Monday, April 16, 2012

Seattle Mariners weekly recap: April 9th- April 15th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners entered week two of the season against the two-time defending AL champions Texas Rangers and then returned home to face the Oakland A's. The Mariners this week once again took care of the Oakland A's winning two out of their in their opening homestand that continues into this week. The Mariners like they did last year took a licking in Texas losing three out of four to the Texas Rangers despite some quality starting pitching that went to waste in that series. The Mariners for the week went 3-4 dropping their season record to 6-5 now. Since this was a losing week I'll be going over the good(starting pitching and key bullpen arms), the bad(most of the offense) and the ugly(Miguel Olivo and the domination the Rangers have had on the Mariners).

The Good:

The good this week was the Mariners taking it to a division rival the Oakland A's as they are now 5-2 on the season against the A's. The Mariners also saw their key trade piece Jesus Montero have a big week as he hit his first of many home runs for the Mariners and also had an eight game hitting streak. The Mariners bullpen duo of Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen continues to be lights out for the Mariners in late innings. The starting pitching this week was pretty good as well. The Mariners also had their home opening ceremonies which saw Mike Cameron throw out the first pitch. Cameron also signed a one day contract so he could retire a Seattle Mariner the team he made his lone all-star appearance with. It was a touching moment and the next games afterwards was nice to see. Blake Beavan pitched great this week who was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade. Also on Saturday in the Mariners 4-0 victory over the A's saw Montero drive in three runs as Hector Noesi threw eight shutout innings giving the Mariners early returns on the Michael Pineda trade. The Mariners still struggled against the Rangers but at least early on they are showing they aren't the worst team in the division. The Mariners have beat up on the A's to start this year which was the positive of the week.

Good Hitting:

Jesus Montero: 7-20(.350), HR, 2 runs, 4 RBI's
Alex Liddi: 2-8(.250), RBI
John Jaso: 2-4(.500), run, RBI, triple
Kyle Seager: 6-24(.250), HR, 3 runs, 4 RBI's
Ichiro: 7-28(.250), 2 runs, RBI

Good Pitching:

Blake Beavan: 1-1, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 7 K's
Kevin Millwood: 6 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7 K's
Felix Hernandez: 0-1, 7 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 6 K's
Luke Luetge: 1-0, 1.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 K's
Tom Wilhelmsen: 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 3 K's
Brandon League: 2 saves, 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 K's

The hitting as you can see struggled with only Montero hitting over .300 which was nice to see. Montero went from a top tier organization in sports and a hitting ballpark to let's face it a bottom tier organization in sports and a pitchers park. There will be some adjustment period for Montero who has displayed already great power as his home run was a line drive to deep centerfield at Safeco Field.

The Bad:

The Mariners once again this week proved they aren't ready to hang with the big boys quite yet. The Mariners lost three of four down in Texas where they have been dominated since 2008. The Mariners hitting reverted back to last season where most of their early season surprises went back to their usual ways of hitting bad. Felix  Hernandez although pitched well in his start his fastball still is topping out at 91 miles per hour which has to concern every Mariners fan whether they want to admit it or not. Another problem is the fact that manager Eric Wedge continues to put Miguel Olivo out there every game despite his terrible defense and offense. The Mariners simply can't afford to punt any spots in the lineup and yet they are with the catcher position plus many other guys who have slumped in the past slumped this past week as well.

Bad Hitting:

Chone Figgins: 4-27(.148), 3 runs, 7 K's
Dustin Ackley: 5-23(.217), 2 runs, RBI, 4 K's
Justin Smoak: 6-26(.231), HR, 3 runs, 3 RBI's, 8 K's
Brendan Ryan: 3-18(.167), HR, 3 runs, 2 RBI's, costly error, 5 K's
Munenori Kawasaki: 1-6(.167), run, RBI
Casper Wells: 1-7(.143), 3 K's
Michael Saunders: 2-17(.117), run, RBI, SB, 7 K's
Miguel Olivo: 2-20(.100), 2 RBI's, 6 K's

Bad Pitching:

Hector Noesi: 1-1, 11 IP, 5.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9 K's
Jason Vargas: 0-1, 6.2 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 6 K's
George Sherrill: 1.1 IP, 20.30 ERA, 3.00 WHIP
Steve Delabar: 1.1 IP, 13.50 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 2 K's

The hitting has been a problem for the last few years. After a nice little start by Saunders and Figgins they have gone back to their old form of sucking. While Olivo has just been awful since June of last year and yet Wedge continues to play him every day.

The Ugly:

The Mariners went 3-4 this week so this week wasn't a total disaster but there was some pause for concern. The Mariners were once again beaten up by the Texas Rangers down in Arlington. Last season the Mariners went 1-9 at Texas while this year they went 1-3. The Mariners also seen the return of George Sherrill to the team and he is looking washed up at this point. Sherrill has been lit up and is now on the 15 day DL. Feel good story Steve Delabar has also been getting lit up like a Christmas Tree as of late as well. Then you have Miguel Olivo who every start he makes seem to find one to two balls hitting the backstop since he can't catch despite his position being called catcher. That alone should have him benched then when you factor in that he can't hit either and Montero happens to play some catcher while left handed Jaso does as well makes no sense to keep playing him. Wedge even played Olivo Sunday afternoon after a Saturday night game. It's like Wedge is putting Olivo out there in spite of us fans much like McLaren did with Vidro in 2007 and 2008. The Olivo saga needs to be addressed as he is offering nothing to the team and hasn't for quite some time now.

Ugly Hitting:

Miguel Olivo: 4-36(.111), run, 3 RBI's, 8 K's. Hitting .111/.135/.139 . Since June 6th of last year heading into Sunday's start courtsey of Jeff Sullivan of lookout landing Olivo has an OBP of .212 and has 96 strikeouts to just five walks in that span. Yet Eric Wedge last year called him the most professional hitter on the team. Despite two better options on the team Wedge continues to go with Olivo despite facing a right handed pitcher in 9 of the 11 games so far this season.

Justin Smoak: 8-43(.186), 2 HR's, 5 runs, 5 RBI's, 12 K's. Hitting .186/.239/.349 dating back to last years struggles most were hoping Smoak would get off to a good start. Smoak entering his third season as a Mariner now is no longer this up and coming prospect it's definately now time for Smoak to start producing or else that trade looks worse and worse every day.

AL West domination:

The Mariners have been dominated by the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 2008. Below I'll post the raw numbers which aren't pretty.

Vs Texas:

2008: 8-11, outscored 101-94
2009: 8-11, outscored 79-70
2010: 7-12, outscored 101-51
2011: 4-15, outscored 95-53
2012: 1-3, outscored 20-12

Totals: 28-52(.350) outscored 396-280 during that span.


2008: 5-14, outscored 98-84
2009: 9-10, outscored 85-71
2010: 4-15, outscored 100-62
2011: 7-12, outscored 70-48

Totals: 25-51(.328), outscored 353-265.

Hard to win when two teams in your division have kicked your ass the last four seasons as the Mariners have yet to beat them in a season series or even outscore them which is pathetic.

Al West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 8-2, first place
Seattle Mariners: 6-5, 2.5 GB
Oakland A's: 4-6, 4.0 GB
LAA Angels: 3-6, 4.5 GB

The Mariners still have a winning record which is good. The bad news is they can't play the Oakland A's every game and this week will take on the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Whitesox at home in what should be a nice test for the Mariners. Unlike the A's neither team will be a pushover while unlike the Rangers neither team is a bad matchup for the Mariners like the Rangers were. Wedge needs to pull the Olivo experiment quickly if the Mariners wish to progress at all this year. While the return of Figgins and Saunders appears to have been short lived as both returned back to their normal crappy ways. Hopefully King Felix can get his fastball back before it's too late for him this year. The Mariners have a winning record though so there are still some positives on this extremely young season.

No comments:

Post a Comment