Incredible week of baseball
For those that were mildly paying attention, the Seattle Mariners scored 49 runs (jeepers!). For those that have intently watched this team over the course of the season, you can understand when I say the Mariners have been on the verge of busting out offensively for a few weeks now.
Of course, many didn’t think it would be a 49 run explosion but considering the opposition (American League‘s 3rd and 6th best pitching staffs), it was nice to see the Mariners come out of their shell against playoff caliber pitching staffs.
The pitching on the other hand, was a complete afterthought in contrast to the offensive onslaught.
It overshadowed a terrible stretch in which the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox scored 23 runs in 31 innings pitched and if it wasn’t for the offensive production, that would’ve ended up being a predominant black eye on the face of the Seattle Mariners.
Let’s start from the beginning this week, shall we?
This week’s regression wasn’t just in terms of runs given up or the quality of opponents the Mariners were facing (let’s be honest, the Mariners have faced plus .500 teams for the majority of this season).
This regression was an issue of not establishing first pitch strikes (less the 18% first strike conversion), working in deeper counts (more than 60% of the time). The result was more pitches being thrown (average pitch count was 88) in fewer innings (average start was 5 innings pitched).
It wasn’t a complete black eye. There were a few bright spots this week. Jason Vargas continued his usual steady performance. Vargas won his lone start of the week giving up 3 R, 5 H, 2 K’s/3 BB’s in 6.2 IP in the second game of the three game set against Texas.
As a matter of fact, Vargas was the only starting pitcher who did not take a step back this week.
Last turn through the rotation:
Jason Vargas: 3 R, 7 H, 6 K’s/0 BB’s in 7 IP
Blake Beavan: 3 R, 5 H, 1 K/2 BB’s in 7 IP
Felix Hernandez: 5 R, 10 H, 7 K’s/1 BB in 6IP
Hector Noesi: 3 R, 5 H, 0 K’s/2 BB’s in 8 IP
Kevin Millwood: 1 R, 4 H, 5 K’s/2 BB’s in 5 IP
Jason Vargas: 3 R, 5 H, 2 K’s/3 BB’s in 6.2 IP
Blake Beavan: 5 R, 8 H, 2 K’s/0 BB in 6
Felix Hernandez: 4 R, 5 H, 6 K’s/4 BB’s in 5 IP
Hector Noesi: 6 R, 7 H, 5 K’s, 0 BB in 4.1 IP
Kevin Millwood: 4 R, 7 H, 4 K’s/5 BB’s in 4 IP
The other bright spot was the major league debut of 23 year-old RHP Stephen Pryor, who was called up on Friday to make an impact on a bullpen that has been giving up far to many long balls (Pryor gave up one in his debut) and far too many free passes.
The hope is to gradually bring Pryor along for a month or two before giving him a defined role at the back end of the bullpen. If all goes as planned, Pryor could very well supplant Brandon League as this team’s closer.
News, Notes, and Injuries
Along with calling up Pryor on Friday, the Mariners sent RHP Steve Delabar down to AAA Tacoma (thank god) and transferred LHP George Sherrill from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
Shortly after his last start, it was reported that Felix Hernandez suffered a back injury. According to Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle, Hernandez was in noticeable pain. Eric Wedge and medical staff will evaluate this over a period of a few days and make a decision regarding his next start.
Justin Smoak continued his rise from the early season ashes by capturing the A.L. Player of the Week award with a .320, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 6 BB’s/4 K’s, 21 TB performance this week.
Which one of these sets of numbers just doesn’t fit?
.282/.333/.525/.858, 49 R, 66 H, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 19 BB’s/44 K’s, 123 TB, 21-58 (36.2%) RISP
31 ER, 58 H, 47 K’s/22 BB’s, 5.16 ERA, 1.481 WHIP in 54 IP
(hint: it’s the second one)
See you guys next week for the week in numbers.