Game 99, Blue Jays at Mariners

marc w · July 26, 2015 at 11:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Taijuan Walker vs. Mark Buehrle, 1:10pm

Taijuan Walker’s had a very strange season, with two distinct slumps and a nice month or two of quality starts. This most recent slump covers his last three starts and 15 1/3 IP – three games in which he’s given up 18 runs and 5 HRs in total. The two games with Detroit highlighted his struggles this year with right-handed bats; righties have a slash line of .281/.340/.492 off of Walker with 10 HRs. Walker’s newfound command of his splitter helped him improve against lefties, but he’s all but abandoned his slider/cutter thing, giving him no real breaking ball. When he’s on, it hasn’t mattered a whole lot, but it still seems like a breaking ball he’ll use and has confidence in should be on his off-season to-do list.

Mark Buerhle is as remarkably consistent as Walker is volatile. This year, Buerhle’s walk rate has plunged below 4%, making him even more…Buerhle than ever. He’s missing fewer bats, though of course that’s never been a big part of his game. He’s also getting more ground balls despite using his four-seam fastball more so than he has in recent years. His sequencing and command are still elite, and he’s tweaked how he uses his change slightly. This has made his change a serious ground ball pitch, and pushed his overall GB% near 50% for the first time since 2008.

More notably, of course, today marks Randy Johnson’s official enshrinement in Cooperstown. I’ll have a post on RJ later.

1: Jackson, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cruz, RF
4: Cano, DH
5: Gutierrez, LF
6: Trumbo, 1B
7: Taylor, 2B
8: Miller, SS
9: Zunino, C
SP: Walker

Buehrle doesn’t have much in the way of platoon splits, but several of the M’s bats do, hence the distinctly right-handed line-up.

I can’t believe Ezequiel Carrera homered. I saw a lot of him in Tacoma in 2010 and thought his swing was the least powerful from a mechanical perspective than any other minor leaguer I’d ever seen. That year he hit 0 HRs for the slugging Rainiers, and posted a SLG% of .315 in the PCL. I know he’s homered in the big leagues before, but I simply couldn’t envision it. Thanks to Rodney, I now can. Carrera now has 4 HRs, one off of Chris Tillman, a very homer-prone starter, but the other 3 have all come off of ex-closers – Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, and Joe Nathan.

Tacoma got a walk-off win over Fresno when Jabari Blash homered in the 9th. The Rainiers struggled against Mark Appel, but mounted a furious comeback, scoring 5 in the 8th to take the lead. But Logan Bawcom gave up 2 runs in the 9th to tie the game at 7-7. Blash led off the 9th with his 5th AAA HR, and that was that. Jordan Pries starts today for Tacoma against Fresno’s Brett Oberholtzer.

Montgomery beat Jackson 11-6 despite DJ Peterson’s 7th HR. Misael Siverio gave up 7 runs in 2 2/3 and Jackson just couldn’t crawl out of that hole. Moises Hernandez gets the start for Jackson today against righty Jaime Schultz, who has 114 Ks (but also 71 walks) in 94 1/3 IP on the year.

Bakersfield beat San Jose 7-4 thanks in part to the red-hot Tyler O’Neill’s 19th homer. Tyler Pike had a recurrence of his control problems, walking 4 and K’ing 1 in 3 2/3 IP, but the Blaze bullpen was great, shutting the Giants out the rest of the way. Brett Ash shares the mound with San Jose’s Chase Johnson today.

Kodi Medeiros and Angel Ventura combined on a 4 hit shutout of Clinton. Medeiros only went 3, striking out 1, but Ventura pitched the final 6 innings with 11 Ks and 2 walks. Gianfranco Wawoe’s double was the only XBH for the Lumberkings. Pat Peterson starts today’s game against Wisconsin.

Spokane destroyed the AquaSox 10-1, with Luke Lanphere tossing 7 shutout innings for the Indians. Luiz Gohara struggled for Everett. Braden Bishop had 2 hits, extending his run at the plate – he had a 10 game hitting streak snapped the day before, and has 15 hits in his last 12 games, but is still slugging just .298.


29 Responses to “Game 99, Blue Jays at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 12:13 pm

    Glad to see Gutierrez today… wish we saw a bit more of him!

    Against an offense like the Blue Jays, I would prefer Cruz wasn’t considered such a fixture in right field. I’d rather see him at DH. But, unless there’s a regime change, I know that’s not going to happen.

  2. mrakbaseball on July 26th, 2015 1:02 pm

    Thanks to Chuck Armstrong, Randy Johnson does not have that trident M on his HOF plaque.

  3. LongDistance on July 26th, 2015 1:05 pm

    I’m not even sure a regime change would matter at this point. But it’s fun to predict when and if that change will be made.

    I’m betting Lloyd will be out of here. But not until the season’s really over. Other clubs, with baseball savvy FO’s and owners, might have fired him already. The M’s aren’t other clubs.

    It’s beginning to smell like Jack Z. has jacked his last jack … and will be leaving the M’s with one of the most notable messes in recent MLB history.

    As for above him…

    Howard? Remember that guy? Last time we heard from him was sometime back in Spring Training, talking up the fabulous expectations of this wonder team. And even before that, Mr. Fun Family Experience hadn’t really made much noise since waaaaaay back in the early days of hot stove, and even then not much since he’d shattered what little of his reputation remained by insisting, earlier, that baseball wasn’t the predominant reason anyone should imagiine coming to Safeco Field.

    Kevin Mather? He openly admitted he wasn’t a baseball guy and had nothing to say to Jack Z. And what can anyone say to that?

    Which leaves the owners, who seem to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

    I’m just typing, but it seems to me if you want to draw a line where baseball ends and nuthouse begins in the M’s organization, it’s somewhere between Lloyd and Jack.

    That’s an awful lot of regime, to change, and you’re right, it’s not going to happen.

    Going to be a very interesting winter.

    In the meantime, it would be nice to see, as Marc said, some interesting if meaningless baseball. Just for the sake of, you know? … baseball.

  4. mrakbaseball on July 26th, 2015 1:23 pm

    Mark Buehrle needs to be appointed Pace of Play tsar the minute he retires. He doesn’t waste any time on the mound.

  5. mrakbaseball on July 26th, 2015 1:41 pm

    Howard Lincoln led the Mariners contingent to Cooperstown to see the guy they didn’t want to give “Maddux money” to inducted into the Hall of Fame as a D-Back.

  6. Seatt101 on July 26th, 2015 1:56 pm

    I wonder how many of the current team will be inducted in the Mariners HoF let alone the HoF itself?
    Felix but I cannot see anyone else being up to scratch.
    Oh for the days of Ibanez,Ichiro and Moyer of recent years instead of this spineless output.

  7. Paul B on July 26th, 2015 2:13 pm

    I think I would dump Ackley, LoMo or Trumbo (pick 2) and bring up Montero and Ruggiano.

  8. Paul B on July 26th, 2015 2:17 pm

    Triple play.

  9. Seatt101 on July 26th, 2015 2:23 pm

    I say dump Ackley, Rodney for starters – move Zunino and Taylor to Tacoma, bring up Montero, Hicks, Marte and Snow.

    Trade Trumbo for speed and on base skills.

    What the heck do I know!

  10. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 2:30 pm


    You couldn’t pay me enough to be a catcher.

  11. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 2:38 pm

    In other words, batting average isn’t everything Mr. Sims. And offense is only half the game.

  12. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 2:45 pm

    In July they’re third best in the AL in terms of wRC+… but they’re also fourth worst in terms of defense.

  13. Seatt101 on July 26th, 2015 2:54 pm

    Hey I don’t understand the terms wRC+ etc – but I would swap most of our guys for their guys in a heart beat!

  14. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 3:03 pm

    Sorry, in my last post “they” refers to the Mariners.

    Sims had been lamenting how their batting average in July was really good, but their W-L record wasn’t. So I was just commenting regarding how their overall defense has been pretty bad (led by some bad pitching), which tends to offset improvements made on the offensive side.

    And yeah, I’d take most of Toronto’s players over the Mariners too. 😉

  15. jak924 on July 26th, 2015 3:03 pm

    The pitching just sucks. Walker is not big league yet.

  16. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 3:09 pm

    If you’re curious, wRC+ is a stat attempting to provide a standardized measure of overall offensive performance (hitting for power, taking walks, etc.), adjusted for both park factors and relative league strength. 100 is average, higher than that is above average and lower is below average.

    You don’t really need to understand the math, but a detailed explanation is here:

  17. nvn8vbryce on July 26th, 2015 3:15 pm

    Nelson Cruz is not a person I would want to say “whoa, Nellie” to, as we’ll take all the offense we can get. Hopefully we can take the lead and win the series.

  18. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 3:51 pm

    I’d walk him! Haha

  19. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 4:06 pm

    Hopefully the Mariners will score so we are spared from the Fernando Rodney Experience.

  20. mksh21 on July 26th, 2015 4:17 pm

    Are you s***ing me? Wow Franklin, you are the comeback athlete of the year.

  21. Westside guy on July 26th, 2015 4:18 pm

    Guti does it again!!!!!

  22. JMB on July 26th, 2015 4:23 pm


    This season sucks but what a story he has been. Happy for him.

  23. mksh21 on July 26th, 2015 4:31 pm

    Guit has been through hell and back, I agree, could not possibly root harder for a guy in MLB this year.

    Being said, the Mariners having enough gaping holes that they still needed him sucks, but whatever congrats Guti!

  24. nvn8vbryce on July 26th, 2015 4:37 pm

    Westside, your wish was Guti’s command. I don’t know if I’d call seeing Rodney pitch an experience… that’s like having a root canal for the fun of it, or going to a theme park and not enjoying any of the rides.

  25. mksh21 on July 26th, 2015 4:46 pm

    Rodney is like a self inflicted arrow (or gunshot) wound to the balls.

  26. bluemoonking on July 26th, 2015 6:56 pm

    It’s great to see Guti back. Walker has great stuff but he is another that is not able to make adjustments. It is just amazing that the Mariners made the effort to be at cooperstown for a player who went in as a Diamondback. Ask Johnson about the Mariners “off the record” and you wont like the answer.

  27. Grayfox3d on July 26th, 2015 7:26 pm

    Id just like to point out that Zunino had a pretty good game, if not for that rob of the HR he would of been 4 for 4 and plus his help with that triple play… but i’m very happy we won. I’d still like to see something done because we need some kind of help because Taylor is well tanking, and besides a once in a while fluke game the combo of Trumbo/Morrison stinks. And where is Ackley! this is usually the time he gets hot.

  28. JMB on July 26th, 2015 7:28 pm

    I disagree — Walker made adjustments and was MUCH better as the game progressed.

    Zunino is better since Edgar got here. Even before the results started coming in (i.e., current hitting streak), his approach was better almost immediately.

  29. mrakbaseball on July 26th, 2015 8:38 pm

    We already know about Lincoln and Armstrong. Chuck Armstrong asking Randy how his holidays were, not long after his father had passed away Christmas day 1992. That is the type of garbage that run the Mariners.

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