Game 38, Mariners at Orioles

marc w · May 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Wade Miley vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, 4:05pm

It’s raining in Baltimore, but it’s supposedly supposed to dry up by game time.

Both clubs come into today’s game tied for the lead in their respective divisions, the Orioles with the Red Sox, and the M’s with the Rangers. Baltimore was supposed to have a powerful but whiff-prone offense, and they’ve delivered: they lead MLB in home runs, but while they’re above average in K%, they’re only at 13th – far below other similar teams like Tampa, Houston or Detroit. Manny Machado is proving that his break out was no fluke, and Chris Davis is off to a solid start, too. The surprise of the offense somehow isn’t CF, leadoff man and Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard, though I do wonder how often a Rule 5 pick gets to lead off for a good ballclub. Instead, it’s ex-Mariner disappointment Mark Trumbo, who shares the lead in HRs with Machado at 11, and is hitting .306/.362/.593 thus far. He’s penalized a bit for his defense, but he’s already produced 1.1 fWAR, or his season total from last year across the M’s and D-Backs.

The Oriole offense is tough because they combine a high HR/FB ratio with a whole lot of FBs. They’re #1 in baseball in HR/FB, and have the 10th-highest FB%. That’s going to be something for Wade Miley to think about tonight. A few years ago, you may have heard about this Andrew Koo article at BP noting that the Athletics had stockpiled fly-ball hitters, which, the thinking went, gave them an advantage against all of the ground-ball pitchers in the AL West at the time. On the cheap (of course), the A’s assembled a line-up that gave over 60% of its PAs to fly-ball hitters, by far the most in the majors in 2013. Those fly-ball hitters hit *best* against ground ball guys, and thus the A’s put together a solid offense by keeping an eye on a very different kind of platoon advantage.

Well, the Orioles have enjoyed some success against pitches classified as sinkers and two-seamers, as have other FB teams like the Mets and Blue Jays. Wade Miley’s been a ground ball guy for a while now, but unlike, I don’t know, Dallas Keuchel, he doesn’t *need* to be. Miley throws a rising four-seam fastball that, on its own, seems like a strong fly ball pitch. He’s also using it more this year than he has in the past; he was throwing his four-seam and sinker about equally often in his first few starts of the 2016 regular season, but he’s now throwing 2 four-seamers for every sinker. The Orioles’ linear weights against four-seamers is currently negative. This isn’t about getting Miley to go out of his comfort zone to combat an opponent’s weakness – it’s more that his recent shifts would seem to give him a better chance than might think (HR-plagued pitcher faces HR-slugging offense).

Ubaldo Jimenez is coming off a solid 2015, when a drop in his walk rate allowed him to post an above-average season after a poor 2014. Jimenez started 2015 strong, and kind of tailed off down the stretch, and unfortunately, he’s still not looking great. He’s given up a lot of the gains he made in walk rate, and his K% has dropped below 20% for the first time in years. He’s getting more ground balls thanks to using his splitter a lot more, but it hasn’t yet impacted his HR rate – when batters DO elevate the ball, they do damage. Thanks to the splitter, a curve, and an extreme over-the-top delivery, Jimenez never really had much in the way of platoon splits. But lefties are torching him this year, with a .386 average and a SLG% near .600. That’s BABIP-driven, sure, but it may be a sign that his fastball’s not able to keep them honest any more. Lefties and righties are teeing off on his fastballs, and at least *righties* can hit his splitter (lefties still struggle with it).

1: Aoki, LF
2: Smith, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Lind, 1B
7: Iannetta, C
8: Marte, SS
9: Martin, CF
SP: Miley

Tacoma enjoyed a walk-off 7-5 win over Omaha last night, scoring 4 in the 9th in the process. James Paxton started and posted a great K:BB ratio of 8:1 in 4 IP, but gave up 5 runs in a disastrous 2nd inning, giving up 4 extra-base hits in the frame. The bullpen made it hold up long enough for the Rainiers to mount a comeback. Ed Lucas homered twice (including the walk-off shot in the 9th), Luis Sardinas had 3 hits in the leadoff spot and Chris Taylor had 2 more. Oddly, Mike Zunino/Stefen Romero going a combined 0-9. The two clubs have a day game today on getaway day. Adrian Sampson’s going for Tacoma.

Mobile beat up on Jackson last night, scoring 6 in the first on their way to a comfy 10-3 win. Tyler O’Neill homered and walked for the Generals, but it wasn’t enough, as Jordan Pries (just sent down from Tacoma) gave up 9 runs in under 3 IP. Of note, Edwin Diaz pitched two innings for the first time, and was lights out: 1 hit, 0 BB, 5 Ks. Sam Gaviglio starts for the Generals in Mobile tonight.

The Stockton Ports smoked The Blaze’s Tyler Herb for 4 runs in the first and came away with an 8-4 win over Bakersfield. In Herb’s worst outing of the year, the RHP walked 6 after not walking more than 2 in any other 2016 start. Drew Jackson and Jay Baum both had 2 hits for Bakersfield. The Blaze head to High Desert tonight, with Tyler Pike on the mound-in-a-wind-tunnel in Adelanto.

Clinton was off yesterday, but kicked off a series against Quad Cities with a 6-0 win today. Zack Littell had his best outing of the year, with 7 2/3 scoreless IP and 8 Ks. Dalton Kelly singled and doubled, and Rayder Ascanio had 3 hits for the Lumberkings.


39 Responses to “Game 38, Mariners at Orioles”

  1. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 4:16 pm

    The top of the first and things are looking pretty good, so far…

    Also… “smoked the … herb”? 😀

  2. Mid80sRighty on May 17th, 2016 4:19 pm

    Stay patient and the offense should have no problem with Jimenez.

  3. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 4:21 pm

    I wonder how long Adam Lind will remain with the club?

  4. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 4:26 pm

    Please don’t start walking guys, Miley.

  5. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 4:35 pm

    Lind probably bought him self another couple weeks when he had that “break out” game the other day.

  6. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 4:44 pm

    Patience Aoki…. like your first at bat! Lind, Martin, and maybe Guti have been a disapointment so far (at least for me offensively speaking) I hope something positive happens, I don’t like giving up on players this early.

  7. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 5:07 pm

    I understand the small sample size (100 PAs) with regards to Lind; but, given how Lee has hit both lefties and righties, Lind’s playing time will likely dwindle unless something dramatic happens.

    Scary thing is, the really problematic numbers he’s showing (low BB%, high K%, low ISO) all tend to stabilize pretty quickly – and his BABIP looks pretty normal, so it’s not easy to just toss it off as bad luck. And all those numbers (except BABIP) are way different than his career norms. He’s also swinging more, and making less contact. I wonder if he’s hurt, or just suddenly got old?

  8. Notfromboise on May 17th, 2016 5:16 pm

    All possibilities, West. I don’t know if he’s a slow starter like Seager, I don’t know if he’s just decided to swing away and be Mike Trumbo later in life.

    What I do know is the Brewers were happy to go another way. The Brewers.

    It’s pretty criminal at this point that Lee isn’t getting the ample share of the at bats. I pointed out the other night (before his ‘breakthrough’) that Lind’s OPS was lower than the OPS Zunino posted last year. Thats about the most damning statistic I’ve ever seen.

  9. Notfromboise on May 17th, 2016 5:19 pm

    It also would not surprise me that Wade Miley had a twin brother who can’t play baseball, and they switch off every few games.

    He either looks lights out or he gets his lights punched out… Hope the good brother sticks around more often. 🙂

  10. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 5:22 pm

    I think the telecast may have shown Miley’s twin brother in the stands, about 15 minutes ago. The guy was even wearing a Mariner’s jersey. 😀

  11. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 5:32 pm


  12. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 5:37 pm

    That was a nice catch, darn him.

  13. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 5:41 pm

    Lee is in an even smaller sample size bracket than Lind. I’m sure you’re all aware of that, but I would think that Lind is still the favorite.

    Now, come mid June, we could be looking at a tough decision if both players are performing well. But for now, it makes sense to give Lee a harder look as he earns it.

    On that note, I want to point out that Rickard has made two nice plays in RF for the birds now. Bastard has to prove a point.

  14. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 5:42 pm

    Well, there goes the no-hitter. Damn Martin. Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to catch everything hit to center–no excuses?

  15. Dennisss on May 17th, 2016 5:51 pm

    The offense has adopted a strategy of getting far enough ahead that the bullpen can’t blow it. Smart move.

  16. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 5:55 pm

    Cano does it again!

  17. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 5:57 pm

    Well, this is just getting ridiculous.

  18. Dennisss on May 17th, 2016 6:08 pm

    Ridiculous is good.

  19. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:10 pm

    Okay, Lind, let’s see some more evidence of that “breakout”.

  20. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:11 pm

    BREAKout. not STRIKEout – BREAKout.

  21. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:13 pm

    If I were a Mariner, I would complain about Worley’s glasses being a distraction and demand he remove them.

  22. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:26 pm

    For Pete’s sake, if the Orioles’ broadcasters attempt to explain the definition of “uber” any further, I swear I’m going to write them a letter, detailing how annoying they are. I’ll tell them off, you can bet on that.

  23. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:27 pm

    Haha, whatever works Ketel Marte!

  24. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:35 pm

    That’s more like it, Mr. Lind.

  25. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:36 pm

    Why is Iannetta bent on hitting it to right field?

  26. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:38 pm

    New Mariners Closer: Steve Johnson.

  27. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 6:39 pm

    With all they hype going on about Diaz, I won’t be suprised to see him closing games.

  28. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:40 pm

    Come on, let’s not get sloppy just because you’ve got a big lead…

  29. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:40 pm

    I would be surprised to see Diaz this early. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him this season, though.

  30. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:41 pm

    Marte blew that.

  31. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:43 pm

    Yes he did.

  32. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:45 pm

    Bad call. Totally cost the Orioles this game.

  33. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:45 pm

    Fortunately New York also blew that. 😉

    Steve, maybe the league review guys just want to get out the door.

  34. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 6:48 pm

    it’s to bad we can’t play like this at home for some odd reason that makes no sense to me.

  35. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 6:48 pm

    Chris tillman… where do I know that name from…..

    Go to H**L Bavasi!

  36. Westside guy on May 17th, 2016 6:49 pm

    Woo hoo! At least we can dominate on the road!

  37. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2016 6:50 pm

    Was tough to sweat this out the way we had to, but thankfully they held on and pulled it off. I think we all learned not to take leads for granted.

  38. Notfromboise on May 17th, 2016 8:47 pm

    Random observation of the night: Smith looked really solid in right field tonight.

    I’m also not going to take Cishek to task for a bad weekend. If you want to place some arbitrary blame: The Mariners were up big in the 7th inning or later both nights and Cishek shouldn’t have even been used either night (there would be no save situation without a complete collapse). If you believe in momentum at all, Cishek was standing in front of an oncoming Tsunami both nights, like a encroaching nightmare you can’t wake up from.

    And that issue fixes itself once we get Furbush and Benoit back.. And Scribner.. And maybe even Diaz. We’ve flung a bunch of band aids on a legitimate infirmary, we just gotta hold on till the calvary comes.

    Hell worst case scenario bring up Paxton to pitch 2 innings or so every 3rd night. Have Montgomery and Nuno do the same and you might not need a bullpen at all. Which would be impractical, yet hilarious and fascinating in a micromanaging sabermetric world.

  39. Grayfox3d on May 17th, 2016 9:54 pm

    1st place!!! Texas just lost. I dont know how Oakland finds these players like Valencia and Davis but damn they can play… must be nice.

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