Jason Vargas went seven innings today allowing only 5 hits and a walk to go along with 3 runs scored by the Colorado Rockies in a damp afternoon game in Denver. Fortunately for Vargas the Mariners offense scored a season high 10 runs today led by none other than our prospective All-Star Kyle Seager who drove-in 3 runs today including a 2-run homer in the second inning to set the tone for this one.
Seager continues to draw attention with his great start and now with his 26 RBI’s finds himself knocking on the door of the top ten AL RBI leaders to go along with his .292 average. If he keeps this up he may indeed find himself getting to the All-Star game as an invitee which would be nothing short of a miracle.
By the way the picture above was taken by Liz Otis a loyal Mariners fan who lives in the Denver area now and has a great attitude about this team and has been bringing signs to the games to show her support of her home team. I’m happy for her, and rumor is she is already working on a sweep sign for the closer tomorrow!
This game along with the gem the veteran Kevin Millwood pitched last night go a long way to taking the sting out of what has been a long tough road trip that thankfully will be over soon allowing our boys to head back to Safeco Field Monday night to try their luck with the powerhouse Texas Rangers.
Good to see Brendan Ryan get a couple hits today including a triple as we need him to get going offensively this year. I was also glad to see the skipper give Casper “The Ghost Player” Wells a start in left today where Wells played his usual great defense and picked-up a couple hits today including a two-run single in the big sixth inning. Wells deserves a chance at more playing time and today’s performance could help Eric Wedge have more confidence in him out there.
I’m glad I hung around to watch this game today as I missed most of last night’s performance by Millwood but I think I’m going to try to catch a bit of the U-District Street Fair going on this weekend which signals the beginning of our short but wonderful summers here in Seattle. Go M’S! http://jeffsmariner.com
Mike Carp extended his Major League leading hitting streak to 15 games tonight with a pair of home runs including a huge blast in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 5-5 for a minute until Casper Wells hit another solo shot to put the Mariners up for good in this 6-5 thriller. While the atmosphere was somewhat subdued tonight after the invasion of the Red Sox Bandwagon fans over the weekend, there were still several thousand Blue Jays fans down at the Safe tonight. However unlike the Red Sox losers, the Canadian fans were much more polite as they got to watch their club go down under the same sort of offensive barrage that the young Mariners unleashed over the weekend.
The Mariners starter Michael Pineda did not have his best stuff tonight as he allowed three homers himself before being lifted after five innings. But unlike the earlier part of the season when the Mariners were relying on the pitching staff to win games our boys battled back all night in what was perhaps a glimpse of the future that Jack Zduriencik has been promising us for three years. And with new guys like Mike Carp, Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson up here making an impact with their bats we may just be on to something. Robinson by the way had three hits of his own tonight and his RBI double in the third was the key hit in that inning.
It was really nice to watch this game with my old friend Mike from High School who I played ball with back on Vashon Island in the 70′s. Both of us have been lifelong Baseball fans and it was refreshing to be able to actually have someone sitting next to me who understood the nuances of the game. And this was one heck of a back-n-forth affair that featured a total of six home runs and some excellent relief pitching by Dan Cortes and Tom Wilhelmsen who got first win in the Majors tonight before Mister Automatic :Brandon League came on for the save in the ninth.
With this win the Mariners inch past the A’s who lost tonight, into third place after winning their third game in a row to put them at 8-5 on the season. And the way they have been playing lately there is no reason to believe that we can’t finish strong and head into 2012 with some hope and momentum. Jack Z. also helped our future out tonight with the signing of Danny Hultzen the #2 overall pick to a Major League contract valued at $8.5 million over five years along with a $6.35 signing bonus for the exciting lefty from Virginia. The Mariners also signed 10 of their top 11 draft picks tonight giving us more ammo for the future. Jack Z. said that Hultzen will be invited to camp next spring with a chance to make the Big club which sounds intriguing.
In other baseball news I was pleased to hear that another old-school slugger Jim Thome became only the 8th player in history to reach the 600 home run mark knocking a pair out himself tonight at Tiger stadium. Thome is a class act and has the rugged look of a player from another era which he basically is now. But as much as I love baseball history and the players of yore I am totally ready for this Mariners youth movement to continue to unfold in the way it has been this month.Who knows someday we may even fill the Safe without relying on fans from other teams to make all the fuss. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Michael Pineda pitched a brilliant game today going 6 1/3 innings and allowing only one hit to go along with a career high 10 K’s to lead the Mariners to a 3-2 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on a beautiful summer day in Seattle. Pineda flirted with a no-hitter before allowing a lone single in the sixth using his overpowering fastball and slider all afternoon to keep the contending Rays off the bases.
Another rookie Dustin Ackley provided most of the offense for the Mariners today with a 2-run homer off Rays starter Alex Cobb in the first to get things going today. Ackley also doubled in the bottom half of the sixth and scored on a clutch single by Mike Carp to put the Mariners up 3-2. Pineda looked like he ran out of gas in the top of the seventh and Eric Wedge brought in Jeff Gray who proceeded to get the final two outs on two pitches. Gray pitched well in relief today and looks to have earned the trust of manager Wedge who will be forced to use Gray more now that David Pauley is gone. Brandon League got to come in and get his 24th save today as well, the first one since July 4th to complete this gem for the 24,985 in attendance today.
Earlier in the day the Mariners announced that Doug Fister and David Pauley had been traded to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Casper Wells, left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush, third-base prospect Francisco Martinez and a player to be named later. Jack Zduriencik said the player to be named is a “significant” prospect for what that is worth. Though it wil be sad to see the lanky Fister in a Tigers uniform, he deserves to go a team that will provide him some run support after posting a 3-12 record this year with the M’s despite his 3.33 ERA. David Pauley gave the Mariners a lot of good innings during our two month winning stretch but looks like a guy who will be easily replaced at this juncture.
Casper Wells can play all three outfield positions and was hitting .257 with four home runs, 12 RBI’s and a .323 0n-base percentage in 64 games this year with the Tigers. While his numbers don’t sound overwhelming he may be able to replace Franklin Gutierrez who seems to look worse every day at the plate. There is a lot of talk that Francisco Martinez the big five-tool third baseman may be the best player in the deal though he still has some development to do and will head directly to AA. Overall it looks like the Mariners did well on this deal as the Tigers like other teams in contention have a tendency to overpay in order to get to the playoffs which is fine by us. We may never know how our old shipmate Doug Fister would have fared here had he gotten some run support, but we wish him well. Fister was quoted as saying : “I’m excited for the new adventure,but sad to leave the clubhouse and the Seattle Mariners”.
So today proved to be one of the most positive days here in “Mayberry with Skyscrapers” that we have had in a long time. I am hoping that the rest of the way “the cream will rise to the top” so to speak and this whole painful rebuilding project will start to make some sense and give us fans a reason to believe. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com