Game 61, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · June 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Derek Holland, 7:10pm

We’ll get to the M’s haul in the second day of the MLB draft later, but for now, the M’s open the most important series of the season so far against the AL West-leading Rangers. The Rangers swept the M’s in Arlington, and in the process have pushed their playoff odds above 67%, according to Baseball Prospectus – a one-week gain of 25%. Much of that’s come at the M’s expense, but the M’s have a shot at revenge.

Five days ago, Iwakuma clearly outpitched a surprisingly effective Derek Holland, but the M’s lost due to a series of defensive lapses. With the primary culprit now in Tacoma, can the M’s defense atone for those mistakes? The Rangers boast one of the league’s best defenses, with great numbers across the board (even fielding percentage!), while the M’s have struggled by UZR/DRS. The M’s and Rangers are essentially tied in good old defensive efficiency, but they’ve gotten there in different ways. The Rangers have an elite infield, which makes sense given their 3B, and have been incredibly good at turning double plays. The M’s strength is, er, at least WAS, in the OF. Missed you, Leonys…welcome back.

Derek Hollland had his best game of the year against the M’s five days ago, working 7 IP with only a HR to Nelson Cruz given up. He missed more bats than expected, and one reason why was that he kept the M’s designated lefty killers off balance. Dae-ho Lee, Franklin Gutierrez and Stefen Romero were held hitless, and that let the Rangers win the match-up battles later on (you may still be fuming about the Adam Lind vs. Jake Diekmann move). Romero isn’t around to blame anymore, so Lee and Guti need to step up and produce. Or, you know, Robbie Cano’s hot streak can just steamroll any platoon split issue and carry the M’s to victory. I’d take that.

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

The M’s made another 8 picks in today’s 3rd-10th rounds of the draft. Remember that it’s the first 10 rounds that count against the M’s $7.136 million draft pool. The M’s selected three college seniors, which typically means they can save quite a bit compared to the slot value of those picks. The M’s went for a draft-eligible sophomore in the 3rd round, so they may use some of the savings to get Bryson Brigman to sign, or buy Joe Rizzo out of his University of South Carolina commitment. My overall impression was that it was very much a Tom McNamara draft, with one important twist. The M’s selected two players from small, Div II schools in the northeast, something they’ve done repeatedly in recent years. A few years ago, it was Dan Altavilla, and they went to small PA schools back to back in the 6th and 7th round this year. They also looked at smaller schools in the southeast, both to grab Kyle Mercer in the first round (who almost doesn’t count, considering he was in the running to go 1-1), and then 3B Nick Zammarelli out of Elon in the 8th. The M’s have signed guys out of small, southeastern schools like Mount Olive, Belmont Abbey and others in recent years, and they’ve used early round picks to do it – not just 30th round senior-sign flyers.

The twist is that the M’s clearly put more of an emphasis on contact and athleticism. Instead of saving on seniors like slugging DII first baseman Ryan Uhl, they grabbed Oklahoma State SS Donnie Walton. Their third-round SS has essentially no power, but makes a lot of contact. Their bat-first project, 2nd rounder Joe Rizzo, has much more present hitting ability than some other “reach” picks in recent years, where it was clear the M’s prioritized power over bat-to-ball skills. This isn’t a shock, given everything the M’s have said about controlling the zone, but it was interesting to see it play out.


40 Responses to “Game 61, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 6:07 pm

    9: Martin, CF !
    9: Martin, CF !!
    9: Martin, CF !!!

    Woo Hoo!

  2. ck on June 10th, 2016 6:17 pm

    The Gospel, According to Marc, is that this is the Mariners most important series this year!
    What a joy to have an important series again ! Go M’s !

  3. Notfromboise on June 10th, 2016 7:27 pm

    Revenge, please!

    Welcome back, Martin! Now Servais can finally re-enact the final scene in Old Yeller with Aoki behind the clubhouse.

  4. WTF_Ms on June 10th, 2016 8:07 pm

    I wish Guti would hustle down the line like Cruz. It always seems he’s just cruising along.

  5. Mike G. on June 10th, 2016 8:10 pm

    This is one heck of a hatchet job by Jordon Baker.

    Strike zone = ¯\_(?)_/¯

  6. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 8:24 pm


  7. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 8:30 pm


  8. Sowulo on June 10th, 2016 8:32 pm

    Dae Ho really needs more AB’s.

  9. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 8:33 pm


  10. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 9:03 pm


    Good job, Rougned.

  11. marc w on June 10th, 2016 9:30 pm

    Yes, the M’s have been getting Dae-ho a few more ABs, esp. against RHPs, but they need to step it up. They’ve found the right handed power that Zduriencik spent years looking for…now they just need to play him.

  12. Dennisss on June 10th, 2016 9:34 pm

    M’s could really use someone who can pitch in the 8th inning.

  13. californiamariner on June 10th, 2016 9:48 pm

    How long before Diaz gets to pitch in high leverage innings?

  14. Grayfox3d on June 10th, 2016 9:56 pm


  15. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 9:56 pm

    It’s nice to see some other team making dumb errors.

  16. Dennisss on June 10th, 2016 9:58 pm

    Yeah, I think Diaz might become that guy, but they won’t rush him into it.

  17. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 10:08 pm

    Okay, that’s enough of that.

  18. marc w on June 10th, 2016 10:10 pm

    Good win. Not quite a *must* win, but pretty close considering it’s still mid-June.

    Way to go, Dae-ho.

  19. Westside guy on June 10th, 2016 10:10 pm

    Woo hoo!

  20. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 7:21 pm

    Game 62

    James Paxton vs. Colby Lewis

    Aoki, LF
    Smith, RF
    Cano, 2B
    Cruz, DH
    Seeger, 3B
    Lind, 1B
    Martin, CF (huzzah!)
    Clevenger, C (huzzah… not so much)
    Marte, SS

  21. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 7:24 pm

    Gotta admit that was a nice looking double-play the Rangers just turned to end the first inning…

  22. Notfromboise on June 11th, 2016 7:37 pm

    Random fun stat of the day: Jesus Montero is playing AAA in Buffalo (Blue Jay affiliate). His slash line is .309/.342/.477, with 10bb, 7hr and 34rbi in 220 ABs playing predominately first base.

    And yes, Westy, seeing Clevenger hitting 8th prompted me to go look that up. Sigh.

  23. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 7:53 pm

    Hey, not bad Clevenger!

  24. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 8:25 pm

    Fortunately Paxton is pitching more like he did in his second game than in his first. It’s too bad our hitters apparently think Felix is on the mound, though.

  25. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 8:31 pm

    Good job Adam Lind!

    It’d be nice if you’d remember how to hit more often… but hey, good job this time!

  26. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 9:05 pm

    Okay, Lind, keep the two-homer thing going!

  27. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 9:26 pm


  28. Dennisss on June 11th, 2016 9:46 pm

    This would be a really sad game to lose. It’s time for some heroics from the middle of the order.

  29. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 9:56 pm

    One hit or one walk will do it… but a grad slam will do it cooler.

  30. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 9:58 pm

    Darn it!

  31. Dennisss on June 11th, 2016 10:00 pm


  32. SeattleDan on June 11th, 2016 10:00 pm

    Servais should not have lifted Lind for Lee in this case. He still might have had a two homer game to be the 5th in a row.

  33. JMB on June 11th, 2016 10:04 pm

    Well this has certainly turned from exciting to disheartening.

  34. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 10:07 pm

    And Paxton pitched so well too – did everything they could’ve wanted.

  35. Grayfox3d on June 11th, 2016 10:08 pm

    Wow what a disaster of a game! way to many missed opportunities and giving up crap home runs! thats 6 home runs in 2 games the Mariners have given up! that is unacceptable.

  36. Grayfox3d on June 11th, 2016 10:10 pm

    Are we playing for anything out there or just trying to get this game over with? AHH im so mad.

  37. Dennisss on June 11th, 2016 10:16 pm

    Barring a rousing finish, this is going to be a really awful loss. You just can’t dump games like this to the team you most need to beat.

  38. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 10:21 pm

    SO close! But it did seem like he was out by an RCH, as my teenage friends used to say.

  39. JMB on June 11th, 2016 10:26 pm

    Son of a….

  40. Westside guy on June 11th, 2016 10:28 pm

    Whelp, that was a thing that happened.

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