Monday, August 8, 2011

Seattle Mariners weekly review: August 1st-7th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed a successful week that saw them go 4-2. The Mariners swept the Oakland Athletics in a three game sweep then dropped two out of three to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Mariners saw much improved hitting this week as well as the pitching was fantastic. The Mariners starting pitchers were great in all six starts this week which was nice to see. The Mariners once again are entering a tough stretch on their schedule so it was nice to see them having a winning week. The Mariners played great in sweeping the A's then allowed just four runs in the series loss to the Angels. The Mariners won four out of six games and their two losses were by a single run. It was nice to see the team playing competitive unlike that disasterous 17 game losing streak. So this week I'll talk about the good(tons of players), the bad(not many players) and the awesome(the guys the Mariners have called up or traded for).

The Good:

The Mariners had plenty of good this week as they went 4-2. The hitting finally stepped up in the series sweep of the Oakland A's. The pitching was terrific all week as all six games saw the Mariners starting pitchers earn a quality start. This week also saw all-star pitcher Felix Hernandez dominate his opponents striking out 21 batters in just 14.1 innings. The Mariners have received great pitching from Blake Beavan this year as well as he broke Michael Pineda's record for starting his Mariners career with six straight quality starts. The Mariners already have seen great return on their trades with Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson. It was nice seeing the Mariners playing good baseball with the young kids from Tacoma doing most of the damage.

Good Hitting:

Mike Carp: 10-25(.400), HR, 6 RBI's, 4 runs
Casper Wells: 6-19(.315), HR, 4 RBI's, 3 runs, SB
Brendan Ryan: 6-12(.500), RBI, 3 runs, .571 OB%
Ichiro: 8-26(.307), RBI, 4 runs, SB
Justin Smoak: 2-5(.400), 2 runs, .571 OB%
Miguel Olivo: 5-17(.294), 2 RBI's
Dustin Ackley: 6-22(.272), 3 RBI's, 4 runs, .384 OB%

Good Pitching:

Blake Beavan: 2-0, 14.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 5 K's
Charlie Furbush: 1-0, 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 3 K's
Brandon League: 3.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2 K's, 2 saves
Josh Lueke: 2.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3 K's
Jamey Wright: 4.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 4 K's
Jason Vargas: 6 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3 K's
Felix Hernandez: 1-1, 14.1 IP, 2.51 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 21 K's

As you can see the starting pitching this week was terrific. The starting pitching this week went 4-1 with an ERA of 1.57 while throwing 40 innings(6.2 innings a start) for the week. The starters had a WHIP of 0.97 with 32 strikeouts. The starting pitching despite trading away two guys this past week was terrific. The hitting was pretty good as well with the Mariners having five guys hit over .300 on the week. This was the best week the Mariners have had in a few months.

The Bad:

The Mariners didn't have much bad this week which was refreshing. The bad did take place against the Angels where the Mariners saw their starting pitching go 22 innings allowing just 3 runs(1.22 ERA) with just one win to show for it. The hitting was once again silent down in Anaheim and there is one hitter in particular who could be in jeopardy of losing his job. The Mariners this past trade deadline traded for three outfielders and two are already up. THe Mariners have already shipped out one slumping outfielder and another could be next. The Mariners with these trades have put Franklin Gutierrez on notice. The pitching this week was terrific minus two bullpen blow ups which happens during a long season. The Mariners were also reminded this week why Jack Wilson never plays because he showed he is a terrible hitter. The roster is changing and some of the dead weight will be shipped out of town before opening day next year.

Bad Hitting:

Franklin Gutierrez: 4-19(.210), 2 RBI's, run, 4 K's
Adam Kennedy: 2-15(.133), 2 RBI's, run, sb, 6 K's
Greg Halman: 0-4(.000), 3 K's
Jack Wilson: 3-16(.187), run, 7 K's, CS

Bad Pitching:

Dan Cortes: 0-1, 0.1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 9.09 WHIP
Jeff Gray: 1.2 IP, 16.19 ERA, 2.99 WHIP, 2 K's

Greg Halman was sent down after hitting 2-28(.071) with 13 strikeouts and no walks. His second half line was .071/.103/.179 which won't cut it at the big league level.

The other player who is put on notice is Gutierrez. Guiterrez for the season is hitting .195/.237/.236 on the season with just one home run and 11 RBI's in 220 at bats on the season. He is slowly hitting better but that isn't enough to make up for this piss poor season he is having. I predict if Gutierrez finishes the season under .200 he won't be back next year.

The Awesome:

The awesome this week is all the Mariners who weren't part of the opening day roster who are contributing. The Mariners two best hitters right now are Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp. The Mariners also saw Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson do well this week. The pitching of Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush makes fans say Doug Fister and Erik Bedard who? The Mariners are getting some good seasons out of Tacoma players. If you include Michael Pineda who is a rookie the Mariners future appears to be bright. Now the Mariners will ultimately have to add to this nucleaus but at least a foundation appears set in place.

Awesome Hitting:

Dustin Ackley: Hitting .301/.368/.529 in 153 AB's. Has 5 HR's, 23 RBI's, 21 runs. Ackley has been a huge lift this season and his glove has been great. He's been consistent all year and his slumps when they happen will be very few and far between.

Mike Carp: Hitting .311/.372/.476 in 103 AB's. Has 3 HR's, 15 RBI's, and 9 runs. Carp since his second call up where he is getting consistent playing time is hitting .368/.394/.588 in 68 AB's. He has 3 HR's and 15 RBI's during that stretch. I don't know why Eric Wedge decided to play Carlos Peguero over Carp when the Mariners were still in a playoff chase.

Casper Wells: Hitting .304/.360/.435 in 23 AB's with the Mariners. This is small sample size but with Detroit he also hit .257/.323/.451 in 113 AB's. For his career he is hitting .288/.343/.485 in 229 AB's which isn't much to judge but it sure is better than what the Mariners have been getting all year long.

Awesome Pitching:

Blake Beavan: 3-2, 41.1 IP, 2.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 17 K's, .245 BAA . Beavan is looking like the best player in the Cliff Lee trade. He has pitched a quality start in all six starts and is averaging almost seven innings a start. As you can see Beavan is a pitch to contact type of pitcher(Fister jr). When Bedard went down Beavan took advantage which showed the organization Fister was expendable as they are similar pitchers. Beavan a former first round pick in the 2007 draft has pitched pretty well.

Charlie Furbush: 1-0, 6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3 K's, .150 BAA. Furbush looked great in his first start with the Mariners. Granted it was a day game with the shadows against the Oakland A's but still he looked pretty good out there. Furbush is a fourth round pick in the 2007 draft and will be given a chance to start the rest of the season to earn a spot in next years starting rotation.

Josh Lueke: 1-1, 12.2 IP, 9.24 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 14 K's, .327 BAA. I'm sure your wondering why I included Lueke on here. Well he wasn't ready in April that is for sure but he went to Tacoma and made the PCL all-star team. Since he has been called up he has been lights out as well. In the second half Lueke has pitched 6.1 innings, 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 6 K's, .208 BAA. Lueke has been terrific so far since his call up.

I've been and will continue to be critical of Jack Zduriencik. I also wouldn't be doing a good job if I didn't point what he has appeared to have done right. Ackley was his draft pick which anyone could have made but the other players I listed he has traded for in the past calender year. Now if Zduriencik can just use his eye for young talent on major league talent and acquire some major league hitters in free agency the Mariners could finally have a team.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 64-51, First Place
L.A. Angels: 63-52, 1.0 GB
Oakland A's: 51-63, 12.5 GB
Seattle Mariners: 49-64, 14.0 GB

In conclusion, the Mariners got better for the future with their trades and for now. Manager Eric Wedge actually has some options to work with which he didn't before. The Mariners have some decent hitters in the outfield which has been nice to see. The Mariners face a tough schedule for the rest of the month. I remember at the start of July thinking the next 60 games is going to be tough on this team. I'm glad the Mariners still have some fight in them but they need to be more consistent to avoid another long losing streak. It has been nice seeing guys who weren't on the opening day roster contributing.

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