May Day, May Day!

May Totals
  • 15 wins – 11 losses
  • 2.82 ERA – FIRST in the MAJORS
  • .228 BA – LAST in the MAJORS
  • 20 -11 since April 26th (best record in the Majors during that stretch)
  • +4 run differential – at least it’s positive, first time since April 2010
AT THE PLATE
You wonder … they REALLY posted a winning month?
They are dead last in: BA, BB, RBI, R and HR.  I was especially surprised to see that they went from first to worst in the walk category.  While there are those who have picked up their average pretty significantly (Ryan, Kennedy, Cust and Olivo) everyone else (except Jack Wilson) have dropped significantly.  As a conciliation, they do have the second fewest GDIP and are top six in sac hits and sac flys (as evidenced in the Yankee series).
ON THE MOUND
Now HERE is where they shine!
The rotation had quite a roll in mid-May – at one point they had NINE straight starts of at least SEVEN innings pitched and giving up less than TWO runs.  All stayed on turn (‘cept for the slight weather issue in, where else? Cleveland).  Felix made SIX starts, the others made FIVE.  All posted an ERA under FOUR for the month, Michael was under THREE and Erik (on fire!) under TWO.
IN THE PEN
After some serious downs, it’s been nothing but up.
Brandon ran into a little pot hole (OK, it was more like a crater) when he lost a game in a non-save situation and then blew THREE saves in-a-row.  But, Wedge stuck with him and he has recovered very nicely.  He has pitched EIGHT innings since the last blown save, has not given up a run, walked TWO and chalked up SIX saves in as many opportunities and as May ended he was the league leader in saves.
The rest of the pen, well … can you say stellar?  Wright, Laffey and Pauley have been pitching out of their minds – all threw double-digit innings in May and posted 2.19, 1.74 and 0.56 ERAs respectively.  Chris Ray has also come around nicely after a shaky start to the season and, the new guy, Jeff Gray has proven useful as well.
OF BASE PATHS AND LEATHER WORKS
The defense overall has improved….
Nothing super spectacular, just solid.  They posted the third fewes errors for the month and were tied for fourth in most double plays turned.  Michael did a great job filling in defensively for Guti ~ but man-oh-man does it feel good and comforting to have him back in his rightful place in centerfield.
Base running pretty solid as well…
M’s had 43 stolen bases in May, just above league average.  They seem to do a pretty good job of going first to third when they get the opportunity and don’t often make silly mistakes (like last year).  Still waiting for a run on a squeeze play though – one of my favorites.
MAY STARS
David Pauley
How can anyone not pick him?  In SIXTEEN innings pitched he allowed TWELVE hits, NO walks, ONE run and picked up TWO holds and FOUR wins.  Nice little resurgence for the journeyman.  And, even though he’s already pitched 33 innings, he should be okay, because prepared for the season as a starter.
Brendan Ryan
Pleased as punch to award it to him ~ I’ve been pulling for him to contribute ON the field because I love what he’s about OFF the field (reminds me a bit of Jay Buhner).  Brendan really stepped up his game this month, both defensively and offensively.  He’s been playing solid shortstop and raised his batting average about 90 points – he had an ELEVEN game hitting streak (just broken on June 1st).  He was tied for team lead in batting average and tied for second in team RBI.  There is no doubt he leads the team in energy and accountability.
Honorable Mentions
~ Jack Cust – hit his first home run, led the team in doubles for the month and hit a respectable .272
~ Justin Smoak – although his average dropped way down, he still lead the team in RBI and homers
~ The Entire Bullpen – Brandon for righting himself, everyone else for being generally awesome.

ST19 | vs. Rangers

Mariners 9 | Rangers 8

A SLUG-FEST!
There’s something we didn’t see much of (if at all) last season…
The two teams combined for SIX homers (including back-to-back-to-backers by the M’s Kennedy-Wilson-Cust, in the 8th), SIX doubles and a triple.  The M’s stole TWO bases and turned TWO double-plays.  The good news is that the M’s came out on the winning end and their pitchers who gave up the EIGHT runs will likely not be on the 25-man roster come April.

NEWS AND NOTES
Tui’s trying to stay flexible | Seattle Times
Baron gaining confidence | News Tribune
Langerhans changes batting stance | Everett Herald

ST6 | vs. Tribe

M’s 7 | Indians 2

ERIKKKK is BACKKKK…
Starting to get a bit excited re: the possibility of a healthy Erik behind a dominant Felix.  Still crossing all appendages for good measure though.

AND HOW ‘BOUT THOSE BATS?!?
Only EIGHT hits, but getting SEVEN runs from that is pretty efficient.

AND ANOTHER TWO DP’s
Figgins to Kazmar to Kennedy AND Liddi to Kazmar to Gimenez

NEWS AND NOTES

ST2 | vs. Rangers

M’s 5 | Rangers 4

DOUBLE DIGIT HITS
Including a double and THREE homers (Kennedy, Baron, Ramirez)

THE PITCHING “B’s” HAVE A ROUGH GO
Beavan and Bautista each gave up two runs and allowed a walk in their combined three innings.  But the rest of the staff (including starter Nate Robertson) pitched well, allowing only FIVE, NO walks and NO runs in their combined SIX innings of work.

GLOVES AND BASES
TWO double plays and TWO stolen bases (Ichiro and MB)

ST Charity Game | vs. Padres

M’s 13 | Pads 12

13 RUNS?!?
THAT didn’t happen in too many games last season (heck, it didn’t happen in too many WEEKS 😉  Then again, giving UP 12 runs wasn’t a common occurrence either.  But, hey, it Spring Training.  It’s baseball.  Baseball is BACK!!!

SOME OF THE BEST NEWS CAME IN THE FIRST INNING…
Erik Bedard ~ 9 pitches, 8 strikes, 2 strikeouts, 1 ground out
How great would it be if Erik was actually able to get through ST, start the season in the rotation behind Felix and actually pitch, even somewhat effectively, all season?  Okay, so I won’t hold my breath.  But, I WILL cross all appendages.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE PITCHING WENT DOWN HILL FROM THERE…
With Danny Bautista having a particularly bad day (unable to get through one inning and giving up five runs).  Petit and Smith each threw scoreless frames in the 9th and 10th respectively.  The others seemed to have sort of typical “first spring outings” – giving up a handful of hits and a run or two in an inning or two of work.

WITH 13 RUNS, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE GOT INTO THE ACTION…
But, the new, svelte Jack Wilson lead in RBI (3) and Carlos Peguerro impressed in more ways than one.  Not only did he tie the game in the bottom of the 9th with a two-out, two-run home run.  He then proceeded to keep the game tied in the 10th by throwing a runner out at home plate – from center field.

FIELDING AND RUNNING…
Miguel had a passed ball, but he and Bard each threw runners out trying to steal.  Luke picked a runner off first and then there was that gun down at the plate by Peguerro and Adam Kennedy swiped a bag.

PRIOR TO THE GAME, THERE WAS THIS LITTLE BOMBSHELL…
Jody Gerut retires | Geoff Baker
“I can no longer, in good conscience, play the game in a manner that reflects the positive example for the younger generation of baseball players,” he said. “Physcially, I’m fine. But mentally, my reasons for wanting to be in uniform have become so thin and narrow that I refuse to disrespect the game that has provided so generously for my family in a halfhearted way.
“This game of ours owes me nothing, but I owe the game at least that much. When a player finds his willingness to compete to be so greatly diminished, that player must leave the game so as not to disrespect it by becoming a player who plays solely for his paycheck and his own personal glory.
“This is a notion so distasteful to me it makes me physically sick to my stomach.

Wow.  Jody, we hardly knew ya.  I’m thinking it would have been nice to…

Next up (and this one actually counts in the Cactus League standings)…
Mariners vs. Padres
Monday, February 28th 12:05pm