Game 79, Mariners at Athletics
Roenis Elias vs. Scott Kazmir, 7:05pm
The M’s head north to Oakland, the final stop on their road trip. Man, it feels better today after back to back shutouts than it did a few days earlier.
I will never get over the fact that Scott Kazmir is pitching effectively in the majors after bombing out with the Angels, then struggling to break 82, then recovering essentially all of the velo he had when he broke into baseball with the Devil Rays. Kazmir came up with a good fastball and a big slurvey slider. Death against lefties, he’s faced strongly right-handed line-ups since 2005-6. But since his stunning renaissance with Cleveland, he’s done very well against righties too. He’s now got a good change-up – it gets whiffs on almost 40% of swings – and with his sinker and cutter, he’s able to get more ground balls. He’ll never be a true ground-ball hurler, not with a four-seam fastball with 10-11″ of rise, but he’s done a very good job of limiting HRs. Sure, his home park helps with that, but so does his more-than-respectable K rate against opposite-handed hitters.
All of that said, he’s still got some platoon splits. He’s been tough on righties, but Cruz, Jackson and Trumbo need to step up here.
1: Jackson, CF
2: Cano, 2B
3: Cruz, DH
4: Seager, 3B
5: Gutierrez, LF
6: Trumbo, RF
7: Morrison, 1B
8: Zunino, C
9: Taylor, SS
To be clear, McClendon says that Miller is still the starter, but that Taylor will get the odd start against tough lefties like Kazmir.
Tacoma beat Las Vegas 4-2 last night behind another great start from Forrest Snow. Chris Taylor walked and singled in two PAs before being pulled from the game, putting all of today’s roster moves into play. Stephen Landazuri starts tonight at Cheney.
Jackson got shut out by Mobile 8-0. Edwin Diaz pitched poorly. Moises Hernandez will try to do better tonight. I should mention that erstwhile Generals manager Jim Horner left to take a job at Washington State University, and Roy Howell, the fill-in last year in Tacoma, will see out the 2015 campaign.
Bakersfield was beated soundly by Modesto, 8-1. Eddie Campbell went 3 1/3 giving up 5 runs, and that was essentially that. Dan Altavilla starts tonight against Modesto’s Antonio Senzatela, who struck out 11 in a win against Bakersfield in early May.
Clinton lost a slugfest 12-10 to Peoria. Patrick Peterson leads them into today’s opening game of a series with Kane County.
Everett lost to Tri-Cities 7-1 as Lane Ratliff gave up 5 runs and 2 HRs in 4 2/3 IP. Tri-Cities is generally a tough place to homer, but winds can change that. Tonight, Andrew Moore gets the start against the DustDevils’ Brett Kennedy.