Game 83, Mariners at Padres: Independence

marc w · July 4, 2022 at 2:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Sean Manaea, 3:40pm

Happy Independence Day. I am far from home this year, way over in Europe…hence the paucity of game posts and general thoughts on what’s been a very successful stint from the M’s. What was going to be a family trip has been marred by Covid, and thus I almost feel like I’m hiding out here on the Eastern shores of England. It makes this, for me, at least, an exceedingly odd July 4th. I’ve missed so many M’s games due to the time difference, so my news from home consists of the phone notifications upon waking: how the M’s game ended, and a mass shooting update.

I didn’t have to wake up for the shooting notification. You got started early, I guess. I’d mentioned on Twitter the other day that, absent watching the M’s game live, the only option is to follow the narrative. We try to rise above that sort of stuff at USSM, but when you can’t watch the actual games, what else is there? It’s kind of the same for watching the US…I get snippets on the BBC or elsewhere, and it looks unrecognizable, and all too familiar. Narratives can be annoying for what they elide, but most have a basis in truth.

It’s felt this way for a few years now, but in 2022, it’s inescapable: half the country is celebrating something very different from the other half. Sure, I know: most people are just grilling and having fun with family. But to the degree people are reflecting on the actual holiday, people are drawing very different conclusions. It’s weird, and I’m not sure how to change it.

But then, we know exactly how this goes, right? This hot streak lands very differently for those who expected the M’s to contend this year vs. those of us who didn’t. There is a very real divide between something as small and fragile and beautiful as Mariner fans online. So let’s be clear here for a minute. It’s July 4th, after all.

If you’ve ever read any of this…whatever this is, you’re at the party. If you’ve read Dave and DMZ and company, and left when it was mostly left to this weirdo, you’re at the party. If you’ve hate-read this and believe in your heart that Jerry and the M’s are perma-contenders starting now or next year, you’re at the party. If you just want more statcast and pitch movement posts and hate the lack of posts, you are definitely at the party. July 4th is a great holiday because there is no one way to do it; there aren’t hard and fast rules. So today, from a long way away, in quite weird circumstances, and in ominous and angry times, we get to define what we want.

All M’s fans, all baseball fans, all of baseball Twitter, all of analog baseball who listens on radio, or goes to minor league games: you are my people, and you have supported me without knowing it. It is so weird to connect to something like baseball, as beautiful as it is, but it is extra weird to connect to the flawed and perhaps doomed form the Seattle Mariners play. Every one of you so afflicted is awesome, and I wish I could clink a glass with you today. As everything seems to spin apart, as divisions harden day after day, let’s think about how insane and magical it is that something so imperfect can create connections and sustain community. But it can only do so if we all do the work to sustain it.

So, yeah, it’s extra weird being abroad on July 4th, but I am trying to feel the spirit of it here at night on a rundown seaside. I’m gonna catch at least part of the game today, and I’ll be thinking a lot about home. I’m homesick today, even though the big parties were cancelled at home. Mostly, I just miss my dog. But I am very excited to dive back into the nuances of the season and not just the big narratives.

Today, though, it’s Sean Manaea and the Padres. We are perhaps over-familiar with Manaea: FB, CH, SL, in essentially the same percentages as when he broke in back in 2016. He looks consistent, and he really is: his ERA’s bounced around, but he’s figured out how to be himself as the game has changed around him. He had HR trouble in 2016 and 2017, but be fitted from the HR dip in 2018. He was injured for bits of 2019-2020, but while his walk rate is up this year, the second drop in HRs (and the drop in BABIP) has helped him out. I don’t want to say that his success is the result of league-wide trends. He is who he is: successful overall, and more or less so depending on the context. Which means he is remarkably consistent, and I kind of like that.

1: Rodriguez, CF
2: Crawford, SS
3: Suarez, 3B
4: Santana, 1B
5: Raleigh, C
6: Toro, 2B
7: Upton, DH
8: Moore, LF
9: Wilson, RF
SP: Flexen


6 Responses to “Game 83, Mariners at Padres: Independence”

  1. 3cardmonty on July 4th, 2022 8:21 pm

    Happy 4th, Marc.

  2. bookbook on July 4th, 2022 9:19 pm

    I’m sorry COVID is messing with your summer (it has also messed with mine). Wishing you the best fourth, and thanks for USS Mariner.

  3. Stevemotivateir on July 5th, 2022 5:10 pm

    For those who aren’t aware, Cricket has sparked conversations about in-depth strategy equally as long as baseball has (or longer). Marc’s tour of Monty Python sites made me wonder if there’s something baseball minds could take away from cricket minds.

    Good to see Seattle take two critical games in Southern California. They may look like just two games, but they came into today’s game (5 July) 5 games back from a wild card, and a poor showing between SD and Toronto may influence their deadline plans.

    Speaking of deadline plans, Mariner World seems to believe Seattle absolutely has to find a second baseman. I disagree. Moore has an above-average wRC+ and offers solid defense. Sam Haggerty is playing confident and producing against solid pitching.

    The hatred is primarily directed at Adam Frazier, but he’s making solid contact. He’s a victim of BABIP and I would still take his potential over most of the available second base options via trade.

    Seattle could mix things up with Frazier/Moore/Haggerty and even France, with Santana at 1B and Haniger or Lewis DHing. I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t add, I simply think it doesn’t have to be second base.

  4. heyoka on July 6th, 2022 2:20 am

    They really could use a 5th baseman.

  5. bookbook on July 7th, 2022 4:29 pm

    Moore is a valuable utility guy. I think we’ve seen that his production won’t hold up in a larger role. (And we’re just traditionalist enough to think you can’t contribute forever with a sub-200 batting average.)

    Haggerty is interesting. How much he can contribute is worth exploring.

    2b and maybe backup catcher are the areas where upgrades are most likely not to come at the expense of valuable pieces. There may be no one more likely than bounceback Fezier out there

  6. schwingy on July 11th, 2022 8:39 pm

    When Ms were -10, they had the #1 SOS in MLB. I almost pulled the trigger on a post that said going forward they had the. #24 SOS in MLB. At this moment they have the the #4 SOS and going forward they have #22 SOS. They can make a run.

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