Game 149, Mariners at Athletics

marc w · September 22, 2022 at 12:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

George Kirby vs. Adrian Martinez, 12:37pm

Hmm. With the Jays and Rays both losing yesterday, another dispiriting M’s loss wasn’t all that harmful, but it is not fun to watch this team attempt to bat right now. I mean, that’s the nature of a losing streak and all, but we can’t deny the aesthetic aspect of this current skid. The M’s are almost certainly a playoff team, but they sure as hell don’t *look* like one right now, at least at the plate.

That’s the frustrating thing about games like last night’s, when the starting pitching and much of the relief work was excellent. Erik Swanson wasn’t sharp, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him. Jesse Winker’s key error allowed a big run to score and set the stage for the hapless A’s to score two runs, which were all they needed. It’s not a shock to see Jarred Kelenic starting today in Winker’s place. Winker DHs, so the offense in a tailspin gets to put both guys in the starting line up – one with a SLG% of .339, the other with a SLG% of .265 on the year (.329 lifetime). These are your starting LF and DH. C’mon, George Kirby.

There’s been a lot of discussion about the possible playoff series and how the M’s rotation might be set up. Despite the hiccup in this series, you have to figure Luis Castillo is your Game 1 starter. After that, it’s a bit hazy. By career body of work, Robbie Ray is the #2. But…how confident would a manager be to sit one of Kirby or Logan Gilbert right now? Both have outpitched Ray in recent weeks and have better seasonal lines. But both are righties.

Joe Sheehan noted that this is where the match-ups matter. If the M’s faced the Jays in the 4-5 series, Sheehan said that against Toronto, it’d be Castillo/Gilbert/Kirby, adding that he would try to ensure the Jays never face a lefty. I’d point out that Cleveland (whom the M’s would play if they get the 3rd wild card) is *awful* against lefties, so Ray would definitely be in my top 3. The problem with either scenario is that it’s highly likely they’d need to face Houston eventually, and Houston smashes lefty pitching, and their pitching is dominating everyone right now. The M’s run has been so much fun, and I’m excited for the playoff drought to be over, but holy hell, Houston remains an absolute beast of a team even after losing so many of the players who led their 2017-2020 run. The M’s are still trying to reel in Houston, and as much as they’ve improved, Houston feels like they’ve (somehow) maintained that gap. It’s frustrating to ME, I can’t imagine what the front office and manager feel.

1: Juliooooo, CF
2: Haniger, RF
3: Santana, 1B
4: France, 3B (!)
5: Raleigh, C
6: Kelenic, LF
7: Winker, DH
8: Moore, SS
9: Frazier, 2B
SP: Kirby

Whoa, a France-at-Third sighting.

Really well done Emma Baccellieri story in Sports Illustrated on how the minor league unionization drive played out, featuring a role for ex-R’s and, briefly, M’s catcher Joe Hudson. Give it a read.

Adrian Martinez is a 25-year old righty who, like James Kaprielian, has been beset by a ton of hard contact and not enough strikeouts to compensate. That seemed not to matter one whit last night, so we’ll see if Martinez is able to pitch around some line drives right at outfielders and the like. He throws a sinker at 94, a change-up that’s his top secondary, and a slider. The change-up is easily the best, and it looks like a really good, diving pitch. That’s good, because nothing else is really working. He’s got an ERA over 5.7 and a FIP near 6, which can’t be THAT big of a surprise, considering his AAA ERA was…over 5.7, and his FIP was over 6. On a rate basis, his fastball has been one of the worst in the game, with 9 HRs allowed in just 9 games – batters are slugging .674 against it. Here’s a get-right game for the M’s struggling LF/DH pair.


One Response to “Game 149, Mariners at Athletics”

  1. Stevemotivateir on September 22nd, 2022 8:19 pm

    Great return for Kelenic, not so great outing for Kirby, and a potentially disastrous situation with Julio’s back locking up.

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