Game 106, Mariners at Rangers

marc w · August 1, 2021 at 10:46 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Mike Foltynewicz, 11:35am

A rough game last night, as the M’s lost on a walk-off served up by their new closer, Diego Castillo. Castillo should be fine, and you can’t judge a new acquisition after a game or two, no matter how much Jerry Dipoto urges you to do so for Abraham Toro.

The M’s playoff odds stand now at 2.4%, a product of the A’s improving their team’s bullpen and line-up and, you know, losing some games. The M’s have finally surpassed the odds for the Angels, which is kind of funny, but also something of an indictment of the odds themselves. They’re a fantastic team, but were far enough behind that they sold off starting pitcher Andrew Heaney in a trade with the Yankees. That was expected or perhaps even wise to people watching the AL West, but the odds couldn’t shake their preconception that the Angels were not just better than the M’s, but loads better – enough to make up 4-5 games in a heartbeat. Ah well.

So what does success look like for this team? They need Marco Gonzales to look like himself again, and I’d think they need to identify another starter for 2022. That could be Justus Sheffield making a solid return, or Justin Dunn. It could be a lot of things, but the M’s need to get to their 1,400 innings for the year without further injuries, and that’s a tough job. With pitcher workloads dramatically reduced last year, asking anyone to go 150-180 IP (with the exception of Chris Flexen, who did so in Korea) is…a lot. Spreading innings to Darren McCaughan, the pitchers coming off the IL, Gilbert, etc. is going to be critical, but they have to do so in a way that protects pitchers’ health. More bullpen games or shorter starts? A return of the six-man rotation? Not sure how exactly they’ll get this done, but they need to get it done.

Last year, both Evan White and JP Crawford finished the year strong, and while it didn’t have a lot to do with how they opened up 2021, I’d like to see something similar from the young guys this year. No matter their record, the M’s need to get serious contributions from their young prospects – that’s Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell when he returns, and Cal Raleigh. Kelenic took a step in the right direction with a bomb in last night’s game, and today they’re going up against Mike Foltynewicz, the starter having a dreadful year for perhaps the game’s worst team at the moment. Folty has served up 2 of Crawford’s 5 HRs on the year, and leads the Majors with a stunning 31 yielded already this season. Only his teammate Jordan Lyles is within 8 of Folty. So, this is a favorable match-up in a park that isn’t as weirdly suppressive of BABIP. The youngsters need to take advantage.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, DH
3: Seager, 3B
4: France, 1B
5: Toro, 2B
6: Kelenic, CF
7: Raleigh, C
8: Bauers, RF
9: Moore, LF
SP: Gonzales

The Mets look like they will not sign Kumar Rocker, the one-time favorite for first-overall-pick in this year’s draft. The Mets are obviously scared about something in his medicals, but most teams assumed there was *something* there, and if they were that scared about it, I’m not sure why they picked him where they did. Worse, they had no contingency plans – potential overslot picks in the 11th-20th rounds to buy preps out of commitments to college teams. As it is, they just get a comp pick at #11 next year with much less leverage than they have now (because they can’t roll it over *again* if they fail to sign their first rounder). Odd situation. I get it from Rocker’s point of view, but it’s still a rough road for him if he needs TJ. He’ll have to do the rehab himself and can’t show off for scouts by playing for Vanderbilt. As one of the biggest amateur pitching prospects in years, he’ll still draw plenty of suitors, but he’s betting on himself and taking a bit of a risk. The Mets are, reliably, Metsing.

The Angels’ top pitching prospect, Reid Detmers, makes his big league debut against A’s prospect Daulton Jefferies, who’ll be making his season debut (he pitched 2 big league IP in late 2020). Detmers, the 10th overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Louisville, shot through the system, striking out 106 in 60 IP, mostly at AA. He was an extreme fly-ball guy in the minors, and thus home runs were his only real weakness. Interesting time for the Angels, as they look to the future; we can probably expect to see Jo Adell back soon. The one-time overall #1 prospect (or close to it) had an Evan-White-esque intro to the majors last year, and has spent 2021 in Salt Lake contending for the AAA HR crown (Taylor Motter’s leading the league right now…which is odd). Still, his strikeout rate remains troubling.

Tacoma beat up on Las Vegas 10-1 behind a great start from Robert Dugger in a tough pitching environment. Jose Marmolejos and Luis Liberato homered. No word on the starters tonight.

It’s former-M’s-propsect day in AA, as Arkansas (behind Tyler Herb) faces Springfield (and Tyler Pike). Pike was drafted in the competitive balance round in 2012, while Herb was a late-round steal in 2014 out of Coastal Carolina.

Everett got two homers from Cade Marlowe to help beat Eugene 5-4 last night. Marlowe overwhelmed lo-A pitching, and has found high-A a bit tougher, but is still holding his own. Hopefully he can have a strong finish for the Frogs, capping off an eye-opening year. Taylor Dollard starts for Everett today. The 22-year-old has 87 Ks in 68 IP, but also 72 hits, the product of a .356 BABIP. We’ll see if that regresses back towards average for him.

Rancho Cucamonga won a back-and-forth game against Modesto last nigh, 8-6.


One Response to “Game 106, Mariners at Rangers”

  1. Stevemotivateir on August 2nd, 2021 6:50 pm

    Seattle blew two games in Texas, head to Tampa and steamroll the Rays.


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