Mike Zunino and the Offense

Can’t say more about the Mariners than Mike Zunino and the rest of the offense; he has led the AL in runs batted in for the month around 24. He has adjusted well since his return from Tacoma. We do hope that he can continue doing what he has been or at least above his previous average anyway. He will have his ups and downs however I like the fact that when he strikes out he is still able to come back to be effective in the game. On the offensive side of the ball it is power that helps out the Mariners. He is able to drive the ball the other way to center or right field. He is able to get some good doubles besides the home runs. We have to see if this continues for him the rest of the season.

Ben Gamel continues to having a hot bat as well hitting over .400 for the month of June. It will be interesting to see how manager Scott Servais will work the lineup with the return of Jean Segura. He is expected to be back in the lineup Thursday after making a final rehab assignment on Wednesday. He is expected to go nine innings in the Wednesday game. There is a good possibility that Gamel will lead off when right handers are on the mound and then Segura against lefties. Of course that may not happen at all. The question is if that happens where both of them will be in the lineup when not leading off. Segura may be the leadoff batter full time as well which will slide Gamel down in the lower of the batting of the order except when Mitch Haniger has a day off.

Having the flexibility of Dyson and Heredia playing center field is nice to with Heredia playing left field on occasion as well. I would play Heredia in the outfield at least one other time during the week against righties depending on how often they are facing lefties in a given week. I would say the same for Dyson if the Mariners are facing several lefties in a particular week. Whatever the case this is the good problem to have.

Wednesday night James Paxton takes the mound for the Mariners against the Tigers. We all hope that he rebounds from his last two poor outings. We hope that it hasn’t all gone to his head. His success will have to come at the beginning of the game. Detroit has Justin Verlander going for them in the game so it will be a tough match up for sure. How the Mariners start out in the first inning will give us a good idea how they will do in the game. This is both on the offense and pitching.

The Mariners had a nice walk-off win with Kyle Seager hitting a double down right field in the 10th inning with Tyler Smith pinch running for Nelson Cruz. The placement of the ball by Seager made it an easy run home for Smith. Also it was quite timely since it was Seager’s only hit of the game.

Ariel Miranda had a nice comeback after his last outing giving up two runs on four hits in seven innings. His two runs were solo homers by Ian Kinsler leading off the game and Justin Upton leading off the second inning. The Mariners had a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning when the Tigers tied the game. Dan Altavilla started out the inning well but then gave up the two runs that included a solo home run. Edwin Diaz had a nice outing in the ninth and then Steve Cishek came in and took care of the Tigers before Seager’s double. This gave Cishek a record of 1-1 on the season. Miranda’s outing allowed only three relievers to pitch in the game over the ten innings. All the other relievers should be ready to go on Wednesday. Go M’s.

 

Mariners Win Final Game Of Road Trip

It was nice to see the Mariners win the final game on the road trip in Texas. The odds were not looking good since they were facing Yu Darvish for the Rangers and the Mariners had not done well in the first two games in Texas however the Mariner bats were able to get  four runs off of Darvish including a two-run homer by Danny Valencia in the first inning.

The Mariners have done quite well when they are able to score early in the game and the Mariners pitching is able to stop the other teams hitting. Recently the other team has been able to score early and often in the games on this road trip. On the positive side they ended the road trip going 3-4. They split the four games in Minnesota and won the final game in Texas after losing the first two games.

Other good news besides going home this week the Mariners are expecting Felix Hernandez to take the mound on Friday night against the Houston Astros. Before facing the Astros the Mariners will be in a four game series against the Detroit Tigers. It would be nice to get three wins against the Tigers and take two out of three from the Astros. The Mariners have had their struggles against Houston but so has almost everyone. The Astros currently have a record of 46-24 and they are eleven games ahead of second place Texas Rangers who are even at 34-34. The Mariners who are in fourth place in the American League West are a game and a half behind the Texas Rangers while the Los Angeles Angels are a game ahead of the Mariners. The Mariners are two games ahead of the Oakland A’s.

Facing the Detroit Tigers the Mariners are taking on a team that has a worse record than they do. The Tigers have a record of 32-36 while the Mariners are at 34-37. Rookie starter Sam Gaviglio will take the mound Monday night for the Mariners against Anibal Sanchez for the Tigers. This will be his first start of the season. He has pitched in eleven games in relief with an era of 9.00 and has just returned from Triple A. So the Mariners should have a good shot scoring runs against him hopefully starting off early in the game.

The rest of the series against Detroit on Tuesday Ariel Miranda who struggled in his last outing however has won more games than any other Mariner pitcher will face Jordan Zimmerman who has had quality starts in his last three games however gave up eleven hits against the Mariners in April. Wednesday game will be the one of the series where we hope that James Paxton will rebound after two poor outings and he will be face Justin Verlander. The series will conclude with Yovani Gallardo who has struggled almost all season for the Mariners against Daniel Norris. Go M’s.

Mariner Pitching Or Lack of It

The Seattle Mariner pitching not going well in the series against the Texas Rangers. This after a so so series against the Minnesota Twins where the Mariners split the series on the road; in that series the Mariners had two good outings and two bad ones that continued onto Texas.

The Mariners had some good pitching from the long relievers that they brought up from Tacoma that helped out the bullpen. Other words on the positive side the bullpen was not overused which could have happened easily if they hadn’t brought up those relievers. In fact those guys did so well that in most cases they went the rest of the way when entering the game. On the negative side besides losing the relievers haven’t had a lot of usage over the past week either.

On Saturday Yovani Gallardo started the game giving up five runs in the first inning which did not help the Mariners offense at all. I have to say Cano struggled in his at bats because three times he came up with at least two batters on base and was unable to drive any of them in. Also Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager have struggled through the series as well. Not sure what Seager’s problem is but he hasn’t been doing very well as of late. Some fans think he is trying to hit too many home runs. I am not sure if that is the case however he does need to try hitting the other way. I have actually seen him having trouble on the outside pitches.

On the positive side Mike Zunino continues to carry a hot bat. I am sure the jury is still out but at this point he does look like the Mariners catcher of the future as well as the present. When he was sent down to Tacoma I thought that could be it for him. I am glad for him because he is a good guy and plays wonderful defense. He is someone the Mariners need to have. I am sure he will struggle at times however if he can hit some doubles and home runs along with keeping a descent average the Mariners will be alright. The important thing is that he doesn’t go back to his old ways again.

Saturday night Felix Hernandez had his third rehab assignment at Tacoma where he pitched another wonderful game. He looks ready to go. I expect we will see him late next week when the Mariners return home. What day he will pitch will be determined soon. It will be the answer who he will replace in the order. Will he take Gallardo’s spot or Christian Bergman’s? I like what Sam Gaviglio is doing on the mound so he should stay in the rotation until Iwakuma returns. Speaking of him he is expected to make another rehab assignment on Monday in Tacoma. If Gallardo is still on the roster by the end of next week I would like to see him in the bullpen doing long relief until he straightens thing out.

We will have the answers coming soon to the Mariners however it is important that they get the starting pitching back in order before they are too far out of the race.

Giving up so many runs early certainly makes it tough on the offense that is for sure. Despite the pitching sometimes and the frustration the hitting of Gamel, Haniger, Heredia and Dyson sure makes the team entertaining and willing to watch. It would be nice if all four were in the lineup at the same time.

Just heard that Felix will be pitching this coming Thursday for the Mariners in Seattle and now we hope that James Paxton can get things back in order. Let’s go M’s.

Mariners Start Road Trip On Grand Fashion!

The Seattle Mariners Monday night started out beating the Minnesota Twins in the first game of four by the score of 14-3. I wonder how many fans watching the game were hoping that the Mariners would save some of the runs for the next three games at least.

Mitch Haniger is now back playing right field and was named the player of the game for the Mariners. He had four hits while scoring four times and driving in two runs. It certainly was the right way for him to come back after being on the disabled list and going on a rehab assignment.

With the absence of Jean Segura the leadoff spot has not missed a spot with Ben Gamel being there against right handers and Guillermo Heredia against lefties. It looks like Segura will be coming off the disabled list sooner than expected. Right now he is taking grounders at shortstop. He is expected to run the bases on Tuesday to see how things are going with his legs and ankle.

Having Segura back will mean that Gamel and Heredia will be at the lower part of the batting order which will make it tough along with Jarrod Dyson when he is in the lineup.

When Segura is back I see the lineup as Segura, Haniger, Cano, Cruz, Seager, Valencia, Gamel, Zunino or Ruiz and Dyson/Heredia. Gamel has been taking grounders at first base for the last couple weeks or so. At times we may see all four Gamel, Heredia, Dyson and Heredia starting the game. I expect the Mariners will rest Valencia at least once a week against tough right handed pitchers. Whatever the case the Mariners will have strength of the bench to pinch hit or pinch run.

Mike Zunino continued his hot hitting getting three hits including a home run and driving in two runs. Since he has been on a good roll since coming back from Tacoma it looks he has made the adjustments to major league pitching. He does continue to strike out some however he is making the adjustments after that. It is a good sign as his confidence increases.

Yovani Gallardo had another rough start giving up two runs in the first inning however he did go six innings. His final run given up was in the sixth inning. The positive side was that he was able to go six innings. He was followed by relievers Tony Zych, James Pazos and Steve Cishek who each went an inning without giving up a hit. The bullpen has been doing an excellent job since the starters have been able to go six innings in the most part.

Christian Bergman who has been pitching well on the most part will take the mound against the Twins. The Mariners brought back up Casey Lawrence who has done a good job. The Mariners keep bringing guys up and down who have been pitching long relief to keep the bullpen refreshed. So Lawrence may be the first guy out of the bullpen Tuesday if he has to go several innings. Most likely the Mariners will have Nick Vincent and Edwin Diaz pitching Tuesday as well.

Monday night was the start of the baseball amateur draft. Their first pick which was the 17th overall pick was Evan White a first baseman out of University of Kentucky. He is excited to be part of the Mariners organization. Scott Hunter head of Mariner scouting says that he could play several different positions however their plan is to have him play first base.

With the second pick of the draft the Mariners drafted a right handed pitcher Sam Carlson out of Minnesota. He committed to University of Florida however the Mariners are expected to sign him. He was the 5th overall pick in the draft. He is a big kid at 6’4 and 215 pounds. Being a young guy at eighteen years of age we won’t expect to see him for several years. I am sure the Mariners will bring him along slowly so he doesn’t develop arm trouble. White on the other hand being a college player and being three years older than Carlson will come along sooner. We hope that White will develop better than some of the other first round picks that the Mariners have had in recent years. Usually general manager Jerry Dipoto likes going with college players especially this early in the draft however he didn’t expect that Carlson would still be around so he thought that he would be worth the gamble to take.

Tuesday the draft continues with rounds 3 thru 10 and then concluded on Wednesday with 11 even thru 40. I expect that the Mariners will likely go with college players thru the 10th round unless there is an exception of a player they didn’t expect to be available. I am sure we will see them pick some local players in the draft as well. David Peterson left handed pitcher out of University of Oregon who many thought the Mariners would pick at 17th ending up going 20th to the New York Mets. This shows how much Evan White meant to them. Have more updates on the draft later. Go M’s.

 

 

Disappointing Weekend For Mariners

The Seattle Mariners started out well on Friday night however Saturday and Sunday were disappointments. This was especially true with the offense unable to score runs. Although James Paxton struggled in his pitching the offense could have kept the Mariners in the game.

It seems that the Mariners struggle when they reach the .500 level. Of course it did not help with Blue Jay fans taking over so much of the stands. It says something about the Mariner fans as well. They should have learned from last year that they need to get out in numbers. The Mariner fans seem to be passive in so many ways while the Blue Jay fans are having a great time.

There should be enough fans living in Seattle itself to get out to the games on this weekend and those from out of state should schedule a trip to Seattle when the Blue Jay fans figure to do so. It would be nice to have busloads of fans from out of town to come to the games. Safeco Field should not be an away game when the Blue Jay fans come to town.

I understand that the Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2017 however they are more entertaining this year despite the injuries that have occurred. It would have been nice to see King Felix pitch over the weekend but still no excuse that he was injured. Besides Cruz and Cano the young guys make it a good time to go to the games.

I am sure things won’t change for the Mariner fans until they are in the playoff hunt or have made the playoffs but everyone must realize this is not the same Mariners any longer. It would be nice if the fans could be as excited as the Seahawk fans are. Remember the Seahawks were not a great team for a while either. Let’s plan to attend the series against the Blue Jays next time. Order the tickets as soon as they are available. If you can’t go to the games buy the tickets anyway and then resell them. Let the Mariners know how much we care for them. Go M’s.

Let’s Take the Series Mariners!

The Seattle Mariners take on the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field. The Mariners have James Paxton going for them. He hasn’t lost a game yet.

The Mariners should have another sell-out crowd or certainly close to it any way. The Blue Jay fans will make their way home after the game. I am sure that I-5 will be busy late afternoon and evening.

The first two games have been close with the Mariners winning the first game on Friday and then the Blue Jays Saturday night. The Mariners could have taken Saturday’s night game finally falling 4-2. The Jays got their runs on three home runs including one by Justin Smoak in the top of the ninth that sealed the victory.

It is not easy to take on the Jays at Safeco Field since it feels like an away game with so many of their fans in the stands. The make a roar no matter how big or small the play is. Since James Paxton is Canadian himself I am sure he has every intention to take down the Jays. In fact he originally was drafted by them however he decided not to sign and went into the next draft when the Mariners took him. If he can stay healthy he should take over the role as the number one guy in the starting rotation. I am sure the Mariners are looking to sign him to a long-term contract. Whether it takes place will depend on how he does the rest of this season.

The Mariners will go on the road on Monday to face the Minnesota Twins for four games and then the Texas Rangers for three. The Mariners next home stand will be against the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies. Go M’s.

Nelson Cruz Out With Calf

The Seattle Mariners have been out with Nelson Cruz for a few days. The Mariners were in good shape because the offense was rolling well until Thursday Night when the Mariners lost 2-1. This ended the Mariners five game winning streak and now puts their record at 30-31.

Before the game general manager Jerry Dipoto on his weekly radio program said that Cruz was day to day. They wanted to give him as much rest as possible. I see that happening will depend on whether the offense continues to struggle or not.

Thursday’s night game loss primarily had to do with Mariners poor defense and the Twins good defense. The Mariners did win the series 2-1. Now they have a three game series against Toronto Blue Jays at Safeco before going on the road. Not sure whether Cruz will be in the lineup on Friday however I would not be surprised if he is on Saturday if the Mariners lose. The Mariners need to win this series to stay around or above .500.

Thursday night the Tacoma Rainiers won 1-0 in an unusual way when outfielder Mitch Haniger on a rehab assignment walked with the bases loaded. I am not sure if I have ever heard that happening before. At least I know it hasn’t happened very often. Not sure how many more games that Haniger will play in rehab but I would not be surprised if he goes on the next road trip with the Mariners.

Sunday the Mariners are expecting Felix Hernandez to make his second rehab assignment with the Tacoma Rainiers. How he does in that game will determine when he will be reactivated again by the Mariners. His first rehab assignment was last Tuesday where he pitched two innings giving up five runs. The performance was not as important as whether his arm was fine and he was throwing good velocity. He said that he was doing fine and that his fastball got up to 92 miles per hour.

Iwakuma is a few days behind Felix. He may be making a rehab assignment soon as well. According to Dipoto shortstop Jean Segura who signed a five year extension on Wednesday is ahead of schedule. Dipoto did not get into details other than that Segura will return sooner than later. He feels that Drew Smyly is doing well on his rehab as well. No details on any of the other players that are injured however these are the key players to the Mariners success. The Mariners should be back to full strength after the all-star break. The Mariners should have a good push the second half of the season all they need to do is stay around .500 until then.   Go M’s.