Mariners Noon Number: Dan Altavilla has bad matchup against Rangers
Dan Altavilla allowed three home runs in one inning, bringing his total for the season to seven in just 25 innings, in the Seattle Mariners 10-4 loss to the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
All told, Altavilla gave up five runs in the sixth inning, immediately following the M’s getting back in the game on Mike Zunino’s three-run blast in the top of the frame to draw within one run.
It was a spectacularly bad inning at a spectacularly bad time.
Altavilla entered play with a 4.50 ERA this season. It jumped noticeably up to 5.76 afterward, the burden of short relievers. He hadn’t allowed a run in his previous four appearances and only one run in his last seven, seemingly turning a corner.
But on Saturday he had no movement on his slider and his fastball, which has little movement anyway, was completely flat. Without even a hint of deception or pinpoint control, big leaguers are going to catch up to 98 – which they did, punishing Altavilla at every turn.
Altavilla threw 31 pitches, 20 for strikes. That’s a bit misleading. Of those 20 strikes, only three were swings and misses: a slider to Joey Gallo (hitting .197), a four-seam fastball down in the zone to Elvis Andrus, and a slider in the same exact spot to get Andrus swinging. And he only got three called strikes.
Everything else was contact. Four hits, a hit by pitch, two outs and seven foul balls – several hard hit.
Maybe it’s just a bad outing against a team that likes to slug. Maybe it was a bad matchup for a guy who has a flat fastball. Either way, it was hard to watch and detrimental to a team trying to over around .500 until the injured reinforcements get back into the lineup.