Game 82, Mariners at Angels

marc w · July 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Sam Gaviglio vs. Ricky Nolasco, 7:07pm

The Angels have, for years, actively courted fly ball pitchers with the idea that their home park will allow fly ballers to run low BABIPs and yet not allow too many home runs. As I mentioned the last time the M’s faced Ricky Nolasco, this was essentially Jerry Dipoto’s doing, and he talked a lot this spring about doing the same thing in Seattle – hence the trade for Drew Smyly, for example. The Angels may be moving away from that single-minded focus on high FB% pitchers, if only because they spent a lot in talent to acquire Andrelton Simmons, and he can’t really DO anything about balls flying over his head.

I bring this up because the Angels are really the third team we’ve talked about who’s pitted their HR-suppressing park up against baseball’s HR spike and lost. Safeco Field saw the most HRs hit in all of baseball last year, a fact that I still can’t quite believe is true. We talked about it when the M’s visited Minnesota as well, and I should’ve made a bigger deal of it when the M’s went to Detroit. After yesterday’s game, Angels stadium’s allowing 2.65 dingers per game, above the league average. They’ve still got some fly ball pitchers – like Nolasco – but no park is safe anymore. Sure, Angels stadium may still be slightly less HR-friendly than some other park (Texas, Houston, whatever), but the point is that the strategy of designing a staff around low HR:FB ratios now looks absurd.

How absurd? Nolasco’s never really been great at limiting HRs. He’s given up 1.14 per 9 IP, which is a tiny bit above average. Last year, he tossed just shy of 200 IP and gave up 26 HRs, good for a rate of 1.18/9. This year, he’s pitched about 90 IP, and he’s already yielded 23 dingers. That rate is now 2.28. He’s been worse on the road, sure, but his HR/9 starts with a 2 at home, too. He pitched pretty well down the stretch for Anaheim last year, but whatever that was, it hasn’t carried over into 2017.

Sam Gaviglio’s own HR/9 is essentially 2, so he’s got his own problems to worry about. He also doesn’t miss as many bats as Nolasco, but a low walk rate and the advantage of being something of an unknown may be working to his advantage. Let’s hope he keeps at it today, as the M’s could really use a win here to take a road series from a key wild card rival.

1: Segura, SS
2: Gamel, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Valencia, 1B
7: Haniger, RF
8: Dyson, CF
9: Ruiz, C
SP: Gaviglio

Happy Canada Day! Tyler O’Neill started the celebrations a bit early by hitting another HR last night, his 2nd in 2 games. Let’s hope he keeps it up today, as Chase De Jong and the M’s host Albuquerque. Other starters in the system include Robert Dugger, Michael Suarez, Dylan Unsworth, and the M’s big SP prospect, Nick Neidert.


5 Responses to “Game 82, Mariners at Angels”

  1. mrakbaseball on July 1st, 2017 7:18 pm

    Well, maybe Nelson Cruz can end his home run drought on his birthday.

  2. mrakbaseball on July 1st, 2017 8:06 pm

    Nick Franklin was better when he supposedly was consuming 6,500 calories a day.

  3. Westside guy on July 1st, 2017 8:07 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher drop the ball like that.

  4. Westside guy on July 1st, 2017 9:36 pm

    Man, these guys really seem to run either completely hot or completely cold.

  5. mrakbaseball on July 1st, 2017 10:02 pm

    Regarding Cruz, another reminder that Father Time is undefeated.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.