Gonzales Goes Nine Innings

After having trouble pitching in New York and Boston Marco Gonzales returning home to Safeco Field facing the Kansas City Royals pitched a complete game for the Mariners on Friday Night.

Gonzales was pitching a shutout going into the ninth inning throwing fewer than one hundred pitches. The Mariners were leading 4-0 however he gave up a single that scored a runner from second base then the next batter hit a grounder to Jean Segura to end the game.

The nine innings Gonzales threw ninety-six pitches giving up six hits and striking out seven batters. His control was so good that he didn’t walk a batter at all. In his seventeen starts going one hundred and a third innings he has only walked twenty batters and giving up ten home runs. I believe he has to be the biggest surprise in the Mariners rotation and tied with Mike Leake with being the most productive pitcher outside of James Paxton. Gonzales and Leake are tied with the most wins with eight while he has five losses comparted to Leake’s four.

Felix Hernandez who goes for the Mariners Saturday night has been the least productive pitcher of the three in the rotation and he has a record of 7-6. If Felix wins then he will tie Leake and Gonzales with wins. Right now Felix has an era of 5.10 primarily because he has had trouble getting started in the first inning. He continues like he has in his last couple outings he has a great chance of winning.

Gonzales going the distances allows the Mariners to rest most of their bullpen the last couple of games including Edwin Diaz. We should see him in the game Saturday if the game is close. The Mariners are hoping that Felix can go six innings giving up three runs or fewer. The Mariners are now up again twenty-one games over five hundred at 52-21.

The Mariners scored their first two runs in the fourth inning on a home run by Mitch Haniger with a runner on base and then Mike Zunino hit a mammoth home run in the fifth inning to make it 3-0 at the time. Haniger had his seventeenth home run while Zunino his twelve of the season. Haniger still leads the team in runs batted in with sixty-one. He is turning into a superstar right in front of us. He deserves to be in the All-Star game along with Jean Segura and Edwin Diaz. You could add Nelson Cruz to that mix as well. You would think Paxton would deserve it to if he wins his next three starts giving him ten wins. The Mariners could have at least three starters with ten if not four. Wade LeBlanc who has pitched well as the fifth starter since being inserted into the rotation has a record of 3-0 with an era of 3.38 in sixteen games with eleven being starts. The starting pitching has to be the main reason that the Mariners have the record of 52-31. Outside of Edwin Diaz who has thirty saves in thirty-three opportunities the bullpen has struggled at times. The only other consistent reliever has been lefty James Pazos who has an era of 1.91 in thirty-three games. Now as the primary lefty he should see more action in the second half unless the Mariners pick up a veteran lefty reliever. We hope that Nick Vincent, Juan Nicasio and Alex Colome can pick things up in the second half. If so the Mariners should find making into the playoffs with ease. The Mariners win half of their remaining games will be around the ninety win mark. Go M’s.

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Mariners Sweep

The Seattle Mariners continue to do what they seem has done all season long and that is winning close games with some in extra innings.

Thursday afternoon the game against the Orioles was another tight one. The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer on his return to the lineup after being out with a back injury. The Orioles returned the favor when Machado and Davis each hit solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie 2-2. The game stayed tied into extra innings.

The Mariners made the extra innings not last long scoring two runs in the tenth inning. Dee Gordon reached base on a single then scored on a single by Jean Segura that was bobbled in center field. Gordon himself surprised kept on going when he got the sign from third base coach Scott Brosius.  Segura scored on a hit by Nelson Cruz and then Juan Nicasio came in recorded his first save of the season. You may ask what about Edwin Diaz. Well he had the day off after pitching three straight days. Manager Scott Servais feels that Diaz does his best work when given a day off after pitching three straight days. I am sure he will be back in action Friday night in Seattle if he is needed.

James Pazos was given the win since he pitched the ninth inning. He came in after Nick Vincent pitched the eighth inning after relieving Mike Leake who went for seven innings. Leake gave up five hits including the two home runs in the fourth inning. He walked one batter and struck out six batters. Outside of the two home runs he pitched another outstanding game. You could see he was in control the whole game or at least before and after the fourth inning.

The Mariners now come home for a three game series against the Kansas City Royals who are another team that is struggling this season. They have a record of 25-55 dead last in the American League central division and have won only three games in the last ten games. Like the Orioles they are ripping for the picking. The Mariners who have played well at home with a record of 25-14 should continue the success.

The Mariners have Marco Gonzales going Friday night against Ian Kennedy who has a record of 1-7 with an era of 5.09. Gonzales should be able to get back to his pitching now that he is back in Safeco Field. He did pitch well outside of a couple innings in Fenway Park after having a hard time at Yankee Stadium. He will be followed by Felix Hernandez and James Paxton on Saturday and Sunday. The Mariners have a good chance of sweeping this series too especially if Gonzales does well, Hernandez and Paxton pitch like they did against the Orioles.

The Mariners will face the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday thru Thursday in a three game series followed by the Colorado Rockies next weekend then they go to Los Angeles and Colorado to face both teams again. These next nine games at home should be exciting to see. Go M’s.

Mariners Close Wins in Baltimore

After beating the Orioles 5-3 in a close game the Mariners went back winning one run games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night it was a low scoring game where the Mariners won 3-2 and then a high scoring game on Wednesday night 8-7 in eleven innings. The Mariners now have won twenty-two one run games. It does show the difference over the last several years where they lost a lot of one run games. You could say that they have become mentally tough. Along with the one run games the Mariners have come from behind in many of the games as well.

Tuesday night’s game the Orioles score first in the second inning and then Kyle Seager hit a solo home run to tie the game in the fourth inning. The Orioles took the lead again in the sixth inning however Seager hit a single in the eighth inning to score two runs.

Wednesday night in the eighth inning with the Mariners ahead 5-4 Chris Davis hit a three-run homer that looked like it would take the Mariners down 7-5 Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to tie the game 7-7. In the eleventh inning after it looked like Jean Segura hurt his back he hit a double. With one out Segura now on third base Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the go ahead run. Edwin Diaz came in to get his thirtieth save of the season at the half way mark. He did give up a single but did strike out two batters.

The Mariners and Orioles have a day game on Thursday to end the four game series. It starts at noon Seattle time. Mike Leake will go for his ninth win of the season for the Mariners. He pitches anything like he did on his last outing where he shutout the Red Sox through eight innings in the Mariners only win in Boston. The Mariners now have won fifty games through eight-one games so do the same the second half they will go away with one hundred wins. Even if they go one game under five hundred at 40-41 they will end the season with ninety wins which should get them in the playoffs. Go M’s.

Segura Returns to the Lineup

Jean Segura was back in the lineup on Monday night after being out of action for four games. He didn’t get any hits though he walked a couple times and didn’t score any runs however he did make a couple outstanding plays in the field that helped lift up the team.

A player that is in the status of Segura comes back it really helps out the team. Dee Gordon mentioned that after the game.

Felix Hernandez had another good outing going six innings and giving up three runs on four hits. The Mariners did take an early lead scoring two runs in the second inning. Felix did struggle a bit in the early innings walking three batters fortunately he bared down not to give up any runs. The Orioles first run came in the fifth inning when second baseman Jonathan Schoop hit a solo home run. The Orioles tied the score 3-3 getting two runs off of Felix however the Mariners made good when Guillermo Heredia walked to load the bases followed by a single by Dee Gordon to drive in the final two runs in the seventh inning.

The Mariners’ bullpen took over in the seventh inning with James Pazos then Alex Colome and finished up with Edwin Diaz getting his twenty-eighth save. No hits were compiled by those three; Colome and Diaz both struck out two batters.

It will help out if Felix can continue to pitch six innings in the same fashion giving up three runs or less. Tuesday the Mariners will have James Paxton on the mound. We hope that he can get back to his ace pitching after having a couple poor performances. Again if he can go at least six inning keeping the game close than the Mariners have another great chance in winning.

The Angels lost on Monday night so the Mariners are now three and half games behind. The Angels lost as well so they now tied with the Oakland A’s both being ten and half games behind the Astros or seven games behind the Mariners. The schedule the Mariners will be playing now after the tough series against the Yankees and Red Sox it will be hard for those others to catch up unless the Mariners totally fall on their faces.

Although the Mariners could use another starter in the rotation the trouble with the bullpen in the last two series the Mariners might go after another reliever as well. Nick Vincent is back off the disabled list along with Juan Nicasio. Both of them struggling getting another reliever wouldn’t be bad. The Mariners may look at picking up a lefty to team with Pazos. We know whatever the case Dipoto can do something to improve the Mariners.  Go M’s.

Onto Baltimore the Mariners Go

On Sunday the Seattle Mariners lost to the New York Yankees 5-0. Right now the Mariners are 1-5 on the current road trip. They could have won a game in New York while winning another in Boston. They had leads that got away including the one they were leading 10-5 against the Red Sox then lost 14-10. If they can sweep the Orioles that will give them a 5-5 for the road trip which I am sure most of us would jump up and down on though be better with at least one or two wins heading into Baltimore.

Sunday’s game the score was 0-0 going into the fifth inning. Marco Gonzales struggled once again in the fifth and the sixth inning. It was lower part of the lineup that allowed the Sox to score three runs in the fifth and then first baseman Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

Red Sox Ace Chris Sale dominated the Mariners going seven inning giving up four hits and striking out thirteen Mariner batters. He walked only one batter and lowered his era to 2.56. Not an easy thing to do go out and beat the ace of a team though the Mariners have done so on several occasions.

Casen Bradford and Nick Vincent each pitched an inning for the Mariners to keep the bullpen rested.

News came out that Nelson Cruz was American League player of the week. A lot of that had to do with him hitting two home runs, a single and driving in seven runs in the game that looked like they would win before blowing the 10-5 lead. He hit well against the Yankees as well. Cruz spent a year in Baltimore before coming to Seattle so we hope that he continues his hot hitting there as well.

Jean Segura will be back in the lineup Monday against the Orioles. The Mariners lineup will look like normal except that Chris Herrmann will be at catcher and batting eighth just ahead of Guillermo Heredia. If you are wondering about Mike Zunino he struck out three times on Sunday after having Saturday off. I am sure the Mariners have him working on his swing.

Felix Hernandez takes the mound on Monday against the Orioles. If he pitches anything like he did in New York the Mariners should win the game. The rest of the series will be James Paxton on Tuesday followed by Wade LeBlanc and Mike Leake. This shows that the Mariners have a pretty good chance winning all four games though winning three would be OK as well. We hope that the starters can go six innings so the bullpen continues to have rest. We hope that they get back to normal after pitching poorly against the Yankees and Red Sox. Andrew Cashner goes for the Orioles Monday and he has a record of 2-8 with an era of 4.72 so a good sign for the Mariners. It is important that they get to him early and we hope that Felix will be able to go six innings at least. Go M’s.

The Mariners record now is 47-31 being four and half games behind the Houston Astros while six games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels who are struggling right now as well. They have gone 4-6 in the last ten games while the Mariners are 3-7.

The Mariners play four games against the Orioles then come home to play three against the Kansas City Royals to end the month. They play three against the Angels and the Colorado Rockies at Safeco Field before playing both again three each on the road before going into the All-Star break. They could take the Angels out of the race by then.

Mariner’s Even Series Against Sox

After a terrible game Friday night losing 14-10 when they had been up 10-5 the Seattle Mariners rebounded Saturday night to win 7-2.

Mike Leake had a fantastic game pitching a shutout over eight innings giving up three hits, walking two and striking out five. Scott Servais said that he would have let Leake go the distance but closer Edwin Diaz hadn’t pitched for several days and need to get in some action. Diaz looked like he hadn’t pitched for several days giving up two runs on three hits. Of course we often know that closers don’t pitch very well with large leads either when a save isn’t needed.

Leake helped out a pitching staff that had problems during the road trip. Mel Stottlemyre Jr had a talk with the pitching staff before the game so do hope that will correct the pitching. On the pre-game show before Saturday’s game he mentioned how important it was not always throw the fastball when getting behind. We will see over the next several days whether the talk got through to the pitchers besides Leake.

Sunday the Mariners will face Chris Sale. It could be a tough day however Rodriguez who pitched Saturday has had a good year before this game and the Mariners have had a good games against top pitchers over the season. Marco Gonzales goes for the Mariners and we hope that he rebounds from his previous start. Having to pitch in Fenway Park isn’t much easier than doing so in Yankee Stadium. It will be important that Gonzales pitches outside to the lefties while inside to the righties. This will allow hits to go only off the green monster in left field. Often balls that would be home runs or doubles can turn into singles in Fenway. The importance is to keep the hits to a minimum like Leake did. Monday the Mariners will go to Baltimore to face the Orioles for four games before heading back home. The Orioles are struggling this season so the Mariners should have success there. I just hope the pitchers were able to listen to Stottlemyre.

Mariners Swept in New York

What happened in New York to the Mariners was not what we wanted to see they got swept by the Yankees. The Yankees did exactly what we didn’t want them to do so. The Yankees won all three games because the home runs the Mariners pitchers gave up. Thursday’s game started off quickly with Aaron Judge hitting a two-run homer and then Miguel Andujar hit another two-run homer in the first inning. James Paxton settled down the rest of the way however he only pitched five innings because he threw 107 pitches that included three walks and nine strike outs.

 The Mariners did follow up scoring two runs in the second on a home run by Kyle Seager with Nelson Cruz on-board so the score 4-2 stayed that way until the sixth inning when Cruz hit a double to lead off the inning then Ben Gamel drove him in with two outs. The Mariners were not able to score further. Yankee starter Luis Severino went five and two-thirds inning giving up three runs on eight hits. Just like the Mariners bullpen the Yankees pitchers didn’t give up a run either. The Mariners did have opportunities to score through out the series but left many runners on base. The middle relievers were the big difference for the Yankees in the prior two games plus closer Aroldis Chapman who throws over one hundred miles an hour. Yankee starter Severino  has a record of 11-2 while Chapman has twenty-two saves.

The Yankees are a hard team to beat at home having a record of 29-11 leading the major leagues. The Mariners home record is 25-14 and is number two to the Yankees. The Mariners still have a good road record being 21-15 which is tied for sixth in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs. Now the Mariners go to Boston. The same scenario goes in this series where they have to keep the Red Sox power to the minimum as well. Go M’s.