Monday, August 29, 2011

Seattle Mariners weekly review: August 22nd-28th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners ended the week in disappointment after starting off so successful. The Mariners began the week taking three out of four against Eric Wedge's old team the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. The offense had erupted that series but quickly went silent when the Mariners came home. The Mariners were swept by the Chicago White Sox scoring just five runs in three games. The Mariners for the week went 3-4 and two hitters who had been so red hot went ice cold this week. The Mariners are seeing youngsters Kyle Seager and Trayvon Robinson hit the ball pretty well. While Ichiro is making a late push to hit 200 hits this for the 11th consecutive season. The Mariners young pitching continues to get blown up while the pitching face of the franchise Felix Hernandez continues to pitch great down the stretch. The Mariners did go 3-4 so that means I'll talk about the good(Seager and Ichiro), the bad(young pitching) and the bad(more in depth on the young pitching).

The Good:

The week started off well for the Mariners as they beat playoff contender Cleveland Indians three out of four and had a lead in the ninth inning in their only loss. The Mariners have had some hot hitting from Ichiro who has an 11 game hitting streak and Kyle Seager who has a nine game hitting streak. The Mariners received some offense this week from the catchers position which hasn't been seen most of the year. The pitching duo of Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda was nice to watch this week. Hernandez has been dominant in his last six starts while Pineda has had back to back quality starts. The bullpen was pretty good as four bullpen arms were on my good list which is pretty impressive. The outfield of the Mariners hit pretty well this week with Ichiro, Franklin Gutierrez and Trayvon Robinson.

Good Hitting:

Ichiro: 13-33(.394), HR, 3 RBI's, 5 runs, 3 SB's-11 game hitting streak
Kyle Seager: 13-24(.542), HR, 2 RBI's, 7 runs,6 dbls -9 game hitting streak
Trayvon Robinson: 7-22(.318), 4 RBI's, 2 runs
Franklin Gutierrez: 9-26(.346), 4 RBI's, 2 runs, SB
Josh Bard: 2-8(.250), HR, 3 RBI's, 3 runs
Miguel Olivo: 6-18(.333), HR, 3 RBI's, 3 runs - 5 game hitting streak, has hit safely eight of last nine games

Good Pitching:

Felix Hernandez: 1-0, 6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 10 K's
Michael Pineda: 0-1,6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 8 K's
Blake Beavan: 6 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4 K's
Jamey Wright: 4.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 6 K's
Tom Wilhelmsen: 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7 K's
Josh Lueke: 3.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 5 K's
Jeff Gray: 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, K, Save

Felix Hernandez last six starts: 4-2, 42.1 IP, 2.98 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 47 K's, 9.99 K's per 9.
Felix Hernandez season stats: 12-11, 200.1 IP(7.1 innings a start), 3.37 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 195 K's, 8.76 K's per 9.

I feel sometimes that fans take Hernandez for granted. He's not putting up the same numbers he did when he won the Cy Young but he is still have a pretty solid year. He has pitched over 200 innings for the fourth straight year, will strike out 200+ hitters for the third straight season in his next start. It has been sad seeing the Mariners waste Hernandez as he is pitched way better than his 25-23 record the last two seasons. I hope Hernandez hasn't spoiled fans by his greatness but I get the feeling he has.

The Bad:

The Mariners in getting swept by the Chicago White Sox scored just five runs in that series sweep. The Mariners hitting went to sleep especially two hitters in particular. The Mariners when they aren't hitting rack up the strikeouts while not drawing any walks in the process which shows they are a free swinging team. The pitching particularly the starting pitching was pretty bad this time especially the left handed pitching which saw three left handers get rocked this week. The Mariners also saw all-star closer Brandon League get roughed up once again in Cleveland as he blew his second save in Cleveland this year giving up three runs without recording a single out. The Mariners had a chance to have a successful week as they snapped their five game losing streak but instead ended the week on a three game losing streak. With the division rivals Angels coming to town things could get ugly.

Bad Hitting:

Mike Carp: 3-27(.111), HR, 2 RBI's, run, 14 K's, one walk
Brendan Ryan: 4-22(.182), 2 RBI's, 4 runs, 7 K's
Casper Wells: 1-19(.052), run, 9 K's, zero walks
Adam Kennedy: 2-12(.167), run, K, SB
Willy Mo Pena: 3-15(.200), HR, 4 RBI's, 2 runs, 3 K's

Bad Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 0-1, 12.2 IP, 6.39 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4 K's
Charlie Furbush: 0-1, 5 IP, 7.20 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 4 K's
Anthony Vasquez: 1-0, 5.1 IP, 8.44 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, 2 K's
Chance Ruffin: 1-0, 3.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, K
Brandon League: 0-1, Blown Save, 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, K, save

The hot hitting duo of Casper Wells and Mike Carp came crashing down this week. Those two have been overachieving as their K's to BB ratio reminds you of Carlos Peguero. For the season Carp is striking out 30.3% of the time while walking only 7.8% of the time. As for Wells he is striking out 42.4% of the time while walking only 5.4% of the time. So keep that in mind when looking at their small sample sizes.

The Ugly:

The Mariners once strong pitching staff has been pretty poor since trading away Doug Fister and Erik Bedard. The Mariners had to make some moves to acquire some offense which for the most part has improved greatly. Still, getting swept at home isn't good at all. The Mariners three left handed starters were roughed up this week. In particular two left handers have been getting rocked quite a bit lately in Charlie Furbush and Jason Vargas. For Vargas this is the third straight second half he has melted down and his pitches keep rising up in the strike zone for home runs. As for Furbush is reminding Mariners fans of another left hander Jack Zduriencik acquired from Detroit named Luke French. Furbush has had a bad habit of getting rocked around despite pitching in a friendly ballpark for left handed pitchers.

Ugly Pitching:

Charlie Furbush: 2-3, 25 IP, 6.48 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 15 K's, .296 BAA.
Jason Vargas: 7-12, 169.1 IP, 4.52 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 104 K's, .266 BAA.
Jason Vargas second half: 1-6, 48 IP, 7.13 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 23 K's, .340 BAA

As you can see Furbush has been horrible for the Mariners since coming here. As for Vargas this is the third straight year where he has had a bad second half, second straight year where he was terrific in the first half but horrible second half. A good left hander should thrive in Safeco Field since right handers have trouble hitting the ball out of the ball park yet these two continue to get rocked. Vargas this year at Safeco is 5-9 having pitched 99.2 innings with a 5.24 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Which doesn't make sense since he is a fly ball pitcher.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 76-59, First Place
L.A. Angels: 72-61, 3.0 GB
Oakland A's: 60-73, 15.0 GB
Seattle Mariners: 56-76, 18.5 GB

In conclusion, the Mariners are winding down an August that saw them go 10-14 so far. Eric Wedge needs to realize the season is over and just play the youngsters even if it cost the team wins in the present. He needs to limit the workload of Hernandez who is on pace to throw over 250 innings for the second straight season. Guys like Adam Kennedy and Jack Wilson should just be DFA'd as they serve zero purpose on this roster right now. The Mariners have one more week of people following them then football season will begin which means the focus on the Mariners will shift towards the Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars and Seattle Seahawks. The Mariners are playing hard and that is why that White Sox sweep was so depressing as that was an ass kicking for three games. I felt the Mariners had regressed big time that weekend. The Mariners play their next 10 games against division opponents. Hopefully the Mariners can close out September better than they have in July and August.

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