Wednesday, July 13, 2011
How the Mariners did at the All-Star Game
For the first time since the 2003 all-star game the Seattle Mariners had three guys make the team. The Mariners saw Felix Hernandez picked to his second career all-star team and closer Brandon League picked for the first time. Due to some pitchers not being able to pitch such as Hernandez that opened up some spots for Michael Pineda to make the team. In this following post I'll tell you how the three Mariners did while talking about what they did during the first half of the season. In the game the National League did win 5-1 as Prince Fielder who is a free agent had a three run home run off C.J. Wilson. The National League will have home field advantage for the second straight season in the World Series.
Felix Hernandez pitched on Sunday so he wasn't eligible to pitch in the all-star game. Hernandez is having a solid season as he is 8-7 on the season with an ERA of 3.19 in 144 innings pitched. Hernandez has struck out 140 batters with a WHIP of 1.15 while opponents are hitting just .228 on the season. Hernandez has been pitching deep into games averaging just under 7 1/3 innings a start. Look for the Seattle Mariners to lighten King Felix's work load this second half. Hernandez for those who don't know is having his best season amongst the sabermetrics crowd. He is posting his lowest xFIP of his career so far which is 3.04. His K's per 9 is also the highest of his career at 8.75. For those who question his spot on the all-star team please thank again. He has had some bad luck this season but is pitching like the ace that he is.
Michael Pineda this year had a great outing in the all-star game. Pineda pitched a perfect third inning. He got Troy Tulowitzki to fly out then he struck out Scott Rolen and Richie Weeks. Pineda the youngest all-star on the roster wasn't afraid of the moment or the hitters he was facing. Pineda who is having a great rookie season as he is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Pineda on the year is 8-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 113 innings pitched. He has struck out 113 batters with a WHIP of 1.04 while opponents are hitting just .198 off of him. Pineda who has never thrown more than 140 innings in a season will probably be rested down the stretch. Pineda has been terrific for the Mariners and it was nice to see him shine on the games biggest stage.
When Brandon League was selected to the all-star game it was a bit of a surprise. Shows how mentally tough League is to survive a rough stretch in May to pitch so well. In the all-star game League went one inning, allowed two hits and one run while striking out Sterlin Casto. League for the season is 1-4 with 23 saves in 27 opportunities. League has posted an 3.44 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 36.2 innings while striking out 25. He is holding his opponents to a .241 batting average against him. League was supposed to be a set up man this year but due to injuries he is the closer. League has done a very good job for the Mariners as the closer. Now depending on what teams offer the Mariners League could or could not be in a Mariners uniform on August 1st. The Mariners did get more out of League than anyone could have expected this season.
In conclusion, it was nice seeing three Seattle Mariners at the all-star game and all three were very deserving. It was nice to see Hernandez get selected since he was so badly snubbed last year and is still one of the games best pitchers. It was nice to see the rookie Pineda get added to the team and then pitch so well in his all-star game debut. Then it was nice to see League make the team and allow he gave up a run didn't pitch bad at all. The Mariners sent three pitchers to the all-star game for the first time since 2001 when Freddy Garcia, Jeff Nelson and Kaz Sasaki made the team. The pitching future is bright for the Mariners and possibly the teams future can be even brighter if they sign All-Star game MVP Prince Fielder. The Mariners were well represented in this midsummer classic which was nice to see. Hopefully someday the Mariners can finally be represented in the fall classic.