MLB Baseball Update: Seattle Mariners
Yes the Mariners are still playing. To many it may seem pointless to watch, or to play, but M’s skipper Eric Wedge is encouraging his team to play as hard on their last home stand as they would have on their first.
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The M’s started the season in a spectacular fasion as King Felix pitch a complete game victory against the Oakland Athletics. Now after a dismal second half of the season the M’s will end off the year with another match up against their closest AL west Rival.
The M’s are sitting at 63-92 and they hope to make it a 69 win season but ending their four game losing streak and sweeping Oakland back to California.
The M’s will face RHP Brandon McCarthy who threw a complete game shutout against the M’s in the beginning of September.
This will be followed by matchups between Trevor Cahill vs. Blake Beavan AND Anthony Vasquez vs Gio Gonzalez.
The A’s and the M’s are a pretty even match-up with strong pitching and poor offensive production.
From Sunday the 18th to Sunday the 25th The M’s went 3-5. This included one of the most exciting games of the entire season happening in Cleveland where the Mariners scored nine runs in one inning in a game that ended up being called due to rain after only 7 innings.
They won 12-6 showing that there is some pop in the M’s line up. However, this week also included and one of the worst games of the season where the team looked like they were playing clown ball against Texas.
1. The bad news:
Bad starts. The starters had a rough week. Even on games that they won, the M’s starters just didn’t seem to be comfortable. Seems their energy and motivation levels are down at the end of the season. On top of that Michale Saunders who had been playing very well in Tacoma hit only .143 for the season. Also in losing to Texas on Friday night the Mariners helped the Rangers clench the AL west title. DRAT.
2. The good news:
The offensive efforts seemed to have more life to them here in the final full week of the regular season. The youth movement gives hope to better looking box scores next season as Carp hit for .310, Smoak for .333, Seager for .273. In happy news Cesar Jimenez earned his first major league victory, Alex Liddi his first major league home run(s) and Mike Carp his first career grand slam. Hopefully next season they all get their first appearance in the post season.
The Ranger won against the M’s, while the Angles lost to Oakland securing Texas as the division champs two years running. With speculation about the Houston Astros joining the AL West next year, Seattle has hope of not finishing dead last yet again.
• OF Casper Wells was struggling with a sinus infection and was pulled last minute from the starting lineup. However he did not travel with the team and was then declared out for the season.
• SS Brendan Ryan’s next spasm turn out to be a disk problem which sidelined him for the remainder of the season as well. There is no doubt his presence in the locker room was missed on the road trip as he helps to lighten the team up.
• IF Lois Rodriguez was spiked in the hand during a routine play this week and the injuries appears to be severe enough to knock him out the remainder of the journey as well. This leaves Seattle with only one healthy option at short in Seager.
• RHP Felix Hernandez ended his season after taking a line drive off of his forearm. He would later be seen sporting a cast on his pitching arm, but the M’s report that this was just to help control swelling and not because of a break. The only good side to this is that his next start isn’t until 2012.
The big news of the week was the announcement that the Mariners and Athletics would open up the 2012 Season with a series in Japan. This, no doubt, is so that M’s majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi will be able to take in his first game since purchasing the team in 1992. Apparently he doesn’t fly.
Heading for the stadium in Arlington Texas the team bus broke down leaving about half the team along the side of the road waiting for cabs. Seemed a fitting metaphor for how the team faired while in the Lone Star State.
With a slew of new special assistances (Rodger Hansen, Pete Vuckovich, and Joe McIlvaine) GM Jack Z called a special meeting of all the top mucky-mucks to discuss the future of the big league club. No doubt discussing strategies to bring in some big name free agents – or to all watch Moneyball together as a club training event.
Mariners Community News:
Felix Hernandez and Franklin Gutierrez took their team spirit to the local children’s hospital. It is always great to see such high quality off the field efforts being made by on field heroes.