Robinson Cano is Activated

The Seattle Mariners now have Robinson Cano returning Tuesday night after being on suspension for eighty games. Last week he spent two games on rehab assignment for triple A Tacoma and then three games in rookie ball Everett on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He said that he was all set and ready to go.

An offense that did a good job for the first month or so that he was on suspension has had problems the last month scoring runs is welcoming him back. The games he missed the Mariners were 46-34. This means that he was six games above five hundred when he was suspended. It was odd situation because he had just gotten hurt and would have spent some time on the disabled list anyway.

In the last month the Mariners have been playing about five hundred so shows how they did before this skid without Cano. The offense really needs a shot in the arm. In some respects so does the defense though Dee Gordon has played as well if not better than Cano at second base which is not an easy fate.

Casey Lawrence who pitched three innings ineffectively was optioned back to Tacoma as Robinson Cano was activated Tuesday.

We should know in a few hours where Cano will be in the lineup and what position he will start in his first game back. With Gordon nursing pain in his left shoulder wouldn’t be surprised if Cano starts his first game back in his familiar spot of second base. The question to that many are asking whether he will bat third in the batting order. That is a good question. Jean Segura has been hitting well in the third spot since manager Scott Servais changed the batting order when they played the Astros in Houston. There is a possibility that Cano could go to the second spot in the batting order or Segura shifting back to the second spot. Cano could move to the fifth spot in the batting order where Kyle Seager has struggled a good part of the year. This could depend where he is playing as well. The importance is what makes the Mariners a better team offensively. One thing for sure he will likely bat somewhere between second and fifth depending how he  is hitting and other players as well.

Manager Scott Servais feels that Cano will feel uncomfortable as he returns to the team which is understandable. We will have to see how the fans respond when the Mariners return to Seattle to play the Dodgers on Friday. Much of that will depend on how he plays and the Mariners are too. The Mariners win both games remaining in Oakland and he is hitting well contributes to the offensive output I expect that he will get a really good response. Otherwise it will be hard to tell. I am sure everyone is hoping that the Mariners will go on a good win streak in the meantime. Go M’s.

Mariners Lose Opener to A’s

The Seattle Mariners went into Oakland to see if they can beat the A’s after sweeping the Houston Astros. This being the first game of the series it always seems to be an important game especially when the season is coming to a close and every game counts for something.

During the season especially the last month or so it is easy to wonder who these guys are. The first seven inning the Mariners looked like a team that wasn’t playing nineteen games above five hundred instead of one that is nineteen games below.

Marco Gonzales who has twelve victories on the season and the most wins by any starter on the team had trouble in this game. He was able to go only five innings throwing ninety-seven pitches which are around his limit. The Mariners don’t want him going over a hundred pitches if possible. In the five inning he gave up eight hits, walked three which is unusual for him and struck out four. He has been striking out more than four hitters a game though he isn’t overpowering and throws more like Wade LeBlanc or Jamie Moyer.

The Mariners did have a solid chance after five innings being down 4-1 though the offense wasn’t going well however Casey Lawrence who recently was brought up from Tacoma pitched the remaining three innings however he gave up three runs all in the sixth inning to make it 7-1.

The Mariners offense came alive in the eighth inning when they scored a run off of starter Sean Manaea who had been going along smoothly before had and then in the eighth inning he was replaced by former Mariners Emilio Pagan who gave up two hits and yield another run to make it 7-3.

The odds were still against the Mariners to win the game because they would have to score five runs to win in regulation time. Mitch Haniger continues blistering the ball hit a double that allowed the Mariners get closer to winning. He had three hits in the game while Jean Segura had four out of the team’s ten hits. The Mariners came in a whisper to win the game scoring three runs off of reliever Jeurys Familia who the A’s had recently picked up from the New York Mets. The Mariners had the tying and leading run on base after closer Blake Treinen came into the game. Treinen actually had trouble giving up two hits but struck out three Mariners to close the door. So the Mariners did have another one run game however this time they were not able to secure the win.

James Paxton who is expected to be the stopper will go for his eleventh win for the Mariners against right hander Mike Fiers who is making his second start for the A’s since being traded over by the Detroit Tigers. He went five and a third innings giving up four hits and a run. We hope that the Mariners can get off early and often against him. Fiers the Mariners beat back in May when he was pitching for the Tigers. The Mariners won the game 7-2. This would be great for the Mariners so Wednesday’s afternoon game would be for winning the series. The Mariners will have Mike Leake going for them against lefty Brett Anderson. Back in May he did beat the Mariners 3-2 going against James Paxton. We hope that the Mariners will have a better answer for him next time.

The Mariners are now two and a half games behind the A’s. The Mariners win these two remaining games then they will be only a half a game behind them. The Mariners have done well against them in Oakland. This season they were 2-1 against the A’s in Oakland before Monday night’s game. Go M’s.

Mariners Sweep Astros

I am sure we are all surprised that the Mariners swept the Astros in a four game series. It is one of the hardest things to do no matter how good or bad the other team is however the Mariners did it in fine fashion.

The Astros have what most would call the best five-man starting rotation in the major leagues and the Mariners faced their top four pitchers.

What made the sweep amazing beyond the fact they were able to score some runs against the Astros the Mariners starts were able to match up with them. In the first game the Mariner hitters were able get to Justin Verlander early scoring six runs in the first two innings making him an early exit.

A breakdown of the pitching in the series the Mariners scored total of twenty runs with fifteen of them against the starters. So the Astros bullpen which was the questionable part of the pitching gave up only five runs.  The Mariner pitchers gave up a total of thirteen in the series with 8 runs and half of those were by James Paxton in game number one in five and two-third innings. Mike Leake and Wade LeBlanc each gave up two runs in their starts with Leake going six innings and LeBlanc five. The biggest surprise was in the final game of the series Erasmo Ramirez making his first start of the season coming off rehab and pitching in Felix’s spot shut out the Astros in five innings. The fifth inning was the inning he had the hardest time however was able to get through it.

The Mariners’ bullpen gave up five runs in fourteen and a third innings. Two runs in the first game and then three runs in the final game. The two middle games they didn’t give up a run at all. Edwin Diaz got a save in all four games. The last pitcher to get four saves in a four game series was Joe Nathan when he was with the Minnesota Twins in 2004; quite an accomplishment for sure.

Another big story of the series was Scott Servais changed the lineup around including inserting Mitch Haniger in the leadoff spot. It all started off with Haniger leading off the first game of the series hitting a home run off of Verlander. It was awesome the rest of the way. In total he had nine hits in seventeen at bats and drove in four runs. Not bad for first four games leading off. I am sure we will see him at leadoff in the Oakland A’s. As long as he is hitting well I am sure we will see him in that spot.

Sunday’s game the Mariners hero in the 4-3 victory was Ryon Healy who hit a home run to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth after the Astros scored all three runs of theirs in the eighth inning. He then drove in the winning run with a single in the top of the tenth inning. What an exciting way to finish off the Astros.

The Mariners now go to Oakland to take on the A’s still a game and a half behind them. The Mariners will be able to come closer if they can win at least two of the three games. They do that they are a half a game behind the A’s while they sweep the A’s they will trade spots and have a game and a half lead over them. While the Mariners and A’s play the Astros will be at home against the Colorado Rockies for two games. Of course we will be rooting for the Rockies. The Astros then will go to Oakland next weekend while the Mariners will be home to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Astros then will come to Seattle next week to play the Mariners Monday thru Wednesday. We are hoping at that point the race between the Mariners, Astros and A’s will be real tight. I am sure the stands will be filled with big crowds for those six games. Go M’s.