The Seattle Mariners took the day off down in Peoria today giving us fans a moment to stop and savor the hot start the club has made this year. We may very well have witnessed the best part of the Seattle Mariners 2013 season in this past 10 days even though only one game so far has actually been televised. Right now the Mariners are leading the Major Leagues in both OPS and slugging percentage coming off of eight straight multi-home run games. It seems that everybody is hitting the ball including Carlos Peguero, Casper Wells, Kyle Seager, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Bay and on and on.
As much as I would like to think that somehow the baseball Gods are paying us back for all the miserable seasons of the last 10 years, and that aging veterans and promising rookies alike have all suddenly found the magic potion and we will continue to score runs and hit home runs and beat teams for the next five months, something inside me is cautioning me to be more cautious. I actually attribute a lot of this early going success to the fierce competition in camp this year forcing players to come out of the gate charging hard as they try to make the 25-man roster. Not that that is a bad thing and it is refreshing after watching the last three spring trainings where it appeared that neither the veterans nor the young players were really major leaguers. Our farm system has finally produced some quality players and Jack Z. did a good job in finding enough hungry veterans to throw into the mix to create this sort of phenomena.
Unfortunately the Mariners have been so bad for the past three years offensively that even if they win 20 games in a row down in the desert it still feels like some sort of mirage. I hope I am wrong, and I don’t even need to be one of those smarty-pants writers in the Mariners Blogosphere that have already predicted exactly who will and won’t make the club. I remember the howl that went up in cyberspace locally when Mike Sweeney had a big spring in 2011 and made the club. I would love to see somebody like Carlos Peguero, Jason Bay or even Carlos Triunfel somehow beat the odds and through their own achievements in Peoria make the club and head north to Seattle when the Mariners break camp. At this point I am just enjoying the fast start that we are having this year and am glad that manager Eric Wedge at least has some tools to work with this year as he tries to put together a winning combination of players to represent our city in the campaign ahead.
The next two weeks should be interesting as the field is narrowed out and the veterans get more time on the field including the debut of Felix Hernandez on the mound this Thursday. In the meantime we have the World Baseball Classic (WBC) getting underway with the team USA making its debut Friday. I have watched a few games so far and they are both odd and exciting especially teams like Cuba and Japan. All we need now here in the Northwest is a few wing weeks of sun and the reality of spring will really be here. In the meantime let’s just enjoy this twilight zone experience of watching the Mariners win games and hit home runs. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
The Seattle Mariners called-up Mike Carp from AAA after today’s miserable 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers sending free-swinging Carlos Peguero down in another attempt to augment their AWOL offense. Carp who was hitting .341 with 21 hrs. and 64 RBI’s with Tacoma apparently will get more playing time in his latest attempt to find a home with the struggling Mariners who after a day off will resume play in Toronto on Tuesday. As for big Carlos Peguero he obviously needs more work on his plate discipline and will hopefully figure a few things out in Tacoma that will enable him to utilize his tremendous power when and if he makes it back to the Majors. While this move was inevitable and can’t hurt at this point, I hope the great wizard Jack Z. has more magic than this even it means bringing our old friend Ryan Langerhans up now that he is htting .343 with 23 dingers. Something has to give or we will indeed lose a hundred games while setting another round of records for offensive futility this year.
Today’s move comes on the heels of another disappointing game in front of 30,335 quiet fans on a gloomy July day in Seattle. The Mariners ended-up getting swept by the Rangers losing their ninth game in a row despite a decent outing by Blake Beavan. Outside of the three-run homer Beavan surrendered to Mitch Moreland the strapping young rookie looked pretty good today. Of course the Mariners bats remained dormant this afternoon, the only run coming on an RBI single off the bat of Jack Wilson getting a rare start at short today.Other than that it was business as usual as our boys continued to refine their ability to dribble grounders to short and just generally look and act anemic.
Watching this club over the past couple of weeks reminds me of a bunch of suburban husbands at Cosco pushing around the basket as their wives direct them through life. And just as the Cosco drones have that dazed and lost look in their eyes as they try maintain their masculinity, the Mariners players appear to have zero zest for life or the inclination to try anything new. Of course the gloomy weather and silly fans at Safeco more concerned with rally fries and bobbleheads only add to the overall malaise that has taken over Mariners Nation.
And as much as I admire the fighting spirit that Eric Wedge has, I regret to inform my readers that after today’s loss I shaved off my Eric Wedge mustache that I sported so proudly around town for a couple months. It feels good to be free of the stigma of being a die-hard Mariners fan and I fit in much better at Cosco with the other drones as I try to lose my desire to hope or dream for anything more than a team that manages to stay ahead of the Oakland A’s and not lose 100 games again this year .Oh how I miss my rough-n-tumble days as a young Merchant Mariner living a life full of adventure, perhaps this years team will finally domesticate me….Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
The Seattle Mariners wore their old 1984 vintage uniforms tonight against the visiting San Diego Padres including the old-school stirrups taking me and 23,616 back on a little trip in time to the old Kingdome era. Jason Vargas however kept the fans in the present moment with his dazzling performance going the whole way without allowing a Padre past first base in a vintage performance by the southpaw. Vargas got the support of his fellow time travelers tonight who gave Vargas an early lead then played add-on before settling for six runs on nine hits tonight.
The atmosphere was fun and festive at the Safe tonight for me and my buddies who decided to run down and catch this game at the last minute on a beautiful night here in Seattle. This win allows the Mariners to keep pace with the Rangers who won today, as well as pick-up a game on the Angels who lost. It was nice to see Carlos Peguero pick-up a couple RBI’s tonight on a line shot up the middle in the third, I love to watch him swing the bat and am rooting for him to stay with the club.
Jack Cust also had a couple RBI’s tonight one on a walk the other on a double to add to his case for hanging around as well. Even Chone Figgins manged to get a hit and steal a base tonight along with making a couple nice grabs at third. I’m glad to see Eric Wedge finally putting Figgins in the #9 hole where he can act as sort of a sparkplug at the bottom of the order and help roll things over into the top of the lineup.
This was the first game of the second half of the 2011 season and it felt good to be out at the ballpark tonight talking baseball with a couple other fans including Scott the other writer for this Mariners Blog. Hopefully we can take this series from the Padres before heading down to California to play the A’s and Angels in a road trip that may very well tell whether we will be buyers or sellers at the trading deadline.
For the record as much as I want to improve this club in order to stay in contention this year, the concept of trading Michael Pineda or any of our starters for that matter seems absurd to me no matter what Geoff Baker and the USS Mariners say. Pitching is our strong point and any upgrade on offense for us should come from packaging some of our prospects to another club for a solid bat. I hope everyone has a safe and sane July 4th weekend and makes it down to the Safe to enjoy what feels like the beginning of that most magical time of they year “Summer in Seattle” Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Today is June 17th and the Seattle Mariners are a half game out of first in the AL West with the powerful Philadelphia Phillies coming to town for a weekend series that could be the turning point for this season. Somewhere back in April I remember thinking about this series wondering if we would get to see Cliff Lee pitch and maybe catch a glimpse of Ryan Howard taking a few big hacks.But mostly I was dreading the thought of this media darling coming to town as we were floundering in the cellar of our little four team division and being forced to sit next to a bunch of loud Phillies fans with their bright red caps and East Coast accents right here in Mayberry with skyscrapers.
But somehow we find ourselves in an entirely different situation as Eric Wedge and his crew prepare themselves for a crucial series. If by chance we get swept by the new “Big Red Machine” most of the pundits both locally and on the National scene will be quick to dismiss our clubs surprising start as a fluke and deserving of the second tier status that us odd Northwest types almost seem to relish.
But then again maybe King Neptune along with the spirit of Dave Niehaus will continue to be on our side like they were Wednesday night when Carlos Peguero drove-in a pair of runs on a routine grounder that managed to bounce off second base enabling our boys to salvage the final game of the Angels series. This has been a fun season thus far and somehow I have a hunch that we may not have seen the best part yet.
It is funny to listen to folks around Seattle talk about the the Mariners these days as most are not really paying much attention or waiting for the other shoe to drop so they can resume the trademark passive-aggressive Seattle whining. But ready or not the Phillies are coming, and with the addition of Dustin Ackley to go along with our scrappy bunch of forgotten veterans and hungry youngsters I dare say that the Phillies may be in for a bit of a surprise this weekend. As a matter of fact I predict we will win this series and find ourselves in the limelight when we take over the lead in the AL West from the struggling Texas Rangers. The barometer is going to start rising this weekend with the summer solstice right around the corner and there is nothing like a pennant race to bring a city together, especially one as sleepy and hungry for a a winner as ours. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
When was the last time you saw a 6’5” 247 lb guy hit for power, run like the wind and play the game with the enthusiasm and joy of boy? If you said last night at Comerica Park in Detroit you are correct. Carlos Peguero ripped a triple in the fifth inning and followed that feat with a solo homer off the end of his bat in the seventh to carry the Mariners to 3-2 victory over the resurgent Detroit Tigers. Peguero got the start tonight in right as manger Eric Wedge used his prerogative as manger to sit Ichiro for a game to try and sort things out.
And one more time Wedge proved why he is the front-runner in my book for AL manager of the year as he continues to play his hunches and get the maximum production from a team that nobody figured would find themselves 2 1/2 games out of first on June 1oth. Wedge also gave Chone Figgins a shot at the top of the lineup while Ichiro sat out and Figgins responded with a couple of base knocks including a double in the first signs of life we have seen from him in a long time. In addition our skipper decided to give the ball to Chris Ray in the sixth inning after he pulled starter Erik Bedard and Ray pitched a pair of scoreless frames once again validating the wisdom of Eric Wedge.
If there is one word the fans in Mariners Nation should have for the skippers decision making capacity, that word is : confidence. Wedge seems to be pulling all the right strings and along with Brandon Ryan I have begun growing an Eric Wedge mustache in honor of our cavalier leader. Baseball is fun this year as our scrappy sailors continue to defy the odds and stay in the AL West race. And even though Texas won tonight our boys managed to open the gap a little farther between themselves and the Angels with tonight’s win in Motown.
If the Mariners can manage to win one more game in this four game series with the powerful Bengals this trip will be a success in my book. I want to let everyone know I will be off to Buenos Aires next week and Scott will be getting his first shot as the manager of this fan-based Blog. While Scott may not be Carlos Peguero, he can write a mean post and I’m sure you all will enjoy his scrappy style while I’m in South America. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Some of you may have read about the big night that 40-year-old Jason Giambi had last night when he slammed three homers and knocked-in 7 runs to help his team the Rockies beat the Phillies 7-1. The Former AL MVP Giambi was mired in a 3-26 slump to start off the year before breaking-out with this huge night at the plate. Giambi became the second-oldest player behind Stan Musial to hit three homers in a game and was able to single-handedly carry his club to an upset victory over the first-place Phillies.
This outburst by Giambi could not be predicted by any sort of advanced metrics theory, and just goes to show that at the Major League level anyone can get hot for a game, or a week right out of the blue. This sort of phenomenon must irk the stat-geeks who fall in love with their imagined ability to predict the future based on past performances disregarding things like emotion, getting into the zone, and sometimes just plain luck.
Now of course Jason Giambi even at age 40 has a lot of talent as he has proven over the years, but he exploded last night at just about the point in the season that last year Ken Griffey Jr. finally quit the game. And while I prefer to not go over the Griffey debacle again, I would propose that any number of guys on the Mariners roster today are quite capable of getting hot. Maybe not with 3 dingers like Giambi, but all we really need is for a couple guys to have a few 3-4 nights and this team could stay in the race.
My favorites to get hot this week are Carlos Peguero, Franklin Gutierrez and Chone Figgins, with Jack Cust being another guy ready to explode. I have no sabermetrics data to back-up this hunch, but rather am relying on a gut feeling. We are overdue for somebody to start clicking, maybe even a couple of guys, in order to help out our pitching staff who can’t be expected to carry this team forever. I cannot remember the last player to go 4-4 with a couple of homers on this squad, but that does not mean it’s not going to happen tonight. Could it be Ichiro’s turn? Or maybe Chris Gimenez? Only King Neptune knows for sure, but after the sun-aided victory yesterday on a rare beautiful day here I have a hunch that is not a matter of if a Mariners player is going to get hot, but who….Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com