A look back on the M’s time in Pittsburgh
Seattle 2, Pittsburgh 1
When: 12:35 PM ET, Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Umpires: Home – Paul Schrieber, 1B – Chad Fairchild, 2B – Jeff Kellogg, 3B – Eric Cooper
Hernandez: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5 K’s (under 100 pitches for the 4th start in a row, which is great news for the Mariners)
Aside from the most amazing pitcher in the world and king of Seattle, there are other things to love (and hate) about the M’s two-game series against the Pirates.
1. The Condor
His defense alone is making this team better, add to that fact that Michael Saunders is hitting just below .350 the last week and reached base 3 times on walks in Wednesday’s game – his presence is being felt.
The Mariners have lacked speed (last in AL in stolen bases), but Saunders is affecting the pitchers by himself, and getting on base is the most important thing.
His strikeouts are still high, but his average is far improved from last year with increased production.
Stay healthy Michael!
Catcher Jesus Montero has seen his playing time dip this season and his production fail to reach expectations thus far.
Hopefully, Montero is learning to control what he can and, as was the case on Wednesday, that meant smacking a home run to deep centerfield.
AJ Burnett had been pretty much untouchable to the M’s all morning, but Montero got a hold of one in the 7th, which gave Felix the lead he needed.
Montero even helped throw out a stealing base runner to end the 8th inning! Sure, Starling Marte tripped, but Montero still had to throw the ball!
Credit where credit is due. When a team’s closer is quietly doing his job when called upon, that means the team has a great closer.
Maybe Tom Wilhelmsen will keep this up and earn a trip to his first All-Star Game after going to 9 for 9 on save opportunities.
1. Runner on third, less than 2 outs, no runs
This has not been a common trend this season, but for everyone that has been a Mariners fan for the last three years, you are sick of this too.
In the 6th inning, Saunders walked, stole second, and Jason Bay moved him to third with a groundout.
Kyle Seager stepped to the plate and with the go ahead run 90 feet away, Seager grounded out sharply to the second baseman playing in, holding Saunders, and ruining the M’s chance at a run. (This proved to not be the only run scoring opportunity, but it felt like it would be).
Seager may have just had a bad day, going 0 for 4 with 3 K’s, but Seattle needs to score regularly in this situation with a sacrifice fly or grounder through the holes in the infield.
2. Manager’s decision
Why are the Mariners resting Michael Morse?
Yes, he has been struggling and his pinky finger hurts, but baseball players are weird and like getting into a rhythm.
A day off for Morse is a great idea, but not before the Mariners have an off day (Thursday) and two days after a different off day (Monday)!
Morse needs 3 days of rest in 4 games?!
Morse is one of the Mariner’s best power bats, power players need at bats to get power numbers, rest doesn’t equal power, consistent plate appearances lead to a groove and power stroke.
Why is Bay hitting second after performing well hitting fifth? Why did Seager move to third in the lineup in Pittsburg after crushing in the 2-hole? Manager Eric Wedge is beginning to frustrate me.
3. 1st inning runs against
3 games in a row, the last game in Toronto and two games in Pittsburg, the Mariners starting pitcher have allowed a run in the 1st inning.
It is not a great way to start the game.
Even though opposing lineups orchestrate their lineups to have success the first time through, it is better for the Mariners to keep the scoring down early to give the offense a chance.