Game 112, Rangers at Mariners
King Felix vs. Colby Lewis, 1:10pm
Happy Felix Day to you all.
The M’s surrendered 8 runs in the 11th to well and truly lose to the Rangers yesterday. Worse, their inability to advance a runner after getting the lead-off runner to second on an error made it feel even worse. Today, the M’s have a decided edge in starting pitching, with Felix facing veteran junkballer Colby Lewis, a fly-ball pitcher with platoon split and gopher-ball problems. Lewis has a sparkling W/L record despite some shaky appearances – he gave up 7 runs on 3 HRs in 6 IP in his last start, but picked up the win, which tells you so much more about the usefulness of the stat than it does about the usefulness of Mr. Lewis.
Lewis’ FB is now in the high-80s, and it still has tons of vertical rise which helps explain his very high fly ball rates. His best pitch is his slider, which is fairly hard at 84 and helps him miss a fair number of bats. However, if he isn’t able to put it down and out of the zone, it can get hit fairly hard: he’s given up 6 home runs on the pitch this year. But Lewis’ bigger problem has been his inability to deal with left-handers. He’s developed a change-up that’s occasionally a good pitch, but lefties apparently see his fastball quite well. Over Lewis’ career, lefties are slugging .531 on his four-seamer and .535 on his sinker.
1: Marte, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cruz, RF
4: Cano, 2B
5: Smith, LF
6: Montero, 1B
7: Trumbo, DH
8: Miller, SS
9: Zunino, C
SP: El Rey
Trumbo is presumably starting because he’s 4-13 in his career against Lewis, but really, this slightly odd line-up is the result of LoMo’s debilitating slump. The M’s are facing a pitcher who struggles against lefties, but they don’t want to give LoMo ABs right now. The M’s have instead used LoMo as a late-game defensive replacement in the OF, where he hadn’t played all year. This is the team we follow.
Ketel Marte gets a start in CF today. We’ll see how he fares, given his very limited experience in the OF.
The Rainiers lost to Reno yesterday 6-3, scoring all 3 runs in the first off of Jhoulys Chacin. Local kid Adrian Sampson – who came to the M’s in the JA Happ deal – took the loss. Today, Chien-Ming Wang faces off against Gabriel Arias in the series finale – the whole league has a day off tomorrow.
Jackson was obliterated by the Tennessee Smokies 14-1. The Generals surrendered a 10-run inning, and Moises Hernandez went 3 innings and gave up 12 earned runs. IF Luis Caballero pitched the final inning and gave up 1 run. Jimmy Gilheeney – just back from a stint in AAA – starts today for Jackson.
Bakersfield got another walk-off win yesterday, beating Modesto 5-4 on a walk-off error. Hey, they can’t all be walk-off 3-run homers. Dan Altavilla was effective for the Blaze and Tim Lopes had 3 hits. The beastmaster Tyler Pike takes the hill for Bakersfield today.
Clinton lost again, this time 5-1 to South Bend. Zack Litell’s on the hill for the L-Kings today.
Everett beat Tri-Cities 7-5. CF Luis Liberato homered and Drew Jackson had a hit and another walk – his OBP is now .441. Lane Ratliff gets the ball as the AquaSox travel to Vancouver today.