Rangers Beat Mariners on Walk Off Homer

The Seattle Mariners lost another game they should have won on Tuesday night. They had plenty of opportunities to score more runs but that is not the main point because most of the time they should win when they score six runs in a game.

I am not going to do a rundown of all the scoring because I am sure you can read that elsewhere I just want to write my opinion and analyze concerning the play of the Mariners.

Edwin Diaz gave up the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Rangers an 8-7 win. The Mariners had a 6-4 lead going late into the game when the Rangers came back to tie. The Mariners scored a run in the top of the ninth to take a 7-6 lead. It looked pretty good for the Mariners however Diaz had pitched the eighth inning as well. I am not sure of the odds but it seems to me especially with his age and lack of experience he should be pitching one inning. The main reason he had to go two innings was that James Paxton could only go five innings because of injury to one of his fingers. The injury should not keep him out for his next start. I believe another reason is the Mariners and Rangers are playing a day game so I am sure manager Scott Servais wanted to save any remaining relievers to go on Wednesday. I am sure that he wanted to go with his best reliever in situations like this too but I believe he has to rethink the situation for the future.

If the Mariners are figuring to make it to the playoffs they can’t afford any more losses like the one happened on Tuesday. Of course they won’t win all their games but they can’t afford to lose a game to a team in their division who has allowed their starter to give up a lot of runs to the Mariners to. If the Mariners had lost 3-1 it would have been disappointing but not as much when they have scored seven runs. This continues to show the weaknesses of the Mariners. Although they are close too many of these one run losses especially late in the games; they are beating the teams that they should beat though they have lost some to the weak teams as well. The Mariners have only won one game after losing a game to the Milwaukee Brewers that should have allowed the Mariners to sweep the series. Current road trip they are 1-5 with the remaining one game Wednesday before returning home. Felix Hernandez will be pitching the game and if he pitches like he has done in his last several outings the Mariners should win this game though the road trip was not what it should have been. The Mariners should have gone 4-3 or 3-4 which is better than either 2-5 or 1-6. The Mariners will have to rebound in their next home stand to have any chance to stay in the race. The next home stand starts on Friday where the Mariners face the Angels in a three game series. It would be nice for the team to take all three games for a sweep which they are capable since they have done so already this season. After that they have a four game series against the Rangers. That series would be nice to win three out of the four games. After that they have two more series both on the road and at home. They end the season going against the Oakland A’s. If they are still in the race that series may help them make it into the playoffs.

The Mariners have Thursday off before facing the Angels and since Friday will be September 2 the Mariners should have a few players to help since they will be able to add to the roster. I am sure a few relievers will be added to the roster to keep the bullpen refreshed. An additional outfielder and catcher would be nice as well. Since Shawn O’Malley has done a really good job in both the infield and outfield an additional infielder would not be necessary though Freeman who has been up a couple times I am sure will be added to.

Nelson Cruz is not into Wednesday’s lineup just like Tuesdays. He should be ready to go on Friday. Wednesday’s lineup is the same as Tuesday’s since they are facing another lefty in Perez. The only difference is that Chris Iannetta will be catching the ball game. We all hope that the Mariners can rebound and play a good game today. It would be sad for them to play September without having a stake in the playoffs. So now we say once again Go M’s.

 

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Mariners Lose Four out of Five On Road Trip

While I was gone for five days to my nephew’s wedding in St. Louis the Seattle Mariners did not play very good ball. The only win was the game where Felix Hernandez outpitched Chris Sale 3-1. I did not hear or watch any of the games I just looked on line when I had the chance although it wasn’t much time for me.

What I amazed during the stretch which I guess I shouldn’t have been was how many transactions that Dipoto made. I am not sure why Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment during that time. I know he was being used out of the bullpen instead of starting but what happens if one of the starters gets hurt. Also I don’t see the relievers brought in were much better than him. I am sure Dipoto was looking for someone to pitch in short relief compared to long relief. I hope though that LeBlanc will have a chance to comeback when the roster expands in a couple days. He may have to wait for a few days because of going through waivers. There is a possibility that someone will want to pick him up.

With Aoki being sent down for a few days it will be nice to see whether Shawn O’Malley can look like a regular player in left field. He could be a guy that plays regular but play several positions as well. The important thing is to see whether he can hit well in the lineup almost every day. Another one to see will be Heredia. Can he be one to platoon against left handed pitching or turn into an everyday player. He is athletic enough to play defensively late into games but his speed will help if he could do it on a regular basis. Important questions to happen or the Mariners will need to go out and get a corner outfielder. Another question is how soon Tyler O’Neil will be ready to play; would he best to start in a platoon situation or every day or start next season in triple-A.

We can hope questions can be answered for the Mariners while at the same time stay in the race. I expect the next ten games will go forward to answers these questions. The Mariners will need to go 6-4 or even during this stretch at least otherwise if they lose more games than win they will be out of the race. There are a total of thirty-one games remaining going into Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers for the season. Regardless of what happens we do know that the team is going in the right direction.

Pitching is still the big question going into these thirty-one games. How will the starters do and the relievers as well. Can the starters go at least six innings each time out? We see that Felix has rebounded back to his old self however Iwakuma will be able to bounce back after a few bad outings and will James Paxton be the third starter for the Mariners. Tuesday night we will have more answers concerning Paxton. We have to see whether TaiJuan Walker start pitching deep into games or struggle through only five innings. It is important that Miranda can pitch through six innings as well. Whatever answers the Mariners get I see that they will probably go out and get another starter during the off-season. We hope the pitcher will be better than Wade Miley who the Mariners got last off-season but traded to the Orioles. Right now the Mariners don’t look like they have any potential starters in triple-A. Any starters in the minors are probably not going to be ready until 2018 at least.

While I was gone the bullpen made some changes as well. The Mariners brought up another hard throwing right handed pitcher from double-A in Dan Altavilla. He throws around one hundred miles per hours as well like Edwin Diaz. The Mariners look like they will use him as a setup man to Diaz in the same way as Caminero. Both of these guys can be used in the eighth inning and possibly close when Diaz has pitched too many games in a row. Depending where he is used Steve Cishek could still pitch in the ninth inning in place of Diaz too. This does give some flexibility for the bullpen. The future does look bright for the bullpen right now but as we know that could change in a hurry. We just hope that neither Diaz nor Altavilla get into arm trouble. Anyway the future looks bright for the bullpen in the late innings. We can hope that the Mariners can find good pitchers to keep going in the sixth and seventh innings as well.

The Mariners will be facing Cole Hamels on Tuesday night so that will make it tough on the offense but we hope that Paxton can keep it close and the Mariners bullpen will give them a chance to win. So we can say Go M’s.

Tanaka KO’s Mariners

The Seattle was shutout by the Tanaka and the New York Yankees on Wednesday night 5-0. It was the second straight loss for the Mariners both to the New York Yankees.

Now the Mariners will be going to Chicago to have a four game series against the White Sox before going to Texas to face the Rangers. This away series will be important for the Mariners to stay in the race for the Playoffs. In fact if the Mariners can do a great job against both teams this will help them get closer to the lead in the division as well.

The Mariners offense will need to come back alive after taking two days off along with the starting rotation doing their job. I am sure the bullpen is fine as long as they are not overworked. James Paxton is expected to pitch for the Mariners on Thursday. It will be real nice if he can recover and have an outing like he did in last time out or at the minimum something close. It is very important that starters go at least six innings giving up no more than two or three runs. It will be nice for the offense to average five runs during this road trip.

Besides the good pitching by Tanaka going seven innings gave up six hits, one walk and struck out five Mariners Gary Sanchez homered again for the Yankees. He seems to be a guy who is going to give teams trouble and he the catcher for the Yankees too.

The Yankees are now a younger team having no ARod any longer and first baseman/designated hitter Mark Teixeira will retire at the end of the year. The Yankees most likely go on the free agent market to fill holes make them a stronger team next season.

It is important that the Mariners offense will come back into action the Mariners will need them to do so. Kyle Seager missed the game because of a slight injury hopefully he will not be out for very long. Also Nelson Cruz is hurt a little as well and the Mariners need him along with Seager and Cano to continue getting the job done to get into the playoffs. The Mariners will need other players to step up on the offensive side of the ball as well.

I will be off for a family wedding over the next few days. I hope that I will have a little free time to see how the Mariners do and give my analyze. Everyone have a great weekend. I will be reporting back next Tuesday if not before then.

 

Walker and Mariners Taken Care of by Sabathia

I am sure the Mariners knew they were in a game against the Yankees because C.C. Sabathia was pitching on Tuesday night. Although he isn’t the pitcher he wants was he did teach the Mariner batters some things. He pitched seven innings giving up four hits and one run on one hundred and seven pitches. Actually the same amount of pitches as TaiJuan Walker did for the Mariners but Walker did it in five and two-third innings. Another thing is that Walker gave up four runs with three being earned. Early in the game TaiJuan looked like the pitcher we know that has a high ceiling however he struggled in the fifth inning looking more like the pitcher he was before being sent down to triple-A. His velocity started dropping while his pitches started plying up. In the fifth inning he gave up a home run that showed to some that he maybe not ready to pitch six innings or more in the major leagues and win. He does show brilliance of flashes in this game like in others but will we see that on a consistency basis.

Last year the Mariners sent down Mike Zunino to Tacoma at the end of August and did not have return for the September call ups. Instead he was sent to Arizona to continue working on his hitting. I wonder if the Mariners should do the same with Walker. After Tuesday night’s game I am sure Servais and Dipoto discussed what things will look for Walker the remaining of the season. James Paxton is expected to return to the rotation starting on Thursday night. The starting rotation should look like Paxton, Felix, Iwakuma, Miranda and LeBlanc. For Walker to stay in the rotation he would have to pitch better than either Miranda or LeBlanc but can he. LeBlanc pitched two innings in Tuesday night’s game so he could easily take Walker’s spot when it comes up in five days.

On the plus side the Mariners did not use up the regular guys in the bullpen going with Vidal Nuno for a third of an inning, Tony Zych in his first action coming off the disabled list for an inning and LeBlanc for two innings. So everyone else is ready to go in the bullpen Wednesday night. It is nice to see that Servais has decided to use Nuno in situations where they need to get a left handed hitter out. I am sure when September rolls around they will be able to use Dave Rollins in the same role. The Rainiers look like they will be in the PCL playoffs so it will be interesting to see how many players will come up as of September 1st and wait for the rest of call ups after the playoffs are done for the Rainiers.

In the meantime Iwakuma will be going against the Yankees in the final game of the series and then the Mariners will be off to Chicago against the White Sox. Iwakuma has a clause in his contract where he pitches five more innings which we hope takes place Wednesday night guarantees his contract for next season. He has some bonus coming his way depending on the amount of innings he pitches. They will all be matched if he pitches for another forty innings in the remaining of the season. He probably has seven or eight more games to start in the season and if he can go at least six in each of them he will meet the entire bonuses. We hope he does so because otherwise the Mariners could be in some trouble as far as winning games for the remaining of the season and getting into the playoffs. We hope to see the best of Iwakuma in this game. Go M’s.

Mariners and Yankees Slug it Out

Monday night the first of three games the Mariners and Yankees decided to have a slug fest. All twelve runs in the game came from the long ball with the Mariners finally winning 7-5.

Twice when the Yankees hit home runs it put them back into the lead so the Mariners had roar back to take the lead. Cody Martin pitched OK for the Mariners outside of the home runs. He gave up a total of three home runs in five and two-third innings. Nick Vincent replaced him and pitched an inning himself including the last out in the sixth inning. Vidal Nuno replaced Vincent to get a lefty out. Steve Cishek pitched the eighth and Edwin Diaz got his tenth save in ten chances to seal the victory. It was fortunate that the bullpen did not give up any runs after they replaced Martin.

The Mariners got all seven runs with Seager and Zunino both hitting three-run homers and Nelson Cruz sort of sealing up the victory with a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Seager’s home run happened in the fourth inning when the Yankees had a 2-0 lead. Up to that point Michael Paneda had been taking pretty good care of the Mariners. In fact he was striking out batters left and right. The Mariners were able to get two runners on base when Seager hit the home run on a 3-0 count. He was given the green light to hit the ball and so he did it for sure.

The Yankees came back and took the lead again on home runs so Mike Zunino decided to hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cruz home run in the bottom of the eighth he actually cracked the bat which shows how strong he is.

TaiJuan Walker is expected to come up from triple-A to make a start on Tuesday and likely Cody Martin will be sent back down. Other moves are expected to be made on Tuesday before game time. On Monday the Mariners did bring back up outfielder Heredia from Tacoma. In fact he was inserted late in the game in left field as a defensive replaced for Aoki. Also Shawn O’Malley came in as a replacement in right field as well. He made an outstanding catch going into the stands along the right field line. The catch may have saved the game for the Mariners. The Mariners are expected to bring up a reliever as well on Tuesday. The Mariners show the pitcher for Wednesday as to be announced. The two primary candidates are Miranda and LeBlanc. Whoever doesn’t start on Wednesday will be in the bullpen. James Paxton is expected to pitch on Thursday in Chicago against the White Sox. He will be coming off the disabled list so someone will have to be sent down or designated for assignment, or go on the disabled list. Whatever the case Jerry Dipoto will be busy Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Go M’s.

 

Mariners Blow Lead and Sweep

The Seattle Mariners on Sunday had a lead of 6-3 going into the top of the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers who have lost eight games in a row. I don’t think anyone including manager Scott Servais could believe that Tom Wilhelmsen who started the ninth inning and Vidal Nuno could blow a lead like that. Even after Miranda left the sixth inning with two outs and have given up two runs that inning. Steve Cishek came in and got the batter out without problem at all. Whether Mariners scored another run or not I figured they still had the game in hand. The bullpen had been doing well though Diaz gave up some runs on Friday night but he wasn’t going to pitch because Servais believed he need at least another day off even though Cishek pitched on Saturday night to close the game for Felix Hernandez. Wilhelmsen had been pitching pretty well of late so I didn’t think he would give up two home runs and struggle. Leonys Martin did miss a catch in centerfield that he should have made and the game probably been tied but still I can’t blame him for the loss because Wilhelmsen should have still gotten out of the inning.

What really makes me shake my head because it has happened so many times over this season the bullpen has given up a lot of home runs in Safeco Field. If it were not for the home runs the bullpen would give up very few runs. Safeco Field is supposed to be quite a home field advantage for the Mariners although they have done well lately. It is hard to figure out why so many more home runs have been hit out Safeco Field than ever before. It could be the weather or the pitchers are throwing the ball where the hitters can hit it out. I know a few weeks ago Ryan Rowland-Smith said on radio broadcast that the hitters are looking more for hitting the ball out of the ballpark and it looks as though he is right. They are waiting more patiently for the pitcher to make a mistake so the pitchers have to look at what they are doing especially keeping the pitch count down. The more the pitches the batters are seeing the more advantage they have against the pitcher. The pitching coach can say as much as he can but the pitchers still have to their job. I understand to if the pitchers were throwing a lot of innings however recently they all have been rested. Can’t use any excuses go out and not give up home runs.

The New York Yankees come into town with a younger looking group of players. The Mariners should win at least two out of three in the series as well but since the starting rotation has been out of order it is hard to truly know what will happen. James Paxton is not expected to pitch in this series but he is says that his rehab assignment went well and he is ready to go so the Mariners plan to start him on Thursday in Chicago against the White Sox. Cody Martin is expected to start the game Monday night against former Mariner Michael Pineda. This should be an interesting pairing since Pineda is struggling and who knows what the Mariners get out of Martin. The important thing though is that the Mariners win at least two of these three games against the Yankees. The Yankees have a much different looking team so hard to know what we will see though did well against the Angels but who doesn’t. Go M’s.

The King is Back

Saturday night Felix Hernandez pitched like we are all familiar with and why he is called the King. He pitched eight innings and gave up only one walk with two runs however they were caused in the eighth inning when Shawn O’Malley miss played a ball and another run was scored on a hit. Felix has won every game he has pitched since he came off the disabled list but this was the best one he has pitched and we recognize him as the King. I believe a lot has to do with the catching of Mike Zunino as well. Besides his fine catching Zunino hit his eighth home run with the Mariners and drove in three runs. The score ended up being 8-2. Steve Cishek pitched his first action since coming off the disabled list getting all three batters in the top of the ninth inning.

Zunino’s hitting looks so much better than last season. He is more discipline at the plate and not going after so many balls out of the strike zone. He is looking to drive the ball especially the other way.

Keep this short since Sunday’s game is about ready to start. The Mariners are looking to sweep the Brewers and then they will take on the Yankees on Monday. Go M’s.