Up’s and Down’s of Seattle Arms
The M’s won 10-3 Tuesday. Nice win!
My how this team ebbs and flows. Whether it’s day to day or week to week, this team never has consistent moments of effectiveness in any facet of the game.
One day they can look great, while the next day they cannot get out their own way.
It’s understandable really, considering 18 members of the 25-man Seattle Mariners roster are under the age 30 (9 of those regulars are playing in their first full season).
It’s expected to see this team streak in packs. Onto last week’s recap.
Last week was a perfect example of how streaky this team is
From the starting rotation opening up the week giving up 4 earned runs in 22 innings pitched (1.63 ERA), to the bullpen giving up 3 earned runs in 5 innings, the Mariners pitched well in the series victory against the Texas Rangers.
The rest of the week?
Not so much.
The rotation finished the week giving up 14 earned runs in 28 innings pitched (4.50), while the bullpen gave up 3 earned runs in 8 innings pitched in a four-game sweep to the Los Angeles Angels.
While there may have never been a rhythm from start to start, there were individual strides taken.
Hector Noesi has seemed to turn the corner from his early season struggles. He was effective in 18 innings pitched (8 innings per start) while giving up 6 ER, 8 H, 7 K’s/4 BB’s, 3.00 ERA, 0.666 WHIP.
A fundamental lack of offense was the only reason for his two losses. Otherwise, Noesi was the most consistent starter of the week.
Even though many people credit Alex Liddi‘s grand slam as the focal point in the Mariners game #3 victory against Texas, Kevin Millwood‘s continued streak of quality starts (1 ER in 16 innings pitched with a complete game shutout coming in to this start) was the reason why the Mariners were able to win that series.
Millwood blanked the league’s leading offense for 6 innings, giving up only 3 hits and striking out two while notching his third straight victory.
His control was off the charts, and while his velocity may not be league average, he was able to set up off-speed out-pitches with pinpoint control of his fastball.
Outside of Noesi and Millwood, the Mariners rotation was less than stellar the rest of the week (to be fair, Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan were steady; 6 ER, 12 H, 7 K’s/2 BB’s, in 14 IP combined was good enough to win).
Felix Hernandez, who was lights out in the week’s opener (1 ER, 6 H, 7 K’s/2 BB’s, 1.12 ERA, 1.000 WHIP), was rattled in his second start of the week against the ever-patient Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels came into the game wanting to drive up Hernandez’s pitch count and their plan paid off. Hernandez was tagged for 5 ER, 10 H, 7 K’s/1 BB, 7.50 ERA, 1.833 WHIP, and the big blow; a pinch-hit grand slam from Alberto Callespo that sunk Hernandez on turn back the clock day.
The bullpen made strides this week. I understand how that reads considering Brandon League had another meltdown (more on him later). Despite a 5.78 ERA for the week, Mariner relievers were able to improve in two major categories.
Coming into this week the bullpen had averaged 4 walks per series (8th in the A.L. with 51 free passes) and 1 home run per series (1st in the A.L. with 21 bullpen long balls).
This week? The bullpen had 4 walks all week and only one long ball.
News, Notes, and Injuries
After blowing the second game in the Angels series, manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis removed Brandon League from the closer’s role. Wedge attributed League’s demotion to not being able to get a feel for his split or slider, which led to many outings being shaky at best.
The plan for the closer’s role is to use multiple pitchers depending on the match ups.
The Mariners offense has been the most consistent aspect of the 2012 season.
That’s not a good thing.
Here is a look at what the offense did this last week.
.166/.269/.276/.545, 21 R, 35 H, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 31 BB’s/65 K’s, 58 TB, in 210 AB’s. They were also 9-58 with RISP (15.5%)
One of the bright spots of the week has been the continued progress of Justin Smoak. Here was his line for the week (6-23 (.260) 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB/2 K’s, 13 TB, ans 1 SB).
See you guys next time for the week in numbers.