Monday, May 21, 2012

Seattle Mariners weekly recap: May 14th-20th edition

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners just completed their 10 game road trip going 4-6 but ended it with a three game sweep at the Colorado Rockies. This week started off with back to back two game sweeps at the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians before recovering with a three game sweep at Colorado. For the Mariners this week wasn't all bad as much of the young bats continue to produce on this road trip. The main problem on this trip was the pitching mainly the bullpen which blew a 4-1 lead against the Cleveland Indians on  May 16th then Brandon League blew the save in extra innings as the Mariners lost 6-5. The Mariners did recover from that tough loss with a sweep which showed that this team is mentally tough. This team is just consistently inconsistent which is the sign of a young team. The Mariners did go 3-4 this week meaning I'll talk about the good(the young hitters), the bad(the pitchers including the Mariners 1-2 punch in the rotation) and the ugly(the bullpen which has been shaky this year).

The Good:

All the good that happened this week for the Mariners happened in interleague play with the sweep of the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field. The Mariners saw their young hitting core of Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and Justin Smoak all have big weeks. This week also saw Kevin Millwood show that he still does have value on this team as he threw a complete game shutout in Coors Field this past Friday night. Some of the Mariners long relievers and secondary bullpen pieces pitched well this week. Just nice this team bounce back from that horrible series in Boston where they didn't compete and the disaster in Cleveland where they blew a four run lead. The Mariners took it to the Colorado Rockies and that was led by their youngsters despite what Eric Wedge wanting more veterans these young guys need to continue to grow.

Good Hitting:

Justin Smoak: 7-25(.280), HR, run, 2 RBI's
Kyle Seager: 7-28(.250), HR, 4 runs, 6 RBI's, SB
Ichiro: 8-31(.258), 5 runs, RBI, 3 SB's
Jason Vargas: 1-3(.333), run, RBI, BB
Jesus Montero: 5-20(.250), HR, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 3 BB's
Michael Saunders: 7-27(.259), 2 runs, 2 RBI's, SB, 3 XBH's
Brendan Ryan: 5-19(.263), 4 runs, RBI, SB, 3 BB's
Dustin Ackley: 9-31(.290), HR, 5 runs, 4 RBI's, 2 SB's

Good Pitching:

Kevin Millwood: 1-0, 9 IP, CG, SHO, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 7 K's
Charlie Furbush: 4.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.43 WHIP, 4 K's
Shawn Kelly: 4.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 4 K's
Hisashi Iwakuma: 4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4 K's
Hector Noesi: 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 5 K's

The North Carolina Tarheels connection is starting to pay off lately. For this year in 140 AB's Kyle Seager is hitting .286/.308/.486 with five home runs, 17 runs and 26 RBI's. Seager is looking like a main stay for the Mariners whether he sticks at third base or moves to short stop.

Dustin Ackley #2 hitter: Hit .221/.275/.305 in 102 PA's with just one home run, 10 runs and 6 RBI's. He had 19 K's to just seven walks.

Dustin Ackley now as a leadoff hitter: Hitting .294/.368/.456 in 76 PA's. Has two home runs, 12 runs, 8 RBI's. He has 13 K's to eight walks.

As you can see Ackley is hitting a lot better since moving to leadoff which is important for the growth of the franchise.


The road trip ended well with the sweep but it was looking like a complete disaster before that. Felix Hernandez got rocked twice on this road trip as the Mariners went 4-6 including his worst start of the year against the Cleveland Indians when he couldn't get past the fourth inning. The Mariners still aren't beating good teams this year and seeing Hernandez getting rocked was tough to watch. The other Mariners All-Star who had a bad week was Brandon League who blew the save on Wednesday then got rough up in a mop up role yesterday. The Mariners blew a 4-0 lead on Wednesday and what made it sting the most was Steve Delabar giving up a three-run home run to Jose Lopez in the eighth inning to up the game. Yes former Mariner Jose Lopez who has since bounced around baseball hit that shot.

This week saw some good hitting there wasn't too many hitters who struggled minus one in particular in Alex Liddi who is starting to go back to his bad traits from Tacoma where he is striking out a lot. The Mariners week was bad but like I stated it was saved at the end. Just was tough seeing their two best pitchers in Hernandez and Jason Vargas have such a bad week although Vargas did bounce back against Colorado pitching well.

Bad Hitting:

Alex Liddi: 2-17(.117), 9 K's
Mike Carp: 2-10(.200), 2 HR's, 2 runs, 2 RBI's, 3 K's
John Jaso: 2-10(.200), 2 runs, 2 RBI's, K
Casper Wells: 2-10(.200), run, 2 RBI's, K

Bad Pitching:

Felix Hernandez: 0-1, 3.2 IP, 14.71 ERA, 3.54 WHIP, 3 K's
Jason Vargas: 1-1, 13 IP, 5.53 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 4 K's, 3 HR's allowed
Blake Beavan: 1-1, 9 IP, 5.00 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 11 K's
Steve Delabar: 2.2 IP, BS, 10.11 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, 3 K's
Brandon League: 0-1, BS, 1.1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 6.76 WHIP, 2 K's

This week saw Hernandez and Vargas go a combined 1-2 having thrown only 16.2 innings with a 8.63 ERA and 1.73 WHIP with only 7 K's. The Mariners won't have too many successful road trips if those two pitch like that.

The Ugly:

The Ugly this week was the bullpen melting down and in particular this season. If a starting pitcher has a 3.60 ERA which is above average for a reliever to match that he must have a 2.00 ERA. None of the Mariners relievers have close to that. The bullpen struggled once again this past week highlighted by that Cleveland game where they blew a 4-1 lead then League blew a 5-4 lead in the 11th inning. This week in only 1 1/3 innings League allowed four runs and nine base runners. This wasn't a case of League getting unlucky as he allowed six base hits and three walks. League has been very shaky this season as has the rest of the pen. The Mariners would be wise to trade League very quickly before he loses all of his value. More bullpen blowups like this and the Mariners will be hurting. They will also be regretting how they didn't deal League sooner and acquire some pieces.

Ugly Pitching:

Brandon League: 0-3, 8 saves, 3 blown saves, 18.1 IP, 3.93 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, .275 BAA, 11 K's(5.40 K's per 9). Nothing about his stats look good at all as his ERA is high for a closer, his WHIP is really high and his K's per 9 is horrible.

Tom Wilhelmsen: 1-1, blown save, 6 holds, 21.1 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, .262 BAA, 26 K's(10.97 K's per 9).  Wilhelmsen is the Mariners top setup man and also has a high ERA for a reliever plus WHIP and BAA. At least he records strikeouts unlike League.

Steve Delabar: 1-0, blown save, 3 holds, 19.1 IP, 5.12 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .186 BAA, 24 K's(11.17 K's per 9). What is hurting Delabar is he has already allowed six home runs as the rest of his numbers are fantastic but the ERA is unacceptable.

The Mariners aren't a good team and their bullpen is making their record even worse as they have recorded six blown saves on the year while recording only eight saves. That isn't going to cut it at all and if this group doesn't improve changes will have to be made.

Al West Standings:

Texas Rangers: 26-16, first place
Oakland A's: 21-21, 5.0 GB
Seattle Mariners: 19-24, 7.5 GB
L.A. Angels: 18-24, 8.0 GB

If the Mariners have any shot at fooling their fans into thinking they can do something this year now is the time to do it. The Mariners play host to the Texas Rangers this week for three games then the L.A. Angels for four games. The following week the Mariners travel to Texas for three games. Both of these teams have kicked the Mariners ass the last couple of seasons. Now is the time to see if the Mariners young kids are up for the challenge. This is a streaky team but boring ole consistency like taking two out of three every series is what the playoff ball clubs do. The Mariners aren't there yet and won't be for a couple of more seasons it appears.

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