Brandon League and lagging bats forfeit win
The Headline: Seattle Mariners look poised to win, until Brandon League registers his third blown save of the month
Seattle Mariners 6, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4
When: 10:10 ET, Friday, May 25, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle
Umpires: Home — Dale Scott, 1B — CB Bucknor, 2B — Jim Wolf, 3B — Vic Carapazza
1. Smoak Flexes Power at Home
Only one of Justin Smoak‘s 5 home runs have come at home, so it was nice to see him hit his 6th in front of the Safeco crowd.
Smoak’s 5th inning 2-run shot wasn’t the only highlight of his night. The firstbaseman got the M’s on the board with a first inning RBI on a fielders choice. He followed that up with a RBI single in the 3rd.
Smoak finished the night 2-4, with 1 home run, and all 4 of Seattle’s RBIs.
2. Kyle Seager Earning His Keep
Kyle Seager‘s breakout campaign has been a pleasant surprise for the 2012 Mariners. Eric Wedge has rewarded the 24-year old by keeping him in the middle of the order.
Seager didn’t dazzle tonight, but he had some impressive at bats. He finished the night 1-2, with 1 run scored, but he also had 2 walks on the night—one on nine pitches and one on five.
3. Limited Pitching Use
Every time I make a stink about how many pitchers Eric Wedge runs through in a game, he seems to minimize the work in the next.
The Mariners manager got the best out of starter Blake Beavan tonight, loosening the leash for 7 innings on 101 pitches. He followed up in the 8th and 9th innings with one pitcher a piece.
Despite the sporadic usage per game, Wedge is finding ways to keep his arms fresh.
1. League Let Down
Brandon League was great last season, but hit a horrible patch in May—in which he went 0-4 (all blown saves) with a 6.92 ERA. Well, history is repeating itself.
After recording 7 saves in March/April, League has been horrendous this month. So far, he’s got a 5.68 ERA with 3 blown saves.
The Mariner’s closer entered the game with a 1 run buffer in the 9th. 2 walks, 2 hits and 1 error later and the Angels were up 6-4. Hopefully, League will work out his kinks as he did in 2011 and finish the rest of the season strong.
2. Unorthodox Order
Things are getting pretty desperate in Seattle. Managment has been doing everything it can to get the most out of the lineup, but tonight’s experimentation was one of Wedge’s crazier concoctions.
Jesus Montero‘s role tonight brought plenty of conclusion. Not only did the talented rookie bat 7th—behind John Jaso and Justin Smoak—but he also played catcher while the more defensively able Jaso played DH.
3. May Struggles Continue
May hasn’t been kind to the AL West, and the Seattle Mariners are at the bottom of that barrel.
The M’s are 9-13 on the month, despite winning four of their eight series. Despite pretty strong starting pitching, bullpen issues and stagnant bats have been a major source of the losses.
With major prospects on the rise, one can only hope June will bring reinforcements and a nice win streak.
It was Dustin Ackley bobblehead night. Problem with that was he wasn’t in the lineup. When asked about it Eric Wedge said “Oh geez, is it? I didn’t get that memo.
It shows how much I pay attention to that …”
Justin Smoak had only 6 RBIs in 21 May games entering Friday’s game. Pujols has 451 career homers, one behind Carl Yastrzemski for 34th place on the all-time list. Seattle 3rd baseman Kyle Seager reached base 3 times on a double and two walks after being 0-for-15 over his previous 5 games.
Trumbo’s 9-inning single was his 1st hit in 3 games.