August 6, 2020
Again not watching this one live; it's getaway day for the Angels and I had stuff to do this afternoon. But, since we live in the future, I can watch it now and do my notes and observations after the fact. Onward!
- The rosters get pared down from 30 to 28 today. The Mariners optioned out José Marmolejos and Bryan Shaw. Shaw needed to go; as for Marmolejos, I'm not sad to see him go, but by not cutting another reliever the bench is now down to three. This is managerial malfeasance. Not new for Scott Servais and Dipoto, but even more egregious with a 28-man roster instead of the previous norm of 25.
- Taijuan Walker on the mound and Kyle Lewis getting the day off today. Gotta rest him every now and then, I suppose. Roof closed because it's a day game—stupid—but also rain—good.
- Top 1st: F9, F9, 6-3. 10 pitches. Good start! Tai looking sharp.
- Bottom 1st: 3U, HBP, SB, K, 4-3.
Moore batting second again, but really, who else are you gonna put there given the lousy numbers everyone else is putting up? And he steals a base. I'm loving this new attitude on the bases. Steal bases! Run like the wind! Too bad it didn't matter much with Seager striking out.
- Top 2nd: HR, K, 5-3, K.
Shohei Ohtani with a bomb. I guess his elbow injuries don't hurt his swing, huh? Sigh.Really great agility shown (again) by Evan White at first base, a tough throw by Seager to get Upton. Must be really freeing for the infielders to know that so long as a throw gets in the vicinity of first base White is going to catch it.
- Bottom 2nd: K, 6-3, 6-3.
Mariners aren't doing much so far against Bundy, the Angels' starter. He's got a really good curveball going.
- Top 3rd: K, 4-3, 4-3.
Walker is picking up right where he left off last time out, just cruising along not even breaking a sweat.
- Bottom 3rd: 3-1, K, 1B, K2-3.
Mallex shows bunt for his first pitch (takes it); if there was ever a guy that should have bunting as part of his regular everyday arsenal, it's Mallex Smith. Instead he grounds out easily. J.P. Crawford with a nice two-out AB there that ends with a hit, I really like what I'm seeing of him in terms of pitch selection and working counts.
- Top 4th: 1B, BB, BB, 1B, HBP, P5f, SF9, BB, pitching change, FC.
The fishman with a leadoff hit. Frankly, if they can hold him to one base, call that a success.
Walker is really mixing his pitches well, he's got most everyone off-balance. Of course, as soon as I say that he walks Rendon and draws out a coaching visit. Pete Woodworth outfitted like it's the middle of January with the full-face mask. Whatever he said to Walker didn't work, as Tai gives Ohtani an umpire-assisted four-pitch walk to load the bases, hangs one that LaStella smacks for a base hit, and hits Upton with a pitch. This has turned into a nightmare of an inning and Tai's getting the early hook. Wow, that deteriorated quickly.
- Bottom 4th: 3-1, HR, 2B, 1-3, F7.
Down 4-0 it's a whole different feeling when these guy step to the plate, there are so many poor averages there. Still a small sample with only 15 games or so, but it doesn't make for much optimism. Vogelbach with a no-doubter home run, though, puts the M's on the board and is another good sign for Vogey. Long follows with a double that he nearly played into a single by going into second standing up; that was too close a play not to slide. Dee flies out to end the frame; I'm a big Dee Gordon booster, it's a bummer to see him struggle this much.
- Top 5th: 6-3, HBP, F7, 4-3.
Joey Gerber pitching, this is the first time I've seen him. He's got a real herky-jerky motion, looks almost painful.
- Bottom 5th: K, L5, 6-3.
Mallex with a bunt attempt, but it's bad and foul. Takes the next pitch, a big hook, to go down 0-2 and then whiffs through a high tight fastball. Nice sequence from Bundy, irritating for Mal.
- Top 6th: K, 1B/E8, F7, P3f.
New pitcher Guilbeau does his job; not overpowering, but well-located pitches for the most part. Kind of a sloppy error by Mallex in fielding the Goodwin base hit, but it didn't matter in the end.
- Bottom 6th: K, 4-3, P6.
Ouch, Vogelbach just missed another blast. Popped up instead, but what a meatball to hit, and he knew it.
- Top 7th: 2B, 5-3, K, F8.
Altavilla comes in to pitch, and my expectations are low. He meets them by serving up a leadoff double to Fletcher. I wonder if Altavilla is a guy that, because he throws so hard, might be attractive to some team as a trade chip; if he keeps on doing what he's been doing for the M's, any trade value he has now is going to plummet. Sell high. And you know, he might be able to turn into a good reliever, it's just that you can only get so far on throwing 98 MPH if you can't make it follow a course between the mound and the catcher. He needs better control. He strikes out Rendon, but on a borderline pitch that could just as easily have been called ball four. He's thrown a lot of pitches here. He gets Ohtani on a short fly ball, but the pitch was fat; if I thought he knew where the pitch was going I might think it was purposeful, center of the plate just higher than the belt, because Ohtani is like a lot of lefty batters and likes the lower pitch, but I think he just got away with one.
- Bottom 7th: K, K, L7.
Bundy is still in there, he's been super efficient. The M's are helping him by not making him work that hard outside of Crawford and Vogey.
- Top 8th: 2B, P6f K, HR, 5-3.
Nestor Cortes on to pitch. We get to see a lot of the bullpen today, and that's rarely a good thing. Cortes isn't so bad, but he did groove one to Max Stassi and now it's 6-1.
- Bottom 8th: 1B/E4, P4, P6, K.
A game that started well with Walker throwing free and easy now feels completely hopeless. Great to see Mallex leg out an infield hit, though. J.P. pops up and is so mad he slams down and cracks his bat in frustration; he had a pitch to hit. Gotta hand it to Dylan Bundy, he's pitched a hell of a game.
- Top 9th: P4, 4-3, K.
- Bottom 9th: K, 4-6-3, 6-4.
Bundy is still out there, going for the increasingly rare complete game! Good. I mean, it's the worst thing for the M's, the best chance anybody ever has to beat the Angels is to get into their bullpen, but...it's a little late now.
Well, that's a forgettable game there. Not a lot to say about it either during or after. Hopeful signs from Vogelbach, that's about all for the positives. Too much Dylan Bundy, really fine game for him.
The Rockies come in next, and they're playing really well.