Game 139, Orioles at Mariners

marc w · September 4, 2018 at 7:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Wade LeBlanc vs. Alex Cobb, 7:10pm

In a story that’s been all over social media this evening, the M’s kicked off preparations for tonight’s game with an intrasquad tussle. Apparently, Dee Gordon asked all media members to exit the team’s clubhouse, and then the reporters heard a fight break out. Any ambiguity was removed when the pack of squabbling Mariners pushed open the doors that Gordon had so carefully closed. Scott Servais, who’d been on the field when it happened, is still piecing together the story of who said what to whom, but downplayed its significance to reporters, noting there was probably one fight of that magnitude per season in his 11 year MLB career.

I’m not sure how many we should expect, or if today’s skirmish was the product of the M’s slow, steady slide out of the wild card lead, or just an inevitability given living in close quarters with aggressive people for 5-6 months. It may not matter at all, and many of the reporters noted that they’ve seen or heard about fights from time to time on other M’s teams. It is, however, a bit of a blow to the idea that the team’s remade culture was part of the mix that’s allowed them to outplay their run differential all year. At a time when so many M’s fans have turned on Servais, I’ve thought his job allowing the players to have fun and instill a positive, open culture was worth celebrating. I’m not sold on his in-game management, but I’m also convinced that in-game management isn’t half as important as many baseball fans think. The job is about setting a culture and expectations and letting the players figure out how to meet them. The M’s have been remarkably good at bringing in new players, and many minor league FAs and other signings hinted that it was a reason they chose to sign here. I’d hate to think that culture wasn’t as fully formed, or was just another product of winning. It really shouldn’t be, not after last year, but in any event, we’ll see how Servais and the M’s handle this in the game’s final month.

The M’s face Alex Cobb, the ex-Ray who’ve I’ve long thought would be a great pick-up. He repaid my faith by turning in a microcosm of the O’s season with his season line, with an ERA over 5 and a very elevated HR rate. He’s gotten better after a disastrous start, but still: this O’s season is not something you want to be compared with, even if the comparison isn’t perfectly apt. Famous for his splitter/change that he taught to many ex-teammates, most notably Jake Odorizzi (another ex-Ray FA bust), he’s battled injuries throughout his pro career. They haven’t sapped his velo, which is now at 92-93, above his career average. His splitter is still a real weapon, too, but he’s been let down by his curveball, on which batters are slugging over .700 this year. Unlike so many on the Rays, Cobb’s primary FB is a sinker, and that – along with the split – help him post consistently high ground ball rates.

1: Haniger, RF
2: Segura, SS
3: Cano, 3B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Span, LF
6: Healy, 1B
7: Gamel, RF
8: Freitas, C
9: Gordon, 2B
SP: Wade LeBlanc


2 Responses to “Game 139, Orioles at Mariners”

  1. WTF_Ms on September 4th, 2018 9:42 pm

    Wow. I didn’t think it was this bad. Times a wasting fellas!

  2. mrakbaseball on September 4th, 2018 10:37 pm

    I get LeBlanc probably isn’t going to 100 pitches or more, but pulling him after just 68?

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