Game 111, Mariners at Royals

marc w · August 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

James Paxton vs. Jason t, 5:15pm

After a disappointing loss, the M’s can turn the ball over to their ace today. It’s unfortunate that James Paxton’s in the position of being asked to essentially win out this year; the M’s simply must have wins in the games he starts, and then try to cobble together as many wins from other starters as they can. Paxton obliged them in July, and the M’s need to hope he keeps at it. Luckily, he’s amongs baseball’s toughest starters when healthy and mechanically sound, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Carry your teammates, Big Maple!

The M’s lost a tough one yesterday to the Royals, as their bullpen – shockingly – isn’t as robotic and flawless as they’d appeared recently. Kansas City remains one of the toughest parks in baseball to homer in, so what did we see but four somewhat cheap HRs, including one that doomed the M’s late. The Cain/Dyson Royals teams racked up defensive chances in part due to the park and prevailing conditions, and even amidst the rise in HRs league-wide, it’s still a park where most fly balls go to die. Given the M’s OF defense and their pitching staff’s predilection for giving up fly ball contact, this would seem to be a perfect place for the M’s to sneak some road wins, but not if the Royals can reach the first few rows in the left field seats.

Jason Hammel’s been a roughly average pitcher for nine seasons now: he’s produced 17.9 fWAR in that time, or 1.99 WAR per season (2 is league average). Of course, that obscures quite a bit of volatility for a pitcher whose repertoire and stuff have been quite consistent. He’s been hurt by injuries, and has never tossed 180 IP in a season. His FIP went from 3.29 to 4.93 to 3.92 in three consecutive seasons. Two seasons with the Cubs seemed to solidify him, and he’s been missing more bats than ever, but his HR rate was also creeping up, which hurt his overall effectiveness. A move to KC was just the right thing for his HR problems, but some of his other peripherals have started to go south, always a concerns as he’s now less than a month from his 35th birthday.

He throws a four-seam and sinker from a high 3/4 release point; both are around 92-93. His best pitch is a slider he throws a ton of – he started throwing it more when he got to Baltimore in 2012 (and started throwing his curve a lot less), but really started relying on it with the Cubs. His big weakness is a sinker that doesn’t sink too much, leading to an inflated HR rate. He’s smartly dialed back his sinker usage from 4-5 years ago, but he throws enough of them that the M’s may be able to take advantage.

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

The Rainiers played the red-hot Memphis Redbirds yesterday, whose new RF Tyler O’Neill has adjusted well and is slugging .634. Christian Bergman’s long slide continued, as the righty gave up 7 runs in 4 IP. His ERA in his last 10 starts is nearing 6, and his post-AS break ERA is near 11 (it was under 3 before the break).
Today, it’s Sam Gaviglio’s turn to tame the Redbirds.

Anthony Misiewicz’s brilliant first month in AA hasn’t continued, either. After last night’s loss to Tulsa, he’s given up 18 hits and 12 earned runs in his last two starts, spanning 9 1/3 IP. Lindsay Caughel will try to deal with Tulsa, and he’s matched up with Scott Barlow, who’s been excellent in the Texas League this year (and bad in the PCL).

A late rally allowed Lake Elsinore to beat Modesto 5-3. Luis Liberato doubled and homered. Spencer Herrman toes the rubber tonight for the Nuts.

Clinton beat Wisconsin 4-2, as Nick Wells pitched around 4 walks in 5 1/3 to get a win.

Everett beat Salem-Keizer (home of the big Eclipse Game in a few weeks) 11-10. Ronald Rosario had 3 hits including his 6th HR; the 20-year old is off to a fast start for Everett. Anjul Hernandez will start tonight the the AquaSox; I know I said that yesterday, but Randy Bell took the mound instead.


6 Responses to “Game 111, Mariners at Royals”

  1. Dennisss on August 4th, 2017 8:01 pm

    Have we finally gotten to the point where no one comments even in an apparent win in an important game? The long ongoing streak of mediocrity has worn me down, I know. I feel like I have taken the year off.

  2. Dennisss on August 4th, 2017 8:04 pm

    No problem for Diaz.

  3. Dennisss on August 4th, 2017 8:10 pm

    The M’s have some fun players – Segura, Haniger, Paxton, Diaz – but they need to make the playoffs one year to wake up people like me and give us some hope.

  4. bookbook on August 4th, 2017 10:09 pm

    It’s been true for years that most of the commenting happens at lookoutlanding. The excellent analysis happens here.

  5. Westside guy on August 4th, 2017 11:15 pm

    I haven’t been able to follow the last few away games, unfortunately.

    Damn this not being independently wealthy and having to work for a living!


  6. Sowulo on August 5th, 2017 12:00 am

    Just watching late now. Heredia RBI 2B in the 7th. He seems to get a lot of important hits late in games. Very impressed with him.

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