Game 37, Angels at Mariners

marc w · May 15, 2016 at 11:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Hector Santiago, 1:10pm

Happy Felix Day.

I started this series mentioning that I felt bad for the Angels, and that somehow, through their cavalcade of injuries and awful luck, they seemed less detestable. Yeah, so that lasted all of 48 hours.

Today’s match-up is a repeat of the game back on April 23rd, when Hector Santiago worked his high-fastball, hard to square up magic for 6 solid innings. As I mentioned then, Santiago’s in the Marco Estrada/Wei-Yin Chen family of pitchers who throw a lot of rising four-seam fastballs, and attempt to pitch around the occasional home run that this approach produces. Like Estrada, Santiago’s ERA’s been much better than his FIP, which is sky high due to an elevated HR rate. The key to this approach is that the rising FB seems to help Santiago maintain a very low BABIP (something ignored by FIP). One reason why is a consistently high pop-up rate. Even those fly balls that find the outfield tend to have a low BABIP.

Santiago’s fastball is only 92mph, and he doesn’t throw a ton of breaking balls. Instead, his secondary offering is a big change-up, that kind of reminds me of Mike Montgomery’s. It’s a decent pitch, and it gives him something to use against right-handed hitters. That said, he’s not able to reduce or eliminate his platoon splits the way some high-rising, over-the-top FB guys can – righties have hit him much harder over his career than lefties. The change-up allows him to post essentially equal K rates to RHBs/LHBs, but righties’ HR/9 is triple that of lefties. Why? For whatever reason, Santiago has vastly different batted ball profiles depending on the handedness of the hitter. Against lefties, he’s essentially league average – a few more GBs than FBs, and an overall GB% of 44%. But against righties, he’s about as extreme a FB hitter you’ll find, with a GB% under 30% over his career. All of those fly balls mean more HRs, and that’s why you’ll see a righty-stocked line-up today. The gap in batted ball outcomes is consistent between his FB and CH, but it’s still striking: lefties have a GB% on Santiago’s four-seam of 44%. For righties, it’s 20%.

Felix’s fastball velocity seems to be trending up again, as he averaged 91 against Tampa and 90-91 against Oakland in his last two starts. That’s not to say everything’s back to normal. He’s still struggling a bit to miss bats, but the contact he allows has never been better. He’s still getting great results with his change and curve, and he’s mixing in a bit more of his four-seam fastball in recent starts. His FIP’s still ugly thanks to that weirdly high walk rate, itself a product perhaps of batters’ increased patience against him. Batters’ swing rate against Felix has dropped by 5 percentage points this year, which is odd, and bears watching. Has Felix just thrown a few more obvious balls, or is this part of a deliberate strategy, especially when Felix’s command appears to be off?

1: Aoki, LF
2: Marte, SS
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Iannetta, C
6: Seager, 3B
7: Lee, 1B
8: Gutierrez, RF
9: O’Malley, CF
SP: El Cartelua

Welcome back, Shawn O’Malley, who’s swapped places with fellow utility man, Luis Sardinas.

Tacoma beat Omaha 3-2 thanks to a solid start from Joe Wieland and another HR from catcher Rob Brantly. Today, Cody Martin takes the mound against Omaha’s Brooks Pounders.

Jackson beat Mobile 3-2, as Brett Ash pitched into the 7th IP. Ash had blanked the Shuckers for 6, but gave up a game-tying two-run HR to Kevin Cron in the 7th (Cron’s CJ’s brother, and a guy who spurned the M’s when they drafted him out of HS). Undaunted, the Generals got a bases-loaded walk in the 8th to re-take the lead, and Emilio Pagan made it hold up. The Generals play two today, with Dylan Unsworth and Andrew Kittredge starting today.

Bakersfield took a 9-1 lead, and then held on for a 9-6 win over Stockton. Andrew Moore was sharp for 6 IP, with only a solo HR sullying his line, but Thyago Viera had a bad time in his 1+ IP, giving up 5 runs. Kyle Petty and Daniel Torres each had three hits for the Blaze.

Clinton was swept in their double header against Peoria, with Nick Wells taking the hard-luck loss in game 1’s 3-2 game, and Joey Strain absorbing a well-deserved L after giving up 5 runs in the 9th in Peoria’s 7-2 win. Art Warren starts today’s game.


22 Responses to “Game 37, Angels at Mariners”

  1. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 1:21 pm

    JUST WIN DAMNIT!!!! The last two games left such a sour taste in my mouth. I would of rather lost 6-2 last night than go thru that disgusting 9th inning over again.

    Felix, find your control… this is not starting off on a positive note.

  2. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2016 2:11 pm

    If this game ends in another blown save by Cishek, following poor decisions by Servais, I swear I will eat my pasta and garlic bread, drink my wine, and watch a movie without saying another word about the Mariners tonight.

    Yes, this threat would come into effect following the game, and I’m not bluffing–no Mariner talk for the rest of the night.

    A WW2 film will draw my attention instead.

  3. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 2:37 pm

    Well this is a fun way to cap off a crappy series! a no-hit bid! yay!

  4. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2016 2:49 pm

    MLBtv is doing a horrible job with pitchF/X. They aren’t sharing much at all.

  5. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2016 2:53 pm

    Santiago isn’t supposed to be this good.

  6. Westside guy on May 15th, 2016 2:55 pm

    Just came in… good grief, let’s get a freaking HIT at least!

    This team seems to run completely hot or completely cold – there’s no middle ground.

  7. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 2:56 pm

    I think its more along the lines of were that bad today, I don’t feel like giving him any credit for his pitching.

  8. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 3:02 pm

    What a way to break up a no hitter!!!! now we got that out of the way.

  9. Westside guy on May 15th, 2016 3:03 pm


  10. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 3:03 pm

    Now we continue with your regularly scheduled Mariners…..

  11. Westside guy on May 15th, 2016 3:08 pm

    Haha, I did like Sims referring to the Padres as “hated rivals” with a suitably silly inflection.

  12. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 3:32 pm

    Vincent is coming in…. If we had the lead i would claim that he would give up a home run.. now its any body’s guess what he will do.

  13. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 3:40 pm

    First place was fun while it lasted. Just hope we can hang on and at least be competitive.

  14. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 3:54 pm

    Scocia (sp?) is probably sitting in that dugout with a stupid grin on his face because the Angels embarrassed Dipoto’s new team in their own stadium.

  15. Notfromboise on May 15th, 2016 4:11 pm

    Can we just refuse home field? Granted, it’s more important in NFL and NBA, but Safeco has been a negative asset for a couple years now.

    I can’t even hazard a guess why it’s even possible. It defies all logic. We’ve been offensively deficient with good to great pitching for quite a while now.. It would seem to be tailor-made for Safeco. And yet we always do just as good if not better on the road (with an exaggerated result via small sample size this year).

    Side note : I’m not panicked, we didn’t win a series for the first time in a while. Cishek decided to not **** the bed all year and then does it decisively back to back nights. It happens. We’re still 5 games over .500 and the struggles of the teams in our division not named Texas are still very real. We just got whacked by the regression stick at the same time the Angels got to do some whacking of their own.

  16. JMB on May 15th, 2016 4:30 pm

    So that was the worst series in recent memory.

    I feel like the series was regression to the mean in a nutshell. Things we’d be doing well all went out the window, most notably the bullpen. The Angels managed to pull off a sweep despite their injuries and bad luck.

    Man I hate those guys. Much more than Texas, or Oakland, or even our hated geographical rivals, the evil Padres.

  17. MrZDevotee on May 15th, 2016 5:15 pm

    Why does it always seem like as soon as you mess with a closer’s role, even the tiniest little bit, it throws them off?

    Cischek was making me look like an idiot for calling him still a question mark on opening day… Then after using him for 2 different 4 out saves in the past week, he seems to have lost his groove…

    And Felix– sorry to have to CONSTANTLY apologize for the rest of the team never supporting you. In 5 innings we had no hits and 2 baserunners. Yesterday we had loaded the bases 3 times in that same number of frames…

    I hope Benoit is ready to give the back end of the bullpen a little relief (pun) soon… Peralta, Vincent, AND Cischek are all feeling suspect suddenly, and looking a bit mediocre (missing a LOT of spots)… I think they’ve just been used a bunch and need to throw fewer pitches. But unfortunately Nuno, Galupe, and Montgomery don’t inspire much fear out there…

    Overall, regression is way more fun when it’s swinging UP than when it’s swinging down…

    (Ending on a positive note: middle of May and this is only the 2nd time we’ve been shut out… That’s definitely progress over last year…)

  18. Notfromboise on May 15th, 2016 6:03 pm

    Benoit seemed like the steadiest arm in the pen more often than not. Will be good to see him back.

    Zych is one of the younger arms with more ceiling, getting him off the DL will be a happy day as well.

    And lets not forget Scribner, whom we havent seen yet. While he is not a spring chicken, he’s a full ten years younger than Peralta (and 8 younger than Benoit).

  19. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2016 6:49 pm

    Plus furbush should be back at some point, so there are positives as far as the bullpen is concerned. As for the offensive side, what do we make of Martin? he’s been terrible.

  20. Westside guy on May 15th, 2016 10:46 pm

    Martin’s wRC+ this season (78) is pretty much spot on his career number (79), so he is what he is – a bad hitter who’s good at defense. We probably shouldn’t be too surprised, even though he looked like a potential sleeper pickup after the first few weeks of the season.

    His BABIP does give some hope that he might improve at least a little.

  21. mksh21 on May 16th, 2016 11:38 am

    Well on the bright side. That’s the point of having a lead in first place…. Crap the bed on these three games and things are still looking good

  22. Grayfox3d on May 16th, 2016 7:36 pm

    Well if Oakland can some how beat Texas, we will be in a tie for first!!!!

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