Weekly Seattle Mariners recap: Series pitching vs. Tampa Bay, Minnesota

More Ups & Downs

This was exactly the type of week the Seattle Mariners have been waiting for since the season began more than four weeks ago. I know what you’re thinking.

Wait a second. This week was a success?

Are you talking about the same Mariners that were 2-5 this week against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Minnesota Twins while hitting a meager .234/.293/.382/.794, 24 R, 55 H, 7 HR, 24 RBI, 21 BB’s/63 K’s, 90 TB, and was 13-44 with RISP (29.5%)?

I am indeed.

It’s a good thing this is a pitching recap and not a complete team recap. Although, I must say outside of batting average and strikeouts (63!! jeepers that’s a big number), I would actually call this week an offensive success.

They did score 3.5 runs per game. It was unfortunate they ran into the buzz saw of a pitching staff in Tampa Bay and their four aces (and that was a series without facing David Price).

This was a week in which the Mariners received a complete pitching performance from the starting rotation and bullpen.

Even with Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood combining for 2 losses (9 R, 14 H, 5 K’s/4 BB’s, 6.94 ERA, 1.542 WHIP).

The rotation tossed 45.2 IP with Felix Hernandez and Hector Noesi starting twice.

Hernandez, who is on a Cy Young pace, was 1-0-1, 1 R, 6 H,  18 K’s/6 BB’s, 0.56 ERA, 0.750 WHIP in 16 IP.  Much was made after his start in Tampa Bay over the lack of run support Hernandez seems to receive.

Never mind the Mariners were facing Jeremy Hellickson, the reigning A.L. Rookie of the Year and one of Tampa’s four aces.

Here is the truth amid the controversy

The Mariners offense has given Hernandez 4.2 runs per start this season while Hernandez has averaged 7.5 innings per start. The reason for Felix’s 3-1-3 record?

Two of his no-decisions were because of  blown leads by the Mariners bullpen. Hernandez’s record should be sitting at 5-1-1.

Felix Hernandez wasn’t the only starter who enjoyed a great week. Hector Noesi made two starts and both were met with positive reactions from manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis.

Both were looking for Noesi to be aggressive with his fastball earlier in the count to help his change-up be more effective as an out pitch.

It seemed to have worked. Noesi threw 12.2 IP, giving up 4 R, 7 H, 6 K’s/6 BB’s, 2.84 ERA, 1.026 WHIP while going 1-1.

The hard luck starter of the week has to be Jason Vargas. For a second straight start Vargas was the recipient of another bullpen gaff.

Jason Vargas, Seattle Mariners

For a second straight start Vargas was the recipient of another bullpen gaff. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

This time it was Tom Wilhelmsen who badly threw wide to second baseman Dustin Ackley with the bases loaded after immediately walking two straight batters.

The result led to two unearned Minnesota Twins runs which eventually led to Charlie Furbush giving up the go-ahead runs five minutes later.

Even with Wilhelmsen’s gaff on Friday, the Mariners bullpen turned in a great performance this week. In 13.1 IP, the bullpen gave up 3 R, 8 H, 12 K’s/8 BB’s, 2.02 ERA, 1.200 WHIP.

While the bullpen had been struggling with home runs (13) and walks (22), it was much the same in that department.

Even though they did allow 8 BB’s, they only gave up 3 ER, which is huge considering the bullpen gave up 8 BB’s last week while giving up 11 ER.

Starting rotation this week: 2-3-2, 15 R, 31 H, 34 K’s/18 BB’s, 2.95 ERA, 1.072 WHIP in 45.2 IP

Bullpen this week: 3 R, 8 H, 12 K’s/8 BB’s, 2.02 ERA, 1.200 WHIP in 13.1 IP

Combined: 18 R, 39 H, 46 K’s/26 BB’s, 2.74 ERA, 1.101 WHIP in 59 IP

News, Notes, and Injuries

Even though Brendan Ryan had been hitting a .149 entering Saturday’s game against Minnesota, Eric Wedge inserted Ryan in the 2nd spot in the lineup in hopes of getting Ryan better looks in fastball counts.

Even though Ryan is 1-11 in the four games he’s played while batting second this season, he’s driven in 3 runs while scoring once.

The Mariners are 4-0 in those games while scoring 7.5 runs per game with Dustin Ackley and Ryan hitting 1-2 in the order.

The Mariners have recalled RP Shawn Kelley from AAA Tacoma. In 14.2 IP in Tacoma, Kelley gave up 2 R, 7 H, 19 K’s/4 BB’s, 1.23 ERA, 0.750 WHIP.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Mariners optioned Erasmo Ramirez to AAA Tacoma.

See you guys next week for the pitching recap in numbers.


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