I was thinking before writing this how many times Felix pitched and the Mariner batters scored less than three runs. At the beginning of the season I figured it to be just over one hundred games and Mariners only won about three more than they lost. Now Felix has come off the disabled list and his first two outings although he pitches poorly especially Tuesday night’s game the Mariners have won both games.
I guess our question is do we want the old Felix back where the games are 3-1 and 2-0 and the Mariners only win half of the games or the new Felix where the hitters are scoring more runs to win. Of course we would like to see the old Felix at the same time the offense is scoring runs as well.
The first outing I thought Felix did a better job than he did in Tuesday night’s game. The good thing though is that Felix has the pride to fight even when he is struggling to get the pitches over the plate. Positive thing again he gave up three runs out of the four in the first inning along with the fact he pitched six innings. I am sure with many of the other pitchers on the Mariners starting rotation they would have been taken out of the game before six innings were complete. It allowed the bullpen not to be overused which is another good thing.
Vidal Nuno struggled to in the inning he pitched although he did not give up any runs. This was primarily because Tom Wilhelmsen came in and did an outstanding job. He looks like he is back on track for the Mariners and we should see more of him in relief.
Edwin Nunez pitched the eighth inning and two hitters got on base without any outs. He showed us all how tough he is by getting three outs without the Pirates scoring any runs. The amazing part is that he did not strike out a batter at all. Normally he would have struck out the side. This is showing us more and more the pitcher he truly is. He is dominating even when not striking out batters. This shows that he is the closer in the making.
Jerry Dipoto made another move by trading Joaquin Benoit to the Toronto Blue Jays for a younger reliever who is also struggling in Drew Storen. He previously was a closer so the Mariners could look into putting him in that role for the time being or wait to see how he does. Both Benoit and Storen are looked to become free agents at the end of the season. I am sure the Blue Jays were looking at Benoit being used in the stretch run to help them out while Storen could be used in the same way or Dipoto is thinking down the road as well as this season. If Storen gets things back in order the Mariners may look at giving him a new contract possibly for a couple years likely.
It is still interesting to see if the Mariners will make any other moves this weekend or into August where players have to go through the waiver wires first. I am sure this was a trade that the Blue Jays may have come to the Mariners first to see about moving Benoit. I am sure the Mariners are still talking to the Miami Marlins and other teams about Wade Miley. Since he has done well in his last couple outings the Mariners could get good value for him than what they would further down the road.
Kyle Seager hit a home run that put the Mariners ahead after the team started down 4-1. The Mariners were able to rally win the game 7-4. Seager’s home run became his 20th of the season and the fifth straight year for him. Nelson Cruz left the game early because of his legs and precautions. We will have to see if he is into Wednesday’s game too. James Paxton will be starting the game Wednesday. With the record of 3-1 on this current road trip we can hope that the Mariners can extend it to 4-1 going to Chicago. The Mariners will have another day off on Thursday before starting the three game series against the Cubs. Go M’s.