Mariners close series in Oakland with Brandon Maurer on the mound

Love ’em & Hate ’em

Headline: The Seattle Mariners lose 8-2, scoring only 2 runs for the third time this series.

Oakland 8, Seattle 2

When: 3:35 PM ET, Thursday, April 4, 2013
Where: Coliseum, Oakland, California
Temperature: 65°
Umpires: Home – John Tumpane, 1B – Dana DeMuth, 2B – Angel Hernandez, 3B – Doug Eddings
Attendance: 12134

Most Seattle fans would have accepted a 2-2 record for the opening trip to Oakland, but the bittersweet taste remains after winning the first two games without clinching the series.

Below are game 4’s highs and lows.

Love ‘em

1. Morse

Michael Morse has been nothing short of fantastic in this series, becoming the first Mariner since Ken Griffey Jr. to hit 4 home runs in the first 4 games. It is early, but his power is hard to question when he hit one to left field, one to right, and two to dead center.

Not even SafeCo could hold those babies in the park.

2. Guti

Big shout out to Franklin Gutierrez, who has struggled with injuries for the better part of two seasons, and became an after thought when planning the future. He is in good health, hitting for average and has shown some pop in Oakland (1 HR and 1 off the CF fence for a double).

His defense is still the best in the AL when he is out there, and his production at the top of the order gave the Mariners a boost they needed (even if they didn’t take advantage of).

Most Seattle fans would have accepted a 2-2 record for the opening trip to Oakland

Most Seattle fans would have accepted a 2-2 record for the opening trip to Oakland

3. Shoppach

We love ex-Rays catchers in Seattle. Kelly Shoppach went 2 for 3, but most importantly looked very capable as a backup catcher, both defensively and in his report with the pitchers on the mound.

Hate ‘em

1. Brandon Maurer’s control

At first glance, this won’t make sense. Maurer looked nervous and Oakland took full advantage, but he did not walk anyone over 6 innings of work.

Over 70% of Maurer’s pitches were strikes. I think that the young pitchers desire to look like a major league pitcher kept him from making the right pitches. Throwing balls is not a bad thing, in fact, the great pitchers still throw balls, they just fool the opposition into swinging at them.

Maurer’s fascination with the strike zone led to the A’s 8 hits against him and 6 earned runs.

This will improve, but will be worth watching for in his next start against the Astros.

2. Raul in the third spot

Power is often assimilated with the third spot in the lineup, which is absolutely something DH/OF Raul Ibanez possesses, but this is not a good place for him.

Ibanez did not have a hit today (or in the series), but was swinging for the fences all game. That is his role on this team, hitting home runs is more important than hitting singles. Then Ibanez should be hitting down the order.

Let’s get a more productive all around bat in the lineup higher, as that will result in more plate appearances, and put Ibanez 6 or 7.

3. 2 runs in 3/4 games

The offensive production is hiding behind the power of Morse, but it stinks like years past all the same. It is too early to truly rant and rave, but the ever-changing lineup needs to look more like the 7-run Tuesday performance than any of the other 3 games in Oakland.

Good luck in Chicago, the M’s are 2-14 there over the last 2 seasons.


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