Up’s and Down’s of Seattle Arms
23 R, 52 H, 46 K’s/15 BB’s, 3.93 ERA, 1.288 WHIP, and 5 HR’s (9 RBI’s)
Not exactly the kind of week Eric Wedge was envisioning from his pitching staff.
When you come off one of the most complete pitching performances of the year as a staff last week, the last thing the Seattle Mariners could afford to do is regress against two of the more potent American League offenses in the Detroit Tigers (5th) and the New York Yankees (3rd).
The week started off on the wrong foot in the third inning of game one when Blake Beavan took a lined shot off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. After multiple replays and a lot of wincing and grimacing, the Mariners ended up dodging a huge bullet.
Beavan suffered no structural damage from the line drive and outside of soreness and discomfort, Beavan will have his start pushed back to the second game against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
The good news is Hisashi Iwakuma (1 R, 3 H, 5 K’s/0 BB’s in 3 IP) delivered a fine performance in long relief.
With Octavio Dotel‘s meltdown in the 9th inning, the Mariners looked poised to start off the week in good fashion. My how things can change overnight.
Kevin Millwood turned in his usual Kevin Millwood performance (5 R, 8 H, 3 K’s/5 BB’s in 5 IP) and it took a Herculean performance from Jason Vargas (1 R, 5 H, 6 K’s/0 BB’s in 8 IP) in the series finale to barely take two out of three from the Tigers.
Tough time in NYC
Noesi’s start (5 R, 6 H, 4 K’s/0 BB’s in 5 IP) didn’t exactly come as a huge surprise because he had been struggling with fastball location coming in.
Hernandez, on the other hand, had been absolutely dominate at Yankee Stadium over his last three starts (3-0, 1 R, 11 H, 27 K’s/10 BB’s, 0.37 ERA, 0.875 WHIP, .157 BAA in 24 IP).
The Yankees had Hernandez rattled from the beginning with their wait and see approach (they took a lot of pitches). As a result, Felix’s pitch count went up and he was eventually knocked out after 6.2 IP (4 R, 11 H, 7 K’s/2 BB’s).
The series ended the same way as the Detroit series with Kevin Millwood throwing 7 strong innings (1 R, 3 H, 6 K’s/4 BB’s) on three days rest. Otherwise, this week was the epitome of up and down.
Two great starts (Vargas and Millwood), two bad starts (Millwood and Noesi), one mediocre start (Hernandez) and we arrive at the 3-3 record the Mariners posted.
To Wrap It All Up…or not
On top of the poor performance from the rotation, the bullpen had an equally down week. Outside of Iwakuma and Brandon League‘s performances, the bullpen surrendered 6 runs on 15 hits with Shawn Kelley and Steve Delabar surrendering the two home runs.
One caveat though, after surrendering 16 free passes over four consecutive series’, the Mariners relievers issued only 4 walks on the week (two in each series).
Starters: W/L 2-3-1, 17 R, 37 H, 27 K’s/11 BB’s, 4.17 ERA, 1.308 WHIP
Bullpen: 6 R, 15 H, 19 K’s/4 BB’s, 3.52 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 3 Hlds, 1 Sv
News, Notes, and Injuries
The Mariners offense was equally as bad this week, scoring only 19 runs (3.1 RPG) the entire week, while striking out 38 times. Despite the low on-base numbers, the Mariners continued to show their power (5 HR, 7 RBI, 9 2B, 66 TB).
Here are the numbers from the week. .221/.287/.347/.634, 19 R, 42 H, 5 HR’s, 17 RBI, 38 K’s/19 BB’s, 66 TB, and 10-41 with RISP (24.4%).
After posting low offensive numbers yet again and calling out Brendan Ryan the night before, Eric Wedge told Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle that Ichiro Suzuki was quote “not a prototypical three hole hitter.”
Wedge also went on to say that Ichiro “is not a guy who is going to be doing a lot of damage. He is going to get his hits. Hopefully he gets them at the right time.”
Ichiro will remain hitting #3 for the time being, but it’s obvious the Ichiro experiment is coming to an end.
See you next week for the week in numbers.