Mariners Relieved to Come Home

There wasn’t much positive on this last road trip since the Mariners lost all six games. They will be home for the next eleven games so hopefully, some good signs will come about.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerry Dipoto will make some changes to the roster including making at least one trade.  Edwin Encarnacion is the likely one to be traded because the Mariners might be able to get the most for him. It would be good to get a starting pitcher back for him along with a prospect or two. 

I was hoping to see this last road trip where the Mariners would go at least 3-3 instead of losing each one. They were doing so well against other teams with losing records, however, the Rangers and A’s are on an upswing. Of course, in part by playing the Mariners. The Rangers are 7-3 in their last ten games while the A’s are 9-1. Last year the A’s made their move around this time and once again are doing so. 

It would be nice if the Mariners can beat the Rangers at home well as the Los Angeles Angels. Outside of the Mariners the Angels are the other team with a losing record in the past ten games going 4-6. The only other American League team to go 1-9 like the Mariners is the Detroit Tigers.

Mike Leake continues to struggle on Sunday in the Mariners loss to the A’s 7-1. He pitched six and two-thirds innings. He only gave up three hits but two of them were home runs that gave the A’s three of the five runs against him. Wasn’t normal for Leake he walked three batters. For the Mariners to get back on track Leake along with Marco Gonzales who hasn’t won in May and Kikuchi who had a bad outing after pitching well before the Mariners need these three. 

It is hard though for the starters to do well when they have the pressure of having to be perfect when the offense isn’t working. The Mariners scored only eight runs in the three games. They have shown unless they score six runs or more in a game they probably won’t win and they haven’t done that often as of late.

It isn’t as though the Mariners haven’t hit the ball because they had 25 hits in the Oakland series just they left a lot of batters on base. Whether it is changing the lineup or not is the answer the point is they do need to score runs. 

It does come down to the pitching overall though. The position players Dipoto decides to trade they need to have pitching come back in return. I expect the hitting will come back even with the trading of some of the position players. I can see Jay Bruce and Tim Beckham both leaving before the trading deadline too. 

Tommy Milone will be going against the Texas Rangers Monday night. He had a good game against the Rangers last Tuesday in Arlington though the Mariners lost 5-3. A similar outing by Milone should nest a Mariner victory.  This week will be interesting for sure. Go M’s.

Mariners Swept By Rangers

The Mariners continued in there hitting slump on Wednesday afternoon losing 2-1. The problem wasn’t only the hitting but the defense still is a problem with the Mariners having two more errors in the game and only one of the runs was earned off Marco Gonzales who pitched a good game that he deserves to win. He is now 0-4 in the month of May. He should have one more shot to get a win in May.

Gonzales was able to go seven innings in the game giving up seven hits, one walk and striking out three. This allowed the Mariners to save the bullpen though they do have Thursday off before facing the A’s in Oakland on Friday.

The two newcomers to the Mariners bullpen faired well in this game. Jesse Biddle the lefty came first in the eighth inning. He gave up a hit, however, struck out a batter as well. Anthony Bass was able to get the final two outs of the eighth inning. Actually, a line drive was hit to him on one pitch that he was able to catch the runner at first base to complete a double play. 

The Mariners scored there only run in the seventh inning with back to back hits by Jay Bruce and JP Crawford. Catcher Omar Narvaez the Mariners hottest hitter had to leave the game in the 3rd inning because of a bruised knee when he was hit by a foul tip. He is listed day to day though he plans to play on Friday. We will have to see.

I am not sure why but in the 9th inning the Mariners had Tim Beckham still available on the bench but manager Scott Servais decided not to use him to pinch hit for either Dylan Moore who was playing third base or second baseman Shed Long. I would have used him pinch hitting for Dylan Moore. I have to figure Moore just came off the injured list and he isn’t hitting that well. I hope Servais does have an explanation for his action other than giving Beckham the whole game off. 

Yusei Kikuchi after his last spectacular start that happened to be the last game the Mariners won will take the mound on Friday in Oakland. Right now he is the Mariner’s best pitcher since Gonzales has struggled in May. The Mariners are undefeated against the A’s this season though a small sampling.  It would be nice if the Mariners could turn around and sweep the A’s. This would leave a road trip of 3-3. 

The Mariners right now are in last place a full game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West division standings. The Mariners are 3-7 in there last ten games while the A’s are 7-3. So the series might be difficult in Oakland though the Mariners are undefeated on the season. 

The Oakland A’s seem to make there move at some point of the season so this could end up being difficult for the Mariners. This week the Mariners shook up their bullpen but they may have to make other changes especially with the hitting slump to get winning once again. Go M’s. 

Mariners End Horrid Road Trip

Sunday was another tough afternoon for the Mariners losing again and being swept by the Boston Red Sox 11-2. In the three-game series, the Mariners were outscored 34-8. It was no wonder they had to have more help in the bullpen which didn’t help at all really. 

Marco Gonzales started going four innings giving up four runs on four hits. Only two runs were earned which isn’t much more impressive. It rained the whole game so giving him some slack walking three batters. It was a good idea to get him out of the game with the weather conditions. All the Mariners needed was having Gonzales getting hurt.

Parker Markel called up on Saturday having to travel from Sea-Tac airport to Las Vegas then Atlanta then Boston arriving after 2 am along with being nervous on his major league debut gave up three hits and two runs in one inning replacing Gonzales. 

Dan Altavilla who returned to Seattle from double-A Arkansas didn’t do as well as Markel. Altavilla threw 31 pitches in a third of an inning giving up three runs on one hit. What made it worse he walked four batters. 

Monday I expect at least one transaction by the Mariners. Braden Bishop was optioned back to Tacoma so the Mariners don’t have a fourth outfielder though they could put Shed Long or Tim Beckham in the outfield if necessary so I expect Mallex Smith will return and Altavilla returning to the minor leagues.  I expect Markel will be around for a few more days anyway.

The Mariners will need to make a move when Felix Hernandez turn comes up again on Thursday. Since Felix went on the IL the Mariners will have to bring in another starter. The choice likely will be Wade LeBlanc coming off the injured list.

The Mariners are now 20-23, third place in the AL West a half-game behind the Los Angeles Angels and seven games behind division-leading Houston Astros. Amazing a change can happen after going 2-8 on the road trip.

The Mariners have had good success against teams with losing records. It may be a good thing they play 13 of their next 17 games against losing teams. All 13 games are against division foes so this could be good for them. 

The only team with a winning record is Minnesota Twins who they play four games against this coming Thursday thru Sunday. The Mariners first face Oakland for two then has Wednesday off which is what they need. 

I hope the Mariners can win at least ten of the next seventeen games. It will take the offense to come alive again and the pitching is decent if not spectacular. The starters will need to go at least six innings each so the bullpen doesn’t have to go too many innings.

We hope to see some good baseball for the rest of May. Go M’s. 

Mariners Losing on the Road

It has been a tough road for the Mariners this week. After losing 2 out of three to Cleveland the Mariners lost three out of four to the Yankees. Had it not been for the relief pitching the Mariners may have won three in New York. Now at a look at Friday night’s game in Boston.

For the first time on the season, the Mariners have a losing record. I am sure most of us expected this would happen but in the fashion it has. The Mariners got off to a good start that now having a losing record seems more disappointing than if they had started in a way most fans thought they would.

Friday night the Mariners lost big again 14-1. Erik Swanson had a hard time starting. The Red Sox were able to start scoring runs against him in the third inning. When the inning ended the Sox were up 4-0. The first two innings it looked like it would a close game and possibly the Mariners had a chance to win but wasn’t meant to be. 

The big hit in the third inning was a Mitch Moreland home run with two runners on base. Had Swanson been able to get out of the third without giving up the home run it may have been a lot different game. Giving up a home run to Moreland in my mind is like giving one up to Mike Zunino. Moreland doesn’t hit well except for home runs. Swanson should have pitched in a manner that Moreland wouldn’t have had the hit. He could have walked Moreland to load the bases too. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be.

Swanson gave up a run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth inning before his night ended. The Red Sox led 7-0 heading into the sixth inning. The relief pitchers didn’t do any better giving up seven runs as well.

Before Swanson left the game I thought it would be Ok that Swanson was giving up so many runs if the Mariners were scoring ten themselves. In this game, though ten runs wouldn’t have been enough but more exciting for sure. 

The Mariners scored their only run in the eighth inning with Domingo Santana hitting a triple with Edwin Encarnacion following with a single. Santana had three of the Mariners eight hits in the game. 

JP Crawford making his Mariner debut starting at shortstop because of the injury to Dee Gordon had a hit in his first at-bat of the game. He later had a second hit as well. 

Shed Long who came up as well is expected to start this afternoon for the Mariners. I expect he will play at second base. I wouldn’t be surprised JP Crawford starts at shortstop once again.

With Dee Gordon possibly out for a few days, we may see a lot of Long and Crawford. Gordon was not put on the injured list like Dylan Moore was. The Mariners could decide to Gordon on the injured list if he doesn’t respond and the Mariners need another reliever. The way the bullpen has been pitching who needs a reliever unless it is someone who can get a batter out. Go M’s. 

Mariners Try to Win In Cleveland

When the Mariners were on there long winning streak it was hard to know what to write next without repeating what I had already said. Now that they have lost six in a row losing by one-run two times in a row to the Cleveland Indians. 

The Mariners did get out of the slump hitting wise in a way. They hit four home runs on Saturday, however, they were all solo shots or they may have won big otherwise.

The final score was 5-4. The game went back and forth a little bit. It looked like the Mariners may end the five-game losing streak but Carlos Santana played a different tune and hit a two-run homer off of reliever Connor Sadzeck.  This was after Roenis Elias was relieved after giving up a hit. Two games in a row the bullpen didn’t do their job.

The Mariners acquired right-handed reliever Austin Adams from the Washington Nationals. He is reporting to triple-A Tacoma to begin with. He only has nine games in three years pitching in the major leagues. He seems to be another of the relievers Dipoto has picked up recently like Connor Sadzeck with possible upside. I wish he would find a way to pick up someone with major league experience. 

I know the Mariners are in a re-imaging where they don’t expect to compete though they have so far I certainly like to get some competent relievers though. I don’t want to spend the whole season losing games by one run. 

Erik Swanson will go for the Mariners Sunday to see if he can end this six-game losing streak for the Mariners. It would be good to see him record his first career win. I see him being a good part of the Mariners rotation or in the bullpen if it is better for him and the Mariners.

I came up with a thought yesterday that the Mariners should not only have five starting pitchers but they should have five of the eight relievers backing up the starters on specific days. For example, they would have someone going in pitching two or three innings after Erik Swanson comes out of the game today. The pitcher would no this is the day he is going to pitch for sure.  The three remaining relievers would pitch twice during the five games going one inning or two max. Everyone would be on the same schedule. 

Dylan Moore will be playing third base again today in place of Ryon Healy. It looks like Healy will be available in New York tomorrow. He took fielding practice today. 

Braden Bishop is going to start in center field after not starting the first two games in Cleveland.  The Mariners are giving Domingo Santana the day-off so Jay Bruce will be starting in left while Mitch Haniger will be back in right field. Speaking of Haniger he got out of his mini-slump Saturday getting two hits. One of the hits a double hadn’t bounced back to the left fielder Haniger might have had an inside the park home run.  Something to think about can make a difference in the game when losing by a run. 

Felix Hernandez will be taking the ball on Monday in New York after having a couple outstanding games his last two times out. Unfortunately, the Mariners didn’t win either game. He will be facing veteran lefty CC Sabathia. Should be another good matchup. We just hope the bullpen does their job this time.

We hope Marco Gonzales will be able to rebound on Tuesday for the Mariners after having his worst outing against the Cubs. Go M’s. 

Mariners At Five Losses In a Row Now

Yusei Kikuchi pitched a fantastic game giving up one run on three hits. The Mariners took the lead in the top of the fourth inning when Jay Bruce hit a home run for the only run of the game for the Mariners. The Cleveland came back to even the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth with a couple hits. It was the only scare on Kikuchi game. He struck out ten batters in seven innings. Kikuchi was strong after only pitching one inning which was planned in his previous outing.

Shane Bieber the starter for the Cleveland Indians pitched a good game as well but was not as great as Kikuchi. The Mariners were able to get six hits off Bieber in seven and two-thirds innings. three different times the Mariners had runners in scoring position where they could have scored at least one run or more. 

The problem the Mariners are having at the plate in these five games is scoring runs without hitting a home run. Actually the problem has gone back further than that. In almost every eighteen games the Mariners have won they have hit the long ball. In now the sixteen losses most of them they haven’t. 

Not only haven’t they hit too many home runs in this stretch Mitch Haniger had only one hit. In fact, in his last seven games, he has only two hits batting .080. Dee Gordon started the game back in the lead-off spot. He had two hits in the game. One of the hits was a single up the middle that moved shortstop Tim Beckham from second to third. It was hit too hard for Beckham to score. Gordon was able to steal second base but Haniger who was batting second couldn’t drive him in. 

The Mariners need to find a way to score runs without depending on the home run or hit more home runs that is for sure. After getting off to the historic proportions hitting a home run in 20 games the Mariners haven’t done much in that regard since. 

The Mariners put us in a place getting off to a tremendous start I am sure we expected this to continue. Of course, Jerry Dipoto told us this was a year of re-imagining or re-tooling so we shouldn’t have expected a team that would be up at the top of the standings all year long. 

The Mariners have been beating teams with losing records while losing to those with winning records. It does make sense to a degree but they need to be able to beat the good teams as well at least some of the time anyway.

This road trip will say a lot with the team playing the Indians, the Red Sox, and the Yankees. I was hoping for a split of games going 5-5 but I guess 4-6 wouldn’t be so bad either. Anything worse would not be a good sign. 

Right now this team is looking like the one that played the second half of last season instead of the one in the first half. Servais will need to find a way to get the players all together again. Unlike the team in the second half of last year, I am sure they haven’t given up yet. The pressure should not be on them since no one expected them to be this good anyway.  I guess we could say they are showing their true colors. I hope not though.

Ryon Healy left the game early with a groin strain. Not sure yet whether he has to go on the injured list or not. The Tacoma Rainiers took Shed Long out of their game shortly after Healy’s injury. So it looks like if Healy isn’t available for several days Long will take his spot on the roster. Not sure whether Dylan Moore will see most of the action at third base or Long. Moore will likely be in the game Saturday afternoon even if Healy doesn’t go on the IL. 

All interesting since Kyle Seager is about ready to go on a rehab assignment. He wouldn’t be eligible to come off the injured list for three weeks at the earliest though. This means time for Moore, Long and or Healy for three more weeks.  

Mike Leake pitches for the Mariners Saturday. We need to see a better performance out of Leake than his last outing along with scoring runs to end this losing streak. Go M’s.