Game 162, Tigers at Mariners

marc w · October 5, 2022 at 1:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Marco Gonzales vs. Tyler Alexander, 1:10pm

For the first time in the decade-plus I’ve been doing this, the Game 162 post isn’t about how the team fell short, or ran out of time, or never got going. The regular season is over, but we’re…not..done? What is this? As with yesterday’s double header, we’ll probably see some non-traditional arrangements out there, and maybe another position player pitching, as we saw with Game 1 winner, Luis Torrens. Normally, that would be annoying, but right now, in this context, it’s just good management.

I wasn’t sure about the hire of Jerry Dipoto’s personal friend with no MLB management experience as M’s manager. I’m not sure Scott Servais was 100% ready, and I think Servais himself would’ve agreed with that. But for this team to go from 10-games under to where they are now, Scott Servais has grown in the job. Judging managers is hard, but however you want to do it, Servais grades out well, and this season has been his masterpiece. From his managing of the bullpen and the inherent volatility involved to his facilitating a club culture that helped them overcome an awful May and pull together to hold off the Orioles, he’s been a true asset. I’m not sure what he does day in and day out, but from our vantage point as fans, whatever he’s doing sure looks like leadership.

The M’s face 28-year old lefthander Tyler Alexander in the regular season finale. Alexander is something of a throwback, a kind of pitcher we don’t really see much anymore: the old school left-handed control guy. He throws 90, has a strikeout rate in the 3rd percentile and a swing-and-miss rate in the 1st percentile. Making guys miss is simply not his game. Instead, he’ll just try to direct your contact at fielders – it’s hard to do in this day and age, and it’s why we don’t see as many pitchers of this type. On the plus side, he doesn’t walk very many hitters. MLB is always trying to tweak the rules to create more balls in play, more action. Well, here you go. You want that? It looks like Tyler Alexander, LHP for Detroit, with a FIP of 4.78. Are we happy with that? I suppose I’d have to say that as a Mariner fan, yes, this looks good.

Like seemingly every pitcher on the Tigers, Alexander has had a real issue with home runs. You can’t throw 89-90 MPH rising fastballs, put up a sub-40% grounder rate and NOT have an issue with home runs. He’s been used in relief as well as a starter over the past four seasons, and as you’d expect, his K rate drops the more he starts. He throws a cutter, a four-seamer, a sinker, a change-up and a slider, with the four-seamer probably the best of the bunch. His change looks OK, but it’s been a quiet disaster this year, as it’s put in play more than any other pitch type. No, it’s not his big HR-issue pitch, but you can’t have a pitch that batters hit well over .300 against AND have other, separate, problems with HRs on your other pitches.

The big news today is that Jesse Winker has been IL’d with a neck/upper back problem. The M’s are losing OFs, and after Jarred Kelenic’s HBP yesterday, he’ll get a day off to recover. Taylor Trammell is back, and he’ll be in LF today. I really do wonder how much injuries played a role in Winker’s down year. It’s good to see Julio back in CF, and I’m glad Cal Raleigh’s getting some extra rest to allow his thumb to be 100% for the playoffs. Because the M’s are going to the playoffs.

The first game in Toronto will be at 1:07pm this Friday, withe Game 2 starting at the same time on Saturday. Game 3 will be Sunday morning, 11:07am.

1: Julioooooo, CF
2: France, 1B
3: Haniger, RF
4: Santana, DH
5: Torrens, 2B
6: Trammell, LF
7: Toro, 3B
8: Casali, C
9: Crawford, SS
SP: Marcooooo


4 Responses to “Game 162, Tigers at Mariners”

  1. Goob on October 5th, 2022 3:24 pm

    “Because the M’s are going to the playoffs.”

    I think I’ve been commenting here since at least 2003 or 2004 and this is the first time we’ve had the playoffs to look forward to.

    Feels freaking good, man! Thanks for keeping USSM alive and well all these years, Marc.

  2. nwade on October 5th, 2022 9:39 pm

    Definitely want to add my voice in with Goob’s and thank you for sharing your thoughts, insights, and efforts!

  3. Westside guy on October 6th, 2022 12:09 am


  4. LongDistance on October 6th, 2022 11:43 am

    Playoffs …

    I’ve forgotten how this feels.

    Go M’s !!!!!!!

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