Not sure why I’m writing this post, perhaps it is therapeutic or maybe it is a feeble attempt to try to make some sense of what just happened to the Mariners over the past month or so as we try to hang on to this wild roller coaster ride known as being a Seattle Mariners Fan.
I know this is not a 12-step group, but like a lot of you I swore I would not ” Start Believing” in the Mariners again only to get lured in one more time to the murky emotional trap that seems to happen year after year no matter who the players are. I am way past the anger part of this disease and seem to be moving into an acceptance phase of my addiction to the nightmare scenarios that only our beloved heroes seem capable of producing.
The last two nights in Boston, especially last night pretty much let the air out of the balloon our team and those of us sick enough to follow this squad have tried to blow up over the past month trying to reach the .500 mark. It seems like only last week (it was) that we were riding high on an 8 game winning streak and boasting of how we weren’t going to unload our prized cadre of sluggers this year at the Trade deadline because we are ” Contending” this year By Golly.
But alas we are who we are and now it is August and we can begin our familiar lamenting about: “Next Year” the ” Young Guys” ( some now not so young but still sucking), rebuilding, Believing Big etc….In some ways it is perfect that is a gloomy, wet day here in Seattle to commemorate our collectively coming back down to earth and owning the fact that yes the weather in Seattle and the Mariners really do suck, and that secretly we enjoy this slow death or we would either move away from Seattle or at least pick a new team to follow.
Sometimes I wish I was one of those irritating ex-pats from Back East who bring their arrogant attitudes and team loyalty when they move here for good paying jobs and to escape the crime and deterioration of places like Detroit, Cleveland etc. Yes it would be nice to be able to root for Boston or Baltimore as the Dog days of summer approach but instead I will be listening to Dave Sims and his East Coast spin on things as we continue to hold down the fort out here in the Pacific Northwest. So despite a team that seems to care little about our mental state, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season knowing full well the sort of price I will pay for once again allowing my self to believe in this team. Hey and maybe if we are lucky we will get a few more weeks of sunny days at Greenlake . Happy Seafair weekend to all…. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Well now that the 2013 All-Star game is behind us, featuring a win by the American League and a final goodbye to the greatest closer in the history of the game Mariano Rivera, it’s time to start thinking about the second half. The Mariners were 8-5 in the last couple weeks of the first half and gave us long- suffering Mariners fans a delightful taste of what we really could have here. Offensively I haven’t seen anything like this in several years, and hope it wasn’t just a tease.
So far our general manager Jack Zduriencik has held off on the annual fire sale as the trade deadline approaches, but there is every indication that teams around the league are knocking at his door trying to pry away the likes of Oliver Perez, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse. Somehow I’d like to hang on to at least two of the sluggers and if we do deal Perez we need to get more than just our usual supply of prospects for the tough lefty. It will be interesting to see how the fans here in Seattle react to our club in the second half now that the weather has turned into the beautiful summer months that we all wait for. As you can tell it has been hard for me to get too excited about the 2013 Seattle Mariners, after 36 years of being a loyal fan. But if they were to sustain the sort of play they finished up with last week, you can bet you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more from Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog.
As far as Mariano Rivera is concerned, you can’t find a classier guy in the game today than him. I faintly remember his first appearances in 95 when we beat the Yankees and then facing him in 2000 and 2001 for the ALCS games. The guy is and was simply the best at what he does. It was nice to hear Tim McCarver who is also retiring after this year, make a reference to Edgar Martinez last night during the 2013 All-Star game. Apparently Martinez would move in on the plate on Mariano which eventually forced Rivera to changes approach when delivering his nasty cutter. And even though Felix Hernandez appeared in his fourth All-Star game, and represented our city well with a scoreless inning, it was kind of sad to know that once again the Seattle Mariners would not be referred to much during the on the air chatter about what was going on in the league in 2013. I was hoping to hear at least a mention of the wonderful story surrounding Raul Ibanez and his fantastic first half. But alas it was all Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera talk last night. America loves a winner that’s for darn sure.
The Mariners will resume play Friday in Houston for a three-game series before coming back on the 22nd to face Cleveland and then the Minnesota Twins. This looks like a stretch where we should be able to move a little closer to the infamous .500 Mark which has been my goal all year. I think the second half is going to be a lot of fun and hope to see more of you guys either down at Safeco or here on my Mariners blog. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Since I’m taking off to Chicago this week for a business trip, I figured I should say something to the other 1680 Mariners fans out there about this recent road trip where the Mariners one series both from the Texas Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds was kind of nice today to watch the Mariners beat the Reds with the veteran Joe Saunders on the mound pitching perhaps his best game of the year in this 3 to 1 affair. Nick Franklin slapped another homer I believe that makes number seven for the kid and even Justin Smoak contributed today with a two-run blast.. The Mariners so far have 104 home runs on the campaign, which coupled with good pitching and a steady defense has enabled our boys to fly home feeling good about a 4-2 road trip. . However the Mariners are 2-32 with runners in scoring position recently, which will come back to bite them eventually and actually already has in the earlier parts of the season.
But for now I’m going to focus on the positive which starts and ends with the man pictured above:Raul Ibanez the aging veteran who has 21 home runs on the year but sadly was unfortunately snubbed for the upcoming All-Star game. Raul has had quite a career overall and especially with Seattle, and if he keeps it up I for one think he’s the next guy to have his number retired for all he’s done in his three trips here to Seattle, Raul has always been a classy guy who produced, ran out balls, and just seemed to be an overall nice guy.
On another note, I just can’t help but notice that not only does Dustin Ackley look uncomfortable and awkward at the plate but he also seems to be out-of-place in center field. To me he just flat-out does not look that athletic, agile, or energetic. I’m hoping when Michael Morse gets fit for duty they can put him in the outfield and maybe edge Ackley back to the bench where he belongs. He is really turning out to be a dud, unlike the indomitable Nick Franklin. Nick Franklin besides Raul Ibanez I think is pretty much my favorite player, oh wait a minute I forgot steady-Eddie Kyle Seager. Kyle himself doesn’t look that athletic or agile or energetic but unlike his country cousin Dustin Ackley, Seager produces both in the field and at the plate. It should be interesting to watch what happens with our Seattle Mariner as we get closer towards the trade deadline later on in July. If it were me I would trade Ackley and Smoak somehow re-sign Morse and Ibanez as well Kendrys Morales and dump Brendan Ryan now as well. Brendan Ryan has a great glove and teams that are in the hunt will want a guy like him. Not sure what we really need in return, though the outfield seems to be the place where there’s quesion marks these days.
I’m actually happy that I’ll be in Chicago and I’m not quite sure if I will get time to go out to old Wrigley Field and taken a game, but I am glad I will be here it Safeco Field when the Boston Red Sox come to town. I have all the respect in the world for the Boston Red Sox including Mike Karp was now hitting 316 ,but it’s the bandwagon fans from Kent, Wenatchee Bellingham, Queen Anne in that come out wearing the Red Sox gear when the Sox come to town is very disturbing, now of course it’s one thing if they were born in Boston and moved here or their wife is from Boston or something of that nature, but to just jump on the bandwagon of a team to look good is really disgusting. Back in the day meaning 1995 to 2002 this would’ve never happened here in Seattle but since there’s only about 1681 of us hard-core fans (yes I counted them) these things have a tendency to happen. What is worse is that the Mariners organization aided by root sports and the hacks on that show know that the Red Sox will be a big draw and not only do they raise the prices but they actually start promoting the Red Sox trip to Seattle. What a strange world we live in.
So once again I’m still considering myself to be a Mariners fan the we are 10 games under 500 with little or no chance at all of making the playoffs. There does however seem to be a faint chance that if Morse gets healthy, the pitching staff stays solid, and guys like Seager,Ibanez and Franklin keep producing, that maybe we can make up some ground and hit .500 before the season ends like we were supposed to this year. Everybody out there knows how I feel about Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong and how they’ve let this team fall apart over the years. However I do have an allegiance to this team in that it’s my home port, and its guys like Raul Ibanez who keep tugging at my heart to keep me part of the 1681 loyal fans left . Go Mariners! http:jeffsmariners.com
Well with the debut of young shortstop Brad Miller tonight the “Boys of Summer” are officially here for the Seattle Mariners. Miller joins recently recalled Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino who picked up the game-winning hit in tonight’s 5-4 win, and Nick Franklin who went 3-5 and now his batting average up to .302. Look out Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley and Micheal Saunders or you could get DFA’d like Alex Liddi did today if you don’t produce, Miller, Franklin and Zunino look like the real future of the Seattle Mariners.
Sadly I missed out on tonight’s game because I’ve been to grumpy did go down to the safe after watching the Mariners lose this week actually after watching the Mariners lose for over 30 years. But couple friends of mine did manage to make it down to watch this thrilling 10 inning win for the Mariners on absolutely picture-perfect night as you can see by the photo my friend Austin sent me.
Lost in all the excitement of this thrilling 5 to 4 victory Hisashi Iwakuma‘s eight inning outing limiting the visiting Chicago Cubs to four runs in a game where he ended up with no decision and his ERA eked up to a meager 2.42 as we complete the first half of the 2013 season with game 81 tonight. With all the hoopla about the new young Mariners, tonight’s victory would not have been possible without the veterans who pretty much supplied the offense to put us in a position for Mike Zunino to get the walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th with the bases loaded. Jason Bay hit his ninth homer in the fifth inning to make it 4- 2, and both Kendry’s Morales and our MVP the ancient mariner Raul Ibanez drove in runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie this thing up. So it was a balanced effort tonight and though the young guys are good, without the steely nerves of the veterans under pressure this one might have gotten away from us.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the outstanding job that Oliver Perez did tonight coming on in the ninth to strike out the side . In addition to the great game, the 31,407 fans tonight were treated to a thrilling first-ever fireworks display at Safeco Field after the game. Today’s win by the “Boys of Summer” coincides with the first heat wave of the year here in Seattle, and one can only hope that our boys use this series to get hot themselves. as we head towards the All-Star Break.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and a wonderful Fourth of July as I may not post between now and then as I’m going to be traveling to San Francisco for business , but I will be back for the Fourth of July to celebrate here in Fremont the center of the universe! Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
The Seattle Mariners are flying back home tonight after dropping the final game of a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox 4 to 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning after Cameron Lowe served up a walkoff home run to Viciedo in what was almost an expected outcome in the Wind City. I have watched parts or all of this week’s games and have mixed emotions about our prospects for 2013. The bright spots are Michael Morse who has five home runs already, Kendrys Morales, who had three hits today including a home run and Hisashi Iwakuma who has pitched two great games, including today’s eight inning outing. Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez are both ready to contribute with their bats along with a resurgent Brendon Ryan who is contributing not only with his glove as usual but with his stick so far this year too.
But despite the power surge provided by Morse and Morales, Mariners still stranded seven base runners in both today’s and in yesterday’s losses to the White Sox. This looks so much like what we have seen for the past three years that it’s grown commonplace around here which is unacceptable. However I do have faith that Eric Wedge and Jack Zdurierncik, along with the Mariners ownership group understand that we Mariners fans are ready to compete now, and won’t be rushing down to Safeco Field after Opening Night to spend our hard-earned entertainment dollars and a losing team anymore. I could be wrong but I doubt Justin Smoak or Dustin Ackley or anyone else for that matter, will get a free pass to flounder in the Major Leagues indefinitely like they have in the past when we have so much talent in the minors itching to come up. In the pitching area alone we have the big three: Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker down in the minors as well as Jeremy Bonderman and Erasamo Ramirez all close to being ready to go, and after watching the back three of our rotation all looking shaky this first week I would imagine they won’t be given more than four or five starts before someone is called up.
It gets a little more interesting with Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, especially Ackley who had a rough sophomore season and so far is only one for 20 with his new batting stance that looks even more awkward than what he was using last year. Somehow it seemed that Dustin Ackley was considered untouchable no matter what he did but now with Nick Franklin and Brad Miller down in the Minors looking good I think that mentality may be shifting. As for Smoak Initially it seemed he had a new approach at the plate, but the past few games he’s look awkward, nervous and just sort of “Rookie Like” which we have been watching for three years now and it’s getting really old. I saw him today in the seventh inning try to stretch a single into a double and get thrown out by 5 feet and then follow that up later in the game swinging at a third strike that was way outside of the strike zone in a key situation, this sort of looks like the same old Justin Smoak of the past so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kendrys Morales get a few more days starting at first base especially in light of his big offensive outing today.
But having said all that it will be nice to have our boys back home here at Safeco taking on the hapless Houston Astros for three games starting Monday night. I have been to opening-night before and enjoy all the pomp and excitement, but I will be taking a pass this year and instead I am planning on head down to the Safe on either Tuesday or Wednesday night to catch a game. With the soggy weather outside it really doesn’t feel much like baseball season here in Seattle but I needed to put a post on this Mariners Blog for my few loyal fans out there who read me on a regular basis. As usual there is an open invitation for any of you fans of: Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog to post articles yourself. If you feel like writing here, send me an email or a comment and we can work something out. Because after all this is the Mariners blog where the Fans call the Plays! Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Like many of you in the cold dreary Pacific Northwest my thoughts today drifted down to Peoria Arizona wondering what’s going on as the Seattle Mariners start camp for the 2013 season. There are quite a few questions lingering in the air this year as Eric Wedge tries to put together a starting lineup that will compete in the tough AL West.
One of the biggest questions on the minds of fans here in Seattle is which Justin Smoak will show up for 2013, will it be the Justin Smoak who looks slow and awkward, or will it be just the Justin Smoak that ended the 2012 campaign on a roll? Manager Eric Wedge said today: “Of course, playing against Morales, I know what he’s all about. Right here, sitting here today, we’re lined up where Smoak is going to get the bulk of the time at first base and Kendrys is going to get the bulk of the time DHing. But we’ve got enough flexibility and versatility where we can change off that if we need to.”
So it looks like first base is Justin Smaok’s to lose so to speak, and frankly I would love to see the kid finally break loose and hit 25 or 30 homers in 2013, if not Wedge has some options at first including Kendrys Morales or possibly Michael Morse or even Jesus Montero. Though the media and fans around Seattle like to refer to guys like Justin Smaok, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders as “Kids” the truth is it’s time to put up or shut up for these guys, especially Justin Smoak who came over in the Cliff Lee deal in 2010.
In other news apparently Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay and Mike Morse put on quite a show at the batting cage on Sunday. If these four guys can produce like they are capable of, coupled with the fences at Safeco Field being moved in, we may just have something to cheer about in 2013 after all. Of course camp is just opening up and we have a long way to go before we get down to the 25 man opening day roster, I look for some surprises and wish I was down there again this year to see the players both young and old competing for jobs with the Seattle Mariners. In other news today :
PHOENIX — Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Monday he was engaged with a “good number” of teams about Mike Carp, the outfielder-first baseman designated for assignment last week, and was closing in on a trade.
“I would say there’s a good chance we get something done in the next 24-48 hours,” Zduriencik said
So there it stands as we speak, things are looking up and with the addition of the Houston Astros into the tough AL West I’m hoping we can at least stay out of the cellar, and if things come together right maybe even finishing the year with a .500 record. That’s not too much to ask for all of us long – suffering Mariners fans, stay tuned folks lots of baseball to come at Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog “Where the fans call the plays” Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
I missed Fan Fest this year but got a chance to redeem myself today when I took the tour at Safeco Field with an old colleague of mine from Japan and his wife. If you haven’t taken the tour at Safeco Field I highly recommend it especially on one of these long cold winters day when spring seems so far off. My friend Shoji played baseball himself as a young man in Japan and is of course a huge band of Ichiro and was quite impressed with our stadium. Shoji and I felt at home on the field and in the dugout as pictured above like two young kids playing the game for the first time. Baseball is funny that way as it has a special way of making one forget about time and age as the smells and sights of the game takeover the imagination.
It’s funny how we take major-league baseball for granted here in Seattle, perhaps it’s all the losing season’s we have endured the past 10 years, but I was very proud to show off our stadium and talk about the Seattle Mariners and our shared history with a game that our two countries love. The tour even included a stop in the owner’s suite where I got the picture of the actual home plate from the Kingdome pictured here.
For nine bucks you get to go in the clubhouse, on to the field, media room and as a special treat I got to observe the construction going on in the outfield where the fences are finally being brought in. In a way our Mariners are under construction again too after an off-season of acquiring several key offensive tools that could just make this season a little more bearable. Since my friends were from Japan there was a special tour guide who himself was a Japanese baseball player who was interning with the Seattle Mariners and he provided us an excellent and fun tour.
We talked about baseball, Ichiro and the link between our two countries around this great game. It was fascinating for me to hear from y guests that during World War II Japanese people were not allowed to play the game of baseball, and as a matter of fact they were not even allowed to speak English. Being that we have a Japanese owner, and have been privileged to have several Japanese players here in Seattle including the great today’s tour was sort of a special moment for me. I guess one doesn’t fully realize how lucky we are to be in this great city and have a team until you get the perspective of a guest from out of town or in this case out of the country.
We bought a few souvenirs as the Ichiro stuff is on sale, had a good time and rekindled our old friendship, a friendship with each other built around our work in the Maritime Labor Movement and in our common love of the great game of baseball. Until today I really was not looking forward to this year in the way I have in the past, but I even began to think about going down to Peoria for spring training for a few games if I can get away from work. We will see about that, in the meantime for better or worse the Seattle Mariners are my home team and a bright an important part of my life as well as many others here in this city. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Well the Super Bowl is over and with it another long NFL season will come to an end. This can mean only one thing, that’s right baseball season is just around the corner. The 2013 Seattle mariners have already sent a few trucks loaded with gear down to Peoria Arizona and the pitchers and catchers will be reporting in about a week.
This site will be up and running soon as we prepare for the 2013 campaign. We have added some offense this winter, as well as finally moving in the fences so hopefully this year we will see it turn around and perhaps even compete.
In the meantime please follow me on Facebook and Twitter at: Jeff’s Mariners on Facebook and @Jeffs Mariners on twitter. You may also subscribe to every post on this exciting upcoming season by clicking the orange icon in the right-hand column in order to subscribe to my blog and receive email updates every time I publish a new article.
I look forward to season number four with Jeff’s Mariners fan blog and as usual welcome not only comments but any articles my loyal readers want to have published here. Let me know if you are interested in being a part-time writer on Jeff’s Mariners fan blog “Where the fans call the plays”. Go Mariners!
Today Ichiro Suzuki left the Seattle Mariners for the New York Yankees in a trade for pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar with the Mariners paying $4.5 million of his remaining salary. Those are the raw facts of the deal but the emotional transaction that occurred today for the city of Seattle and us Mariners fans was probably more significant. Like most of you I had mixed emotions after hearing about this deal that has been in the works for several weeks after Ichiro told the Mariners through his agent that he would like to be traded.
On the one hand it is kind of sad to see him go after 11 1/2 years here, and on the other hand it was a relief to know that not only will Ichiro finally get a chance to play in the World Series with his new club but that our city would be spared the agony of another Ken Griffey type situation where an aging Super Star would hang around a little longer than he should resulting in an even more disgruntled and discouraged fan base.
I think Ichiro knew all this and he gracefully moved aside for the younger crop of players that the organization is trying to develop into a contender by asking to be traded. So after 2,533 hits as a Mariner Ichiro is going to finally get a chance to get a ring before heading into the Hall of Fame after providing our region with a Star that we never knew quite how to take, or appreciate after all these years. For me after losing Randy Johnson, Tino Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez to trades you would think I would be used to this sort of event, but I’m still grappling with the whole thing especially as I age and my window for seeing a World Series game here in Seattle get smaller and smaller.
Life sometimes seems to be stuck in one place for a long time but then one thing happens and all sorts chain reactions seem to follow. In this case it is hard to predict what will be the fall-out of this trade for our team, perhaps Carlos Peguero will blossom into a real power hitter after getting the chance to play every day in right field, or maybe the Yankees will have what it takes to go all the way now with Ichiro wearing #31 in the Bronx, or quite possibly some other strange event that before yesterday was unforseen will come about now that the stalemate has been broken. One thing is for sure the Seattle Mariners are a different team without Ichiro and that is a good thing and a sad thing all at the same time. http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners lost to the Texas Rangers 3-1 tonight thanks in large part to a couple deep flys caught up against the wall in the early part of the game by Josh Hamilton that would have been home runs in most other Baalparks. The First one a deep blast to left-center by Casper Wells came with the bases juiced and would have changed the complexion of this game and Hector Noesi who pitched a great game would have probably gotten a win for his work tonight. We can go on forever about its a pitchers park and that is a good thing but I would ask ” Hows that been working out lately”? The answer is obvious as we suffer through another sub-500 rebuilding year and teams like Texas with a hitter friendly park march on to the playoffs again.
I am thinking that an easier fix may be to finally come to grips with this whole “Safeco is a pitchers park” concept which has proved to be a real bummer for the team and it’s fans over the years.
Therefore I would like to propose that we move in the fences before next season starts. As we all know Safeco Field is considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to the heavy moisture laden air, the fences as you can see on the left are deep. In order to entice a real Power Hitter to come to play for the Mariners it may help if we make it a little easier to actually hit 30-40 homers here. I have done a little research into the official rules for Major League Baseball and found the following under rule 1.04 The Playing Field : a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.
b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such a manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.Major League Baseball Rules (2008)
So there you have it, we can indeed move in the fences as long as we follow the parameters contained in the above rules. I suggest we move dead-center into 400 feet and the left field foul pole into 325. This will enable the Mariners to take 8-10 feet out of the no-mans land in left center as well as moving in the fence in right center a little as well. The Mariners fans like fans everywhere love the home run, it is probably the most exciting aspect of the game of baseball. Yes I know bringing in the fences applies to both teams and the advantage is not strictly in favor of the home team, but the current mind-set of building a team around pitching and defense has proven to be a bust. Maybe I’m alone on this idea but I figure if we are going rebuild let’s do it right and start with the things we can control.
Now I’m sure Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong will say it costs too much. My response is that this project will probably cost about half as much as we spent on Jack Cust‘s salary, if that. And since we most likely won’t be playing much ball in October, we could start drawing up the plans now and begin construction on September 29th. This article is a remake of a post I put up last season as I figured that a persistent push for a solution like this will have to come from us the fans rather from the Top brass, not that they listen to us much anyway…. http://jeffsmariners.com
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
Not quite sure what to say about tonight’s Mariners game as it looked so foreign from what we have gotten used to here in Seattle over the past few years. All I know is every time I looked up there seemed to be guys hitting the ball and running around the bases as a result of the second night in a row where we had 15 hits! In an odd way it seems like scoring nine runs in a game is not nearly enough to pay us back let alone Felix Hernandez for all those stupid one and two run affairs we’ve suffered through recently. But indeed we did clobber the Detroit Tigers tonight 9-1 on a rainy night at Comerica Park in front of 28,527 soggy fans who are probably just as amazed as we are with the way this series is going.
The last and only time I was in Detroit was for Super Bowl XL in 2006 when I paid $3000 for the ticket above to see the Seahawks get robbed of the title. Needless to say I don’t have a lot of love in my heart for that city, but after looking at the faces of the dejected Tigers Fans tonight I think it’s time to move on and maybe have some empathy for a town that was in a recession long before the one we are in now. I mean at least here in Seattle if the Mariners suck we still have Boeing, Microsoft and a vibrant Port to employ us all so we can but tickets to go see our team. Detroit is another story all together, so it almost feels mean to roll into town and knock the Tigers around like we have in the past couple nights, but that’s baseball.
Great to see Ichiro, Ackley and Montero all collect three hits tonight along with another big day at the plate for Alex Liddi who connected for another homer . Eric Wedge must be quite pleased with himself for not only giving Liddi another much deserved start tonight but also for leaving lefty Michael Saunders in the lineup to face Tigers starter Adam Wilk who also is a lefty. Good to see Casper Wells get the start in left tonight as well and even though he only went 1-4 he is quietly batting .278 thus far in 2012 and also deserves a chance to prove himself this season as the Chone Figgins audition has been less than overwhelming to date.
Kind of funny but I’m beginning to forget about Mike Carp and Franklin Gutierrez, and since Carp has been struggling in Tacoma things could get real interesting in a couple of weeks as far as the starting lineup goes, especially if the Italian Stallion Alex Liddi keeps hitting the ball with authority.
The Mariners could return to .500 if they sweep the Tigers in the morning but that all depends on which version of Hector Noesi takes the mound tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be the Noesi who didn’t make it out of the second inning in his last start, but only time will tell. Either way the Mariners have already won this series and are showing a glimpse of hope for those of us still following them back here in Mayberry with Skyscrapers. Go Chuck and Howard! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tonight was the first of the Bobblehead nights of the 2012 season but the Mariners PR hacks couldn’t even give away the full 20,000 trinkets as the attendance was 19,947 on this chilly night. After that it got worse as Hector Noesi coming off a nice game against the A’s didn’t even make it through the second inning before allowing six earned runs. Four of those early runs came off the bat of big Adam Dunn who had an RBI double in the first and a thrre-run homer in the second to send Noesi to the showers.
Adam Dunn had a terrible year last season for the White Sox after being such a home run machine in the NL for so many years, but tonight he looked like he is back big time adding a solo shot in the eighth off Hisashi Iwakuma who finally got a chance to pitch tonight and looked good besides the bomb to Dunn going four innings and allowing only the one hit.
But once again it was the Mariners inablity to string together hits against White Sox starter Chris Sale that made the difference in this one. Ichiro Suzuki drove-in a couple of runs tonight to push his team-leading RBI total to nine, and Jesus Montero hit a long bomb to dead center in the sixth but the Mariners couldn’t make-up for the 15 times they struck out tonight and thus find themselves now at 7-8 on the year.
It was also nice to see Casper Wells get a start tonight in left and he responded with a pair of hard hit doubles to help him make his case for more playing time. Not sure what makes a guy spend his Friday nights on the coach watching this club but at least I wasn’t standing in line for a silly Ichiro Bobblehead on this chilly spring evening. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Hector Noesi and Jesus Montero who came over from the Yankees in the controversial Michael Pineda trade.Noesi who was coming off a disappointing outing against the Rangers last week threw mostly fastballs and change-ups tonight, but he hit his spots and looked a lot more relaxed in his eight innings of work.Noesi gave up five hits tonight and really was in control the entire game with the exception of the eighth but manged to escape a jam there as well in this promising performance tonight.
Jesus Montero showed why he was the Yankees top prospect tonight looking like a legitimate clean-up hitter for an offense that has been anything but electric so far. Montero had the Mariners only hit for much of the game with his solo homer in the second off Tomaso Milone, but then provided the knockout punch with his 2-out 2-run double down the right field line in the Mariners big sixth inning rally.
Sadly only 21,071 were on hand to see tonight’s game after last nights disappointing Opener. By comparison last year’s second game drew 30,307. The win puts the Mariners back at .500 on the season with another game left in the series with the A’s in an afternoon affair tomorrow before the Indians come to town Tuesday.
Honestly I am having enough trouble convincing myself it’s worth it to write this Mariners Blog this season let alone worry about the fickle Seattle fans and whether or not they are going to continue to support this club in 2012. On another good note Chone Figgins had a big hit in the sixth and drove a ball hard in the ninth giving an indication he may be ready for another big game Sunday at the Safe.Go M’s!http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners completed a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in a two game mini-series tonight by holding on to a 8-7 lead in a game that looked like it was going to be a blow-out, but developed in to a nail-biter thanks to another long ”Cuban Missile” homer by Yoenis Cespedes. Felix Hernandez managed to get through six and a third innings before leaving in the seventh with a couple of runners on did not look his usual over-powering self on the eve of his 26th birthday. King Felix appears to be pacing himself this year relying more on finesse and the movement on his pitches much like the aging veteran Bortolo Colon who got the start for the A’s tonight.
However unlike Colon who is also a Cy Young winner, Hernandez received a ton of run support early from his shipmates who collected 13 hits again tonight. None other than Chone Figgins lead things off with a triple in the first and scored on a grounder to second by Ackley to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead which held up until they exploded for six runs in the fourth inning. Ichiro had a pair of hits tonight as well, including a triple in the fourth inning on a ball that Yoenis Cespedes misplayed badly though he seems to make up for his iffy defense at the plate. It was also nice to see Munenori Kawasaki get his MLB debut tonight at short due to Brendan Ryan‘s sore neck. Kawasaki looked good in the field and also had a RBI single himself in the fourth. Apparently Kawasaki bowed to the third base umpire when he took the field out of respect! He is definitely a refreshing and fun addition to this club of no-names that is playing the game like it is intended to be played so far and having fun doing it!
Before the night was over Chone Figgins had three hits and now is batting .412 to lead the club. While I realize it is super early in the year I am just happy for Figgins after the last two dismal seasons he has had, forcing almost everyone in town including myself to turn on him. I suppose in honor of Easter you could say Chone Figgins is being resurrected from the dead right in front of our eyes and it is a real Miracle!
Speaking of miracles it is also nice to see another guy Michael Saunders who I have been down on at this Mariners Blog over the past couple seasons come back to life as well. Saunders looks much more aggressive at the plate and confident as well. Tonight Saunders delivered a solo homer in the top of the sixth that at the time didn’t seem that important but ended up being the difference in the game. Hats off to you Michael Saunders! I was wrong and I’m sorry for disrespecting you…..
Of Course the pesky Athletics playing in front of 16,612 of their loyal fans had no intention of going down without a fight tonight and once Yoenis Cespedes slammed his third homer in four games against us in the seventh to cut our lead to 1-run things didn’t look so great. But thanks to great relief work from our set-up man Tom Wilhelmsen, and a big out by Lucas Luetge who came into get one batter the Mariners were able to get to their closer League in the ninth who shut down the A’s to preserve the win.
So the Mariners are now 3-1 and will enjoy Easter Sunday off tomorrow before opening up a 4 four game series against a much tougher opponent in the Texas Rangers. This next series will be the real test to see if we can keep scoring runs and not revert to the anemic offense that has been on display for the past couple years. I’m still not sure whether I’m going to battle the crowds and head down to Safeco next Friday for our third ” Opening Day” of 2012, but I plan on hitting a couple of games of the home stand, hope to see you there! GoM’s! http://jeffsmariners.com