Game 98, Yankees at Mariners

marc w · July 21, 2017 at 5:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Andrew Moore vs. CC Sabathia, 7:10pm

I’ve had a few hours to deliberate, calmly reevaluate my assumptions and take another, deeper, look at Marco Gonzales. With the benefit of time and reflection, I can now… nope, sorry, still don’t get this one.

I talked the other day about the boom-and-bust M’s, and how maybe a team like this *shouldn’t* be searching for stability – they should own their own volatility. Andrew Moore is not a high ceiling guy, but in turning over the slot to a rookie, the M’s acknowledge that they’ll get some good games and some clunkers, as they’ve seen. That’s fine – that helps Moore’s growing process and Moore’s unfamiliarity to AL hitters might help him sneak up on some teams. That said, with the Gonzales acquisition, the M’s have shown that they are completely obsessed with this template of command pitchers with so-so velocity. I’ve said plenty about the M’s getting value for MiLB talent, and I’d argue that this has been a serious, on-going problem, but part of the issue is what they’re *buying* with that talent. This came up in Dave’s write-up of the trade at Fangraphs; the M’s have spent a lot of effort and a good chunk of their top prospects gathering pitchers that kind of look like fungible depth. From the trade for Wade Miley forward, the M’s seem to value #3-5 starters very highly. While the league has placed a pretty high value on established #3-4 guys in free agency, they’ve not generally commanded much in trade, and for good reason. The M’s have traded upside for depth (in Dave’s words) for approximately the 1,346th time, which itself is a good argument that either the M’s should stop trading for depth or take a very healthy reexamination of their process for identifying depth. Something isn’t working.

The idea of trading upside for stability or trading ceiling for floor only works if you accurately identify both. That’s a truism, but seriously: even MLB teams can be really bad at this. You can’t predict the future, or baseball, so you *really* can’t predict future baseball. This is why you see teams draft Brian Bullington and Greg Reynolds. Anyone who thinks it’s somehow safer to get low-velo, command and control guys should proceed directly to Dillon Overton’s baseball-reference page.

Andrew Moore could use a good start. He had three straight quality starts, but after a terrible 4th start in which he gave up 3 HRs in 3 1/3 IP, the M’s are going to need to see him make some adjustments. For a guy so often praised for his competitiveness and savvy, that’s probably a strength of his. All of that said, Moore represents another, closely linked, fixation of Dipoto and Co over the past year or so: a preference for fly-ball pitchers who pair with a spacious park and a phenomenal OF defense. The theory makes great sense, but as we’ve seen with the Tigers and Twins, in this day and age, there is no park that can cover a pitcher in the new live-ball era. I’d go so far as to say that we’ve now seen enough to know with pretty good certainty that Dipoto’s attempt to build a top-10 pitching staff on fly balls has failed. Boston can get away with it, because they can go grab David Price or Chris Sale. High fastballs themselves aren’t the issue. They may actually be effective at *limiting* HRs. The problem is rising fastballs thrown in the middle or down in the zone. Moore’s smart enough to see where he’s been punished, but his arsenal is pretty much always going to result in elevated contact. A shift towards high (really high) fastballs and curves might help, as his change is still a bit straight (and has a ton of rise).

CC Sabathia’s in his second year of an odd, late-career renaissance. After getting destroyed by the longball and right-handed bats, he’s changed his pitch mix significantly. He’s ditched his four-seam fastball, and he’s now throwing nearly 3/4 (!) breaking balls to RHBs – a cutter, a slider, and a change. Righties still fare well against his sinker/cutter, but they can help set up his slider – still his best pitch.

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

Okaaay, more trades. The M’s shipped non-40 man relievers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi to the White Sox org. They’ll report to Charlotte, according to Mike Curto, who also notes that the two MLB vets are huge clubhouse leaders for Tacoma. No word on the return, but it’s not going to be much.

So Tyler O’Neill’s last action in a Rainiers jersey was his 2-HR performance last night. Fare thee well, Tyler.

Chase de Jong starts for Tacoma tonight, with Brett Ash going in Arkansas, Nate Bannister in Modesto and Ryne Inman in Everett. No word on Clinton’s starter.


28 Responses to “Game 98, Yankees at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on July 21st, 2017 7:35 pm

    Nice to see the Mariners hit CC around a bit in the first. It would’ve been nice to get more than one run out of it… but at least it wasn’t zero.

  2. Westside guy on July 21st, 2017 8:37 pm

    HOLY CRAP. Judge *almost* hit it out of Safeco.

  3. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2017 8:51 pm

    Would be nice to see the Mariners score some runs against the Yankees…. this weekend series is basically going to tell the story of if we have a chance at this WC spot or not.

  4. WTF_Ms on July 21st, 2017 8:55 pm

    Agreed….score some damned runs! Please? Pretty please?

  5. Grayfox3d on July 21st, 2017 9:37 pm

    The Mariners have scored 2 runs in 18 innings versus the Yankees and everyone is worried about the starting Pitching? Good pitching is useless when you cant score to back them up. The offense is so streaky that you never know which version is going to show up.

  6. Westside guy on July 21st, 2017 10:28 pm

    Whelp, that was something that happened.

  7. LongDistance on July 22nd, 2017 11:21 am

    If this is the way this season is going to go, I’m not buying tickets to a game unless they’ve won the day before.

  8. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 6:37 pm

    Game 99 – Miranda vs Tanaka

    This is a game we not only should win, but HAVE TO win.

  9. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 7:19 pm

    FINALLY some hitting with RISP!

    3-1 Mariners!

  10. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 8:04 pm

    Miranda definitely did his job!

    Now let’s see the bullpen do theirs…

  11. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 8:10 pm

    I suppose I should be pleased Cishek only gave up one run that inning… but good grief.

    The Mariners were bragging on Twitter today about their bullpen, and I wondered – are they talking about the same group I’ve been watching?

  12. WTF_Ms on July 22nd, 2017 8:20 pm

    Gone are the days of the dominant bullpen. These guys are hit or miss…mostly hit on.

  13. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 8:24 pm

    Phelps looked pretty good that inning.

  14. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 8:47 pm

    Well, Phelps did look good the previous inning. Unfortunately we have other bullpen pitchers as well.

  15. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 8:49 pm


  16. Grayfox3d on July 22nd, 2017 9:08 pm

    WTF Diaz! get your sh*t together!

  17. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 9:17 pm

    Come on, Mikey…


  18. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 9:20 pm

    Come on Jean…


  19. WTF_Ms on July 22nd, 2017 9:23 pm

    Extra innings….why? Dipoto had better beef up the pen this week….at this rate, we’ll be 10 games out of the 2nd WC by Saturday.

  20. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 9:35 pm

    Yeah, Ben Gamel!

    That was a Dipoto trade that’s worked out pretty well.

  21. Westside guy on July 22nd, 2017 9:39 pm

    YEAH! They did it!!!

  22. WTF_Ms on July 22nd, 2017 9:51 pm

    I’ll give him credit for the position players. Gamel, Segura…Hell, even Motter. Pitchers are a gamble whoever does the trade.

  23. Grayfox3d on July 23rd, 2017 1:17 pm

    So they pull Gallardo from the pen to start and immediately reverts back to old version of Gallardo.

  24. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2017 2:31 pm

    Bases loaded, no outs… you guys HAVE to score at least a run or two!

    Whew, thank goodness for Gamel and Heredia.

    But seriously, bases loaded for the meat of our order and they immediately give away two outs. Not to mention Seaver got the benefit of a ball called on a low strike, which means he got a bonus plate appearance.

  25. WTF_Ms on July 23rd, 2017 2:32 pm

    Thankfully, my post from last night is still close. Position players. Segura, Gamel, Herredia. Not sold on Dyson, since he’s a bit streaky at the plate. All in all, we have a solid outfield, and solid infield. Pitching…..always a mystery.

  26. Westside guy on July 23rd, 2017 3:05 pm

    Why can’t it ever be easy, Pazos?

  27. WTF_Ms on July 23rd, 2017 3:19 pm

    Pitchers man….pitchers…..

  28. mrakbaseball on July 23rd, 2017 4:26 pm

    Of course they follow a 5-1 roadtrip by losing 3 of 4 at home. Of course.

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