Game 122, Mariners at Athletics: Stop The Bleeding

marc w · August 15, 2018 at 12:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Mike Leake vs. Brett Anderson, 12:35pm

There’ve been a few days in this month-long slide the M’s are on where it felt like the M’s had hit bottom. The day they lost their lead in the playoff spot to these A’s. Felix’s horrific last start in Texas. Pick your bullpen implosion of choice. For good or ill, none of really felt like THE signature moment. The M’s recovered after the Rangers series and swept the Astros. The rotation looked dead and buried, but has gotten better – as has the bullpen. Cano’s return makes us look differently at an offense that’s been stuck for so much of summer.

All of that said, last night really, really hurt. James Paxton took a line drive off of his left arm and left the game in the 1st. He’ll be placed on the 10-day DL. Even Felix’s gutsy long-relief outing couldn’t shake the fact that it looked like the M’s were up against a better team. The A’s newly-remade bullpen held up, and they’re now 50-0 in games they’ve led in the 7th inning. Mike Fiers was…fine, I guess, and he and his home park conspired to turn a so-so start into a very useful one. The offense showed signs of life, only for the A’s to make a series of brilliant defensive plays, illustrating why the A’s have the lowest BABIP in baseball.

The A’s are good, and the M’s now need to outplay them down the stretch instead of just run out the clock with a big lead. Their rotation’s been great, but it’s now showing signs of stress, with Marco Gonzales in a tailspin and Paxton hitting the DL. The club desperately needs Mike Leake to close 2018 the way he closed 2017. The fact that it happened last year shows it’s possible, but the entirety of Leake’s career and his 2018 numbers show it’s not exactly likely.

Most importantly, the M’s offense needs to shake the rust off and break out again. Their overall season numbers rank them 18th at Fangraphs, and while that’s in part due to some poor defense, they’ve got the 19th-best OBP in baseball. Kyle Seager has struggled all year, as have Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy. Guillermo Heredia isn’t quite ready to be an everyday player, and while it’s nice that with Denard Span and Cameron Maybin, they don’t need too much out of Heredia, the fact remains that the M’s aren’t putting their best offense on the field. Yes, they won so many 1-run games in the first half thanks to Edwin Diaz and a great bullpen, but they’re not winning them all now. They don’t have the kind of offense that’s going to bludgeon teams to death, nor a shut-down pitching staff. They’re going to need to make each run count, and that’s why it’s insane that Ben Gamel remains in Tacoma. He’s no savior at the plate, but the M’s are struggling to score enough runs and it would appear that one of their better offensive outfielders is in the PCL. Fix it, M’s.

1: Hainger, RF
2: Cano, 2B
3: Segura, SS
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Healy, 1B
7: Zunino, C
8: Gordon, CF
9: Heredia, LF
SP: Leake

Christian Bergman’s the injury replacement on the active roster with Paxton hitting the DL.

Heredia’s a righty and the M’s are facing a lefty in Brett Anderson. But the M’s are moving things around to have Guillermo Heredia start in an outfield corner in a playoff race. I dunno, man.


19 Responses to “Game 122, Mariners at Athletics: Stop The Bleeding”

  1. mrakbaseball on August 15th, 2018 12:56 pm

    It seems strange that Heredia is still basically seeing regular playing time and it’s too bad the Dee Gordon in center experiment isn’t a thing of the past. Whatever.

  2. WTF_Ms on August 15th, 2018 1:32 pm

    So, between Heredia, Hermann, Romine and Zunino, we’re at a disadvantage of at least 2 runs per game average??? Just off the cuff math.

  3. WTF_Ms on August 15th, 2018 1:47 pm

    Oh, also, Gary Hill….can we trade him??? He’s not great.

  4. mrakbaseball on August 15th, 2018 2:57 pm

    Hmm, I actually prefer Gary Hill over Goldsmith or Sims.

  5. WTF_Ms on August 15th, 2018 3:00 pm

    To each his own, but I kinda like Sims. Goldsmith is also ho-hum, but there’s just something about Gary Hill….pace, voice, something.

  6. Longgeorge1 on August 15th, 2018 3:44 pm

    Pleeeez an EZ bottom 12. August 15 and still REAL baseball.

  7. Longgeorge1 on August 15th, 2018 3:51 pm

    Great, Great game!

  8. WTF_Ms on August 15th, 2018 4:01 pm

    We needed that one! Whew!

  9. WTF_Ms on August 18th, 2018 9:46 pm

    Did we stop caring? Why no game posts?

  10. mrakbaseball on August 19th, 2018 1:48 pm

    I appreciate Marc’s contribution to the blog, but at this point, people should look ahead to the offseason. The Mariners aren’t passing the A’s or Astros.

  11. Stevemotivateir on August 19th, 2018 2:17 pm

    Some of us are fans of the game, win or lose. I’ll speak for myself, but I think the offseason can wait. There’s a lot of baseball left and we have a GM who can pull rabbits out of hats at any time.

  12. Stevemotivateir on August 19th, 2018 4:26 pm

    Talk about outmatched.

  13. WTF_Ms on August 19th, 2018 4:31 pm

    Seems th Ms have stopped tryIng too. Romine pitches twice in a series. Wow.

  14. schwingy on August 19th, 2018 7:17 pm

    Felt very outmatched: strength, power, size, heart, fans, arms….everything. Crazy Safeco can get so filled with opposing fans at this juncture. I think we all feel so beat down. I keep hoping, but when we have a weekend series like this it all feels so far away

  15. WTF_Ms on August 20th, 2018 8:38 pm

    On to another clown show on the base paths. Mike Z has no business trying to come home. Double A mistake in a playoff run.

  16. schwingy on August 20th, 2018 10:05 pm

    Cano. Left center. Bad ass.
    Go Ms
    Robbie .347 since coming back

  17. schwingy on August 20th, 2018 10:41 pm

    We have Diaz
    Nobody else does
    At least enjoy that

  18. mksh21 on August 21st, 2018 6:23 am

    The A’s would have traded Diaz already for two prospects and a washed up player who ends up having a career year 😉

  19. heyoka on August 23rd, 2018 9:18 am

    The M’s have to win 4.5 more games than the A’s in the next 34.5 games.

    They will have 7(.0) head to head match ups with the voodoo A’s remaining on the schedule.

    If Jobu turns on the A’s and they go 18-17 in their remaining 35 games. The M’s must still go 23-11 during that time.

    The chance is more than merely mathematical at this point, but I do believe the M’s will need the services of Father Merrin in their head to head match ups.

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