Defense Brings Down Mariners

The Seattle Mariners had the chance to win another series the third one on the current road trip however defense in the first brought it to a screeching halt.

The Mariners started off the first inning with a double by Nelson Cruz that drove in Yonder Alonzo however that ended right there. In the bottom of the first their defense let them down by having five errors one by Ben Gamel who missed a catch, Jean Segura who had three of the errors fielding, catch and throw. The fifth error was a fielding miscue by Kyle Seager. After the game Seager said he couldn’t repeat the words that he was thinking after his error. Also he said that they didn’t play defense in the first and the pitcher deserved batter. I would have to say that is an understatement.

The five errors allowed the Yankees to score six runs in the first inning. Of course it would be hard for any team to overcome that even if they played a perfect game after the first inning. Andrew Albers who started his third game for the Mariners was able to get through five innings. Actually he started the sixth inning however Dan Altavilla replaced him. In total Albers gave up eleven hits and two walks in the five innings plus. His line was eight runs with only three earned and he struck out four.

Altavilla on the other hand went the rest of the way going three innings giving up four hits and two runs that made the final score 10-1. The Mariners have a record of 5-4 heading to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. We hope that the team can get into their heads to play better defense. The last time a time in the major leagues had five errors was 1977 when the Mariners were an expansion team. They actually were not the team that had the five error that honor goes to the Chicago Cubs.

The Mariners had a total of six hits in the game and no player had any more than one hit. Of course if you took the three earned runs in the game when Albers pitched the Mariners could have had a chance to win.

In team news Jarrod Dyson is eligible to come off the disabled list however he isn’t ready to do so. The Mariners right now have eight relievers in the bullpen so if Dyson were able to come off the disabled list likely it would be for a pitcher and my guess would be Dan Altavilla since he pitched three innings on Sunday.

Marco Gonzales will be taking the first start of the series on Monday night against the Orioles. Though he has struggled to get past the fifth inning it would be nice if the Mariners could have him go six innings. The bright spot the Orioles have ex-Mariner Chris Tillman who has been having problems all season. In fact he was sent to the bullpen for a couple weeks. His last outing was last Sunday when he went five and one-third innings. He gave up four runs on four hits however walked six batters while striking out two. If the Mariners can be patient at the beginning of the game they should be in good position to score runs early off of Tillman and get him out of the game so the Orioles have to use their bullpen for several innings. This is a good shot for the Mariners to win the opening game of the series. They did win the first game against the Yankees so the chances look good. If the Mariners win the series they can come home with a record of 7-5 on this road trip and 8-4 if they sweep the Orioles. It is nice to see that they are still in this wild card race after being on the road for nine games.

This coming Friday will be September 1 so the Mariners will be able to expand their rosters. How many players will come up is anyone’s guess however I am sure they will bring up a few pitchers. James Paxton and Felix Hernandez might still be a couple weeks before their returns. Iwakuma not sure if he will pitch the rest of the season or not. One thing for sure the Mariners will want both Paxton and Hernandez be totally healthy otherwise will not help them get to the playoffs or when they are in it. I would say that Andrew Albers has a good chance to stay in the rotation when Paxton and Felix return. I would send Gallardo back to the bullpen when one or both return. The Mariners could go with a six-man rotation the rest of the way as well. Go M’s.

 

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Mariners Take First in Atlanta

 

The really good news is that the Mariners took the first game of the series against the Braves in Atlanta. What that means is continuing on in the wild card race and whether they win the remaining two in the series or not at least they have taken care of the first important game. I think it is always important to when the first game.

The Mariners scored first in the game going ahead 1-0 in the top of the second however the Braves responded by scoring two runs in the second that included a home run by catcher Suzuki. This is a guy I have wished that the Mariners could have acquired after he left playing for the Oakland A’s. He would be fine fit playing a couple times a week at catcher for the Mariners along with pinch hitting role. He could have been the regular catcher when Mike Zunino was struggling and spent parts of two seasons at triple A. It is not always easy to find a good catcher these days but when one is available to go out and snatch him.

The Mariners came back and tied the score in the third inning at 2.-2 and then scored three runs in the fourth inning. It included a hit and an rbi by Mariner starter Andrew Albers. It was his first in the major league for both. Yonder Alonso had his best game as a Mariner hitting two doubles and driving in three runs including in the fourth inning. The Mariners scored their final run in the top of the six to make it a 6-2 lead however the Braves made it interesting scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the final score 6-5. The Mariners bullpen especially Nick Vincent who got the final out in the seventh inning was able to get through the eighth without giving up a hit as well. He actually only threw seven pitches to record the four outs so he should be available again on Tuesday. Edwin Diaz recorded his twenty-eighth save pitching the ninth inning to preserve the win. He did give up one hit but otherwise pitched well.

Marco Gonzales will make the start for the Mariners in the middle game of the series on Tuesday. The importance for the Mariners is hoping that he will be able to get through five innings with the Mariners leading in the game. He faces Lucas Sims for the Braves who has started and pitched in four games for them. He has a record of 1-3 with an era of 5.24. Also he has given up four home runs in those games so the Mariners have a good chance to score some runs off of him however as we know this doesn’t always work for the Mariners offense. Only on Sunday they scored no runs against Seattle native Blake Snell for the Tampa Bay Rays. We hope that the Mariners will have more success against Sims.

With Gonzales starting for the Mariners we could see long reliever Casey Lawrence along with lefty James Pazos pitching multiple innings in relief. In pitching news Dave Phelps pitched a simulated game on Monday and could be activated on Wednesday or over the weekend against the Yankees. Also Iwakuma has done a little throwing to see how his shoulder is going. Not sure whether he will be back soon or at all this season. The Mariners are expecting Felix Hernandez and James Paxton to start throwing this week as well. Most likely they may return early September. This will be good news for the rotation along with the bullpen. Right now the important thing is that the starters will go at least five innings and hopefully six or seven to keep the bullpen rested as possible. The Mariners will likely make at least a few moves in the bullpen before the September roster call ups happen.

I don’t expect that the Mariners will acquire another player however with Dipoto we can never say never; he does make a move most likely a pitcher and could be someone for the bullpen. In the meantime we enjoy the rest of this road trip.

Major League Baseball Having Expanded Rosters

 

Right now major league baseball expands rosters in September. They can have up to forty players if they would like to. They have a forty man roster as well as the regular twenty-man roster that goes throughout the season. If a player is brought up that is not on the forty man roster the team has to remove a player if the roster is full. The same goes if a player is traded as well.

My idea is that the team instead of having a twenty-five man roster when the season begins until September they make the roster to be twenty-eight in April and expand to thirty after the all-star break when team are playing almost every day. This would give teams players needed rest especially the bullpen or dealing with injuries.

This expansion of the roster could play out like they do in the NFL. The team would still have twenty-five players activated for a series so three would be deactivated and five after the all-star break. A team could have one of their starters be deactivated if they wanted to because they wouldn’t be pitching in that series any way. This would allow teams like the Mariners to carry at least a couple long relievers in a series instead of continuing bring them up back and forth; they could carry an extra infielder, outfielder and catcher. This way you could pinch hit for Zunino or Carlos Ruiz without worry about injury. Also you could deactivate a player like Seager was last week when he was sick or carry an extra infielder on the twenty-five roster for that series. This could go for someone like Robinson Cano or Nelson Cruz who may look at not playing in a series because of an injury and the team doesn’t have to put them on the disabled list. This would make teams more competitive and exciting during the season. The cost would not be that much more because the three to five players would be getting paid the minimum salary and the cost is not that much more than what they are getting paid in the minor leagues. This would allow the teams to be healthier as well during the season. I believe this would make major league baseball better overall as well.

 

No Sweep For Mariners

 

The Mariners had the opportunity to win three games against the Tampa Bay Rays especially when Yovani Gallardo pitched an unusual good game.

I am sure Mariner fans continue to be frustrated because the Mariners can’t get along when they go above the five hundred mark by a couple games and can’t hit against a pitcher who has been struggling most of the season. Blake Snell who is a native of Seattle did have incentive to do well against his hometown team. He gave up only two hits, walked two and struck out eight. A very good performance especially for the Mariners offense that have a hard time hitting against pitchers who are having a subpar season; manager Scott Servais did make the lineup right handed hitting heavy since Snell is a left. Only lefties in the lineup were Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel. The Mariners had Taylor Motter inserted in the lineup in place of Kyle Seager. Motter was recalled and activated before the game.

The two hits that came off of Snell were both singles by Cano and Cruz. It was interesting that Danny Valencia who started because he is platooning now with Yonder Alonso at first base struck out all three times he faced Snell.

Gallardo pitched as I said before a good game he did give a home run to lead off the game and then again in the seventh inning with a runner on base. Those are where the Rays got all three runs scored in the game. It makes me still wonder what the Mariners era would be if they didn’t give up so many home runs. The Mariners could have replaced Gallardo in the seventh inning before giving up the home run however Servais decided to leave him in the game. Though the Mariners have seven relief pitchers on the staff right now you would have thought they could have brought in a pitcher before Gallardo gave up the home run. After the home run the Mariners brought in left specialist Marc Rzepczynski to face center fielder Kiermaier who let off the game with a home run. Kiermaier and Lucas Duda who batter after each other both are left handed hitters. We can guess that Servais wanted to save a right handed pitcher before facing those two. It is hard to say whether things would have been different if the Mariners had brought in another pitcher before Marc R.

On the positive note the Mariners did win the series two games to one and only used two relief pitchers in the game. Casey Lawrence pitched the eighth inning for the Mariners since they were behind 3-0 the same as the final score. The Mariners did get the chance in the ninth inning to at least tie the game but it was not meant to happen.

Now the Mariners go to Atlanta to face the Braves. Since it is interleague game there is no designated hitter used in a national league park. Personally I believe that the national league rules should be used in the American League parks and vice versa in the National League parks. It would make it interesting for the fans to see the games that way. Speaking of no designated hitter that means likely Nelson Cruz won’t be in the starting lineup unless Servais decides to put him in right field which most likely won’t happen or won’t happen in all three games anyway. He will be available for pinch hitting duties for sure. This will depend on how the games go for the Mariners.

The Mariners will start Andrew Albers against his old team the Braves on Monday night. He will be facing Mike Foltynewicz a right handed pitcher for the Braves having a winning record of 10-8. He does have a high era though of 4.75 so the Mariners may be able to get to him. It would be interesting to see if the Mariners struggle for the second game in a row though. Be really nice to win the first game of the series so the Mariners can look toward winning another series. We will see how it goes. Let’s go M’s.

 

The Seattle Mariners now have gone into Tampa Bay and won the first two games of the series. They have an early game on Sunday starting in just over two hours. Yovani Gallardo goes for the Mariners. Doesn’t give much confidence for a sweep though he has pitched well in Tampa Bay before; the Rays have Blake Snell who is a native from Washington state however he hasn’t been pitching well either. This could be and most likely a high scoring game.

On Saturday the Rays took an early lead scoring a run in the first inning however the Mariners scored four runs in the third inning on a grand slam homer by Mitch Haniger who just came off the disabled list. He took the spot of Jarrod Dyson who was put on the disabled list. Guillermo Heredia is expected to be the main guy playing center field while Dyson is out. Leonys Martin will be the fourth outfielder during this period. Dyson should be activated before the roster expansion on September 1 if he is feeling fine. Depending on what happens in the meantime Martin could go back down to Tacoma for a few days.

The Mariners scored three runs in the fourth inning including a two-run homer off the bat of hot hitting Nelson Cruz. The Mariners had a 7-2 lead going into the sixth inning. Miranda gave up a home run before leaving the game and then Emilio Pagan gave up a two-run homer in the sixth inning after replacing Miranda. Pagan has been pitching pretty well so I will give him some slack in giving up the home run. He pitched the day before as well; so made the score 7-5.

It stayed that way until the 9th inning when closer Edwin Diaz gave up a solo home run to former Mariner Logan Morrison who was pinch hitting for Daniel Robertson with one out. Fortunately Diaz looked better than his last outing so he was able to get the last two batters out that included a strike out.

The Mariners will be going with primarily right handed lineup since Snell for the Rays is left handed. The only lefties in the lineup will be Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel. Taylor Motter who was just called up from Tacoma will make the start at third base. I am sure it is because of the flu that Seager had and they wanted to give him a day off. Also Danny Valencia will start at first base with the platooning he has with Yonder Alonso and Carlos Cruz at catcher.

It will be nice if the Mariners could sweep the Rays however they have taken the series which is what they hope to do the rest of the road trip. The Mariners will go to Atlanta for an interleague game before facing the Yankees in New York next week. Not known yet who will start in Atlanta on Monday.

With the activation of Taylor Motter the Mariners released utility player Danny Espinosa who hasn’t played a lot however did fine when he did. Motter was able to find his stroke again while being down in Tacoma. He could be very valuable for the Mariners on the rest of this road trip. Jean Segura who had a little trouble Saturday with injury will start at short however having Motter around will help if they need to give him a day off. So we hope to see a sweep in Tampa however good job done so far. Go M’s.

The Seattle Mariners won the final game of the series on a Wednesday afternoon game however it was stressful and frustrating at the same time. The final score was 7-6.

The game went back and forth in a way. The Mariners took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning on a home run by Yonder Alonso his first for the Mariners. Gonzales struggled in the fifth inning giving up three runs to take 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning the Mariners scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead.

Going into the ninth inning it looked like a comfortable lead however Diaz had trouble getting the ball over the plate walking three batters and hitting two batters. When he left the game the score was 7-6. Actually Leonys Martin made an outstanding catch that could have tied the game. Lefty specialist Marc R. (kept it short) got Chris Davis on three strikes to end the game. This was his second save in his career. Manager Scott Servais was ejected on the second hit batsman by Diaz for arguing the call. He thought that Mark Trumbo had gone around on the pitch. It was a 3-2 count. I really hope that Servais learned something from this game.

Now the Mariners are back even again going on the road. They will face the Rays over the weekend in Tampa Ray. The road trip the Mariners will play three against the Rays, the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees and the Orioles. It will be nice if the Mariners could win all four series. Doing so they will go 8-4 and be four games over five hundred. How they do will again will depend on the pitching. Go M’s.

 

Right when the Mariners need to stay in the race for the wild card the team decides to go flat this after going 6-3 on the last road trip they have now lost five in a row at home. Against the Los Angeles Angels they were swept where they should have won the first three games that got away because of the bullpen.

Now the first game against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday the first inning the offense had a chance to score three runs at least however left two batters on base. Jean Segura had a double followed another double by newcomer Yonder Alonso which tied the score 1-1. Cano had another hit however didn’t score Alonso but Cruz, Seager and Heredia each couldn’t bring Alonzo or Cano home.

The second inning was the big problem Yovani Gallardo had one of the biggest pitch counts for an inning that any pitcher in the major leagues this season throwing about sixty pitches. He gave up six runs in the second inning including a grand slam that made the score7-1. It pretty well put the game out of reach. Very disappointing as far as I am concerned for a veteran pitcher who right now is at the top of the rotation; he should have been ready to pitch in this game when he knew that it was important for the team. In my opinion he needs to either go to the bullpen or be released. I know that the Mariners are limited at starters with Paxton, Felix and Iwakuma out but this is all bad. If it isn’t the starter it is the bullpen.

Casey Lawrence came in the fifth inning and gave up three runs including a two-run homer to former Mariner Seth Smith. The Mariners had him pitch four innings and he likely will be sent down for another reliever.

In the ninth inning Brazilian Thyago Vieira who was called earlier in the day made his major league debut. On the first pitch he almost lost his head however he was able to snare and catch the ball off of Chris Davis. He came back to throw a 100 mph fast ball and get the final two outs as well to have a successful night. We will likely see him in another game soon.

The Mariners not only need to get a veteran starting pitcher they need to go out and get at least one veteran reliever to have any chance to make the playoffs. I am sure every fan is as frustrated as I am.

Tonight the Mariners will be going with another newcomer Albert Albers who they picked up last week from the Atlanta Braves after James Paxton was put on the disabled list. He has a lot in common with Paxton being a Canadian, lefty and went to Kentucky as well. We will see how he will do tonight. Go M’s.

 

 

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