Mariners Smash Padres

Going into the sixth inning Monday afternoon the Seattle Mariners were trailing the San Diego Padres 2-0. It looked as though the Mariners were going to let another game get away from them however the sixth inning turned things around. We must wonder if this will put the Mariners into another win streak. It reminds me when the Mariners started the season and lost their first five games at home before Dae-Ho Lee hit a walk-off homer. Monday’s game Lee did not hit a walk-off homer however he did hit a three run homer in the eighth inning to almost seal the game.

The sixth inning started off with Aoki reaching base on catcher’s interference followed by Seth Smith’s double to left-center to score Aoki. After Cano popped up Nelson Cruz came up and hit a single into center to tie the score at 2-2. Kyle Seager finished the sixth off by hitting the first pitch into right field fence. Before Lee’s three run homer in the eighth Adam Lind hit a single up the middle to score two runs. Lee’s home run ended the scoring in the game.

Again Nathan Karns pitched a good game though he gave up eight hits in sixth and two-third innings. He gave up one walk and struck out six batters along with the two runs. The first trade that Dipoto made as general manager of the Mariners look like a steal right now; the three players the Mariners gave up for him are not doing so well for the Tampa Bay Rays. In fact Danny Farquhar was sent to the minors and then released by the Rays. It is amazing what can happen in two years when back in 2014 Farquhar was a major player in the Mariners’ bullpen. I still think that Brad Miller will be a good player though he is struggling for the Rays. I am not sure whether shortstop is the best position for him. He may be better to be switched to second base or the outfield. With his arm playing in right field could be a good place to put him along with his speed. On the other hand not only has Karns has pitched well the Mariners received Boog Powell in the trade too. With Leonys Martin looking like the centerfielder not only now but the future Powell could be in either right or left field and spelling Martin when he needs a rest. Cant’s say right now that Powell will be a good or great player but if he does this trade will be even more in the favor of the Mariners. Dipoto certainly knows what to go for as far as players go even if other teams do not realize it.

The Mariners play another game Tuesday afternoon against the Padres before heading to San Diego to play them two more times and then onto Texas against the Rangers. The series in Texas could put either team a few games ahead in first place. I am sure everyone will take twenty-nine wins by the Mariners in the first fifty games. If they can do the same in the next fifty games this will leave the Mariners with a record of 58-42; this would put the Mariners in quite a good spot for sure. Go M’s.

 

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Twins Sweep Mariners

I am sure no one at least around this area expected the Seattle Mariners being swept by the Minnesota Twins. I certainly did not expect it since the Twins have the worst record in the major leagues. On the other hand we are talking a ball club that had a pretty good season last year and most people expected to contend again this year.

The score on Sunday was closer than the game actually was because Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run homer for the Mariners with two outs in the bottom of ninth to make the final score 5-4.

TaiJuan Walker gave up three home runs in the game before being lifted in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. The Twins first home run was by Robbie Grossman in the top of the second inning to tie the game at one after Robinson Cano hit one for the Mariners to a one to nothing lead. The Mariners did take a 2-1 lead in the second after Kyle Seager hit a double. The Twins took the lead for good when Joe Maurer and Miguel Sano hit back to back homers in the fourth inning. Actually I thought Maurer’s homer was going to be caught by Seth Smith in left field. I sure was surprised the ball went out. There was no doubt that Sano’s was a homer. In fact Sano is a big man I would think anytime he gets contact on a pitch it has a chance to go out. If he can hit it out in Safeco he should it a homer anywhere. Having those back to back homers was a surprise to because they were both hit to left field where there aren’t a lot of homers hit. The roof was closed so wonder if the roof had been open there would have been those many home runs.

The positive side was the relief pitching allowed the Mariners a chance to get back into the games. Now the Mariners face the Padres here in Seattle for two games before heading to San Diego to play them in two more games and then the Mariners go to Texas to take on the Rangers next weekend.

The Mariners will have to forget this series against the Twins and get back to playing good ball. On the positive side Nathan Karns who has been pitching better than any of the Mariner starters takes the mound this afternoon. We hope that he can continue pitching the way he has been going. It is sort of interesting the fifth starter right now is ace of the pitching staff. So let’s go M’s.

Mariners Lose Twice To Twins

Going into the series this weekend with the Minnesota Twins the Mariners had beaten the Oakland two games in a row after losing the first game of the series. After Friday night I was hoping the same thing would happen but it did not and the Mariners lost the game even though they had their chances.

Without getting into details because that is what the beat writers do and I am trying to write on how the team is doing in general. The Twins won the game 6-5 and the Mariners had a chance to tie at least with the bases loaded in the seventh inning I believe with no one out. They had Cruz, Seager and Lind up. All three popped up without not one single runner scoring; I found it unbelievable to say the least. I could understand if it was the lower bottom of the batting order but when it is your primary run producers there is no excuses. This was not the only case either they had times earlier in the game to score as well. Again in the ninth inning they had runners on first and third; they could not get anyone in as well which included a running blunder by Seager. Manager Scott Servais said after that it was a crazy game but I still don’t think that as an excuse. Even still the Mariners should be going into Sunday’s game with at least one win. In both games Felix and Miley had a bad inning. This should not occurred against a team that is struggling on the road and has the worst record in the major leagues. We hope that the Mariners can rebound to take the final game and make this home stand 3-3 going into the final two against the San Diego Padres another team that is struggling. At this point I would be happy with a 4-4 home stand that should have been much better.

The Mariners hitting needs to improve when they have opportunities with runners in scoring position; there is no excuse not to score at least one run when the bases are loaded and no outs. The next three games TaiJuan Walker, Kerns and Iwakuma have to put in solid outings. Felix and Miley have to rebound to win in San Diego. There is no excuse to lose games that they should win. June is going to be tough however if the Mariners can win the next three games I feel they have a real chance in doing well in June to. It would be nice if they can go into July being at five hundred. This would keep them about ten more wins than losses. Go M’s.

Look At King Felix

Right now there are stories out there where major league scouts are worried about his velocity and where his fastball is going these days. The average of his fastball is around 90 miles per hour. According to the scouts they are not concerned about the speed of his fastball but that he needs to make an adjustment if he is still is a dominant pitcher. They think that he is afraid to throw the fastball however he needs to throw it more and to spot it. He continues to throw his changeup which maybe the most dangerous in baseball and is only about two miles per hour slower than his fastball. Also he has a really good curveball as well. One of the best in baseball though right now his teammate Nathan Karns has a better curveball than Felix and has made him an effective pitcher so far.

I know my concern and I am sure of the Mariner coaching staff is that Felix is walking a lot more batters than he normally does. For example right now he has walked twenty-five batters in fifty-seven innings compared to fifty-seven walks he threw in over two hundred innings last year. He even walked fewer the previous two seasons before that. The other pitcher I have had concerned about his walk ratio is Iwakuma but he has fewer walks than Felix in more innings. He has seventeen walks compared to Felix twenty-five in five more innings pitched. Iwakuma problem is he is giving more hits up as well and has an era over four while Felix is the second lowest at 2.21. The thing is that Felix has been able to get out of jams while Iwakuma cannot. What makes Felix still so good is that his pitches do move a lot so the hitters are still not sure where the ball goes. The scouts believe that if he is able to adjust to his velocity on his fast ball he should still be a dominant pitcher for five more years. Knowing Felix is that he will make the adjustment though the scouts are not sure because of his pride. Right now I am fine with where Felix is at in his pitching even though I don’t know about pitching like the scouts or the coaching staff. I agree though he should throw his fastball more often so he doesn’t walk so many batters. The key is when he throws it. Other words where in the count he throws the fastball; I know that he should not throw it on a 3-2 count depending on his other pitches are doing. I would more go with the changeup instead. Anyway King Felix you are still man and we are glad that you are still a Mariner. Go M’s.

 

Mariners Continue With Power

On May 13 I did a profile on Adam Lind who at that point had hit only one home run for the Mariners. Since then he has hit several home runs including two on Wednesday night against the Oakland A’s 13-3. Besides the two home runs he drove in another run with a single at that time was a key run that allowed the Mariners to go further ahead in the game.

Though the game looks like a blowout the A’s did have a chance in the game to go ahead of the Mariners. The Mariners though were able to hold them off before scoring a lot of runs.

This game allowed the Mariners to win another series for them after losing the first game on Monday. If fact another homer on Tuesday by Leonys Martin in the bottom of the ninth inning allowed the Mariners to take this series; it was a walk off homer where the Mariners looked like they would lose another game and lose the series too.

Besides the two home runs by Lind the Mariners got another key home run off the bat of Nelson Cruz along with one by Robinson Cano continues to make a big difference. The thing is though someone else looks like the hero for the Mariners as of late Cano is still playing a key role in the victories as well.

Iwakuma looked like he struggled some in this game however he did win his second game in a row giving up eight hits and seven runs over seven innings. I have to say we will take that every time. He had to spend some time waiting on the bench to because the Mariners were having such long innings which is not the easiest thing to do.

The Mariners have Thursday off and resume action over the weekend against the lowly Minnesota Twins. King Felix starts the game on Friday followed by Miley and TaiJuan Walker. This looks like a good series for the Mariners to win as well. I have to say with the starting rotation the Mariners have they should win a good percentage of the series the rest of the way as long as no injuries to the starters.

Speaking of injuries Leonys Martin had to leave the game because of a slight hamstring. Having Thursday off really helps and he may be back in a few days depending what is seriousness of the hamstring. In the meantime Shawn O’Malley likely will be playing in centerfield unless Martin has to go on the disabled list. If he does go on the list I would see either Boog Powell or Stefen Romero being called up.

In the meantime enjoy the Mariners day off and we will see them back in action on Friday. Go M’s.

What A Blast! Mariners Win!

It looked as though the Mariners were going to lose another game Tuesday night at Safeco Field against the Oakland A’s. The Mariners were 0-4 in Seattle against the A’s this season though they are 3-0 against them in Oakland.

The Mariners were winning in a low scoring game 2-1 going into the sixth inning. Nathan Karns who had been pitching good up to that point had to leave the game with runners on however Nick Vincent who has been pitching pretty good this season did not fare so well in this one. He left the game with two outs after replacing Karns. At that point the A’s had taken the lead 3-2 with the bases loaded. Vincent was replaced by Mike Montgomery who yield a double for the A’s to make it 5-2. It was last scoring done by the A’s in the game. Montgomery did an excellent job pitching the remaining of the game without giving up any more runs.

The Mariners made a game of it in the eighth inning when Franklin Gutierrez had a pinch hit double off of John Axford followed by a home run by Nelson Cruz to make it 5-4. In the ninth inning closer Madison got the first two batters out on the Mariners so it looked like a typical Mariner loss at home when Aoki came up got on base with a single. Martin than followed up with two strikes before hitting a walk-off home run for the Mariners to win. The timing was perfect having your hottest hitter up to bat with two outs. Again Martin is showing off his hard work with hitting coach Edgar Martinez.

It is really nice to have someone who is not part of the core group of Cano, Cruz and Cano being able to contribute to the offense. Martin has the capability to lay down a bunt if necessary along with hitting whether a single or a home run. With his hot bat Servais has decided to flip Aoki and Martin in the lineup. It looks as though Sardinas will be returning to the Mariner lineup and Chris Taylor being sent back down to Tacoma. So I see either Aoki or Sardinas hitting behind Martin while the other is batting ninth.

It is good to see that Franklin Gutierrez’s bat is now starting to come alive. He could be hitting in either the second in the batting order or fifth depending what Servais wants to do. What is making the Mariners a success right now besides the pitching is that they don’t have any holes in the lineup like they did last year. We remember how the bottom of the batting order was almost automatic outs. Now they are contributing in scoring some runs. If not on a daily basis at least a few times a week; just like Dipoto envisioned before the season began getting runners on base for Cano, Cruz and Seager to drive them in. Way to go team. Go M’s.

Rich Hill and A’s Beat Mariners

The Seattle Mariners returned home Monday night to take on the Oakland A’s. I am sure everyone was looking for a better result the Mariners lost in the first game to the A’s 5-0. Rich Hill pitched an outstand game against the Mariners. The good news the Mariners still have a chance to win the series.

TaiJuan Walker had a great game pitching for the Mariners to retiring sixteen A’s in a row. Until the eighth inning the Mariners were still had a good chance in winning being down 1-0 however Chris Taylor playing in his first game of the season made two errors that helped give the A’s four unearned runs. Taylor bubbled the ball and then threw past Dae-Ho Lee at first base. I was shocked because I thought he would hold onto the ball because at that point he really didn’t have the change to get the runner. We could say lack of experience but that is not the case for Taylor since he has played some shortstop for the Mariners. In fact he played a lot of shortstop last May for the Mariners. I saw a lot of posts unkind about Taylor after it happened which I can’t really blame anyone. If Marte had done something like that in his debut last season I am sure no one would have faulted him believing he was nervous but not the case in Taylor. Now we wonder what may happen with Taylor in the future and whether this was just a one time during a game. I guess we will really see. I would not be surprised if the Mariners use O’Malley until Marte returns to play shortstop. On the other hand they could give Taylor another chance. A lot to will depend what else happens on the team.

It was nice to see that Walker rebounded with an outstanding performance after struggling for a few outings. It seems that the Mariners haven’t figured out the pitching of Hill. Actually he has been the best pitcher for the A’s. He actually retired fourteen batters in a row himself. His record for the A’s is 7-3 with an era of 2.18 while TaiJuan Walker’s record goes to 2-4 with an era of 2.70. More run support his record would be at least 4-2.

Tuesday night Karns goes for the Mariners against right handed pitcher Kendall Graveman who has a record of 1-6 with an era of 5.48. We hope the Mariners offensive will turn around at home. Seth Smith and Adam Lind should both be back in the lineup going against right hander. If Karns continues his fine pitching he should be able to go at least six innings. Nick Vincent, Benoit and Cishek did not pitch in Monday’s game after holding onto the game Sunday against the Reds so they all should be a go tonight. I would not be surprised if Leonys Martin leads off again since he had two more hits in Monday’s game. Go M’s.