Monday, May 30, 2011

Mariners weekly recap: May 23rd-May 29th edition

By Kshell

The Mariners have put together quite the string of success these past two weeks. The Mariners even found themselves over .500 for the first time since the second game of the season. The Mariners on the week took two out of three at the Minnesota Twins then defeated the New York Yankees two out of three at home. This week was a strange week as the Mariners hitting once again didn't hit well especially the top of the order. The starting pitching unlike all season didn't pitch well either having just thrown one quality start in six starts. The Mariners bullpen was terrific once again this week which allowed the Mariners to pull within a game of first place. The American League West race is pretty tight as the difference between first place and last place is just a game and a half. Like I'll do whenever the Mariners have a winning week I'll feature the good, the bad and the awesome. This week the good list will feature plenty of relievers, the bad will feature the top of the order while the awesome will have more attention on the middle relievers.

The Good:

The Mariners went 4-2 on the week which saw plenty of good. This week Erik Bedard like he has all month long is pitching like the pitcher Bill Bavasi gave up so much to acquire. The Mariners relief was excellent this week as they went 3-0 with three saves on the week. Then the Mariners got a little bit of offense from their double play combination especially Brendan Ryan who has been red hot for nine games after being ice cold. The Mariners this week just found ways to win as they won three games in which they trailed including two in extra innings. One of the Mariners wins came off of Mariano Rivera who is the greatest closer of all-time. The Mariners had a winning week when Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda didn't pitch that great of games. So here were the stars of the week for the Mariners this week.

Hot Hitting:

Brendan Ryan: 12-21(.571), 3 RBI's, 2 runs
Adam Kennedy: 7-19(.368), 3 RBI's, 3 runs. He also had game winning hit off Rivera.
Franklin Gutierrez: 7-21(.333), HR, RBI, 3 runs. He robbed a home run against Nick Swisher.
Miguel Olivo: 7-17(.412), HR, 5 RBI's, 3 runs, SB

Brendan Ryan in the past nine games: 17-31(.548) with 7 RBI"s, 5 runs and a nine game hitting streak.

Hot Pitching:

Erik Bedard: 1-0, 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4 K's
Brandon League: 3 saves, 4 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 2 K's
Jamey Wright: 1-0, hold, 3.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, K
David Pauley: 2-0, hold, 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3 K's

Erik Bedard in his last five starts: 3-0, 33 IP, 1.09 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 28 K's
Jamey Wright on the season: 1-1,10 holds, 24.1 IP, 1.48 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 16 K's
David Pauley on the season: 4-0, 3 holds, 32.1 IP, 0.84 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 20 K's

The Bad:

I'm glad that some guys like Ryan, Olivo and Jack Cust aren't living on the bad list but Figgins still remains. The Mariners top of the order has been doing terrible for two weeks now. The 27 million dollar men which is Ichiro and Chone Figgins have done horrible this month. It's pretty incredible how the Mariners are even .500 with the way the team has been hitting. The starting pitching was very average and last weeks hero Jason Vargas got beat up pretty good this week. Then the Mariners have a problem in left field as all the youngsters out there have looked very quadruple A like with the non stop strikeouts. The main problem is Figgins who the Mariners are stuck with for two more seasons after this year at nine million a season. The Mariners need to call up Dustin Ackley now and bench Figgins in favor of Kennedy or at least put Figgins ninth in the order.

Poor hitting:

Chone Figgins: 1-22(.045). For the year hitting .193/.235/.260
Ichiro: 3-26(.115), 2 RBI's, 2 runs, SB
Carlos Peguerro: 2-14(.143), 2 RBI's, 8 K's
Michael Saunders: 0-9, run, SB, 6 K's
Justin Smoak: 4-24(.167), HR, 2 RBI's, 2 runs, 7 K's

Ichiro and Figgins last two weeks combined are 14-104(.135) which has to play a part of Smoak's recent struggles.

For the month Ichiro is hitting .204/.262/.235 with 2 SB's and 3 Caught Stealing. Yet he isn't even the worst hitter or in the worst slump.

For the month Figgins is hitting .169/.204/.202 with 2 RBI's, 5 runs and 4 stolen bases to 2 caught stealing. Time for Figgins to be benched or least moved to ninth in the order. Hard to score runs when your 1-2-3 go a combine 24-156(.154) in the last two weeks.

Poor pitching:

Jason Vargas: 0-1, 7.2 IP, 12.91 ERA, 2.61 WHIP, 3 K's

Vargas doesn't really ever have an average outing. It is either a great outing or a terrible outing much like Ryan doesn't have an average week hitting wise ever.

The Awesome:

The Mariners going 4-2 on the week and 10-3 the last two weeks is pretty awesome. The Mariners were 16-23 have battled back from the week where they blew several leads. Now the Mariners are playing like a team with their bullpen and Ryan carrying the offense. The same Ryan who was hitting .200 just nine games ago. The past two weeks has been fun to watch as the Mariners have given this team very little to cheer about lately. So I'll break down the awesome part of the week.

Awesome hitting:

Brendan Ryan: For the month he is hitting .385/.438/.492 and in the past two weeks he is hitting .515/.555/.687 while driving in 7 runs, scoring 6 runs and has a nine game hitting streak. Ryan has raised his average from .200/.276/.245 to in nine games is now .277/.350/.348 on the season nearly improving by over 100 points in every category.

Awesome pitching:

Erik Bedard: For the month he is 2-0, 26 IP, 1.04 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 25 K's and .180 BAA. Bedard has been dominant his last five starts and he'll take the hill tomorrow against his former team. The Mariners have a tough choice to make here in a month on Bedard if he keeps pitching this well. I'd love to make the playoffs with Hernandez, Pineda and then Bedard as no team would want to face the Mariners.

Mariners Bullpen: 3-0, 3 saves, 2 holds, 24.2 IP, 1.09 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12 K's. The Mariners middle relief has been great and David Pauley deserves to be an all-star.

David Pauley on the season is 4-0, 3 holds, 32.1 IP, 0.84 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 20 K's and .168 BAA. Every year they pick a middle reliever and I don't see how Pauley isn't the leading middle reliever at this point in the season.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 28-25, First Place
LAA Angels: 28-27, 1.0 GB
Seattle Mariners: 26-26, 1.5 GB
Oakland A's: 27-27, 1.5 GB

As you can see the Mariners under first year manager Eric Wedge are right in the middle of the race. Wedge does have his team playing hard as there is no quit in this team which is nice to see. The Mariners are 10-3 the last two weeks despite the top of the order hitting horrible. The Mariners just got Gutirrez back which has already been paying off. When Dustin Ackley is finally called up and eats into Figgins playing time that will help the offense again. Also the Mariners are winning despite Ichiro slumping and his track record suggests he'll snap out of this which is another hitter as well. At least the Mariners are giving us some excitement which they didn't do last year. Hopefully the hitting turns around and the pitching staff keeps pitching well. It does feel good to talk positive about the Mariners for once. It has been a great two week stretch that I hope can last a little longer.

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