Game 97, Yankees at Mariners

marc w · July 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

King Felix vs. Luis Severino, 7:10pm

A Happy Felix Day to you and yours, and it certainly *feels* celebratory, with the M’s having traded for a pitching upgrade and the M’s kicking off the homestand with one of their most important series of the year. The M’s are now 1.5 games behind the Yankees for the 2nd wildcard, and while neither team has played lights out baseball since May, the M’s have benefited from the Yankees swoon that’s lasted about a month and a half. Even Aaron Judge has cooled off, as the Yanks rookie is putting up his first below-average month of the year in July.

While Judge and company get the attention, their pitching staff’s been the unsung heroes. The starters – with the exception of Michael Pineda, now lost to TJ surgery – wasn’t forecasted to do much. Today’s starter, Luis Severino, was a rare bright spot, but even then, his 4.20 ERA and 4.00 FIP weren’t much to get excited about. He’s already blown his projections out of the water, as the righty’s 3.49 ERA/3.09 FIP (while pitching in the Bronx bandbox that is Yankee Stadium half the time) have earned him 3.2 fWAR. He’s a fairly uncomplicated hurler: he’s got a four-seam fastball that averages 97 (!) and a hard, diving slider at 88. He’s also got a change-up, and for a clear third pitch, it’s not too bad – it’s about 10 MPH slower than his fastball with a bit more drop. He’ll use it to lefties, but when he gets ahead, batters (lefties or righties) will see his devastating slider. As that Tom Verducci article I linked to yesterday details, the Yanks aren’t afraid to tell their pitchers to go to their breaking stuff early and often, and Severino is throwing over 40% sliders to right-handers. That seems like it’d make him vulnerable to lefties, but the slider’s good (not AS good, but good) against them, too. Over his brief MLB career, his platoon splits are nearly equal, though I don’t think they’ll stay that way.

Severino’s strikeout rate ranks 10th in baseball thus far (among starters), and thanks to much-improved command, he ranks even better by K-BB% (7th). This is a challenging assignment for King Felix and the M’s, who need to get some balls in the air off of Severino AND keep Judge and company in the ballpark. For whatever reason, the Yankees are suffering through a power outage at the moment, as they’re slugging .370 in the past 30 days, with 26 HRs – 10 less than the M’s over that span. Part of the reason for that is that they lost another breakout star to injury in June, OF Aaron Hicks. The same Aaron Hicks that was among the league’s worst hitters in 2013-14 was in the midst of an out-of-nowhere great season, slashing .290/.398/.515 until an oblique injury sidelined him. As a result, the Yanks have had to play more of Jacoby Ellsbury. Take advantage, M’s.

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: Zunino, C
SP: El Rey

Welcome back, Mitch Haniger!

Classic PCL game today in Albuquerque as Tacoma escaped New Mexico with a 14-11 win. The game was tied at 7 after 2 IP, as each team had a 6-run half inning in the early going. Dan Vogelbach homered, but Gordon Beckham and Tyler O’Neill each hit 2.

Ljay Newsome, Justin DeFratus, Spencer Herrman and Oliver Jaskie take the mound for M’s affiliates tonight.


12 Responses to “Game 97, Yankees at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on July 20th, 2017 7:33 pm

    Tomorrow Raul Ibañez is throwing out the first pitch!

    That could be an adventure… 😀

  2. Grayfox3d on July 20th, 2017 7:41 pm

    2nd inning and this strike zone is atrocious! C’mon ump, whos behind the plate? Bucknor?

  3. Westside guy on July 20th, 2017 8:33 pm

    Bases loaded, so what.

  4. Grayfox3d on July 20th, 2017 8:39 pm

    Dyson what a great catch!

  5. naviomelo on July 20th, 2017 9:15 pm

    This feels like an old fashioned M’s game tonight.

  6. mrakbaseball on July 20th, 2017 9:17 pm

    An encouraging start for Felix, 7 innings and just a solo homer allowed.

  7. naviomelo on July 20th, 2017 9:21 pm

    Yeah, it was vintage Felix tonight. I thought he pitched better in this game than in the Oakland game right before the break.

  8. Grayfox3d on July 20th, 2017 9:27 pm

    Cmon guys… you can’t lose like this! You wanted your chance for a playoff shot, THIS is the series you gotta win.

  9. naviomelo on July 20th, 2017 9:30 pm

    Pretty good game. They had to get that run scored in the 4th when Haniger popped it up on the first pitch and then Dyson’s fly was too shallow to score Seager.

  10. Westside guy on July 20th, 2017 9:34 pm

    Good job, Zych. Bases loaded, Judge up, 2-0 count.

  11. WTF_Ms on July 20th, 2017 10:10 pm

    Well, there ya go. We needed to win, and the BP blows it. Not good.

  12. Grayfox3d on July 20th, 2017 11:37 pm

    Can’t blame that all on the bull pen… There was no offense, can’t blow a game your not winning, not many times your gonna beat the Yankees 1 – 0.

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