Look at Final Series of Season

The Seattle Mariners play their final three games of this season over the weekend in Anaheim against the Angels. How the season ends may reflect by the fans with these final games. If they win all three of these games they will be a game below five hundred and if they lose all three than four games below and so forth if they win one or two. Often we look what they have done in the end.

I believe the season has been a mix. Going into September the Mariners had the chance though remote to make the playoffs as a wild card but the month turned out like we were hoping it would be. They have lost more games than they have won so we are disappointed again that they won’t make the playoffs.

With the injuries to the starting rotation early in the season and then ongoing with James Paxton being injured and Felix Hernandez getting hurt twice along the way made it hard for the team to make the playoffs. The Mariners had to use forty different pitchers along the way. Under the circumstances they did a good job but still doesn’t take away that we are disappoint especially how the lineup played coming down the stretch. The offense started dragging and was unable to do their job in the most part. I believe the stress of the starting pitching final got to them. In the most part the regular lineup were OK through the season though Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura were out for a period of time. Also Robinson Cano was out a short period and we know that Nelson Cruz had minor injuries he dealt with though he didn’t go on the disabled list. I am sure other players struggled with injuries as well. Found out yesterday from Dipoto that Guillermo Heredia had been bothered with a poor shoulder for most of the season however played with it anyway. The reason he wasn’t doing as well at the plate in the last several weeks. He will have surgery on the shoulder.

We know that Dipoto’s job during the off-season will primarily go after some starting pitching to bolster the rotation. I am sure there will be other places in the lineup along with the bullpen that will be tweaked. The primary spot will be first base and adding possibly another outfielder along with a backup catcher and utility player. These spots could already be on the roster but we may not know for a while. I look forward to posting my final report card for the year. It may not look much different than the report card at the all-star break though we did add a few spots along the way adding Erasmo Ramirez and Mike Leake to the rotation, David Phelps to the bullpen for a little while and Yonder Alonso at first base.

Marco Gonzales and Andrew Moore both will get starts against the Angels on Friday and Saturday. The pitcher we will see for Sunday’s game not known at this time. I am sure we will see different looks to the lineup as well. It will probably look like a spring training lineup in a way. Go M’s.

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Look at September

Right now when the Mariners needed to the job to get into the playoffs they have lost six in a row. Like most of the season they have been inconsistent. It is something that Dipoto said on his radio show on Thursday that he was concerned about. We all know that the pitching has been up and down because of the injuries however the offense and defense has been as well especially lately.

I was listening to the morning show Thursday on the Mariners flag ship station and they wanted to know who the most disappointing play was. They were speaking about anyone who had not been on the disabled list which is very small list. I believe they agreed with me it has to be Kyle Seager. He has had a good month of September when it comes to hitting home runs however his defense hasn’t been the same as what we are accustomed to. He hits well in Arlington Texas as well so probably why he is having a good month. This season he started out better than most years though not what the team or fans would like to see. He hasn’t improved over the season that much either. He has hit a good amount of home runs and driven in a fair amount too however I would not say he has been consistent. Actually the problem with the team in general where no one has been consistent and he hasn’t carried the team when he needs to. The same goes for Robinson Cano. Nelson Cruz has done a good job driving in runs leading the American League in runs batted in. I believe that has a lot to do with Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger getting on base and Ben Gamel when he was doing well at the top of the lineup when Haniger was out.

The Mariners seem to do the best when Robinson Cano is on fire and he hasn’t been that way all the time. We saw that when he was put on the disabled list. At that time Seager along with Cruz should have carried the team. It shows that the team really needs those three to work hand in hand together for the offense to work. Of course the pressure has been on the offense because the pitching has been down because of the injuries.

James Paxton made his second start after coming off the disabled list. This time he was able to go a little further. He pitched three and two-third innings giving up four hits and two runs. The Mariners were still in the game sort of though they didn’t score a run until Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer. Cano hit his 300th home run until the 9th inning. It wasn’t enough for the Mariners to win. Danny Altavilla gave up a home run to Beltre in the sixth inning and then Emilio Pagan gave up one in the seventh inning. They were the difference in the game. Altavilla has been pitching better as of late however Pagan who was pitching well earlier hasn’t had a good September. I believe the problem is that he hasn’t ever pitched in September before. I wouldn’t pitch Pagan again unless the Mariners are way ahead or behind. This would be the same for Miranda.

 

Last Road Trip of 2017

The Seattle Mariners continue to do what they have been doing almost all season long winning three or four games in a row and then lose the same amount. The last road trip to Texas they beat the Rangers three out of four games and then they were swept by the Astros in three games. Now they come home for their last home trip of the season against the Rangers and then finish off three against the Cleveland Indians.

The first game against the Rangers on Tuesday it was a close game with them scoring a run second inning. The Mariners came back in the fifth inning to tie the game with Ben Gamel driving in Guillermo Heredia on a double for their only game of the game. Mike Leake had another great game like all of his so far since the Mariners picked him up in August. He has given the Mariners any chance of getting in the playoffs however the rest of the team has made it difficult. He left the game after six and two-third innings with the tie. He gave up six hits and struck out five Rangers. If he pitches this way next year for the Mariners he should have a really good season and he possibly be the number one starter or number two. At this point he, Paxton and Felix should be the top three starters unless the Mariners are able to pick up another quality starter. The Mariners will be in really in good shape in that case long as Paxton and Felix can stay healthy which is questionable.

Nick Vincent gave up the two runs that gave the Rangers the win in the eighth inning. Up until a couple weeks ago he was having a fabulous season. This is hurting the Mariners in any chances for them to make the playoffs. They basically have to win every game remaining to have a chance to get into the playoffs. The only good thing is that the other teams going for the wild card are struggling as well. I don’t see whoever makes the second wild card unless by plain luck or their top starting pitcher going for them will make it beyond the play in game.

With a few changes in the lineup especially with the starting pitching the Mariners should have a good shot next season making the playoffs as long as injuries don’t happen once again.

David Phelps just had his surgery on his arm. It is expected for him to have full recovery in six weeks so he will be already to go when spring training begins. Iwakuma continues to have issues so it is unlikely he will return to the Mariners team unless they decide on a contract that will be depended on how many games he pitches and would not be surprised if it is a minor league deal so he won’t be counted against the forty man roster going into spring training.

Soon I will be giving out my report card on the Mariners in a few days depending on if they make the playoffs which is unlikely or when they are eliminated. We hope the best for the Mariners. Go M’s.

 

 

Hot Hitting Mike Zunino

Mike Zunino continued his hot hitting on Wednesday Night for the Mariners against the Rangers in Texas. The game was tight for the first four innings when neither team scored a run until the fifth inning when Zunino hit a solo home run and then Jean Segura hit a two-run homer to take a 3-0 lead. The Rangers scored a run in the sixth inning the only one of the game by them. The Mariners put the game out of reach scoring five runs including Zunino’s second solo run. The two home runs gave Mike twenty-three for the season the most he has ever had in one season. He now is second on the Mariners list for home runs by a catcher. I expect that he will pass up Dan Wilson who is the leader next season.

What would be great if Mike has figured it all out which at this point he looks like he has he will be available player in the Mariners lineup. If he can hit like he has in spurts this season over a full season we will see him in an all-star game I have no doubt.

If Zunino can bat sixth or seventh in the lineup on a regular basis this will help the guys like Heredia in the bottom of the lineup to get better pitches.

Mike Leake was able to get his third win in three appearances since coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals. At this point it looks like an excellent trade for the Mariners. He can be an available part of the starting rotation along with Felix Hernandez and James Paxton. Speaking of them Hernandez will pitch the final game of this series against the Rangers. It will be great if the Mariners can win Thursday night to take three out of four games in the series. We just hope this is not too late for them to make the wild card. Paxton will pitch Friday Night in Houston in the first game of that three game series.

The Mariners schedule for 2018 came out earlier this week. They start at home on March 29 against the Cleveland Indians. Right now the Indians are the hottest team in the major leagues. It will be quite the series if the Astros and Indians meet in the American League Championship. Of course we all hope with a miracle that the Mariners can be there instead. It would be great if the Mariners can finally go on a win streak for the remaining of the season. Often we have seen them win two or three and then lose two or three. Not the way we want to watch baseball however the offense has been more entertaining this year over some of the past ones. It would have been nice if the pitching could have stand pat to match the offense. We can hope that the injuries won’t happen next year and that the Mariners can add more depth to the starting and relief pitching. We will go more on both of those at a late time. Go M’s.

 

Mike Leake

Friday night Mike Leake takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field for his second appearance since being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals a couple weeks ago. I have to admit like most Mariner fans I didn’t know much about Leake when the Mariners traded for him. I know that he is a ground ball pitcher which is a good sign especially when the Mariners have a lot of high ball pitchers that is not a surprise since they give up a lot of home runs.

Just before his first outing last Friday general manager Jerry Dipoto the reason they picked up Leake was because of how may innings he pitches along with the fact he has several years left on his contract and that being a ground ball pitcher it cost more money to get one over a high ball pitcher and they are rare as well. Dipoto said to that he is going try to find more ground ball pitchers in the future as well.

My brother Jack lived in St. Louis for seventeen years and is a Cardinals fan so I told him about the Mariners picking Leake up. He was surprised because he said that Leake was the Cardinals number one pitcher at the beginning of the season. So I have to say if he can get anywhere close to being a number one starter like in St. Louis he will be worth getting him. With Felix trying to stay healthy the last couple years and James Paxton staying healthy at all having Leake is a good find. Regardless of the order those three should be at the top of the Mariners rotation next year.

Leake has pitched a lot of innings since 2010 so if he can continue to do so the Mariners will be very happy about it especially he can throw a lot of quality starts going at least six inning and giving up two or less runs.

Right now the Mariners have thirteen starting pitchers including Leake, Felix and Paxton going into next season with Erasmo Ramirez and Ariel Miranda filling out the two remaining spots as favorites. I could see both of them going to the bullpen as well if Dipoto can go out and find another starter or two.

Though the Mariners may have thirteen starters listed right now doesn’t mean that all of them will be in spring training. In fact I would say several of them most likely will not. They will probably be involved in a trade or released by the Mariners after the season.

I am sure Andrew Moore and Marco Gonzales will get a good see in spring training for the fifth spot however I could see both of them starting in Tacoma as well.

Anyway Leake we want to see another good outing like you made last week going seven innings and giving up two runs. Go M’s.

Mariners Sweep No Question

The Seattle Mariners had two close games against the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field on Friday and Saturday night however Sunday afternoon they decided to make the sweep no question at all.

It started out with Robinson Cano hitting a two run homer in the first inning to take the early lead. It was his second home run in two days after going over a month without one. We hope that Cruz can go on another streak as well along with Seager who has a mediocre season outside of hitting over thirty doubles. He has struck out in horrible fashion and his defense has been suspect at time. We hope that he can finish off in good fashion.

Andrew Albers made his fourth start for the Mariners and he did a great job pitching a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. The no-hitter not only ended but he gave up a home run to first baseman Matt Olson as well. At that point the score became 3-1 however the Mariners scored a run in the sixth and seventh inning however blew it open in the eighth scoring five runs.

Cooch Ruiz who was catching in place of hot hitting Mike Zunino had a great game hitting a home run and a double. Gordon Beckham pinched run for Ruiz in the eighth and scored. Also he was able to bat in the eighth inning too. Mike Marjama went in to catch in the top of the ninth inning in place of Ruiz. It allowed him to make his Mariner debut after being called up Friday from Tacoma.

Cano not only had the home run in the first inning he had a total of four hits in the game and scored two runs. Also Jean Segura had three hits and scoring three times. That’s good for the leadoff batter. Mitch Haniger continued his hot hitting getting a double along with a home run driving in four runs and four hits. Ben Gamel was the only one in the starting lineup that didn’t get a hit. He left six runners on base so he had his opportunities fortunately the Mariners won easily anyway.

The Mariners now take on the Houston Astros at Safeco Field beginning with a late afternoon game on Monday. The series will go for three days. It would be nice to get a sweep here however I will be glad to start off with a win in the first game. Erasmo Ramirez who has been pitching well for the Mariners will start Monday’s game against the Astros. He has been pitching well of late for the Mariners. The Astros though will go with Dallas Keuchel who has been having an outstanding season with a record of 11-3 with an era of 2.91. He did give up six runs in six innings against the Texas Rangers last Wednesday so there is hope for the Mariners. Tuesday Justin Verlander will make his debut with the Astros so they will be making it tough on the Mariners for sure. Go M’s.

Mariners Go For Sweep

 

The Seattle Mariners now will look to sweep the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field after losing five games in a row including a sweep by the Orioles in Baltimore.

I would not say it is an easy sweep that they are trying to accomplish. On Saturday they had a 2-2 tie going into fourth inning when Yovani Gallardo went only three innings giving up two runs and five hits. He was replaced by Casey Lawrence who did even worse giving up four runs in one-third of an inning with three hits and two walks. He was replaced by newcomer Ryan Garton who was just called up from Tacoma. The Mariners made a minor league trade for him in August with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was able to get two outs in the fourth inning without giving up any more runs. Marco Gonzales who was sent to the bullpen after not pitching well in starting six games came in to take over for long relief. He actually did very well out of the bullpen going four innings giving up no runs on two hits and striking out five. Also he didn’t give up a walk either. For now it looks like he may have found his spot in the bullpen. Gallardo may have to look to go back to the bullpen himself if he isn’t released by the Mariners. James Paxton threw in the bullpen on Saturday and he could end up taking Gallardo’s spot in the rotation if he is ready to go. The Mariners are hoping that Felix will be able to throw as well and get into the rotation as well.

The game turned out to be a final finish. Mike Zunino hit a home run in the 8th inning to tie the score at 6-6. In the top of the ninth inning Edwin Diaz walked and got a hit however was able to strike out two batters to keep the tie going into the bottom of the inning. The Mariners were able to load the bases with nobody out and Nelson Cruz coming to bat. Unfortunately Cruz struck out and Kyle Seager had a pop up that didn’t go deep enough in the outfield to score Segura. So now with two outs everyone was wondering with Mitch Haniger at the plate he could drive in Segura however the pitcher Blake Treinen threw a wild pitch that brought in Segura for the winning run. Now the Mariners can see what they can do on Sunday afternoon to get the sweep before the Houston Astros come to town.

Andrew Albers will be taking the mound for the Mariners Sunday against the A’s. His last outing was not a good one at all and most of it was not his fault. He was able to go five innings even though there were five errors in the first inning and the eight runs he allowed in that time only three were earned. He deserved a better fate for sure. We hope that he is able to pitch and the outcome will be like his previous two outings. Now that the Mariners have more pitchers in the bullpen if Albers can go five innings and keep them in the game the relievers will be in good shape to finish off the game for the sweep and A’s lineup doesn’t scare me at all.

It would be nice if the Mariners could go on a good string of wins on this home stand before going on the road again. It is amazing that they are still in the wild card race. Of course it helps that the other teams are losing as well. Go M’s.