M’s Arms Under The Spotlight
After completing one of the most unorthodox 4-game series in team history that resulted in 30 plus hours of travel time between Peoria, Arizona and Tokyo, Japan to start the regular season, the Mariners came back to play five Cactus League games before traveling to Oakland to finish the four-game series with the A’s.
Suffice it to say that the Mariners not only played well, but now begin a four-game series in Texas on a roll after recapturing their offense and bullpen production in a big way.
M’s Weekly Pitching Analysis
Unorthodox as it may have been been for the Mariners, their Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performances in numbers during the four-game set split between Japan and Oakland, seems rather staggering.
Offensively speaking the Mariners lineup was completely non-existent, .165/.177/.266/.446, 4 R, 12 H, 2 HR, 1 BB/11 K’s, 19 TB, 2-8 RISP in Japan compared to the .351/.372/.484/.866, 15 R, 26 H, 1 HR, 5 BB/11 K’s, 36 TB, 8-19 RISP when the series resumed in Oakland.
The pitching staff itself wasn’t so much Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde as the offense was as a whole, as it was starters compared to the bullpen between Japan and Oakland.
Point in case; as a whole the starters combined numbers for the series were 2 W and 2 ND, 10 ER, 20 H, 3.46 ERA, 19 K’s/4 BB’s, 1.421 WHIP, while the bullpen was tagged for 5 ER, 11 H, 4.09 ERA, and4 HR’s in 11 IP.
However, they did manage 4 holds and 2 saves in the process.
If you break the numbers down in pairs between the four games it looks like this:
Games 1 and 2 in Japan
Starters: 2 ER, 7 H, 9 K’s/2 BB’s, 1.27 ERA, 0.628 WHIP in 14.1 IP which resulted in 2 ND.
Bullpen: 3 ER, 6 H, 6 K’s/0 BB’s, 8.08 ERA, 1.663 WHIP in 4.2 IP and gave up 3 HR’s.
Games 3 and 4 in Oakland
Starters: 8 ER, 13 H, 10 K’s/2 BB’s, 5.93 ERA, 1.273 WHIP in 11.2 IP which resulted in 2 wins.
Bullpen: 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K’s/0 BB’s, 2.91 ERA, 1.276 WHIP in 6.1 IP which resulted in 4 holds and a save.
There isn’t a lot that can accurately describe what happened in this four-game series pitching wise because again, it was unorthodox to begin with.
The issues surrounding Felix Hernandez and his drop in velocity, which was completely evident in his two starts, could’ve been attributed to the time differences and the body chemistry adjusting to travel.
Which is completely uncommon to all major leaguers including the Mariners.
The travel completely had an effect on the bullpen in terms of performance after completing the two games in Japan out of control, Mariners reliever George Sherrill eluded to the team being out of rhythm in so many words, saying the feeling in the club house was that of spring training.
The travel issues aside, it was nice to see the bullpen finish on a strong note with 3 holds and a save in Oakland.
It was especially nice to see Rule 5 LHP Lucas Luetge make his major league debut on Saturday with a big strikeout of Josh Reddick with two on and one out in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Outside of the second game in Japan, the bullpen as a whole was effective throughout the four-game series.
On the mound this week
Starting today the Mariners will open up a four-game set with Texas as Hector Noesi takes the mound in his first start in a Mariners uniform.
For the Mariners to take three out of four or even split the series they will have to stop Texas’ penchant for bunching hits together and burying teams early.
Some may consider that a tall order to accomplish, but either way, this will be an interesting test for the Mariners and Noesi, Blake Beavan, and Kevin Millwood. How will they stack up against the leagues leading offense in 2011?
We will find out starting tonight.
April 9th -12th @ Texas
April 13th -15th vs Athletics
See you next Monday for the full pitching breakdown for the week that was.