Monday, August 1, 2011

Seattle Mariners weekly review: July 25th-July 31st edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed the week losing two of three to the New York Yankees then two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners did snap their franchise record 17 game losing streak this week with a 9-2 win over the Yankees. The Mariners went 2-4 and also traded three players from their team and designated Jack Cust for assignment. The Mariners have gone through some major changes from their roster compared to the roster they had on opening day. The Mariners find themselves in last place for the third time in four seasons and they still aren't hitting. The Mariners also received some bad pitching this week as well from two left handed starters. The Mariners did see both of their all-star pitchers rise to the occasion this week which was nice to see. So the Mariners went 2-4 which means I'll be doing a good(all-star pitchers), the bad(tons of hitters and three left handed pitchers) and the ugly(second half woes plus Jack Cust).

The Good:

The Mariners just completed a 2-4 week but there was some bright spots this past week. One of the bright spots was the Mariners finally won a game after losing 17 straight. Another positive was seeing all-star pitchers Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda bounce back from poor outings to have strong outings this week each picking up the win. The Mariners also saw Dustin Ackley continue to hit while Mike Carp is taking advantage of playing every single day in left field. The Mariners also saw their bullpen arms pitch pretty well. The Mariners still aren't scoring enough runs but it is nice to see two guys who began the year in Tacoma really hitting the ball well. It was especially nice to see the Mariners two aces rebound from a tough week with dominating performances each earning a hard earned win for the Mariners who desperatly need as many victories as possible.

Good Hitting:

Dustin Ackley: 7-20(.350), HR, 5 RBI's, 4 runs, .458 OB%
Mike Carp: 7-21(.333) 5 RBI's, 2 runs, .391 OB%
Ichiro: 6-24(.250), RBI, 4 runs, 2 SB's

Good Pitching:

Felix Hernandez: 1-0, 7 IP, 1.28 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 5 K's
Michael Pineda: 1-0, 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 10 K's
Josh Lueke: 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 2 K's
Chris Ray: 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 K's
Jamey Wright: 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 3 K's
Brandon League: 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, K, Save
Doug Fister: 0-1, 7 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 5 K's

For Doug Fister, Erik Bedard and David Pauley they were traded away and all had good seasons.

Erik Bedard: 4-7, 91.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 87 K's
David Pauley: 5-4, 54.1 IP, 2.15 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 34 K's, 7 holds
Doug Fister: 3-12, 146.0 IP, 3.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 89 K's

These Mariners pitchers will be missed and replacing their value won't be as easy as some Mariners fans may think.

The Bad:

When you go 2-4 for the week there has been plenty of bad. When twice this week a pitcher has flirted with a no-hitter against you there is plenty of bad. The Mariners hitters are in a season long slump and this isn't just Chone Figgins who is slumping. Since May Miguel Olivo and Justin Smoak have been just as awful as Figgins not to mention Franklin Gutierrez who has been terrible as well. The Mariners also saw two left handed pitchers get rocked as well. In the case of Bedard his Mariners career is over so no sense stressing over that. In the case of Jason Vargas who I'll talk about later in this post in more depth he has had a horrible second half which is exactly what happened last season. The Mariners are showing some red flags that is concerning for the future mainly in Vargas and Smoak. It apears Smoak still hasn't adjusted to teams adjusting to him. The same could be said towards Vargas who is once again struggling in the second half of the season.

Bad Hitting:

Justin Smoak: 2-17(.117), RBI, 3 runs, 8 K's
Jack Cust: 1-5(.200), run, 3 K's
Miguel Olivo: 1-16(.062), 9 K's
Adam Kennedy: 4-18(.222), RBI, 2 runs, 4 K's
Brendan Ryan: 3-24(.125), RBI, run, 8 K's
Greg Halman: 0-5(.000), 2 K's
Franklin Gutierrez: 4-19(.210), RBI, 5 K's

Bad Pitching:

Jason Vargas: 0-2, 9.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 8 K's
Aaron Laffey: 1.2 IP, 16.16 ERA, 3.59 WHIP, 2 K's
Erik Bedard: 0-1, 1.1 IP, 33.75 ERA, 5.25 WHIP, 2 K's

Justin Smoak has been awful in the month of July hitting just .141/.211/.188 in 85 AB's this month. He has zero home runs and just four RBI's while striking out 24 times(28.2%) to just 8 walks(9.4%) which isn't good. He's hit under .230 for three straight months now which suggests maybe this is a trend and not a slump.

Miguel Olivo has been terrible since May. In June he hit just .189/.196/.489 in 90 AB's. He had belted eight home runs while driving in 19 guys. He also struck out 26 times(28.8%) to just one walk(1.1%) which is awful. Then in July he managed to hit even worse by hitting .188/.188/.304 in 69 AB's. He has belted just two home runs while driving in eight guys. He has struck out 22 times(31.8%) to zero walks(0.0%) in the month of July. Olivo was terrible his first stint with the Mariners and he is just another Jack Zduriencik failed free agent signing.

The Ugly:

There has been plenty of ugly going around with this Mariners franchise. Last season the Mariners saw their #3 hitter Casey Kotchman flop, #4 hitter Milton Bradley flop and #5 hitter Ken Griffey Jr suddenly retire. Well this year has seen their #3 hitter Bradley get released less than a month into the season, their #4 hitter Jack Cust was recently DFA'd while their #5 hitter Justin Smoak has been awful other than April. I don't care how many speedsters you have if your 3-4-5 guys are terrible chances are your offense will be terrible as well.

Ugly Hitting:

Jack Cust: For the season hit .213/.344/.329 in 225 AB's. He had just 3 HR's while driving in 23 runs. He struck out 87 times(38.6%) while walking 44 times(19.5%). Now his walking was good but he was also brought in for some power. He had a home run every 75 AB's was just awful considering he was striking out two out of every five at bats. This is the second straight season the Mariners have received nothing from DH or left field. Not to mention the nothing from third base this year, almost nothing from catcher and nothing from center field. When you receive that much nothing no wonder your offense is going to the shitter quick.

Ugly Pitching:

Jason Vargas 2011 second half: 0-4, 18.1 IP, 8.84 ERA, 2.29 WHIP, 11 K's.
Jason Vargas 2011 first half: 6-6, 121.1 IP, 3.49 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 81 K's

Jason Vargas 2010 second half: 3-8, 85.0 IP, 4.66 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 48 K's.
Jason Vargas 2010 first half: 6-4, 107.2 IP, 3.09 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 68 K's

Jason Vargas 2009 second half: 0-3, 28.0 IP, 7.39 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 13 K's
Jason Vargas 2009 first half: 3-3, 63.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 41 K's

As you can see Vargas in the second half has been downright terrible. In all three first halves he had ERA's in the low 3's while in the second half he fell apart. Hard to blame arm fatigue when this is becoming a pattern. The fact that Vargas is showing he might not be a second half pitcher should worry some fans about trading away Doug Fister.

AL West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 61-48, First Place
L.A. Angels: 59-50, 2.0 GB
Oakland A's: 49-59, 11.5 GB
Seattle Mariners: 45-62, 15.0 GB

In conclusion the Mariners end July on a terrible note going just 6-20 after starting off 4-1 too it has been just a disaster. The Mariners began the month only two games back of first place with the hope of being buyers. Instead the Mariners will most likely finish last place for sixth time since 2004. The Mariners despite having a future hall of famer in Ichiro will have finished last place six times with him on their team in his 11 seasons which is sad considering they didn't finish last his first three seasons. The Mariners appear to be a team just going through the motions and the pitching staff is finally breaking down. If Zduriencik does anything at all this offseason he needs to bring in some power bats. Like I explained the last two years the Mariners 3-4-5 which was questionable going into the season has proven to blow up in their faces during both years. The Mariners completed a tough stretch where they bombed terribly losing 19 of 21 games. Now the Mariners like they have done too many times recently are simply playing out the season.

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