Monday, June 27, 2011

Seattle Mariners weekly review: June 20th-June 26th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed their road part of interleague play as they'll be having the DH for the rest of the season. With the way the pitchers hit this week and the way the hitters hit this week the Mariners might want to think about using their pitchers as the DH on off days. The Mariners struggled this week having been swept by the Washington Nationals despite their starting pitchers giving up just combined one earned run over 21 innings. Then the Mariners returned home to take on the Florida Marlins that was supposed to be in Miami but due to a U2 concert the game was played at Safeco. Those three games were Marlins home games as they were played by National League rules. That gave the fans to root on their home pitchers at the plate. The Mariners for the week went 2-4 despite their starting pitching going 43 innings allowing just seven earned runs for an ERA of 1.46 on the week. The hitting was just awful this week and played a main reason why the Mariners went just 2-4. So this week I'll be doing the good(starting pitching), the bad(almost entire hitting) and the ugly(Figgins and the left field problem). So I'll lead off this weekly review with the good news which will see a player make the good pitching and hitting list.

The Good:

The Mariners for going 2-4 this week saw plenty of great pitching this week. The starting pitching was terrific this week led by Doug Fister who can't seem to buy a win. Fister was great this week with his pitching and his hitting as well. Felix Hernandez put on a great show this week for the King's Court striking out 10 batters this week in a game that I went to in fact. The electricity around Hernandez bullpen session was great and I was glad that I brought my dad to friday's game. The King's court is like a student section you see at a college game and I think that was a great idea by the Mariners organization to give some life into Safeco Field. The Mariners pitching as they have all season long was terrific and you'll see them make the list. As for hitting well I really had to stretch to include some hitters this week. One hitter who shined was Dustin Ackley who had his first career double this week and three hit game. Ackley was terrific this week and I'm glad manager Eric Wedge finally moved him up in the lineup.

Good Hitting:

Dustin Ackley: 6-19(.315), 2 RBI's, 4 runs, .409 OB %
Franklin Gutierrez: 6-23(.260), 2 RBI's, run, SB
Doug Fister: 2-6(.333), RBI, Run

Good pitching:

Doug Fister: 16 IP, 1.12 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 6 K's
Felix Hernandez: 1-0, 8 IP, 1.12 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 10 K's
Michael Pineda: 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 9 K's
Erik Bedard: 0-1, 6 IP, 0.00, 0.83 WHIP, 10 K's

Bedard became the first pitcher since Johan Santana in 2009 to lose a game while allowing zero earned runs and striking out 10 batters. He was only the seventh pitcher in the last 35 years to lose such a game.

The Mariners starting pitching this year has been terrific and has been carrying this team.

Michael Pineda: 7-4, 95.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 94 K's, .199 BAA

Felix Hernandez: 8-6, 121.1 IP, 3.19 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 118 K's, .227 BAA

Erik Bedard: 4-5, 83.0 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 80 K's, .226 BAA

Doug Fister: 3-8, 110.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 70 K's, .260 BAA

Jason Vargas: 5-5, 104.1 IP, 3.88 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 68 K's, .241 BAA

The Bad:

Whenever you go 2-4 on the week when your starting pitching has a 1.46 ERA that tells the story of the hitting. The hitting like it has all year killed the Mariners this week scoring just 2.5 runs a game. The defense was terrible in the series sweep to the Nationals allowing seven unearned runs and then the final game losing 1-0 on a shallow sac fly. Also this was probably the worst week for manager Eric Wedge who made several questionable decisions this week. In the first game of the week he pulled Doug Fister who had retired seven hitters in a row and had thrown 99 pitches after eight innings with the Mariners up 5-1. The Mariners would go on to lose that game 6-5 despite being up 5-1 with two outs. Then in Tuesday's game Wedge gave Ackley a day off which made an already weak lineup even worse. He also didn't pinch hit for Chone Figgins in the 9th and Figgins rewarded him by striking out on three straight called strikes. I think Wedge is doing a decent job but that Nationals series he was a big part of two of the three losses. The lack of hitting was a big part of well all the Mariners losses this year.

Bad Hitting:

Chone Figgins: 0-6(.000), RBI, costly error, 2 K's
Justin Smoak: 4-20(.200), run, costly error, 4 K's
Ichiro: 6-26(.230), run, SB, 2 K's
Adam Kennedy: 5-21(.238), 2 RBI, 2 runs, 3 K's
Carlos Peguero: 3-16(.187), HR, RBI, run, 7 K's
Miguel Olivo: 3-20(.150), HR, 4 RBI's, 2 runs, 5 K's
Mike Carp: 0-5(.000), 2 K's

Bad Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 0-1, 6 IP, 6.00 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 4 K's
David Pauley: 1-1, Blown Save, 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 K's

The Hitting was awful this week scoring just 2.5 runs a game with two home runs for the whole week. The Mariners were held to two runs or less in four of the six games this week including being held to one run or less in three of those games. The Mariners saw their pitchers Hernandez, Fister and Pineda get base hits yet their regular hitters can't seem to buy a hit lately. The Mariners are getting nothing from Figgins, Left Field or DH this season and unless that changes they'll find themselves out of the playoff race soon.

The Ugly:

There has been plenty of ugly hitting this year. I already wrote a blog post earlier on the week about how the Mariners should end the Carlos Peguero experiment. Well the Mariners have no left field options at all in their system. The Mariners have to trade for a DH and a left fielder as I'll post the ugly stats they are putting up as a group. You throw in Figgins who is terrible at hitting and also leads the team in errors the Mariners have some serious dead weight on their hands. In the case of Figgins they can't afford to dump him so I suggest putting him on the DL for "suckitis" for a while. As for Jack Cust, Carlos Peguero and Mike Carp it's time to put up or get a bust ticket to leave town.

Ugly Hitting:

Chone Figgins: Hitting .188/.235/.252 . He has one home run, 21 runs scored and 14 RBI's. He has 8 SB's in 14 chances(57.1%) which is just terrible. He is hitting 25-147(.170) since May 1st and has an OB% of just .230 with 23 strikeouts. He has been down right awful for the Mariners.

Jack Cust: Hitting .216/.358/.319 . He has just two home runs, 16 runs scored and 19 RBI's. Cust was brought in for power and has only 14 XBH in 185 AB's with 65 K's. For the month of June he is hitting .115/.343/.231 in 26 AB's but still has nine strikeouts. Cust was brought in for power but other than getting walked has shown to be pretty worthless.

Mike Carp: Hitting .179/.343/.214. So far in only 28 AB's he has yet to score a run or drive in a run. He does have 11 strikeouts(39.2% of AB's) since coming up. Carp after failing last year in the majors is showing he is quadruple A. I think to truly judge him Wedge needs to play him everyday for two weeks in left field or DH. If Carp still isn't productive then it's time to cut bait on Carp.

Carlos Peguero: Hitting .205/.268/.419. So far he has hit six home runs, scored 14 runs and has 16 RBI's. Peguero has provided some power this year but he is striking out way too much and not walking enough. Peguero has 40 strikeouts already in only 117 AB's(34.1%) with just seven walks(5.9%). He is also only hitting a home run one in 19.5 AB's. The problem for the Mariners is when the DH returns two of these guys are in the lineup and if Wedge plays Figgins three of these guys are playing. So if any hitters like a Justin Smoak or Ichiro are slumping which both did this week the Mariners simply aren't going to score runs.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 41-38, first place
Seattle Mariners: 39-39, 1.5 GB
L.A. Angels: 39-40, 2.0 GB
Oakland A's: 35-44, 6.0 GB

In conclusion, the Mariners this week proved what everyone already knows which is that their starting five man rotation is the best in the American League and that their starting nine is the worst in the American League. The Mariners need to make a trade to acquire a major league left fielder and DH if they seriously want to compete for the playoffs. Otherwise the Mariners should just trade Erik Bedard right now and bring in some pitching prospects. The Mariners have nobody on their roster or in their system who can be their everyday left fielder. The Mariners desperatly need to acquire a left fielder for this year and for next season while also bringing in a DH midseason to finish out the year. I do feel for Wedge as his options at DH and left field aren't good although I would play Carp over Peguero. The Mariners pitching staff with an average offense would win over 100 games. On the flip side if the Mariners pitching staff was average with this hitting they'd lose over 100 games like they did last year. At least the Mariners are about to enter July and we still care about the team.

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