The Headline: Seattle Loses a Nail-biter. Felix plays ace, but things fall apart in the 9th.
Seattle Mariners 1, Cleveland Indians 0
When: 10:10 ET, Thursday, April 19, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle
Umpires: Home — Dan Iassogna, 1B — Dale Scott, 2B — Bill Miller, 3B — Angel Campos
Here we go with my things to Love & Hate about the Indians vs. Mariners game 3 matchup last night.
1. King Felix
Felix Hernandez — 5.50 ERA over his last two starts — spun together a great bounce back start. Hernandez threw 126 pitches
The King went 8 strong, striking out 12 and walking 1. There was a bit of a jam to pitch out of in the 8th, but Hernandez managed to get out of it.
2. Michael Saunders
Saunders went 2-3 tonight with 1 run scored.
The stat line isn’t amazing, but Saunders is grinding away and has looked real good at the plate early on. The 25-year old is an underrated prospect, and it’s good to see some flashes of brilliance at the plate.
3. Smoak Grinding Things Out
Justin Smoak sat of Wednesday’s game with tightness in his hamstring. Even so, the first baseman was back in the lineup for Thursday’s game.
With Jesus Montero getting the night off, it was nice to see a guy putting himself back in the lineup.
1. Eric Wedge
Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, made two questionable calls in this game.
The first, was keeping Felix Hernandez in for the 8th. The Mariners ace looked great all season long, but entered the inning at 100 pitches and hit a tough jam.
The second, was pitching to Shelley Duncan in the 9th. With men on 2nd and 3rd, and one out, Wedge had Brandon League pitch t0 the Indians leftfielder instead of intentionally walking him.
Duncan managed to land a walk anyways, but it was still a questionable call.
2. The Bullpen Drum Beats On
The Seattle bullpen has struggled all season long, with Brandon League’s 0.00 ERA and 5-5 in saves the lone bright spot.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. League was nailed for two runs in the 9th, showing serious control issues with his sinker.
And on that note, Seattle loses the game.
3. Offensive Woes
The M’s bats have been rolling against Cleveland, putting up 12 runs between the first two games.
It was the same ‘ole story tonight though, as the lineup faltered and managed to put up only 1 run in the game.
In total, the lineup put together 5 hits, with the one-six hitters going 4-23.
Smoak went 0-for-4. Seattle was looking to win its first series against the Indians at Safeco Field in nine years. Hernandez has thrown over 100 pitches in all four of his starts.