g162 | shutout and series win on final day

Mariners 12 | Angels ZIPPO

whoa! Nice way for Mr. Beavan to finish out his season…
EIGHT shutout innings – SEVEN hits – ONE walk. The ZERO strikeouts was rather odd but, Pryor helped make up for it a bit, striking out TWO in his ONE inning of work.

as for the O…
ELEVEN hits and TWELVE runs – I’ll take it!

and the D…
TWO double plays, including my favorite kind, an outfield assist to nail a runner at home (and, in this case it was Casper to Jesus to nail Trout … sweet!)

Mr. Montero gunned down Mr. Trout trying to steal (keeping him from #50 on the year)
Trout had been caught only FIVE times this season – TWICE by Olivo, ONCE by Montero

other funny contrasts between M’s and Halos…
Felix was 0-3 vs. the Halos
Iwakum was 4-0 vs. the Halos
Weaver was 0-3 vs. the Mariners

bye-bye summer home…

Edgar’s street….
more than a backward glance….
lights in the twilight…
my section of choice this season….

Until April, Safeco Field, I will miss you so!

g160 | Halos eliminated

Mariners 4 | Angels 8

So, despite yet another victory over the M’s, the Angels post season hopes were dashed tonight when the A’s beat the Rangers, clinching at least the Wild Card spot. I must admit to a bit of schadenfreude, especially with the 3 Halos fans sitting directly behind me. It’s one thing to have fans of the opposing team around when it’s a packed house with both teams fighting for something – that’s good fun. It’s quite another in a nearly empty stadium with nothing but pride on the line … that’s just kind of depressing and very annoying.

Good on the A’s! I was rooting for them – always nice to have some new blood.

As for our game..
What is it about the Angels? They are Felix’s nemesis….
In his last 6 starts, he had 4 losses (2 to the Angels) and 2 no decisions (one to the Angels)
Ironically, one of the few Mariners who was flying high for most of the season, finished with more than a bit of a thud.

Larry Stone tweeted “After shutting out MIN on aug 27 –his 9th straight win — Felix finished 0-4, 6.62 in last six starts. Had been Cy Young favorite”

Shannon Drayer tweeted “Felix’s ERA without the Angels starts this year 2.56. They did some damage.”

Greg John’s game recap

Hernandez said the one good thing coming out of his finale was that he finished the season healthy, having thrown 232 innings, his fifth straight season of 200-plus innings.Asked to assess his season, he said: “It was fine. It was OK. I need to get better. That’s it.”
What exactly would The King like to improve on?
“I need to pitch better against the Angels,” he said.

Elaine Thompson | AP

the good?
* NINE hits – including THREE doubles and ONE home run
* FIVE walks
* Wells apparently becoming CJ’s daddy (TWO homers and ONE double in SIX career AB’s)
* Wells also w/an OF assist (doesn’t rhyme like “don’t go on Ichiro”, but the “new” RF’er can throw and this time it was to get the speedy Mike Trout trying to stretch a single into a double
* Smoak on base THREE times tonight
* nice DP – Ackley-to-Ryan-to-Smoak

the bad?
besides Felix’s outing … TWO errors

the ugly?
3-12 w/RISP

g158 | out in extries once again

Mariners 4 | Athletics 7

EIGHTEEN games in-a-row with at least ONE home run…
Seager and Saunders each hit their NINETEENTH home run in the 4th inning

Really a shame for Vargas…
He pitched SO well in this, his final start for 2012, going 7IP – 5H – 1ER – 0BB – 7K
Jason racked up 217 innings for the season, giving the M’s their first TWO 215+ starters since Garcia and Moyer in 2002 ~
The first ground ball Vargas surrendered didn’t come until the 4th inning (everything to that point had been a fly ball out or a strikeout) and it got through for a hit and an RBI with Cespedes scoring from 1B. Vargas left the game with a 4-1 lead and a good chance at his 15th victory.

The A’s, however, had other (post season) plans…
In the 8th, Wilhelmsen relieved Capps with TWO on, ONE out and got the first batter to pop out on the first pitch. Then, CoCo Crisp stole 3B and Tom gave up a double to Moss, scoring Crisp but Wells and Ackley made an awesome relay home to Olivo who nailed Stephen Drew at the plate.

Unfortunately, the adrenaline of that great end to 8th didn’t carry over to the 9th…
The Bartender blew a rare save – allowing a walk to Reddick and then a homer to Donaldson to send the game into extras (and hand poor Jason an ND)

Things didn’t get any better from there…
the M’s failed to score in the top of the 10th
Perez gave up a single and got an out
Pryor walked a batter and, despite Lucas being ready, was left in to face Moss who deposited the first pitch he saw from Stephen into the seats – and that was all she wrote.

this gave me a bit of a chuckle…

Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32)

Guys I think Bob Melvin might be a witch


g151 | finally – a witness to victory

Mariners 6 | Rangers 3

Seems like forever since I attended a win (I believe it was back on Supreme Court night) so, it was good leave the field with a little spring in my step for a change.
‘Kuma was solid… 
He continues to make a pretty strong case for the starting Ro next season.
He gave up 8 hits but only 3 runs and struck out 4 in his full 7 innings of work to earn his 7th win.
bullpen back to form…
Pryor and Wilhelmsen each gave up a hit that went for not and The Bartender earned his 28th save.
Otto Greule Jr | Getty Images
‘t was a first for the SS…
Carlos Triunfel made his first major league start – he got a hit, scored a run and collected his first MBL RBI (solid RBI double). He also made some nice plays in the field (including being a part of THREE double-plays).
Nice to see some POWER tonight…
THREE doubles (Smoak, Wells, Triunfel)
ONE triple (Guit)
ONE homer (Miggy with a 2-run insurance shot in the 8th)
Ted S. Warren | AP Photo

Ackley left the game with a stiff neck …
Seager moved to 2B and Liddi came in at 3B

M’s have played the Rangers tough this season…
current season series record is 8-9 AND the M’s have out-scored the R’s 84-69
Let’s tie the season series tomorrow and win it Sunday 🙂


g129 | fifth for FiFi

Mariners 1 | Twins 0

So apparently, Felix made a little bit of history….
– he became the only pitcher in M’s history to record FIVE shutouts in a single season
– he is the first pitcher since 1976 to get the win in 4+ complete games (Blyleven, Jenkins, Drysdale, Gibson and Horlen last five to do it)

Felix is 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his last 14 starts which ties his career win streak.

So anyway …
Felix was good.

Jim Mone | KansasCity.com

Prior to the game, the M’s activated Guti from the DL and optioned Casper Wells to AAA.

Guti had a single in his first AB, two stolen bases and an awesome catch at the wall. Not too shabby for his first day back.

Jim Mone | KansasCity.com

I didn’t see the game but, heard mention he seemed a little “gun-shy” when at 1B – understandably so! He even admitted after the game that it’ll take awhile for him to get over the “flashbacks” (maybe he should talk to Justin – seems like he’s overcome it pretty well).

And the hitting hero of the night…
The Twins actually outhit the M’s 5-3 but Eric Thames made his count in the 8th inning with his 7th home run of the season.

courtesy SB Nation

g128 | of falderal and rain delays and some fun in Everett

Mariners 3 | White Sox 4

‘t was raining cats and dogs in ChiTown…
So what else is new? I swear it rains more there than in Seattle – get a friggin’ roof!

Anyhoo, the M’s took an early lead on a Jesus Montero infield single (four words not often written consecutively) in the first inning. Then they lost the lead. Then it rained. Then they took the lead again on a Casper Wells 2-run home run. Then it rained some more – enough for a 6 minute delay. Then the WS took the lead. Then it rained a lot more – enough for a nearly 2 hour delay, after which the game was finally called. buuuuu-mmer.

Meanwhile, I had fun in Everett…
Aqua Sox 5 | Bears 2

Free program and reusable bag!
the lineup
Everett Memorial Baseball Stadium
really yummy dog!
daughter and dad 🙂
view from our “over the dugout” seats!
Oh say can you see?
Unsworth earned his 7th victory
Unsworth after his last inning
Littlewood right before hit hit a 2-run shot to put the Sox up 3-2


Frogs Win!!!
Cool touch at the headquarters

g108 | too much CC

Mariners 3 | Yankees 6

In this 7th meeting between the two teams this season, it’s the first time the M’s have faced CC
Thank goodness – sheesh!
The good news: the M’s hit TWO homers (Casper in the 4th and Dustin in the 9th)

The bad news: the M’s only mustered THREE total hits.

After the game, Wedge said about CC, “I think he beats anyone tonight.”
He also gave some praise to his own guys though, “We didn’t give at bats away today.”

Millwood threw a lot of pitches (109 in 6 innings) but kept ’em in it till the 6th when he gave up the 2-run homer to Chavez – which could have been, but was not, called fan interference.

Larry Stone ‏@StoneLarryThames said the Chavez homer hit a fan’s glove, then his, otherwise he would have caught it.

Carter Capps made his major league debut in the 7th…
Despite throwing SIX 100/101mph pitches (of 12 total) he gave up a hit to Martin, a walk to Granderson and then Jeter laid down a sac bunt. Unfortunately, Perez replaced Capps and allowed a couple of singles to Cano and Ibanez and both of Carter’s runners scored.

Ichiro continued his hitting streak…
He has exactly one hit in each of his 10 games with the Yanks so far and zero walks, zero strikeouts.
Still so strange to see…

courtesy ESPN.com

g93 | runs scored again but, one too many given up

Mariners 7 | Royals 8

Another barrage of hits (14 each side) and extra base hits…
– M’s with FOUR:  a double, a(other!) triple and two homers (Seager and Wells)
– Royals with FIVE: three doubles and TWO homers, including one in the 9th to break the 7-7 tie

Kevin Millwood didn’t have his best night…
giving up SEVEN of the Royals EIGHT runs.

the bullpen was stellar…
Steve Delabar (back from AAA without even going there, as Charlie Furbush was placed on the DL w/ a strained left tricep), Oliver Perez and Josh Kinney combined for 2-2 scoreless innings – until that third pitch in the 9th inning, from from Josh to Billy Butler, that didn’t come back.

“He was the guy,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We had League and Luetge down. We were going to stay away from both those guys. Josh has been throwing the ball well in the short period of time he’s been up here and did a nice job getting out of the inning before.”It just looked like a pitch that was up. Butler’s a pretty good hitter and he got to it.”

Felix with the early start tomorrow!

As of this writing, they are still playing baseball in Tacoma…
Danny Hultzen went SIX and gave up ONE run on THREE hits with ONE walk and EIGHT strikeouts vs. Sacramento tonight. Little did everyone know, that wasn’t even the HALF of it – now tied 1-1  Go, R’s!!

g91 | bats! bats! and more bats!

Mariners 9 | Royals 4

Nice that Vargas was able to adjust…
he wasn’t sharp from the get-go, allowing hits and walks in innings 1-4 even though the 3rd was the only one he got hurt in (when he allowed two homers that kept his unfortunate streak going – now at 12). But, Jason ended up retiring the last six batters he faced. Wedge, on the postgame, said if it hadn’t been so hot he might have stayed with him for one more inning but, didn’t want to negate the extra rest he’d just logged by doing so.

They are on the road, the runs will come…
And come they did, in bunches!
Hitters 1-5 were responsible for all NINE rbi (1 double, 2 triples and 2 home runs)

Brendan took a foul ball off his knee (after taking one off the foot in BP) before singling and eventually scoring in the 2nd but then had to come out of the game with a pretty nasty bruise.

and, an awesome throw from left to nail a runner at 3B
Love, love, lovin’ that 🙂

Good to see Jesus behind the dish for the first time since his Independence Day bonk…
and, of course he checks in with a couple of hits (including a double) and a walk

Player of the game?
No question – Casper the Friendly RBI Guy with a homer and a triple good for FIVE rbi

Orlin Wagner | AP Photo

it appears Blake Beaven will get the start tomorrow… no word yet on the corresponding move

First Half Reflections…

A lot of the focus of the M’s first half has been on the ungodly home/road splits ~ and for good reason! Take a gander at these unbelievable differences – as a team…

at home .195 / .273 / .289 / .562
on the road .256 / .305 / .410 / .715

Believe it or not, the M’s scored the second most runs(220) IN THE MAJORS on the road and were at or above average in most major offensive categories (except OBP).

But, at home, it was the opposite (only worse – the FEWEST runs in the majors).
Something about that “home cooking” that just didn’t resonate – here are a couple of real extremes

at the plate

Michael Saunders
home .189 / .263 / .264 / .527
road .299 / .358 / .517 / .875

Kyle Seager
home .157 / .265 / .261 / ,526
road /313 / .343 / .548 / .891

As for the starting pitching, definitely not as strong as in previous years. They posted just a smidgen better (4.35) than AL average (4.39) in ERA and a whole lot worse (22) than AL average (32) in wins.

on the mound

Felix had a ‘blip’ but recovered well and was the lone Mariner representative at the All Star Game in Kasas City (though he didn’t pitch)

Felix and Jason Vargas both recorded 11 quality starts and each have  a winning record (6-5 and 8-7 respectively)

Kevin Millwood suffered with a groin injury but, despite his record, has pitched very well when healthy.

Blake Beavan and Hector Noesi have both been sent to AAA Tacoma (Blake in early June, Hector in early July) as they both struggled mightily.

Erasmo Ramirez has been inconsistent to say the least. He started the year in the pen and was so-so but was sent down to build starting strength and has had mixed results since coming back up in mid-June and then suffered an elbow injury (not serious).
Hisahi Iwakuma only had one start ( a win vs. BAL) but will likely be used more to start the half (due to Hector’s demotion and Erasmo’s injury)

And the surprise of the first half (both good and bad) had to be the Bullpen!
Let’s get the bad out of the way. Brandon League started out great – didn’t allow an earned run till April 19th but, after that was the epitome of inconsistency (not a good quality in a ballplayer, especially a closer) and he lost his closing role toward the end of May. Originally, Wedge didn’t name a closer (‘t was going to be the preverbal “closer by committee”) but, it didn’t take long for one of the guys to take the bull (pen) by the horns…

in the ‘pen
Since being installed as closer, Tom Wilhemsen (aka: The Bartender) was 2-0 with 7 saves and hadn’t given up a run … until the last game before the break in Oakland where he gave up 2 and blew his first save (but, hey, it happens, even to Mariano).
The lefties have been a nice surprise. Lucas Luetge and Charlie Furbush have really contributed nicely. Lucas didn’t give up a run until well into June and Charlie posted the third longest scoreless streak (23 innings) in Mariners history

Oliver Perez, seldom used, was pretty effective until that last series in Oakland when he gave up three runs in two games.

Up and down/ In and out were the rest…
Shawn Kelley had a slow start back from rehab but, has pitched well lately – hasn’t given up a run since June 20th.  Steve Delabar has already been sent down and called back and hasn’t been real reliable. Stephen Pryor, called up in early June, was pitching well but, only appeared in six games before suffering a groin strain (began a rehab stint at the ASB). George Sherrill wasn’t right from the start and we soon found out why – he’s was out for the season on April 9th and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Now THIS is where the Mariners shone brightly ~ their defense was OUTSTANDING. 

gold glove D

Brendon Ryan was the standout. While punchless with the bat he is an absolute wizard with the glove – web gem after web gem. The rest of the infield has been really good – at one point, Justin Smoak had a nice errorless streak going and the biggest surprise defensively was Kyle Seager at the hot corner.

As for the outfield, Michael Saunders did a bang up job filling in for Guti in CF,Casper Wells has really done well in his limited chances in LF (really strong, accurate arm) and Ichiro, clearly not what he used to be but seems he’s performing a bit better defensively than he was last season.

Behind the plate – definitely an area of opportunity. Miguel Olivo still has his usual passed ball issues and Jesus Montero clearly has a lot of learning to do (though certainly not the disaster that many predicted) but he does have the “no-hitter” under his belt – a great accomplishment!

Really hard to find stars among this young group who is dying for some veteran leadership (IMHO). The hitters show flashes of brilliance (especially on the road) but can’t seem to bring it with any consistency. Their travel schedule has been brutal – from the Japan trip and back to playing on the road a good 5 – 10 more times than most teams for a good majority of the first half. Not an excuse but, a definite contributor.

first half stars
I would probably give the first half star to a couple of the pitchers…
Felix, of course but, not for the usual reason. He had a period of adversity and the fact that he was able to recognize the issue and fix it shows his maturity and character.

Wilhelmsen, Luetge and Furbush deserve at least an honorable mention – all with ERAs under three (Lucas under 2!) and as many (or more!) strikeouts as innings pitched.

Saunders and Seager deserve some recognition. Even though they both have been abysmal at home – Saunders has definitely found something in his new approach and Seager, despite his low BA, actually leads the majors in RBI with 2 outs and RISP (27)

oh, super kudos to John “Mr. Clutch” Jaso … 7 game winning RBI’s!