Game 39, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · May 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yovani Gallardo vs. Sean Manaea, 7:10pm

The M’s return home to face the Athletics, who are now just a half game behind the M’s in 4th position in the division. The pitching probables after today are Chase de Jong, Christian Bergman, then TBD and TBD. The M’s desperately need to string together some wins against the A’s and White Sox, particularly with a tough road trip looming on the horizon, but the injury plague to their rotation makes that difficult.

For all of the rotation’s problems, Yovani Gallardo’s already surpassed M’s fans’ expectations, I’d think. Gallardo’s FIP of 3.77 would be his best mark since 2011 if he can sustain it, and to his credit, he’s been improving throughout April and into May. Early in the season, his fastball command wasn’t great, as his four-seamer couldn’t generate strikes (called or swinging) and was hit hard when it was put in play. Since his start on April 23rd, his four-seam’s been a very good pitch; batters have zero extra-base hits against it, he’s thrown fewer balls with it, and he’s actually getting some strikeouts. He seems to have a very different approach depending on the handedness of the batter. Here’s a heatmap of his fastballs (combining sinkers/four-seam now) to left-handers, and here’s his fastballs to righties. To southpaws, he’s throwing the ball up and out of the zone, trying to get whiffs and pop-ups. To righties, he’s focused down and away, trying to prevent hitters from pulling the ball. Righties are hitting a few more GBs, and they’re not pulling the ball much. They’re also not striking out, but Gallardo seems content with that trade-off. He’s by no means an ace, but it’s been good to see how Gallardo’s made adjustments and improved his game as the season’s gone on…and as the M’s have come to depend on him more and more.

Sean Manaea remains an intriguing enigma, a pitcher with tremendous talent who doesn’t quite seem to know what he wants to be when he grows up. With a hard four-seamer with plenty of “rise,” Manaea impressed in the second half of 2016, posting low HR and walk totals. This year, his control’s all over the place, but his HRs-allowed have plummetted thanks in part to a ground ball rate that’s nearly *20 percentage points higher* than last year’s. He hasn’t changed arm slot or anything, and his four-seamer seems to have MORE rise than last year. He’s shifted how he pitches to righties (and nearly everyone he faces has been righty) a bit, taking a page out of Gallardo’s book and keeping his fastball away. But unlike Gallardo, that hasn’t shown up in his batted ball profile – they’re still pulling the ball, they’re just doing so on the ground.

Part of his command problems may be due to the shoulder discomfort that sent him to the disabled list in April. He’s been activated for this start, so we’ll see if he’s a bit rusty. This might be a good day to have a patient approach, as the A’s bullpen’s been poor (again) this year.

1: Segura, SS
2: Heredia, CF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Valencia, 1B
7: Motter, LF
8: Gamel, RF
9: Gosewisch, C
SP: Gallardo

I joked that I didn’t write anything yesterday because every time I write something, a Mariner gets hurt. How’d that go? Well, the M’s transaction today is activating Steve Cishek from the DL, and optioning Zac Curtis back to Arkansas. Not only that, but Robbie Cano’s back in the line-up. I stop writing and the number of hurt Mariners actually drops…:kisses fingers:

Tacoma kept on winning, taking a 6-4 decision from Round Rock and winning their 4th straight series. Andrew Moore went 6 strong innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 5. Tyler Smith and Dan Vogelbach homered and Tyler O’Neill tripled off the big wall in CF. The Rainiers are off today.

Arkansas got a walk-off single from Ian Miller to down Springfield 8-7. The Travs couldn’t hold leads of 5-2 and 7-4, but all’s well that ends well. Miller had 3 hits, and SS Joey Wong went 4-4. New pick-up Austin Kubitza (brother of long time Angels prospect Kyle Kubitza) debuted with an inning of 2 H, one HBP, one K ball, giving up a run, and Peter Tago K’d 6 in two scoreless IP. Lindsey Caughel leads the Travs against Northwest Arkansas tonight.

Lake Elsinore downed Modesto 7-5 thanks to a 4-run 6th, as starter Anthony Misiewicz ran into trouble, and reliever Lukas Schiraldi couldn’t get out of it. Eric Filia had four hits for the Nuts, and CF Braden Bishop doubled and walked. The two teams are back at it tonight, with the Storm sending top prospect Cal Quantrill to the mound.

Clinton starts a series with Wisconsin tonight up in Appleton, facing Nattino Diplan of the TimberRattlers. This isn’t Brewers prospect Marcos Diplan, who’s now in AA, and who pitched for Wisconsin last year, but rather more of an org depth type who’s been hit hard in the MWL (at age 23).


27 Responses to “Game 39, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. mrakbaseball on May 15th, 2017 6:53 pm

    Unfortunately Cano is out of the lineup again, still bothered by the quad. These nagging injuries continue to mount.

  2. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 8:54 pm

    I’m not watching, but following on Gamecast. How is it that our Catcher spot is like a black hole of hitting? Also, Seager needs to sit down with Edgar, and have a talk.

  3. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 9:12 pm

    Each game has turned into a game of “What else will go wrong?”

  4. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 9:15 pm

    And, now it looks like the M’s are trying their hardest to lose this one, after being up 4-0.

  5. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 9:18 pm

    Why is Altavilla pitching?! He is terrible!

  6. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 9:19 pm

    I think we’re all outta pitchers! Even in AAA!

  7. Jake on May 15th, 2017 9:22 pm

    Tuffy is the drizzling shits.

  8. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 9:31 pm

    @Jake….I literally laughed out loud….His .059 AVG shows it!

  9. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 9:42 pm

    I love Diaz,but I’m scared for this 9th inning.

  10. Jake on May 15th, 2017 9:45 pm

    So does his inability to hit fastballs down the middle. 9 Ks in 18 ABs so far. Even Zunino thinks that’s awful contact rate.

  11. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 9:53 pm

    Woah Kyle can hit! nice one!

  12. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 9:54 pm

    Less nervous now, with a couple of runs to play with….but still nervous. Also, Danny V. needs to be in on that conversation with Tuffy, and Edgar. Seager seems to have gotten the note.

  13. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 10:03 pm

    Tuffy is so bad! Rick Astley has more hits than he does.

  14. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 10:10 pm

    here we go again.

  15. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 10:14 pm

    Servais better get someone warming up! this is getting out of hand really quickly.

  16. mrakbaseball on May 15th, 2017 10:16 pm

    Diaz channelling his inner Mike Schooler and Bobby Ayala, making this 9th inning much more interesting than it needs to be.

  17. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 10:20 pm

    It’s almost as if were psychic! our ability to predict this 9th inning collapse is uncanny.

  18. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 10:23 pm

    Battling hard for the basement! Already out of the race. Sad.

  19. Westside guy on May 15th, 2017 10:25 pm

    It is apparently too much to ask that our offense and our pitching show up on the same night.

  20. WTF_Ms on May 15th, 2017 10:26 pm

    The ump wanted to go home. That was a ball.

  21. Westside guy on May 15th, 2017 10:27 pm


  22. Grayfox3d on May 15th, 2017 10:27 pm

    Thank you.. Needed that win.

  23. Westside guy on May 15th, 2017 10:28 pm

    How long has the Hyphen been doing the after game?

  24. ck on May 15th, 2017 11:08 pm

    M’s Win ! Easy as killing a movie vampire !
    Burn all the upside down spring training Trident hats, and any and all other upside symbols / logos.

  25. mrakbaseball on May 16th, 2017 12:07 am

    Wrong, bring them back, but do it the right way, royal blue and gold. The Mariners have been cursed for too long by the navy, silver and teal compass rose identity.

  26. LongDistance on May 16th, 2017 11:47 am

    Cool. Sort of like the bomb in Dr. Strangelove, I’m learning to love the Heinz 57, SeaTac Marirainiers.

  27. msfanmike on May 16th, 2017 4:29 pm

    You are going to get an opportunity to like another one of them because Cano has been put on the 10 day DL

    Which comes as a surprise to nobody …

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