Game 56, Mariners at Rangers

marc w · June 5, 2016 at 11:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Derek Holland, 12:05

The M’s could really use a win here, having dropped the first two of the series and thus two games back of the first place Rangers. The M’s are still the division favorite according to Fangraphs, but it’s narrowing. The projected final standings show the M’s a game up on Texas, at 86-76, and thus the M’s have a lead in playoff odds. But as you can see from this chart, their lead has narrowed considerably in the past few days.
AL West playoff odds

Today the M’s face Derek Holland, the veteran lefty who’ll be making his 11th start of the year, or one more than he made in his injury-plagued 2015. He’s always had sizable platoon splits, kind of like Martin Perez, thanks to a so-so change-up and better breaking stuff. It’s not only a pitch mix problem, either: his fastballs have been crushed by righties, while his sinker in particular has remained very effective against lefties. At this point in his career – and in his recovery from injury – Holland’s not missing many bats, so he’s trying to get by getting lazy fly balls and infield pop-ups. He’s been successful in inducing pop ups, and thus his FIP looks okay, but he’s had a tough time stranding runners, and his BABIP isn’t as low as you might assume given his batted ball profile.

Of course, nothing that Holland does matters if the M’s keep getting disastrous starts from their starters. Hisashi Iwakuma was decent in his last appearance, or at least as decent as a starter can be while giving up 4 dingers. In context, it was probably better than the line looks: the M’s scored a million runs, and Iwakuma needed to just throw strikes. But Arlington isn’t a place to just throw strikes and hope for the best, so he’ll need to be a bit sharper than he’s been in recent starts.

Iwakuma’s slider has never quite rounded into form, so this year he’s throwing more of the cutter he developed in 2014 and showed very occasionally last year. It’s thrown at 85-86, so very near his four-seam fastball’s speed, but has none of the armside run. Unfortunately, it too seems to be a work in progress, as batters have hit it fairly hard. We’ll see if it’s something he continues to go to, or if he’ll go back to his curve…or just stick to the splitter.

1: Aoki, CF
2: Gutierrez, DH
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, RF
5: Lee, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Iannetta, C
8: Romero, LF
9: Sardinas, SS
SP: Iwakuma


26 Responses to “Game 56, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 11:56 am

    Get well soon, Martin and Marte. SERIOUSLY.

    Martin’s (126 wRC+) and Marte (88 wRC+) have basically been replaced by Stefen Romero’s (32 wRC+), Luis Sardinas (48 wRC+) and Shawn O’Malley (-13 wRC+). Unfortunately those replacements are also worse defensively… not to mention Aoki being truly horrid in center field.

    None of this is surprising – given the state of the team when Dipoto came on board, if anything is surprising it’s how good of a starting nine he was able to put together. But the roster’s shallowness is showing.

    On top of that, it was truly bad timing for the pitching to go arse up, as the Brits say (or at least I think they say). In old school parlance – the Mariners could’ve really benefited from the pitchers’ “stepping up”. Unfortunately they stepped out.

  2. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 12:54 pm

    Iwakuma has held the Rangers scoreless through three… so he’s holding up HIS side of the bargain.

    Score some runs, dammit!

  3. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 12:55 pm

    strike out fest today i guess… everyone brought holy bats.

  4. Dennisss on June 5th, 2016 12:56 pm

    Yeah Westside, this lineup looks a lot more like last year’s when you have Romero and Sardinas batting 8th and 9th. The offense really has not been the problem though.

    At least Iwakuma is holding his own today.

  5. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 1:02 pm

    YEAH!! There’s some runs…

  6. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:02 pm

    Thank you BOOM STICK!

  7. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 1:04 pm

    Nice snag by that fan, as well – catching Cruz’s homer with an outstretched cap!

  8. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:16 pm

    I really don’t care for Romero at the ML level, Thanks for helping out in AAA. I hope Martin comes back with out losing to much of his hot streak.

  9. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:31 pm

    Well it was fun while it lasted…..

  10. msfanmike on June 5th, 2016 1:33 pm

    Absolute bonehead play by Romero.

    And then an error.

    What a talent.

  11. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:35 pm

    Sardinas and Romero going to cost us this game…. hopefully they understand they are just cannon fodder at this point because this is crap.

  12. californiamariner on June 5th, 2016 1:36 pm

    Defense may have just cost the game. Luckily, Marte and Martin should be back soon.

  13. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:37 pm

    a week ago were sitting a game up… now were 3 down… and falling.

  14. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 1:57 pm

    Holland is not this good….

  15. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 2:18 pm

    Wow I am really upset about this game…. this should be our game! Iwakuma has all but dominated the Rangers only for Sardinas/Romero to look like fools and lose this for us.

  16. stevemotivateir on June 5th, 2016 2:23 pm

    ^Gotta see more offense. Iwakuma was good, but you can’t bank on ballgames with 2 runs scored. The errors sting, and I look forward to seeing both go away, but the bats need to come alive.

  17. Grayfox3d on June 5th, 2016 2:39 pm

    I agree with the more offense, but the team has to show that they can win these types of games. Rangers only have 3 runs on 5 hits, its a pitching match up that was decided by crap errors from AAA players.

  18. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 2:40 pm

    Whelp. At least Marte is back tomorrow… but the outfield is a bigger problem right now.

  19. Dennisss on June 5th, 2016 3:06 pm

    Anything but a sweep would have been fine for this series.

  20. mksh21 on June 5th, 2016 4:39 pm

    Tied for the division… and now 1.5 out of the wild card. Brutal week.

  21. Westside guy on June 5th, 2016 8:06 pm

    What a difference a day makes…

    With today’s victory, FanGraph’s projections now show the Rangers as the AL west favorites. Seattle is five percentage points behind. Houston is currently in third, but is rapidly closing the gap.

  22. MKT on June 5th, 2016 9:09 pm

    Both fangraphs and BP’s playoff odds are poorly calculated, with not nearly enough regression to the mean and thus overly extreme probability estimates. The notion that Texas should now be the AL West favorites though probably is an accurate reflection of the games of the last few days.

  23. Notfromboise on June 5th, 2016 10:17 pm

    Temporary question:

    Are we better with O Malley at short and Marte in CF, or Marte at SS and O’Malley in center… in the interim till Martin is back?

  24. msfanmike on June 7th, 2016 8:56 pm

    Remember, there are 2 wild card teams.

  25. msfanmike on June 7th, 2016 8:57 pm

    Temporary answer: sure

    What is the statute of limitations for such a solid answer?

  26. msfanmike on June 7th, 2016 8:59 pm

    Westy: please help guide your geriatric brethren (me) through the process for finding Nelson Cruz’ stat line after 58 games last year.

    Or, please just do it for me.

    Thank you.

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