    Good job Miller!

  30. Westside guy on April 18th, 2015 8:21 pm

    A two run lead – wow.

  31. Longgeorge1 on April 18th, 2015 8:33 pm

    9th inning = FRE are you excited!

  32. djw on April 18th, 2015 8:34 pm

    Good lord, Felix is just unreal. Please don’t blow this.

  33. MrZDevotee on April 18th, 2015 8:39 pm

    Without the bonehead weird foul-ball free pass, who came around to score, this is one of Felix’s more dominant performances…

    2 hits, 12 K’s, and it SHOULD be 0 Runs.

    And though it’s not a sure thing… 1 of those hits could possibly have been played by LoMo if he wasn’t holding “faux hit batter” runner at 1st… It went right through the normal 1B spot…

  34. Longgeorge1 on April 18th, 2015 9:03 pm

    I think I’ll go to bed, I am not ready for Fernando

  35. nvn8vbryce on April 18th, 2015 9:05 pm

    Break out the defibrillators… It’s closing time with Rodney!

  36. Longgeorge1 on April 18th, 2015 9:11 pm


  37. Westside guy on April 18th, 2015 9:53 pm

    Well tonight we only got the FR.

    Anyone feel cheated?

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