Game 97, Athletics at Mariners

marc w · July 23, 2021 at 5:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Frankie Montas, 7:10pm

Frankie Montas just tipped over 100 IP in 2021. It’s his first time hitting the century mark, and it’s come in his sixth season. Sure, for a year or two, he was a reliever, and relievers just Don’t Do That Anymore, which is perhaps a discussions for a different day. But he’s been a starter now for a handful of years, and never managed it. Why not? I think Montas has essentially dabbled with each reason a pitcher can have for not pitching a lot. First, and what most might consider easiest, was that he’s gotten hurt. He had a rib resection and a broken rib, he had a finger issue, and, this year, caught Covid-19. Second, and what is *actually* the easiest reason not to log a lot of injuries, he’s been pretty mediocre at times. He had a decent ERA in his first A’s season, but he didn’t miss any bats. The year before that, his last time as a reliever, he racked up strikeouts, but nearly matched them with walks. Finally, in 2019, in the midst of a breakout season, he was suspended after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

The seemingly-random wheel of Frankie Montas results spun again last year, as he struggled mightily with HRs, pushing his RA/9 towards 6 despite plenty of strikeouts. This year, he’s improved, though he’s still not flashing the kind of results he showed in 2019. Montas, when he’s on, looks every bit the ace: he throws a four-seamer and sinker at 96-97, and mixes in a splitter to lefties and a slider to righties, both of which can be effective bat-missing weapons. As a long-term member of the splitter fan club, it’s no surprise I think it’s his best pitch, and it’s done exceedingly well for him this year. But it hasn’t always been so; it’s a volatile pitch, I guess? Let’s hope tonight’s an off night for him, as the M’s have struggled quite a bit with change-ups/splitters this year.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, DH
3: Seager, 3B
4: France, 2B
5: Raleigh, C
6: Torrens, 1B
7: Kelenic, CF
8: Bauers, RF
9: Long, 2B
SP: Kikuchi

The M’s big free agent move of the off-season, acquiring Rafael Montero to close, didn’t go as planned. After a poor outing last night, he’s now sporting an ERA over 6. That experiment’s now over, as the M’s DFA’d Montero.

Looks like we’ll be seeing more of Luis Torrens at 1B, and it makes some sense as the team absolutely needs his bat in the line-up and also wants to get a look at Cal Raleigh. Torrens has absolutely been one of the stories of 2021. He was sent down looking completely lost at the plate, and returned as a younger Gary Sanchez.


4 Responses to “Game 97, Athletics at Mariners”

  1. Stevemotivateir on July 23rd, 2021 9:01 pm

    I wonder hope much rope they’ll give Bauers.

    I suppose it won’t matter is they lose this series, but he hasn’t offered much offense over the last moth.

  2. Longgeorge1 on July 23rd, 2021 10:27 pm


  3. bookbook on July 24th, 2021 5:49 am

    They should DFA Bauers but they don’t exactly have alternatives right now. After Lewis and Fraley return, I guess.

  4. MKT on July 24th, 2021 11:09 pm

    “the M’s DFA’d Montero”

    It had been clear from his mid-May meltdown that Montero wasunqualified to be the closer. But the Ms kept trotting him out there in high leverage situations until the June 12 debacle made it clear even to them.

    Since then they’ve actually used Montero well, limiting him to low leverage situations and emergency situations (the extra inning games June 19 and 20). In the 12 games since then he only cost the Ms 0.1 of a win, as measured by Win Probability Added.

    But I believe his season total -1.2 WPA is the worst on the team, his -1.9 WAR definitely is. The Ms probably cost themselves two games by putting him into important situations for at least a month too long.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.