The Mariners took a major step forward this week, winning a series in New York for the first time since 2004. They improved to 20-21, taking sole possession of second place in the AL West (still seven games behind Texas, though). Perhaps most impressive, they did it while losing a Felix Hernandez start and winning a game started by Hector Noesi. Here are five things the Mariners showed in the three-game series.
1. Born this way
This catchy and horrid Lady Gaga anthem could easily become Raul Ibanez’s walk-up music at new Yankee Stadium, as he showed in the first two games that he was born to hit in the Bronx. In those two contests, Raul went 4-for-9 with three homer runs and eight RBI. Sure, he threw up a nasty 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Thursday, but the guy kills in Yankee Stadium. Brian Cashman is probably kicking himself about not re-signing Raul this offseason.
2. Morse back on his horse
Michael Morse now has two hits in each of his last four games, and has raised his batting average from .225 to .261. On Thursday, he hit his tenth home run of the season, a massive swat that carried way out to right centerfield and held up as the game-winning run in a 3-2 victory. On Monday, Geoff Baker called for Morse to pick up his game. Morse did just that in the Bronx, consistently putting the Mariners in positions to score runs, or in the case of Thursday, taking matters into his own, gigantic, beastly hands.
3. Bullpen one of baseball’s best
Disclaimer: I have no statistical evidence to back this up. The Mariners are 19th in bullpen ERA, eighth in batting average against and eleventh in saves. None of that really jumps off the page. But when Charlie Furbush blew the game for Felix in the seventh inning Tuesday, it was only the second time the Mariners bullpen had blown a save all year. Fast forward to Thursday, where the bullpen amounted for all nine innings in a win no baseball realist expected.
The Mariners have a rising young setup man in Carter Capps, and lethal left-handed out pitcher in Oliver Perez, and a closer with perhaps baseball’s nastiest 12-6 curve in Tom Wilhelmsen. Couple that with Yoervis Medina’s solid middle relief, Lucas Luetge’s lefty specialty and Noesi in spot starts, and you have a ‘pen that can hold it together in crunch time, like they did all throughout Thursday’s win. When Stephen Pryor and Josh Kinney come back, the M’s might just have one of baseball’s premier relief squads.
4. King and Kuma the best around
This one doesn’t come attached with a debate: Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma have formed the best 1-2 punch in baseball so far in 2o13, bar none. Felix’s 1.53 ERA ranks him first in the American League; Kuma’s 1.84 mark has him third. Felix leads the league in innings pitched; Kuma ranks sixth. Felix is third in the AL in WHIP at 0.93; Iwakuma’s 0.78 WHIP leads the pack by a wide margin. For sabermatricians out there, Felix is tops in AL starter WAR, while Kuma is third. They are the prized thoroughbred horses at the top of the Mariner rotation, and the M’s would be nowhere without their success.
5. Middle mark looming tonight
Another result of the series win, the Mariners’ fifth in their last six, is the chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since the first series of the season with a win in Cleveland Friday. Brandon Maurer takes the hill against Ubaldo Jimenez, as the rookie tries to save an exhausted Mariner bullpen with his first career road quality start. First pitch is at 4:05 PT.
The Mariners defeated the Yankees 12-2 Wednesday behind a massive surge of offense that began with a seven-spot in the top half of the first. Hisashi Iwakuma improved to 5-1 in the victory while Phil Hughes, who lasted just 2/3 of an inning, fell to 2-3. The real story was Raul Ibanez though, as he hit his fifth and six home runs of 2013, swatting a grand slam in the first and a two-run homer in the fifth.
When the Mariners signed Ibanez in late December, most Mariner fans didn’t exactly shout with glee at their Christmas present from Jackie Z. My reaction, and what I perceived as the general consensus reaction, was “oh, that’s nice.” Not many thought Ibanez would make a significant impact for the Mariners in 2013.
Now, Raul has played in only 22 games, still doesn’t hit lefties well and can’t play a competent left field. However, in flashes, he has provided the Mariners with the necessary pop to get over the hump and win big games.
He displayed his pop in a big spot in the first inning of Wednesday’s win. With the bases loaded and the Mariners already leading 2-0, the Mariners could not afford to take their collective foot off the gas and let the Yankees off the hook. Ibanez, a 40-year old 18-year veteran, knew that. He capitalized on a Hughes hanging breaking ball and crushed it into the Yankees bullpen to put the game out of doubt before it really even got started.
The Mariners have certainly improved offensively in 2013. Having real, major league, middle-of-the-order hitters like Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse has helped them immensely. But the killer instinct it takes to clear the bases when the game is there to be put away still eludes the Mariners sometimes. It did on Tuesday, when they failed to knock insurance runs across up 3-1 with first and third in the top of the seventh and lost the game in the next inning.
But in a huge spot, with a chance to bury one of the best teams in the American League before Iwakuma even took the mound, Ibanez demolished one to bring out the rye bread and mustard. It was grand salami time.
Other news and notes from Wednesday’s win:
- Kyle Seager pounded a pitch from Yankees reliever Brett Marshall in the sixth inning for a three-run homer to right-centerfield. It was Seager’s fifth jack of the season, and he may have locked down the third spot in the order for a few more weeks.
- Speaking of Marshall, he made his major league debut Wednesday, and manager Joe Girardi didn’t make it easy on the rookie. Marshall entered in the fourth inning and racked up 5.2 innings pitched and a whopping 108 pitches. He threw 56 strikes and 56 balls and allowed five runs, nine hits and five walks while saving the rest of the Yankees bullpen for more meaningful appearances.
- So committed to preserving his bullpen was Girardi, that when Marshall made it clear he was tapped out in the ninth, Girardi moved shortstop Alberto Gonzalez to pitcher. Gonzalez got the one out he needed, inducing a pop out from Robert Andino. Andino apparently can’t even hit position players.
The Mariners and Yankees play the rubber match of the series at 4:05 PT Thursday. Aaron Harang takes the mound for the Mariners against Andy Pettite. Harang will have to hope the bats come back and support him Thursday for the Mariners to take two of three in the Bronx.
The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays in the first game of a five-game road trip to Canada and Pittsburgh Friday by a final score of 4-0. Felix Hernandez improved to 4-2 with eight shutout innings. He defeated Ricky Romero in Romero’s season debut. Romero only lasted four innings.
- Felix registered his 66th career start of eight or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. Since his 2005 debut, he leads the major leagues in that obscure yet impressive category (Per: @Mariners).
- Kyle Seager went 3-for-4, raising his average to .304 on the young season. This is interesting, because in case you haven’t noticed, Mariners’ players don’t typically hit .300 since Ichiro stopped doing so. Also, Seager’s second hit was a first pitch, upper-tank home run off of Romero, his fourth of the year. It was absolutely destroyed, and was his third homer of the year against left-handed pitchers.
- Jason Bay hit an opposite field shot in the sixth inning to extend the Mariner lead to four. It marked Bay’s third blast of the year, and showed that Bay still has some of the power that allowed him to average 29 home runs in a six year period in his prime. The Bay over Casper Wells decision continues to look better and better for Jack Zdurencik.
- With the bases loaded and one man out in the fourth inning, Dustin Ackley fell behind Romero 0-2. Instead of wildly hacking to stay alive, a la 2012 Ackley, he patiently took three pitches, including a tempting 1-2 breaking ball. He then ripped a 3-2 fastball through the whole for an RBI single. Another base hit later on raised his average to .255, and he’s slowly but surely becoming a viable part of the lineup again.
- Initially, Hisashi Iwakuma was supposed to be starting tomorrow’s game for the M’s. Then early in the week, Eric Wedge announced Joe Saunders would swap spots and make an early start because of Iwakuma’s nagging blister. Earlier today, Wedge changed his mind, saying Iwakuma would in fact make his regularly scheduled start. Maybe there was some gamesmanship involved here, but the takeaway is that Iwakuma is still healthy enough to pitch on his regular timetable. Thanks for the distraction, Wedge.
Iwakuma takes on reigning NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey tomorrow at 10:07 a.m. PT.
The Mariners most consistent and quality pitcher in 2013 has undoubtedly been Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma has pitched so well, many close observers forget that he has battled a nagging blister on the middle finger of his pitching since the Spring.
It appears that the blister may finally catch up to Iwakuma, as his scheduled Saturday start against the Blue Jays was moved back to Sunday, Eric Wedge announced before Monday’s win. Joe Saunders, who won his second game of 2013 yesterday in a complete game four-hitter,
So far in 2013, Iwakuma has posted a 1.67 ERA and a 2-1 record in six starts. He ranks fifth in the American League in ERA and third in batting average against (.160). He took a no decision in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Angels, after throwing six innings without allowing an earned run.
“We didn’t want to push him one more inning and have it get it back to where it has been, even with the extra time,” Wedge told MLB.com’s Greg Johns. “He’s working hard to get over the hump with this thing.”
Saunders is 0-3 with a 12.51 ERA in three road starts for the Mariners this year. The Mariners have Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan in the bullpen to make spot starts in the future if need arises.
I’m packing for a weeklong trip to London in a minute but thought I would put together a quick post about my thoughts from week 2 of the 2013 Seattle Mariners season. What strikes me most so far is not only the cold start we have gotten off to, or the cold weather but the blatant fan apathy as evidenced by the low turnout this past week. The Mariners set, and then reset the all-time low record for attendance this week in games 2 and 3 of the ill – fated Houston Astros series. Things weren’t much better when Felix Hernandez took the mound for the opener against the Texas Rangers when despite the hoopla of the Kings court etc. only 22,000 braved the cold weather to make it down to Safeco Field to watch that bitter loss. Last night Hisashi Iwakuma threw another nice game to beat the Rangers Ace Yu Darvish and yet was backed by only15, 000 fans on a Friday night. And I’m going to bet that with the Hail and thunderstorms we are having today here in Seattle there won’t be more than 12 o 13 thousand “ True to The Blue” Mariners fans in the stands tonight which doesn’t bode well for the marketing folks and bean counters who are frantically trying to fill seats in 2013.
So one can only speculate that if fewer and fewer fans are actually make it down to Safeco Field than probably even fewer are watching the game on TV, and still fewer are reading Mariners Blogs like Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog! Of course you might want to read this blog a little more if I were to write a little more, but I’m thinking that after the last three years of demoralizing Mariners seasons I’m at best going to be a part-time Mariners Fan blog writer this year. And of course once again I welcome anyone out there in the cyber world who feels they have something to say about this ballclub to get a hold of me and we can arrange a way for you to write once or twice a week. If not it will be hit and miss as far as production here, sort of like our offense with this year’s Mariners.
I’m not even sure where to start as far as a recap for week two except to say that is has been predominantly dismal, coupled with a rash of injuries but as they say it is still really early. If somehow we could win this Texas series and the Detroit series (I know this is a tall order), we may weather the early part of this season all right and the fair weather –fans will start coming out to the ballpark, if not it could get real ugly if we’re seeing home games with only 7 or 8 thousand fans down at the Safe.
Now I’m not going to subject you go on my usual tirade against the Mariners ownership or Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, or Jesus Montero. Instead I’m just trying to test the waters and see what the rest of you out there feel about this franchise, our chance of winning, and what it’s going to take to keep you actively involved in this 2013 season? It’s amazing that just a few weeks ago we were all holding our heads high anticipating a .500 season after that great spring, which we know now really does mean nothing, but reality is here in what I would considered to be a make or break season for both Eric Wedge and Jack Zduriencik. As most of you know by now I’ve been following this team for most of the past 36 years through good times and bad, but I think finally the Mariners so-called ownership group has wasted the chance to bring in almost a full generation of potential Mariners fans by giving us such a weak product for the past 10 years. This really is a pity as I know how much people in Seattle like to support their teams, one only has to look over to the Seahawks this year to see the zaniness and enthusiasm are residents exude once our teams start winning. So time will tell, I will be out of the country until the 22nd so won’t be posting anything, for all I know I may not even keep track of the standings, which to be something new for me but I will probably at least check my twitter account and keep track of what’s going on here in the Mariners world. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
A few weeks ago, the annual Mariner commercials came out. If you haven’t seen them yet, I would highly recommend you take a look here. As usual, they were quite funny, and they taught us some things like where Tom Wilhelmsen gets his cookies and where Kyle Seager finds his inner peace. However, there may be a few more important observations we can take away from the advertisements.
One thing we can look at is who was not featured in a commercial. The team doesn’t want to use players that they think will leave the team during the season, because otherwise they will have to stop running a commercial in July after the player in it is traded. A couple significant players were not used in this year’s batch of ads. The most notable were Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, and Hisashi Iwakuma.
Kendrys Morales is on the last year of his contract with the Mariners, so the lack of his presence in a commercial seems to indicate that he may be put on the trading block before the trade deadline. Taking him out of the lineup would provide a plethora of possibilities for other guys like Liddi, Thames, Wells, Bay, Peguero, or even prospects like Zunino or Franklin.
Perhaps if Smoak has a good first half, the Mariners will see Morales as an unnecessary piece for the Mariners and try to swap him for some value at a different position.
That transitions us to our next player who got left out of the advertisements: Justin Smoak. Although Smoak has been named the starter at first base, the fact that he wasn’t used in an ad seems to say that his long term place on this team is not secure. As I wrote a while back, I believe the Mariners are giving Smoak his final chance, and that they won’t be afraid to part ways with him if he doesn’t produce. The commercials this year seem to support that assertion.
Another notable player who failed to make an appearance in the commercials this year is Franklin Gutierrez. This is the last guaranteed year on his contract, but he has a club option for next year. Because of this, we may see Guti traded to a contending team before the trade deadline. His skill sets could make him very valuable to a club like the Yankees, Orioles, Cardinals, or Rangers that have plenty of offense but could use a gold glove caliber center fielder to help their outfield. There is also a chance that the Mariners left him out due to injury concerns, since he seems to be unable to go a month without some type of setback.
Hisashi Iwakuma is the final key player that failed to be featured in a 2013 advertisement. It is quite possible that the language barrier prevented him from participating in a commercial. It doesn’t seem like he would be a likely guy to go on the trade block since he inked a two year contract with the club last year, but he probably will have some trade value; more so than any other Mariner starter besides Felix, at least. Perhaps if some combination of the big four is knocking on the door of the big leagues, Seattle will feel comfortable moving Iwakuma at the deadline.
Probable third starter, Joe Saunders, also didn’t appear in an ad, but this is not surprising since he has essentially no name recognition or marketability in Seattle and is only on a one year contract.
Before putting too much stock in who did and didn’t appear in a 2013 commercial, remember that other factors could have caused players not to participate. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, didn’t have the time, or maybe the marketing department just didn’t have an ad that they would fit in to. Regardless, these are just a few things from the commercials to keep in mind as we look towards the season.
The future of the starting rotation in Seattle looks pretty bright between the dominance of King Felix and the future of the big three, but there are still many conversations to be had on the subject.
First of all, Felix Hernandez should not be traded. The Mariners have a 26 year old Cy Young winner in their grasp, why would they trade him? With the possible exceptions of Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, and Giancarlo Stanton, there is not a better player to build a team around than King Felix, in my opinion. If Seattle is trying to build a winning team, there isn’t a better guy to start with than Hernandez.
Jason Vargas is an interesting case because he is a pitcher who has really benefited from playing in Safeco Field. Take a look at these splits from last year.
Vargas at Home
Vargas on the Road
As you can see, Vargas is not a great pitcher when he isn’t in the friendly confines of Safeco Field. With the fences moving in this year, Vargas’ value has diminished even more than before. The deep dimensions of left field and left center have had a direct correlation to Vargas’ success.
Outside of Seattle, he is probably a decent bottom of the rotation starter, but he has become a number two starter with the Mariners because of the stadium. Once the fences are brought in, we may see an instantaneous dip in the lefty’s numbers in the upcoming year, and for this reason, I am hesitant to pencil in Vargas as a starter of the future. He certainly won’t be a top of the rotation guy like he is right now.
Hisashi Iwakuma is another interesting pitcher in Seattle right now. He was brought here last offseason on a one year contract. After spring training, he was put in the bullpen before being promoted to the rotation mid-season where he shined. However, he too had more success in Safeco Field than in other ballparks, although the correlation was not as dramatic as in Vargas’ case. Now that he has a more substantial two-year contract, it appears that the 31 year old will be here for a bit longer. He could be a good middle of the rotation man down the road if he continues to post solid numbers as long as he remains affordable.
Last season, we had two young arms at the bottom of the rotation who struggled in Blake Beavan and Hector Noesi. These two guys had an xFIP of 5.01 and 5.08 respectively. They also posted a .288 and .266 BABIP respectively, so essentially, these guys posted horrible stats even when luck was on their side. What is going to happen when they aren’t getting lucky? Unless extreme strides are made in the coming seasons, I don’t see either of these pitchers being anything more than place holders in the bottom of the rotation until guys from the farm system are developed.
One of the young arms that is commonly overlooked is Erasmo Ramirez. The 22 year old rookie got limited time last year, but he put up better numbers than anyone realizes. As a starter, his 7.85 K/9 was better than any Mariner starter besides Felix. His 1.53 BB/9 was better than any starter besides Beavan, and Ramirez’ FIP and xFIP were both second among Seattle starters behind just King Felix. Let me reiterate that these numbers excluded Ramirez’ relief appearances, so they were only his stats as a starter. I think that Ramirez has earned a spot in the starting rotation next season, and I would much rather see him as the fourth starter over Beavan or Noesi.
There may be a few other starting pitching options currently at the major league level as well. Charlie Furbush has started games during his minor and major league careers and is capable of switching back to the rotation after spending 2012 in the bullpen. Historically, he hasn’t had much success starting games, but don’t rule him out as a possibility in the starting rotation next year.
Although improbable, Tom Wilhelmsen is another name that you may see penciled into the rotation. Many people forget that he was a starter in the minor leagues before moving to the Seattle bullpen. His power style of pitching fits better in the bullpen, but thanks to the diabolical curveball that he developed and the changeup that he refined into a reliable pitch last year, his stuff is beginning to look quite suitable for the rotation. There are a lot of good young arms in the bullpen such as Pryor, Capps, and Luetge, so the organization may feel comfortable enough with the pen to try to reestablish Wilhelmsen as a starting pitcher. I wouldn’t bet on this move, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
The big 3, Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton, are all exciting prospects in the Mariner organization and are currently the number 4, 8, and 74 prospects in all of baseball respectively according to MLB.com. I won’t call Danny Hultzen a “sure thing,” but it seems that Hultzen has already been penciled into the starting rotation of the future. The question becomes just how good the second overall pick will be. He has a very high floor as a prospect, so he should be at least a four or five starter down the road. Hopefully, he will become a top of the rotation arm, and he appears to have the stuff to fit there.
Taijuan Walker is a very different prospect from Hultzen. He is a high risk high reward player. His potential is incredible, but he not nearly as certain to realize his potential as his counterpart. I might compare Walker to Blue Jay starter, Ricky Romero. Like Romero, there is no doubt that Walker has the raw stuff to be a dominant major league pitcher, but it becomes a matter of putting all the pieces together and being successful.
There is a pretty good chance that one of these three guys will be traded at some point for a good bat. If the Mariners are successful in trading for Billy Butler this offseason, it seems almost certainly that one of these prospects will be moved.
Apart from the big 3, there are a few other good pitching prospects in Seattle’s organization. Among these are Brandon Maurer, Jordan Shipers, Tyler Pike, Andrew Carraway, Mauricio Robles, and 17 year old Victor Sanchez.
Considering Seattle has one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and one of the deepest minor league pitching staffs in baseball, it appears that the Mariners will have a very strong starting rotation in the future.
Well we have officially hit the offseason, so it’s time to start worrying about offseason stuff. Here are a few story lines to keep track of during the baseball-barren months of winter.
Bringing in a Bat
This has been discussed in depth by just about every Mariner blogger in the world, but the Mariners need some offense and there will be good options on the free agent market and available for trades. The name I think would be best for Seattle is Billy Butler, but there will be a lot more power hitter talks in the future.
According to a report by MLB Trade Rumors, Figgins wants out of Seattle. He also stated that he, “can’t take two more years of this.” Oh, the irony. The first thing I said when I saw this was, “well, I can’t take two more years of you.” I don’t believe that the 9 million dollar benchwarmer is needed much in Seattle, so I hope that Jack Z can find a way to appease all of Seattle by ridding the city of Figgins’ presence.
Another funny thing about the situation is that this is probably the best opportunity he will find these days. I can’t imagine that there is a team that would sign him to a major league contract, so if he leaves Seattle, he will probably find himself in AAA.
Resigning Free Agents
Iwakuma looked very good in the starting role this season, and will likely require more than his current 1.5 million dollar contract to stay in Seattle. At 31 years old, the Japanese pitcher probably has a few more good years in him and would be a nice middle of the rotation piece over the next couple years until the big 3 can take his place.
Oliver Perez went into the year as just another minor league pitcher at the end of his career, but he finished the year as a dependable lefty specialist out of the bullpen. He accumulated just 29.2 innings of work in 33 appearances, but he posted an ERA of 2.12 and a WHIP of 1.25. His 2.93 FIP was impressive as well, and proves that he has some value going forward. Between lefties like Furbush and Leutge, there may be no need for Perez in the pen this year, however. It will be interesting to see if Seattle pursues him.
I assume that Olivo will not be back in Seattle next year. The Mariners have a pretty solid catching situation right now between Jaso and Montero and Zunino on the way. Olivo doesn’t bring much to the table anyways. His BB% is 2.2 and his K% 26.3 which comes out to a .08 BB/K. Let that number sink in for a few seconds. I actually laughed when I read that considering he probably won’t be our problem anymore. In addition, towards the end of his Mariner career, he platooned against lefties, but Jesus Montero’s average against lefties was about 100 points higher than Olivo’s.
Finding a New Hitting Coach
Today, Chris Chambliss was fired as hitting coach in Seattle. He was here for two years, but the team OPS was .665 and .640 in those two seasons. There haven’t been many bright spots in the Mariner offense in the last two years. Ackley had a miserable sophomore season, Smoak has been a disaster all the time except during Septembers, Brendan Ryan has looked lost in the batters’ box, and the list of offensive frustrations extends forever. The Mariners will need to fill the role soon, and hopefully the new man will help turn around the offense.
Hisashi Iwakuma has been sterling since escaping the bullpen prison Wedge sentenced him to at the start of the season. Since the All-Star break, Iwakuma has allowed 15 earned runs in 54.2 innings pitched for a 2.49 ERA. Almost all of his starts have been described as either a “solid start” or a “dominant performance”. The highlight was his 13 strikeout performance against Toronto on July 30th as he handcuffed the Blue Jays over eight fantastic innings. He didn’t have his best stuff tonight against the Twins but still ended with allowing zero earned runs and only one hit over six innings.
So what does it take for the Mariner organization to offer this man a generous contract extension? He is in his prime at age 31 and has proven himself with great start after great start. He deserves a contract and Wedge should have to deliver it to him in a pink kimono along with a deep bow and a sincere apology after burying him on the bench while pitchers with less talent, especially Noesi, were allowed to get torched. Hisashi was the last player on any team’s opening roster this year to appear in a game. This had to have been humbling for such a proud, professional who while pitching in Japan in 2008 lead the league in ERA, winning percentage-he was 21-4- and only allowed three homers in 201 and two-thirds innings. He out-pitched both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish in the 2009 Baseball Classic, finishing the tournament with a 1.35 ERA.
Supposedly, he was still recovering from an arm injury and that is why he was passed over as a starter and put into long relief to start the season. That may or may not be accurate and I too was watching as he good turned up a few times in relief but I wonder if his talent was not recognized or his past accomplishments were considered invalid, somehow. In short, it certainly looks like a mistake now after what he has done since becoming a regular starter. I wonder where the Mariners would now be if he had been given an opportunity sooner or been a part of the rotation from the start. Would Seattle be over five hundred? No doubt in this old mind. The answer is, “Yes!”
A press conference should be called and the man given an extension. If he signs elsewhere next year, I promise I will pelt someone of significance with a few of my prized tomatoes at Safeco.
Riley visit site to read more]
The Mariners win streak ended today losing by the score of 7-0 to the Toronto Blue Jays dropping them back to .500 on the year. After last night’s wild thriller today was going to be a let-down no matter what happened and Jays starter Brandon Morrow pretty much made sure of that with his impressive outing today holding the Mariners scoreless through six innings. The Mariners sent Kevin Millwood to the mound today and the veteran right-hander pitched well through seven innings with the exception of a rough third frame when he gave up all three Jays runs. Eric Wedge needed to get some innings out of Millwood today to rest his battered bullpen and Millwood responded with a decent outing despite receiving no help from the rest of the crew on offense.
Wedge is facing a tough task trying to juggle his lineup and bullpen to not only win games but to see who is going to be on the field the rest of the season. He has shown a lot more patience than the local Mariners blogosphere and Facebook arm-chair managers in this task so far. Of course besides the endless clamoring for John Jaso to get more time there has been an ongoing second guessing on Wedge’s decision to not use Hisashi Iwakuma much so far. Well today Wedge had little choice and he sent Iwakuma out to the mound in the eighth with the score still close and Iwakuma promptly loaded the bases and then allowed a grand slam to Edwin Encarnacion to put this one out of reach.
Perhaps Wedge knew what he was doing all along and it is time for all of us with a keyboard and one tenth the information Eric Wedge has to chill out and let the skipper do his job. I doubt that will happen and I’m sure the Figgins, Olivo, Smoak and Brendan Ryan haters will have a field day in the next 24 hours clamoring endlessly about why they are right and Eric Wedge is wrong. I’m going to go with the skippers judgement especially after seeing the performance Iwakuma put in today and focus on the fact that we are still at .500 and still have a chance to win this series in the morning. Love to hear what all you think…..GoM’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Today concluded a match up of polar opposites. Felix, a young, up-and-coming, flame thrower faced off against Moyer, the aging (a term used lightly), twilight-of-his-career, crafty veteran. The results were probably as you would expect, Felix won … [visit site to read more]
Just yesterday I was pondering how much longer the Mariners would wait to trim a few loose strings. Today those strings have been neatly trimmed…kind of.
Here is your Seattle Mariners 2012 Opening Day Roster.
Tags: alex liddi, Blake Beavan, Brandon League, brendan ryan, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Chone Figgins, dustin ackley, Erasmo Ramirez, featured, Felix Hernandez, George Sherrill, Hector Noesi, hisashi iwakuma, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Vargas, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, justin smoak, kevin millwood, kyle seager, Lucas Luetge, Mariners General, Michael Saunders, miguel olivo, Mike Carp, Munenori Kawasaki, Popular, shawn Kelley, Steve Delabar, Tom Wilhelmsen
The signing never made much sense to me anyways.
The Mariners cut Shawn Camp today in an attempt to give a couple of bullpen spots to better pitchers. Lucas Luetge is starting to look more and more like a real possibility. Other candidates … [visit site to read more]
The Mariners play their first game in Japan in less than a week, but there are still position battles that are unsettled. Here is a look at a few of these open jobs and the options the Mariner’s have to fill them.
Third base: … [visit site to read more]
Tags: Adam Moore, alex liddi, Blake Beavan, Carlos Peguero, Casper Wells, Chone Figgins, Erasmo Ramirez, featured, Hector Noesi, hisashi iwakuma, Ichiro, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, kevin millwood, kyle seager, Mariners General, Michael Saunders, miguel olivo, Popular, position battles, spring training, Vinnie Catricala