The Mariners have now lost three games in a row to the Anaheim Angels, and in each game, for good reason, the Mariners appeared to actually outplay the Angels for a stretch of the game. Today though, like a couple recent games, we saw Hector Noesi pitch a very good game, only to receive a loss.
Noesi had a very different good game today though, as he struck out none, and gave up two homeruns. Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo are big powerful dudes. Trumbo is an absolute monster. In his hands a bat looks like a toothpick and the way he hit the ball off the upper deck in left field made Albert Pujols look like David Bell.
I do like how Noesi approaches lefties though, as he throws a lot of backdoor two-seam fastballs to the top of the strike zone. He tried to go outside on Morales a couple of times but to no avail, as Morales pretty thoroughly dominated Noesi today.
I hate to sound like the pompous asshole that says “I’m not surprised with what Kyle Seager is doing,” but short of his power I’m really unsurprised with him. He hit well in college and plays good defense. If the power sticks he sticks at third, or even second considering the mix of prospects in the system. If it doesn’t he’s got a spot as a utility player. Today though, he dodged a spinning Mike Trout bat while fielding a groundball, turned his whole body around and threw Trout out at first base. Trout is no easy guy to throw at in any context, but considering the kind of adversity Seager faced before even fielding the ball, it was a hell of a play.
Later Brendan Ryan would make a play on ball up the middle, turning about 270 degrees before unleashing a perfect throw to Justin Smoak. Brendan Ryan is a bad hitter, but an amazing fielder. Ryan has made only one error this season, and 25 out-of-zone plays. He leads the league with a 32.3 UZR/150. Just silly.
Eric Wedge doesn’t realize how bad a hitter Ryan is though, apparently. In the bottom of the 3rd inning he put the hit and run on with Ryan at the plate and Miguel Olivo on first base with one out. If there were two outs sending Olivo is a no-brainer. That’s baseball 101. But a hit and run with Ryan at the plate is a strange move. Ryan is amid his highest strikeout-rate season, and he’s whiffing a full percent higher than league average. The small amount of skill Ryan has at the plate is dwindling, putting him in a situation where he is forced to swing hardly seems like a good idea. Needless to say, the strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play was not a surprise.
And Chone Figgins was in the two-hole. Get Chone Figgins out of your two-hole Eric Wedge or I’ll continue with these vague-double entendres!