Game 38, Mariners at Blue Jays

marc w · May 18, 2022 at 3:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Kevin Gausman, 4:05pm

Well. I thought that choosing between Steven Souza and Dylan Moore was a problem without a solution, and that Souza’s minute advantage vs. LHPs made it an understandable hold-your-nose-and-choose sort of a move. Then, the game absolutely turned on two plays in the 2nd inning. In the top, Souza grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, ending an early threat. In the bottom, he broke a bit late on a flare to right, dove, missed, turning it into a bases-clearing triple. Two bases loaded situations, both involving Souza, and the M’s lost 3-0 despite a brilliant game by Logan Gilbert. That’s the high quality of analysis you depend on here at USSM.

The other frustrating thing about the game is that it highlighted just why things aren’t going the M’s way. They were facing a pitcher with big platoon splits, and needed good lefties in the line-up. JP Crawford is a good lefty, but he’s also incredibly streaky – like, Raul Ibanez streaky. As hot as he was in April, he’s cooled off dramatically since. It’s fine; he’s a great player, and his season line would still be a career high. But you…notice that he’s in one of *those* zones right now, and thus the M’s aren’t able to really take advantage. What about Jesse Winker? Yeah, I think we all wanted a bit more from Winker, and it’s possible he’s going to be one of those guys whose value gets nuked by the deadened ball, but I also have to think he’ll get hot at some point. But the real vacancy, the real glaring hole last night was Jarred Kelenic. His demotion is what set the stage for the Sophie’s Choice Servais had to make. His struggles leave a team that just isn’t quite ready to play up to their potential.

Kelenic played for Tacoma today, and in a weird Monkey’s Paw sort of scene, was sandwiched by Kyle Lewis and Evan White in the batting order. The Rainiers were shut out in Sacramento, and the rehabbing trio went a combined 0-8. Kelenic had 3 Ks in his 0-4. Evan White went 6 innings, going 0-2 in that time; they’re still taking it easy with him, and this was his first game since his sports hernia surgery.

It’s easy to forget just how lost Robbie Ray looked before his move to Toronto in 2020. He was terrible in that Covid-shortened season, playing his way out of Arizona with an ERA near 8 and -0.5 fWAR. But the Jays unlocked something, and Ray won the Cy Young the next season. How would they replace him? Apparently, with another turnaround story. Ok, Kevin Gausman’s turnaround actually happened in San Francisco, but I was worried that whatever he learned wouldn’t stick, especially in a park that rewards elevated contact as richly as the Rogers Centre. One of the drawbacks Gausman had going back to his early years in Baltimore was HR issues, and even though he had solid control, he was more hittable than you’d want in an ace.

Well, that was wrong. Gausman’s splitter remains every bit the unhittable monster it became in SF, and while he’s still a bit hittable, he’s turned his good control into elite control, with a K:BB ratio this year of 54:2. Oh, and the HR thing? He doesn’t do that anymore. He’s pitched 45 IP thus far and still hasn’t yielded one. Nate Eovaldi gave up 5 in an *inning* yesterday to Houston, but Gausman, even in Toronto, is still at 0 for the year. Because his best pitch is that insane split, Gausman has run reverse splits for his career, and lefties have a sub-.200 wOBA against him this year. Let’s go Ty France! I love that France continues to rack up hits, but have to point out that he’s slugging .317 in May, so he’s going to need help. Let’s see if Julio can get Gausman off the dinger schneid today.

1: Frazier, RF (!)
2: France, 1B
3: Crawford, SS
4: Winker, LF
5: Suarez, 3B
6: Rodriguez, RF
7: Toro, 2B
8: Ford, DH
9: Raleigh, C
SP: Gonzales

As mentioned before, Tacoma lost 5-0 today. Darren McCaughan is off to a rough start, unfortunately. Matt Brash K’d 3 in 2 scoreless, without a walk I might add. They won the first game of the series last night 8-3, beating 6’11” pitching prospect Sean Hjelle in the process.

Arkansas beat NW Arkansas 7-6 as Cade Marlowe hit his second home run. Taylor Dollard starts for Arkansas tonight.

Everett and Hillsboro had an unfortunate Covid cancellation.

Modesto lost 4-3 to Stockton and rehabbing A’s starter Cole Irvin. Edwin Arroyo homered for the Nuts.


2 Responses to “Game 38, Mariners at Blue Jays”

  1. Stevemotivateir on May 18th, 2022 4:07 pm

    Toro, Ford, and Raleigh in the lineup, and they’re facing Gausman.

    This is the kind of game that even a man who doesn’t gamble would place a bet on.

    So, watch Seattle pull off the upset.

  2. Stevemotivateir on May 18th, 2022 7:07 pm

    And there you have it. Toro and Raleigh came up big; Seattle wins it 5-1.

    I owe my cats treats. I would happily give them Blue Jays.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.