Game 46, Tigers at Mariners – Platoon Split Battle

marc w · May 20, 2018 at 11:08 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Wade LeBlanc vs. Francisco Liriano, 1:10pm

The M’s close out this series against Detroit with a game against inconsistent-yet-tough lefty Francisco Liriano. Over the course of his long career, Liriano has been pretty consistently brutal on his fellow southpaws, with lefties posting a sub-.600 OPS over 1,500+ plate appearances, while righties are hitting a comparatively robust .728. On the wOBA scale, that’s .270 vs. lefties and .322 against righties.

Nelson Cruz is getting an off day after getting plunked yet again last night. In the past, that might be a concern, as the righty Cruz was key to making left-handed opponents work/suffer/struggle. Now, though, it’s a team effort. The M’s are one of the best teams in baseball against lefties, with guys like Mitch Haniger leading the way, but he’s got help from 1B Ryon Healy, who’ll take Nellie’s cleanup spot today. Healy’s still something of a limited hitter if you ask me, but he’s displayed a very consistent ability to hit lefties. He is, in a sense, the inverse of Liriano. Streaky, platoon splitted all to hell, but sometimes that’s what you need.

Liriano came up as an extremely hard thrower, but well over a decade later, his fastball velocity’s more average at about 92. He was always known for his hard, sinking slider, and that’s still his outpitch. Lower velo has changed its shape a bit, but he still throws it to lefties and righties alike, and it’s still hard to square up. Not impossible, though – from time to time, it’s a real HR pitch – he’s given up 46 HRs on it in the pitch fx era. He also throws a changeup, though the so-so development of the pitch and his overall consistency issues make it a third-or-fourth pitch.

He came up with a four-seam fastball and a sinker, both of which had tons of horizontal movement thanks to his lowish arm slot and tons of spin, but he’s transitioned to being more of a pure sinker/slider pitcher these days. That combined with a few years under Ray Searage’s tutelage in Pittsburgh means that he’s a ground ball pitcher, though less so than he was 3-4 years ago. The way he spots his fastballs hasn’t changed over that time. His slider usage is pretty standard, too, with the pitch breaking down and in to righties, and low and away from lefties.

1: Gordon, 2B
2: Segura, SS
3: Haniger, RF
4: Healy, 1B
5: Seager, DH
6: Heredia, CF
7: Beckham, 3B
8: Freitas, C
9: Romine, 2B
SP: LeBlanc

Understand the limitations and why, say, Healy’s at 4th, but man that line-up kind of peters out. Ah well, go M’s.

I’m going to be up at the Rainiers game today, where Casey Lawrence leads the R’s against Las Vegas. Rob Whalen got the win last night in Tacoma’s 10-6 win. A 5 run inning game Las Vegas a 6-4 lead, but Tacoma pulled away late. Danny Muno and Chris Herrman homered for Tacoma.

Tulsa beat up on Arkansas 8-2, as the Drillers got a HR from former D-Backs prospect Peter O’Brien. The Travs’ Joe DeCarlo hit a 2-run shot in the 9th to escape the shutout.

Visalia beat Modesto 5-3, but Evan White hit his 2nd home run for the Nuts. Kyle Lewis singled and Seth Elledge pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

Clinton lost to Cedar Rapids 6-4, spoiling a good start from Raymond Kerr; Adonis De la Cruz had a bad time in the 7th/8th. The Rapids are a Twins farm team, so their catcher is David Banuelos, the former M’s top-10 prospect who went to the Twins org for bonus pool space. He’s been awful at the plate this year, though he was always known most for defense/leading the pitching staff.

Max Povse’s been demoted back to AA, and he gets the start today for the Travelers as they take on Tulsa. Danny Garcia and Modesto take on Visalia tonight, while Clinton’s TBD takes on Cedar Rapids.


5 Responses to “Game 46, Tigers at Mariners – Platoon Split Battle”

  1. mrakbaseball on May 20th, 2018 12:39 pm

    That 7-9 order in the lineup is right from 2010. Yikes.

  2. Notfromboise on May 20th, 2018 3:59 pm

    Gotta feel a little for Liriano there.

    The have the “Maddux” for a pitcher who throws a complete game in under 100 pitches.

    MLB should totally have a stat for pitchers who pitch 8 scoreless innings, leave with the lead, and still get a no decison. They should call it a ‘Felix’.

  3. mksh21 on May 20th, 2018 5:23 pm

    Liriano has a history of barely making it to the 6th without throwing 100 pitches (has never pitched 200 innings in a season and only came somewhat close twice) , especially sad to see him mow down the Mariners like that. A win is a win though and can’t believe how good a season the M’s are having 🙂

    I’m going to be annoying about Romine till the cows come home. I’ll never understand how players like him get to play so much. Being versatile is more than sucking equally every where you play. He is hitting as bad as Ichiro did, and there is NOTHING to suggest he will hit any better. At some point they are going to have to get an every day player who is at least ALMOST league average.

  4. LongDistance on May 20th, 2018 11:25 pm

    That would be Willie Bloomquist and, no, you don’t want that. Borderline jack-of-all-trades utility guys end up like some sort of chronic condition that’s both just bearably annoying and impossible to get rid of.

  5. Jake on May 21st, 2018 8:29 pm

    And it continues: Tyler O’Neill with homer #3, a double, and 4 RBIs tonight. He’s hitting .368 thus far. SSS and FML.

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