Monday, April 18, 2011

Mariners weekly recap: April 11th-17th

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed another losing week going 3-4 dropping their overall record to 5-11. The week started off strong for the Mariners as they snapped a seven game losing streak by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in the first two games. After that the Mariners lost four games in a row, three to the Kansas City Royals. The Mariners had plenty of lows this week but did have some nice wins as well. The Mariners saw a record comeback for them, great pitching by youngster Michael Pineda and Justin Smoak showing why he was such a highly regarded prospect. The Mariners unfortunately still aren't scoring enough runs. This week even saw Eric Wedge have his first of many blowups on the team after a 7-0 loss on Saturday to the Royals. Like I'll be doing all season long I'll recap the week with the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good:

The good was the two games I went to this week which the Mariners won. I'll start with Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays where the Mariners trailed 7-0 and 7-1 going into the eighth inning. My friend who was my ride wanted to leave early so we left early. As we were eating in McDonalds my phone kept blowing up and the Mariners pulled within 7-6. On the way back to my hotel Luis Rodriguez drilled a two run double for the Mariners to complete the comeback 8-7. I punched my friend in the arm and told him I'll be on my death bed and never forgive him.

Well the next day I saw the home debut of Michael Pineda. I didn't leave early on that game. Pineda showed the Mariners there is plenty of hope as did Justin Smoak when he made a great defensive play in the eighth. With the game 3-2, runner on third base and one out someone hit a pop up between first base and right field in foul territory. Smoak makes the catch turns and fires a strike to nail the runner at third base to basically win the game for the Mariners.

Hitting Leaders:

Justin Smoak: 8-19(.421), Home run, 4 RBI's, 2 runs
Brendan Ryan: 7-21(.333), 3 RBI's, 2 runs. Hit safely in six of seven games
Ichiro: 8-31(.258), 2 RBI's, 5 runs, stolen base

Pitching Leaders:

Michael Pineda: 2-0, 13.1 IP, 1.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 12 K's
Jamey Wright: 2 holds, 2.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 2 K's
Josh Lueke: 1-0, 2.1 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2 K's

The Bad:

The team still isn't scoring runs at all having scored just 23 runs(3.2 Runs per game) in seven games. The Mariners won two out of three from the Toronto Blue Jays but lost three of four against the Kansas Royals despite throwing Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda at them. The Mariners aren't getting much production from the middle of the lineup and the starting pitching finally pitched poorly this week outside of Pineda. The Mariners lost four in a row which gives them already two separate losing streaks of over four games which is a bad trend. Wedge has to be crying everytime he fills out a lineup card.

Hitting Slump:

Miguel Olivo: 1-21(.047), run, 7 K's
Jack Cust: 4-19(.210), 2 RBI's, run, 6 K's. ZERO XBH
Chone Figgins: 3-19(.157), run. ZERO stolen bases

Pitching Slump:

Felix Hernandez: 0-1, 11 IP, 7.36 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 12 K's
Chris Ray: 0-1, Blown Save, Hold, 1.1 IP, 33.83 ERA, 3.76 WHIP. ZERO K's
Erik Bedard: 0-1, 4.2 IP, 7.72 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 6 K's

The Ugly:

Now before you think I'm picking on Ichiro I chose this picture to show how low the crowds were during that Toronto series. I was at two of the games and I felt outnumbered by all the Canada fans who drove down to root on the Blue Jays. The Mariners set a Safeco Field record for worst attendance on Monday which was later broken on Wednesday. I can't blame the fans either when you put out a crappy product who can't score runs I wouldn't go either. In fact I'm wondering why I went to two games myself.

Ugly Hitting:

Mariners scored just 23 runs(3.2 Runs per game) during this seven game series. The Mariners attendance is paying the price for it. After six games attendance is already down over 44,000 from last season. This will most likely be the worst year in Safeco history far as fan support goes. I can't really blame the fans it's one thing to be losers but another thing to not be exciting. This team lacks power or anything. They can't play big ball or small ball.

AL West Standings:

LA Angels: 10-5 tied for first
Texas Rangers: 10-5 tied for first
Oakland A's: 8-8 2.5 GB
Seattle Mariners: 5-11 5.5 GB

This year is going to be a long rebuilding season. Wedge I should hope knew this when he took the job. This team won't be competive until 2012 and won't be a playoff contender until 2013. If you guys want hope just look at the "good" list which features Michael Pineda and Justin Smoak. Felix Hernandez is still only 25 years old plus the Mariners have the number two pick in this years draft. The Mariners also have top prospect Dustin Ackley sitting in the minors. The Mariners are starting to build some nice young pieces. That won't take the pain of this season away but unlike 2008 there is at least hope at the end of the tunnel. Whether Jackie Z or Eric Wedge is here to see that well that is a different story that I'll talk about later in the year.

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