Game 85, Tigers at Mariners

marc w · July 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

JA Happ vs. Anibal Sanchez, 12:40pm

It’s getaway day, and the deciding game of this three game series. The first two games featured 12 home runs in what’s supposed to be a HR-suppressing park. Today, the M’s face a starter in Anibal Sanchez who’s seen his HR rate spike this season, and the M’s send out a lefty who’s got his HR rate under 1 per 9 innings for the first time ever.

Anibal Sanchez is an interesting pitcher. His motion’s over the top, and the ball’s released from quite near the center line. He throws a fastball that was around 94 when he had his career year in 2013, but is down to 92-93 now, a slider and a great change-up. His fastball is arrow-straight, with between 0-2 inches of horizontal movement, but a lot of vertical rise. These mechanics and these pitches seem designed to minimize platoon splits, and that’s exactly what we see. Over his career, Sanchez has slightly reversed platoon splits, and he’s held lefties under a .300 wOBA every year since 2011. His fastball’s good against lefties, but his main weapon is a plus change-up that he throws at 86; lefties have come up empty on 37% of their swings on the pitch, and that’s crept upwards over time.

Interestingly, he throws a fair number of sliders to lefties as well as righties. It functions like a cutter in many ways – it’s pretty hard at 87mph, and it has less gloveside movement than a typical slider. If you squint a little and give your author a bit of license, it’s almost like a splitter. Maybe that’s why it’s *lefties* who’ve really struggled with it, swinging and missing twice as much as righties. Righties have had the advantage on Sanchez’s four-seam fastball as well. He’s got a sinker that’s been sporadically effective against them, but he’s throwing that less often now.

1: Jackson, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Smith, RF
6: Trumbo, 1B
7: Ackley, LF
8: Miller, SS
9: Sucre, C
SP: Happ

The Rainiers held on to beat division-leading Fresno last night 8-7, cutting their deficit to 6 games. Jesus Montero was the star with 3 hits including 2 triples, which is one of those sentences I never thought I’d ever type. Jordan Pries takes the mound as Tacoma heads to Reno to take on the Aces tonight.

Moises Hernandez and Victor Mateo were locked in a pitcher’s duel into the 6th last night when the wheels fell off for Felix’s brother. A 6 run 6th blew the game open, and it ended 9-1. Jordy Lara and Tyler Smith doubled, but the offense couldn’t drive the ball off Mateo who gave up just 3 hits in 6 innings despite not striking anyone out. Misael Siverio starts tonight against Mississippi’s Stephen Janas, a 6th round pick in 2013 who’ll be making his 2nd AA start. In 6 starts in the Carolina League, Janas was 5-0 and gave up just 2 runs in 37 innings. He then went 5 2/3 scoreless in his AA debut.

San Jose jumped on Dan Altavilla, knocking him out in the 4th, and cruised to a 9-4 win. The Blaze offense struck out 13 times and had just one extra-base hit, a double from SS Rayder Ascanio. The snake charmer Tyler Pike starts for Bakersfield tonight against Ray Black of San Jose. Black was a 7th round pick out of Pitt back in 2011, but a college injury proved to be far more serious than anyone expected, and Black wasn’t able to pitch in games until 2014. The upside was that when he came back, he was throwing 100mph. The Giants sent him to the Sally league and in 31 1/3 IP, he struck out 64, which is absolutely remarkable despite any age-relative-to-league quibbles. The walks have crept up this year, but he’s still doing reasonably well, and it looks like the Giants are giving him a shot at starting – though that probably means he’ll go 3 innings at most today.

Clinton and Quad Cities split a double-header yesterday, with the Bandits taking game one 1-0 and the L-Kings winning the nightcap 6-1. Tyler Herb pitched well, and Jarrett Brown continued his odd run of success as a double-header fill-in starter while scuffling out of the bullpen on non-DH days.

Everett beat Hillsboro 7-4 to snap their losing skid. Alex Jackson had 2 hits and started in CF, while Corey Simpson hit his 4th HR. Andrew Moore threw 3 innings, giving up 1 run and striking out 5. The 2015 draft pick out of Oregon State has now thrown 11 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits while walking *none* and striking out 16. That’s as good a debut as anyone could’ve expected. Luiz Gohara starts tonight for Everett.


19 Responses to “Game 85, Tigers at Mariners”

  1. HighBrie on July 8th, 2015 12:28 pm

    Can anyone tell me about this incarnation of Jesus Montero? My impression is that people are still unimpressed (he’s not hitting for a ton of power, still not walking a lot). But a) he has changed his work ethic; b) he is hitting like he should in AAA, with his best season since he was a highly touted prospect on the Yankee farm. My question is really: does he have the bat speed to be effective in MLB?

  2. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 1:11 pm

    Last season when Montero got called up for an extremely short stint (only 17 PAs), he didn’t look overmatched.

  3. jak924 on July 8th, 2015 1:16 pm

    J.A. Hapless.

  4. mrakbaseball on July 8th, 2015 2:24 pm

    People are already speculating about an Upton/Jackson deal…

  5. mrakbaseball on July 8th, 2015 2:31 pm

    Alas, there is nothing brewing, Upton has a stiff neck and Jackson has back spasms.

  6. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 3:08 pm


  7. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 3:22 pm

    One run – could’ve been a LOT worse.

  8. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 4:05 pm



  9. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 4:09 pm

    Unfortunately I am not surprised.

  10. Grayfox3d on July 8th, 2015 4:09 pm

    Oh who would of guessed that would happen….

  11. Westside guy on July 8th, 2015 4:12 pm

    Whenever our team gets a potentially non-sucky player for very little cost, I tend to wonder what the other org knows that ours doesn’t. Unfortunately when we’re talking about the current Mariners’ regime, that probably encompasses a lot of data.

    But Jack Z seems to get snookered a lot – especially given the rumors of how difficult he is to deal with. He may be difficult, but apparently that doesn’t mean he isn’t easy to fool.

  12. WestyHerr on July 8th, 2015 4:23 pm

    My Oh My, KVI

  13. eponymous coward on July 8th, 2015 5:04 pm

    I like how GMZ and Lloyd are talking up the team’s chances while the flop sweat is rolling down their forehead.

    Even the optimistic projection has us behind 11 other teams. At this point, we’re banking on a Houston or LAAnaheim collapse plus enough other teams NOT getting hot to make up for our 3 months of “meh”.

    That being said, who are you going to dump at the deadline, Felix? So I guess doing some softshoe around the mess that’s been left on the floor is all you can do at the moment…

  14. ck on July 8th, 2015 9:13 pm

    The torture of caring for the M’s. Decision time: If Russell Wilson can abstain while a supermodel is hugging him, why can’t I abstain from watching the M’s? My next TV game will be after the All-Star break.

  15. Woodcutta on July 8th, 2015 10:03 pm

    If dealing for Trumbo is the only transaction Z makes before the deadline he needs to go especially if adding that salary is one of the main reasons he isn’t allowed to make another semi-major/major move.

  16. LongDistance on July 8th, 2015 11:07 pm

    Try to find the M’s team building strategy. Or if not that, some sort of pattern that looks like strategic pro-activity rather than demented reactivity. Even if you want to be generous, you can’t help seeing how, when things go bad, there’s this long-standing, trickle-down attitude of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Is it real denial? Or corporate denial…? Other teams, Milwaukee, for instance, have no problem making moves when things go flat suck. Roenicke was jettisoned fairly early. Redmond. Next to go, Weiss, Collins? True, things have to be pretty dire for a manager firing, but I’ll bet good money that Lloyd will be outlast everyone because there comes a time when you realize that, in fact, it doesn’t matter. In Seattle, that means you go into corporate hibernation. Milwaukee thought it mattered enough, to make an early adjustment. That’s rarely been the Seattle way. We wait until October, the Season of Retribution.

    But … surprise me.

    Go M’s. If you really do want to re-inflate the tires. And think it still might matter.

  17. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2015 7:04 am

    “If dealing for Trumbo is the only transaction Z makes before the deadline he needs to go especially if adding that salary is one of the main reasons he isn’t allowed to make another semi-major/major move.”

    With most AL/NL teams legitimately in some kind of race, it’s not going to be a buyer’s market for talent. I guess you could package up Roenis Elias and kids for something, and then hope that the inevitable shredding of Kuma’s arm isn’t so inevitable. The problem is the M’s don’t have anything like a surplus of young talent; they are in “go for it now” mode, but the “it” they have achieved is a 75-85 win team, not anything like a consistently good team.

  18. mrakbaseball on July 9th, 2015 9:01 am

    Yes, dealing for Mark Trumbo is the reason Zduriencik needs to go, nevermind the 7 seasons of failure.

  19. Grayfox3d on July 9th, 2015 3:37 pm

    When Jack Z first showed up on the scene, the list for positives that he had been doing for this team was great. Now the negatives have surpassed the positives by a big margin. How many more chances is he going to get? I feel like this organization is just so used to mediocrity, or less than mediocrity that they don’t even care whats going on as long people are in the seats, and money is showing up in team accounts.

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