g161 | Kuma owns the Halos

Mariners 6 | Angels 1

Well, seems the Halos have Felix’s number but, Kuma has theirs 🙂
Six shutout innings with only six hits and one walk and SEVEN strikeouts

M’s middle of the order faired pretty well vs. Haren…
3-7 (Seager, Jaso, Smoak, Montero, Saunders) went 9/19 with SIX runs and FOUR rbi

Halo’s top of the order, on the other hand…
struck out EIGHT times

A little sloppy on both sides…
FIVE total errors (Halos 3, M’s 2)

The big news prior to the game as it was announced that the Mariners are “moving in the fences” for the 2013 season…

I used to think that it seemed silly to bring in the fences because what might give the Mariners hitters a slight advantage would also give opposing hitters that same advantage and thereby give Mariner pitchers a disadvantage – so, what would be the point? But, I’ve come around because of the way Jack Z and others have explained that it will still be a “pitcher’s park” just a bit more fair. And, if even Felix likes the idea, who am I to question it 😉

Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer)

“I have no problem. It’s going to help a lot. It’s going to be better. Be happy for the hitters.” Felix on fences. #Mariners

Some other thoughts and facts…

Shannon Drayer | My Northwest.com
Larry Stone | Seattle Times
Greg Johns | MLB.com

Tomorrow, one of the most melancholy days of the year for me ;-(

g153 | Sunday, not so Funday

Mariners 2 | Rangers 3

THIRTEEN straight games with at least one homer but…
a solo shot each by Thames and Ryan wasn’t enough as Texas also hit two but one of theirs came with one man on – and there’s your difference in the game.

Good series though, as until the first homer in the 4th (by Napoli) the M’s had held the R’s scoreless for FIFTEEN innings!

Today was the M’s 51st ONE-run game overall

apparently, hitting w/RISP is not the end all be all…
the M’s were 0-5 but the R’s were 0-10 and still won 😉

No harm, no foul, so to speak…
~ rare error by Brendan in the 1st ends up not hurting
~ silly fan getting in Thames’ way ends up not hurting
~ awesome play by Seager – a step and a dive and strong throw to nail the runner at 1B and hold at 3B
~ nice catch and throw by Thames on a medium fly ball that kept the lead off triple at 3B in the 9th

the 8th inning was the big opportunity squandered….
two-on for Jaso who grounded out but, advanced the runners, then an intentional walk to Smoak (been awhile since that happened!) but then Thames (strikeout) and Jimenez (flyout) weren’t able to come through with the bases juiced.

1000 words…

Otto Greule Jr | Getty Images

Off to the land of Disney they go….

g148 | rumblin’, bumblin’, stumblin’ vs da birds

Mariners 4 | Orioles 10The good news?
THREE doubles (Seager, Jaso, Montero)
THREE home runs! (Saunders, Thames and Jaso)

The bad news?

Starting with the starter…
Hector was absolutely pounded. After 54 pitches and SEVEN runs he was lifted with only ONE out in the 2nd inning. He old nemesis, the 0-2 homer, reared it’s ugly head again (he’s giving up 5 homers on 0-2 counts)

Then the first half of the bullpen…
Capps and Perez combined to give up another THREE runs in their 4.2 innings of work.

The second half BP ~ Kelley and Pryor ~ pitched well, combining for a scoreless THREE innings

Then there was the usually sparkling DEE that was anything but…
only ONE recorded error (Ryan) but it felt like they were missing plays all night long. It’s one thing for a young starter to have a horrible game (even Felix does now and then) but really discouraging to see the defense play like that. Hopefully, it was just a very temporary lapse.

It was especially frustrating to be sitting near fans who, by their comments, clearly were not as invested in the team as I. But, I just didn’t have the energy to explain to them that poor pitching and defense was an anomaly for this team. Now, their comments about the lack of decent batting average … I couldn’t argue with.

tweet from Shannon…

Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer)

#Mariners will be 1-7 in games after returning home from road trips w/no off day.


g126 | ENcouragement outweighs DIScouragement

Mariners 8 | White Sox 9

I hate this whole time zone thing…
first, the game was 2/3 over by the time I got home from work. Since it seemed out of reach, I decided to watch the remainder of the Seahawks game (which had started at the same time, since they were in KC). Yeah, it’s only pre-season but, Russell Wilson was starting.

Anyhoo, I had one eye on AtBat the entire time.
~ When Jesus led off the 9th with a homer I thought, “too little, too late – but, good for him.”
~ When the bases were loaded via a walk, a double and a walk I thought. “hmmm… maybe we should switch the channel – no, don’t wanna jinx it.”
~ When Dustin singled to drive in Justin and Trayvon I though, “man, this is really getting interesting!”
~ When Kyle hit a sac-fly to bring the score to within one I thought, “wow – they really are a spunky little bunch, aren’t they?!?”
~ When John stepped to the plate I thought, “holy cow – they just might do this!”
~ When one crossed the plate to tie and the second to take the lead – I didn’t think anymore – I just picked up the remote and finally changed the channel.

So, I apologize, it’s all my fault..
If I’d just stuck with the Hawks maybe Saunders and Thames wouldn’t have collided. Better yet, maybe Tom would’ve struck out the side instead of blowing his third save of the season. The pen had been stellar during the 8-game streak (and, in fact, had only given up two runs – and that was LAST Friday!) Anyway, it’s OK – blame me.

Seriously though…
my disappointment in the late loss is WAY over-shadowed by my encouragement in the late rally.
Even in a loss, this young team is learning how to win.

It’s a process.
A slow, pain-staking, frustrating, arduous process.
But, it’s working.

g125 | another sweep makes it EIGHT STRAIGHT!

So it seems, Thames and Jaso are “trading pies”..
at least they have had the sense to switch from shaving cream to whipped cream 🙂

Iwakuma didn’t go long and he threw a ton of pitches but kept ’em close.
And, the bullpen continued its stellar run

late inning magic…

Heading into the eighth of a 1-1 game, the Mariners started their rally with a hard-hit ball into the right-center field gap off the bat of Kyle Seager. The throw beat Seager to second, but a nifty slide allowed him a double. After Indians manager Manny Acta was tossed for arguing the call, John Jaso was put on first with an intentional walk.”He was thinking double out of the box,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “He busted his tail out of the box. When you get your doubles, it’s not when you round first, it’s those first two or three steps right out of the box. That’s when you get it done. Just great hustle on Kyle’s part.”
Jesus Montero followed with a strikeout, but Thames came through by ripping a double down the right-field line to score Seager and Jaso.
“After those three at-bats, I was on fire. I was pretty hot,” said Thames of his earlier struggles. “It’s just, you get lost in the minute. It was a big situation, and like I said, I was trying to have my approach, just get the head on the fastball. I did and the ball landed where nobody was standing. We scored and we won.”

g124 | ALL RISE …. Supreme Court is in session!

Mariners 5 | Indians 1

I wasn’t sure what to expect, attendance-wise … 20-25k maybe?

So, as I took my seat in Section 334, imagine my surprise when my seating host answered “44,000+” when I asked if she knew how many tickets had been sold. I actually got chills and felt my eyes start to well a bit. All I could say was, “Awesome!” (I think the actual tally was just under 40k but still, much more than I expected)

M’s twitpic

And then I wondered…
How would Felix react to all this? He’d been through a lot of emotion this past 5 days and this would be the culmination of it – with a real chance for the fans to show their appreciation for him in general and for his amazing accomplishment in particular (especially for those who weren’t lucky enough to witness perfection in person). But, it was so much more than most could have imagined.

I needed not to wonder…
He was fabulous. No, it wasn’t another perfect game or even a no-hitter (in fact, the very first batter got a hit) but, he pitched an awesome game – going 7.2 innings (bringing the total to 19 of games in which he has gone 7 innings or more this season) and allowing eight hits and one walk but, only the one run and he struck out five.

It was awesome to hear the “K” chants…
all throughout the stadium each time he got to two strikes on a batter and a nice touch that Wedge was able to take him out mid-inning so the fans could give Felix his due.

For a time there, it was looking like the M’s might be no-hit…
but, thanks to me ( 😉 ) as Eric Thames came to the plate in the 5th, I leaned over to the guy sitting next to me and said, “ok, we can’t have THEIR gut throw a no-no against us – not on Felix’s night!” and BOOM, two pitches later, the ball was in the seats and there was not only a hit but, a run, on the board for the M’s.

The top of the 7th was a bit crazy…
after a ground out, three straight singles and a mis-cue by Brendan Ryan allowed the Tribe to score their only run. Felix made a throwing error that allowed the runner on 2B to advance to 3B but, they were able to snuff out the squeeze attempt and tag out the runner going from 3B to home.

‘t was all gravy from there – ‘t was Felix’s night, and nothing was going to spoil it…
a Saunders walk, a Seager single a Jaso double and a Montero (3-run) MASH gave the M’s the 5-1 lead  they would not relinquish, with lots of credit to Lucas Luetge who held them off for the last 1.1 and the defense (that, despite the two errors) was spectacular, as usual. Namely ANOTHER outstanding, diving catch by Trayvon in left and a really cool snare and toss, from his stomach, by Ackley.

A special souvenir
and another
Fredy Montero getting ready to throw out the first pitch
to Jesus Montero, of course
and, Felixing afterward, of course
The Supreme Court now in session!
more courters, or is it courtees?
the lights starting to take affect
more lights, more court
see of yellow exiting in the afterglow of victory
Reigning Perfection – where he belongs and,
where we hope he will stay

After an interview with Felix early this morning, Mitch Leavy tweeted the following…

Felix (when I told him that we’re nervous about the end of the contract): “You guys will be happy. I’m not going anywhere… I promise.”

Oh and, this is priceless…
the broadcast team “Felixing” for Dave | Shannon’s twitpic

oh, and by the way…
SEVEN wins in-a-row
FOURTEEN out of FIFTEEN at home!

g115 | Kuma and the bats

Mariners 7 | Angels 4

I’ll admit to being a little distracted for this gamed…

  • Mariners/Angels first pitch was at 6pm
  • Seahawks pre-season kick-off was at 7pm (with the quarterback controversy in full swing and the old quarterback making his first appearance since the amazing win against the Saints in 2010)
  • Sounders first kick in San Jose was at 7:30pm

Turns out, the only one guaranteed a playoff spot was the only loser.

always good to beat the hated halos!
and this one wasn’t even as close as the final score would elude to as the Angels got a couple of “too little, too late homers”.

Haren tossed a CG SO (14K’s) against the M’s back in late May. Tonight was his shortest outing of the season – 3.1 IP with ZERO strikeouts.

Nice P…
Kuma was awesome, Pryor eye-popping and Wilhelmsen (despite the solo shot) his usual nasty self.

As for the O…
only one of the TEN hits was for extra bases (Jaso’s solo shot) but, 3-6 w/RISP usually bodes well.

And the D…
sparkling as per usual

g114 | Trout vs. Felix and the M’s

Mariners 5 | Angels 6

Felix with a 5-0 lead after the M’s 3rd – but every pitcher has his nemesis…
WIN in the bag, right?

  • He’s 52-3 with a 5-run or more lead
  • He’s only given up FIVE extra base hits in the last TEN starts
  • He’s only given up ONE homer in the past 145.1 innings

WRONG. Not when it’s against the Halos.

  • Felix’s .375 career winning percentage vs. the Halos is his worst vs. the AL
  • Felix’s 3.85 career ERA is his second worst vs. the AL

And, doesn’t help when the M’s are uncharacteristically poor in the field AND running the bases.

Two-run fly ball?  
bases loaded with one out and Thames makes a great catch on a fly ball but not a great throw (or catch by Ryan) and the runner from 2B also scores.

Bases loaded with one out in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th…
you figure chances are the Halos are going to come up with a run – ugly that it had to be on a wild pitch. Not really sure why Kinney was the one in there…

And so, the jubilation of multi-run homers by Ackley and Jaso is over-shadowed by an ugly loss.

Seven in-a-row seems so long ago…

g109 | Happy Anniversary! Happy Felix Day!

Mariners 1 | Yankees 0

Today marked the 7th anniversary of Felix’s major league debut.
Today also marked another notch on his crown of of fabulous starts.

Felix added a 2-hit, complete game shutout victory of the Yankees to those he’d already checked off his list (Red Sox and Rangers) this season.

More awesomeness…
Felix is 6-0 in his last ten starts with a 1.42 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 76.l innings vs. SFG, SDP, BOS, BAL, OAK, TEX, KCR (2x), NYY (2x)

And, to those who have been concerned about his declining velocity, fret no more…
It seems the mark of a truly great pitcher is his “ability to adjust to his ability” – in other words, he is evolving. For instance, locating that slider and incorporating that crazy movement on the change up.  Da Yanks were stymied 🙂

Jim McIsaac

“That was the most impressive start I’ve ever seen,” manager Eric Wedge said, “and I’ve seen a lot of great games. Felix had special stuff. The swings and misses, the mis-hit balls, all in a 1-0 game? Every pitch could have changed the game. What you just saw out there? You’re not going to find anything better than that.”

Felix to those pesky NY writers ( courtesy Larry Larue)…

After 10 minutes of questions, one New York writer got to what all New Yorkers believe – that Felix secretly wants to be a Yankee.
“Have you ever thought about being in the other clubhouse here?” he asked.
Felix shook his and said: “No.”
The follow up question said it all about New York.
“Why not?”
Felix smiled. “I’m happy.”

Oh, I should point out that Jaso (double) and Carp (RBI single) were responsible for the LONE run.

And, Brendan Ryan was hit by a pitch on the elbow…
x-rays were negative but, he’ll miss a couple of days