Game 60, Twins at Mariners

marc w · June 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yovani Gallardo vs. Adalberto Mejia, 7:10pm

Tonight’s game seems like it’ll double as a celebration of Jean Segura, who just signed his 5-year extension at Safeco Field. Bob Dutton of the News Tribune notes that most of the starting line-up was at the ceremony in the “Griffey Room” at Safeco, including Ben Gamel, Mike Zunino, Robinson Cano, Guillermo Heredia and more. I have no idea how much a good clubhouse culture can make on a team’s W/L record, and don’t know if it’s of much use when trying to lure free agents to sign with a club. But it sure as hell can’t hurt, and it’s refreshing to see the M’s come together over the past year or so. I’d rather they were where the Astros are in the standings, but if the clubhouse gets them any closer at all to that ultimate goal, then Cano/Cruz were even better free agency buys than we thought.

The M’s face young lefty Adalberto Mejia today. Mejia came over from the Giants in a trade for Eduardo Nunez, and has been sharp in the high minors before getting a brief call-up last year. He’s tossed 27+ innings this year, and like his teammates, has had something of a HR problem. More concerning, his brilliant minor league command numbers (especially his K-BB%) haven’t translated in his admittedly tiny MLB tenure. He throws a fastball at around 93; it has a bit of armside run, but looks fairly standard in most respects. His out pitch is a slider/slurve at around 80, and he complements it with a developing change. In general, change-ups get more swings than breaking pitches, but Mejia induces lots of swings on his breaking ball. Unfortunately, those swings have done some damage. Overall, he’s given up plenty of well-struck contact, with “barrels” accounting for more than 10% of all balls in play against him. He’s young, and could develop into a very solid #3-#4, but he isn’t there yet, and the M’s need to take advantage.

Given his pitch mix, he’s faced an overwhelmingly right-handed set of opponents. Today, he’ll see more of a mix, and while it’s way too soon to know much about his platoon splits, he hasn’t been able to blow lefties away with his FB/SL combo. The handful of lefties that’ve faced him in the majors have done well, and he wasn’t dominant against them in the minors. I’m not too worried about Cano and the M’s other lefties tonight.

Yovani Gallardo could use a quality start. After a string of impressive – or at least pleasingly adequate – outings, Gallardo’s face-planted in his last three, with 11 Ks and 11 BBs given up and an astounding 18 runs yielded in 12 IP. The M’s offense is doing what it can, but the pitching staff absolutely needs to give them a chance to win. His fastball command has come and gone this year, but he’s got to do a better job against right-handed bats. They’ve hit 7 of the 9 HRs against him, and have an OBP over .400. His fastball is getting destroyed by same-handed bats, and his slider isn’t a whole lot better. The M’s need to figure this out. One thing to look at: he had an astonishingly consistent release point for many years, but he’s dropping it noticeably this year:

Gallardo's vertical release point

Gallardo’s vertical release point

Is that by design? I’m not saying it’s a sign of injury; his velocity keeps going up, after all. Still, the changes may be contributing to a general lack of command or inconsistency.

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

Hmmm. Odd line-up, at least partially the result of Cruz’s gimpy leg.

Felix night in Tacoma was… damn it, I’m having a really hard time with the idea that Good Felix is not coming back. El Rey gave up 5 runs in 2 IP (all coming in the 2nd inning), including a grand slam. He walked 2 and K’d 3. Ketel Marte hit a 3R shot off of a reliever, and the ball must’ve been flying, as Tyler O’Neill hit a grand slam of his own. But just…what a depressing game. Reno was back at it today, beating the R’s 8-3 in an early game. More HRs, more sloppy relief pitching. Dan Vogelbach homered, which is something, and Mitch Haniger’s playing again – he started today’s game in RF.

Arkansas got shut out by Tulsa, and Modesto dropped an extra-inning contest in Rancho Cucamonga. Cedar Rapids’ Tyler Wells beat Clinton’s Nick Wells to complete the org sweep.


22 Responses to “Game 60, Twins at Mariners”

  1. mrakbaseball on June 7th, 2017 7:36 pm

    I understand Servais wanted more right handed batters versus the lefty, but Carlos Ruiz DH, really?

  2. Westside guy on June 7th, 2017 7:54 pm

    Mike Zunino ties the game!

    Regarding the lineup… perhaps Eric Wedge is guest-managing tonight?

  3. Westside guy on June 7th, 2017 7:56 pm

    Ruiz is channeling Cruz, apparently!

  4. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 7:57 pm

    mrakbaseball, the alternative would have been a lefty, and none of them have hit lefties well.

    And Ruiz has just delivered a plate of crow.

  5. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 8:10 pm

    It’s getting hard to imagine what a lineup with everyone healthy would look like. Segura, Haniger, Cano, Cruz, Seager, Valencia, Gamel, Zunino, Dyson/Heredia…it seems like fairytale.

  6. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 8:22 pm

    It’s getting hard to imagine what our rotation might look like at the end of this month. I don’t know about anyone else, but regardless of results tonight, I’d like to see Gallardo moved and Moore in the rotation before too long.

  7. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 8:32 pm

    Crapolla. Jinxed him.

  8. Grayfox3d on June 7th, 2017 8:33 pm

    I’d be fine with not seeing Gallardo in the rotation after our starters start coming back, he’s unreliable at best.

  9. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 8:52 pm

    3 runs on 2 hits.

  10. Notfromboise on June 7th, 2017 9:30 pm

    Gallandro has given us innings at least.. Of course, not very good ones.

    Zunino Island is still a good place to be.

    If we pull this out (and we definitely can). We would be .500. Before even the all star break! Seriously, 2 weeks ago we would have laughed at the notion of being .500 by the all star break.

  11. stevemotivateir on June 7th, 2017 9:41 pm

    June’s schedule is mostly at home, so even two weeks ago, the only thing that worried me was the road trip at the end of May. And August.

  12. Westside guy on June 7th, 2017 9:55 pm



  13. Grayfox3d on June 7th, 2017 9:59 pm

    Wow…. anything is possible at this point.

  14. Notfromboise on June 7th, 2017 10:05 pm


    If i had thought to buy T-shirts when they were 25 cents I’d be making a killing over here right now lol.

    In all seriousness, how does a kid as talented/mystifying as Mike Zunino eek out a roughly .700 OPS while still striking out 52 times in 118 at bats. L – O – L.

    If Mike Zunino was a gigilo. He’d essentially have a 50% customer satisfaction rating, while the other 50% of the time he literally missed the point of entry entirely.

  15. ck on June 7th, 2017 10:39 pm

    This Winter, when Root shows big moments from the First Mariners Playoff Season since forever…
    They will replay the Zunino walk-off.

  16. stevemotivateir on June 8th, 2017 8:07 pm

    Fresh game thread be damned, game 61 is deserving of comments right here.

    So, how about Bergman? Pitch count’s up there a bit, but he’s held the Twins in check.

  17. stevemotivateir on June 8th, 2017 8:07 pm

    So of course, literally seconds after I say that, he gives up the dinger.

  18. stevemotivateir on June 8th, 2017 8:32 pm

    Robbie couldn’t have fucked that up any worse. Two errors on one play?

  19. Westside guy on June 8th, 2017 8:39 pm

    Dyson can certainly fly.

    … and yeah, Robbie blew that previous play BIG time.

  20. stevemotivateir on June 8th, 2017 8:51 pm

    Dyson has some wheels, no doubt.

  21. stevemotivateir on June 8th, 2017 9:08 pm

    Someone needs to update the minor league affiliates’ links on this site.

  22. Grayfox3d on June 8th, 2017 11:22 pm

    That game really hit the feel goods, getting held in check by a terrible pitcher like that.

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