Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seattle Mariners weekly review: August 15th-21st edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed their week losing five games in a row. The Mariners began the week with a thrilling come back victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Then after that win the Mariners lost the next two to the Blue Jays where Safeco Field was cheering louder for the Blue Jays than hometown Mariners. The Mariners took the road to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays where the Mariners were swept. The Mariners this week saw Mike Carp extend his hitting streak up to 20 games with Casper Wells hitting a home run in four straight games dating back to last week. The Mariners also saw their pitching particularly the bullpen just get lit up this week. The Mariners had just two out of a possible six starts that were quality starts. The Mariners finished the week 1-5 so we'll talk about the good(Carp and Wells), the bad(pitching) and the ugly(young guys getting lit up). Like I usually do I'll start off with the positives first.

The Good:

When a team goes 1-5 it's hard to find some positives. The Mariners did see Mike Carp extend his hitting streak to 20 games showing the Mariners that he deserved playing time this entire time. Another positive was the play of Casper Wells who had homered in fourt straight games while hitting three home runs for the week. Another player the Mariners acquired in the trade then called up was Trayvon Robinson who hit pretty well this week which was nice to see. The Mariners wasted another masterful game by Felix Hernandez who threw his second complete game in his last three starts but was left the loss. The Mariners did see rookie Tom Wilhelmsen record his first ever major league win in relief.

Good Hitting:

Casper Wells: 6-18(.333), 3 HR's, 5 RBI's, 5 runs
Mike Carp: 8-23(.347), 2 HR, 3 RBI's, 4 runs
Willy Mo Pena: 3-8(.375), HR, 2 RBI's, 2 runs
Jack Wilson: 3-9(.333), RBI
Kyle Seager: 7-21(.333), HR, 3 RBI's, 3 runs
Trayvon Robinson: 7-19(.368), 3 RBI's, 3 runs

Good Pitching:

Felix Hernandez: 0-1, 8 IP, 3.38 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 9 K's
Dan Cortes: 0-1, 5.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 2 K's
Tom Wilhemsen: 1-0, 4.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 3 K's

This week saw Tom Wilhemson win his first ever game as well as Kyle Seager hit his first career home run. This week also saw Willy Mo Pena hit his first home run as a Mariner. For a week that went as bad as it did the Mariners did see some firsts.

The Bad:

This week saw plenty of bad for the Mariners as they lost five in a row. The starting pitching was a total disaster as was the bullpen. The Mariners saw three different relievers post extremely high ERA's and WHIP. The Mariners released the recently ineffective Aaron Laffey. This week also saw some key hitters slump in Dustin Ackley(first of his career) and Ichiro. They also saw Franklin Gutierrez go back to not hitting and Miguel Olivo despite praise from his manager continues to be terrible. The Mariners young pitching duo of Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush were once again rocked. The Mariners also saw Michael Pineda pitch well against the Rays which was nice after he was shelled against the Blue Jays. Jason Vargas was also shelled against the Blue Jays allowing six runs in the first inning.

Bad Hitting:

Dustin Ackley: 4-20(.200), 2 runs, 7 K's
Ichiro: 5-25(.200), RBI, run, K
Adam Kennedy: 1-12(.083), 3 K's
Miguel Olivo: 3-14(.214), HR, RBI, 2 runs, CS, 5 K's
Franklin Gutierrez: 4-26(.153), 2 RBI's, run, 5 K's

Bad Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 0-1, 4 IP, 18.00 ERA, 2.75 WHIP, 2 K's
Michael Pineda: 11 IP, 5.72 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 11 K's
Blake Beavan: 0-1, 5 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 3 K's
Aaron Laffey: 1.1 IP, 20.30 ERA, 3.76 WHIP, ZERO K's
Jamey Wright: 1.1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 3.76 WHIP, ZERO K's
Josh Lueke: 3.2 IP, 7.36 ERA, 2.18 WHIP, ZERO K's
Charlie Furbush: 0-1, 3 IP, 15.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 2 K's

This week the Mariners got rid of Aaron Laffey who was 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.64 WHIP in 42.2 innings pitched in 36 games. He struck out only 24 batters while walking 16 while allowing a .305 opponents batting average. In the second half he was even worse as he had a 12.00 ERA and a 2.77 WHIP in only nine innings pitched. He only struck out six batters while walking four batters. Laffey doesn't have great stuff and has been rocked lately as his WHIP was always pretty high for a reliever.

The Ugly:

Seeing crowds cheer louder for an opposing team was pretty annoying this past week. In fact this was a subject that I tackled last wednesday and again later that night on my radio interview. You can view that post by clicking here. It has been sad to see Safeco Field be so incredibly empty this year. Now I'll talk about some reasons why as of late.

Ugly Hitting:

Franklin Gutierrez: Hitting on the year .216/.251/.264 with only one home run and 14 RBI's in 269 AB's.
Miguel Olivo: Hitting on the year .215/.247/.367 with 111 strikeouts to just 18 walks in 368 AB's. He takes the term impatient hitter to a whole new meaning.

Ugly Pitching:

Blake Beavan last two starts: 0-2, 11.1 IP, 8.73 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 6 HR's, 4 K's. Never a good thing when your HR to strikeout ratio is 1.5/1.0
Charlie Furbush: 2-2, 20 IP, 6.30 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 11 K's, .299 BAA which is pretty awful numbers.
Josh Lueke: 1-1, 16.2 IP, 9.72 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, 15 K's, .338 BAA.

I brought up these three young guys as they are acquisitions by Jack Zduriencik who the local media loves to brag up. Whenever a young guy does anything you hear non stop "In Jack Z we trust" slogans from all the care bear fans. Whenever his players struggles(which often is the case) you hear non stop excuse making on why he can't build a major league team.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 73-55, first place
L.A. Angels: 69-59, 4.0 GB
Oakland A's: 57-70, 15.5 GB
Seattle Mariners: 53-72, 18.5 GB

In conclusion, the Mariners are a struggling team who is simply playing out their season. It is frustrating to see them lose but at this point there is no reason to be worked up over losses. This is a learning stage for a lot of these players. For so many guys on this roster this is extended spring training for next year. What you do going forward could determine your status on this roster. I would like to see manager Eric Wedge pull Hernandez after seven innings under all circumstances excluding a no-hitter. There is absolutely no reason for Hernandez to be throwing this many innings/pitches in a wasted season. The Mariners offense is slowly coming around but with Zduriencik trading away some key pitching pieces the pitching has struggled lately. Hopefully the Mariners this offseason can acquire some much needed batters and some pitching as well. For now I say go the fact that football season is here.

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