== And Willie Bloomquist pinch hits for him. And the other DH is David Ortiz. ==
Yes, Endy Chavez started the game as the DH before he was pinch-hit-for by Willie Bloomquist.
That was the bat-first platoon: Mr. .670 Career OPS and Mr. .665 Career OPS.
Both with over 3,000 plate appearances! NOT “small sample size” alert!
[As an aside, you may have noticed I never use the term “small sample size” because I don’t think it’s the right term for small amounts of baseball data. Just me.]
[But I don’t get all weird about it.]
[Unless I just did.]
I’ve been noting, by the way, that this inverse offense is solid at 2b, SS (of late), C (of late) and 3b, but needs help at RF, LF, 1b (until the last few games) and DH.
In other words, the hard part is done.
Home runs by Brad Miller, Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager Wednesday reinforce the concept.
The reinforcements are needed at the “easy” positions to fill.
Logan Morrison seems to be providing one dose of reinforcement (single and walk Wednesday), and down at Tacoma is “rehabbers row”: Corey Hart, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak. Apparently Saunders will be the first to return, with Hart needed more time to “regain his timing.”
Smoak can also return soon, but may not have a regular job.
Pencil in Saunders in the OF upon return, but with neither Morrison nor Hart looking OF-worthy, it doesn’t seem possible to keep those two plus Smoak and Jesus Montero all on the roster.
So not only is more offense needed, it’s almost necessary to make a trade for an outfielder just to resolve the looming roster logjam. There’s no point in keeping Smoak idling in AAA, and Montero and Nick Franklin need to get some breathing room, too.
And having multiple of those guys in Tacoma with Chavez, Cole Gillespie and Stefen Romero providing minimal help in Seattle, just because they’re outfielders, doesn’t add up.
For the second straight game, Hisashi Iwakuma‘s famed splitter/shuuto was not making its patented dive.
Here’s Iwakuma’s career chart compared to Wednesday’s chart:
Kuma’s low-90s stuff doesn’t really fool good hitters (file under: Ortiz, David) without that uncertainty as to whether they’re getting the diving shuuto or the straight fastball.
Meanwhile, Brandon Maurer — maybe because he was pitching in relief, or maybe because he figured some things out, or maybe because he was just “on” — put up a sterling line: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K.
His “slider” (per Pitch f/x, though I think it’s actually his cutter since it is 90+ mph and doesn’t have much vertical break) was particularly effective — thrown 10 times for 9 strikes and 5 swinging strikes.
It was this “third pitch” (doesn’t matter what it’s called) that wasn’t working as a starter, because it was too close in velocity and movement to the fastball, and hitters had it “timed” by the third time through.
But his fastball velocity went up as a reliever as well (100.1! on one pitch, says Brooks), and the “slider”/”cutter” was getting enough gloveside break to keep the hitters guessing.
A good show!
- Baseball-reference.com boxscore here.
- Mariners affiliates scoreboard here.
- Tacoma was off.
- Jackson lost despite Stephen Landazuri putting up 5.0 scoreless innings (only 1 K though). Dario Pizzano got his 8th homer of the year (5th at AA).
- Dylan Unsworth had another rough outing for High Desert despite 8 K in 5.0 IP (his other “crazy eights” were not so good: 8 H, 8 ER). Travis Witherspoon homered (his 7th).
- Low-A Clinton went to the 12th before falling to Quad Cities. Paul Fry took the loss despite ringing up 7 K in 4.0 IP (3 H, 1 ER).
- Everett lost as well despite three hits (double, 2 singles) from 2013 draftee Kyle Petty.
- The Arizona rookies gave up 16 runs to their “complex rivals,” the Padre rookies. The guy Gordon Gross wanted to draft — Michael Gettys — had a triple, a single and three walks for the rookie Pods. Six of the runs came off 11th-round pick Jay Muhammad, who is proving to be raw indeed in his initial outings. But converted infielder Ramon Morla went 1.2 IP with no runs.