Game 149, Mariners at Astros

marc w · September 16, 2017 at 9:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Dallas Keuchel, 10:05am

After yesterday’s disappointment, it’s kind of nice to have an early game. We can’t linger on James Paxton’s disaster of a start, as we’ve got to focus on…uh, going up against a Cy Young winner. Great.

Paxton threw about 50 pitches without his normal velocity, command, or effectiveness, and mercifully pulled after 1 1/3 IP. With a pitch limit of 60, expecting him to work deep into the game or to look like the Paxton from April of this year wouldn’t have been realistic, but yesterday’s game raised a lot more questions than it answered.

A month or so ago, I noted that Erasmo Ramirez had thrown more four-seam fastballs since being traded to Seattle. He was throwing more fastballs of all types, but more four-seamers in particular. Jake Mailhot at LL wrote an article on this for LL as well, expanding far beyond my sentence-or-two observation. Erasmo’s made two starts since Jake’s article at LL, and since then, he’s all but abandoned his four-seam. After throwing 22 4-seam and 22 sinkers against Baltimore, he’s thrown *94* sinkers over his last two games against just 12 four-seamers. As soon as we noticed a shift in his pitch mix, he’s made another one. Whatever he’s doing, it’s worked pretty well – he’s on a streak of 6 consecutive quality starts.

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

The M’s have their righty-heavy line-up to face lefty Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel absolutely kills lefties, so that’s probably appropriate. Still, Keuchel’s effectiveness is based on his ability to locate his sinker on the edge of the zone and on inducing swings on it when it’s below the zone. Jean Segura’s the best M’s hitter on pitches on the low edge of the zone and below, while Danny Valencia and Robbie Cano have wOBAs on such pitches below .200 (yeeesh). Oddly enough, if we just look at batters’ performance against sinkers – regardless of their location – then Cano and Valencia look pretty good, while Segura falls to 339th out of 351 hitters who’ve put at least 10 in play.

Congratulations to the Modesto Nuts who completed a three game sweep of Lancaster to win the California League title. The M’s affiliates had a rougher go this season, but they won a title last year (AA) and one this year (high-A). Modesto didn’t lose a game in the postseason, and hit incredibly well. Joe Rizzo, Kyle Lewis and Jordan Cowan all hit especially well. And with that, another year of minor league baseball comes to a close.


2 Responses to “Game 149, Mariners at Astros”

  1. Sportszilla on September 16th, 2017 10:53 am

    A few years ago, whenever the Mariners played the Rangers it created such a stark contrast because the Rangers were clearly just so much better than the M’s.

    The last couple of years, facing the Astros has been at least as painful as that, because this Mariners team is ostensibly better and yet the gap between the two teams is massive, and possibly widening.

  2. Grayfox3d on September 16th, 2017 1:23 pm

    Well Sportszilla, what that tells me is there is always someone in the West better than the Mariners, and it looks like its going to remain that way for a while.

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