- After taking home a 2012 Fielding Bible Award for best defensive shortstop, Brendan Ryan was snubbed a Gold Glove award by Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy. Dustin Ackley, who was nominated at second base, was beat out by Robinson Cano.
- As reported by MLB Trade Rumors, Brandon League has signed a $22.5M extension with the Dodgers through 2015, effectively preventing any chance of a return to the Pacific Northwest.
- Submissions are now being accepted for the 2013 MLB Fan Cave. If you love (Mariners) baseball, are 21 or older, and want to spend an entire MLB season watching every game, interviewing players, and hosting celebrities in NYC’s elaborate baseball-themed haven, fill out an application here.
- According to the Mariners’ official Twitter account, the free agent pool now includes Kevin Millwood, Oliver Perez, and George Sherrill.
When I first sat down to write this recap, Miguel Olivo unleashed a solo shot against Francisco Cordero. That’s nice, I thought, and continued Photoshopping a photo of a sad Felix Hernandez. Perhaps on another day, one where the Mariners did not give up 5 runs in the 8th, enter the 9th with a 6-run deficit, or go 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position, I would have turned my cap inside out and cheered for a comeback.
To be fair, though, this game looked promising at the start. Chone Figgins waited out a 6-pitch at-bat for Henderson Alvarez’s changeup, then hooked it over the right field fence for an early lead. Jason Vargas carried a no-hitter through 3.2 innings, losing his bid when Figgins misread a shallow fly ball to left. Olivo, Saunders, Seager, and Jaso picked up extra base hits. Seattle took more walks (3) than strikeouts (2), a welcome change from yesterday’s walk and 13 strikeouts.
And then the 8th happened. With two men on, Charlie Furbush pitched around Rajai Davis—a pinch-hitter with a .185 average on the season—to load the bases with Brett Lawrie at the plate. Lawrie lashed a double to left field, Miguel Olivo’s failed pickoff attempt scored Davis, and Jeff Mathis released a two-run homer, effectively leaving the Mariners black-and-blue by the second out.
I’m not sure which is more disappointing—the ineffectiveness of Seattle’s bullpen in this series, or the failure to capitalize on scoring situations. In 7.1 innings of relief, the Mariners struck out 7, but allowed 11 hits and 11 runs. At the plate, the team showed impressive power, hitting 4 home runs to account for 7 of 11 runs, then went 3-for-33 with runners in scoring position. Most disappointing, however, is the news that lefty reliever George Sherrill is scheduled for Tommy John surgery on May 4, ending his season after just two appearances with Seattle.
Tomorrow, the Mariners finish off their road trip with a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Next game: @ Rays | April 30 | 4:10pm
Today we’ll look at the Mariners’ catching situation, an Opening Day fiasco, and reasons why the Mariners are poised for a sale in the next few years.
Why the Seattle Mariners Could Be Sold — Maury Brown explores the possibility of a sale in the Mariners’ future, although he specifically stipulates that such an idea has not even been hinted at by the team. Reasons for considering a sale include the upcoming TV deal, no outstanding debts on the ballpark, and the Dodgers’ recent change in ownership.
Seattle Mariners Offer Compensation to Opening Day Attendees —The Mariners are officially issuing an apology to those who were inconvenienced during last week’s Opening Night. Click the link for full details.
My Opening Night Was Not That Fun — If you’re unsure as to how you were inconvenienced, Megan Shear recounts the events of Opening Night in all their glorious and horrible detail.
Comparing Mariner Fastball Speeds: April 2012 versus (mostly) April 2011 — Marc delves into the patterns of each pitcher’s velocity within the last year. Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi, and Blake Beavan stand out as particularly consistent, while George Sherrill sinks to the bottom of the list.
Why Olivo…Ever? — I’m tempted to forgo a description here; the title really says it all.
What have you read this week? Share it with us in the comments!
Have you ever gone to a concert of your favorite band, only to be disappointed when they don’t play your favorite song? You’ve loved this song your whole life and have been waiting for this concert for months. Sure, the show was awesome, but you just feel incomplete because you didn’t hear your song.
That would have been an acceptable outcome at today’s Mariners game – the home opener, no less. Unfortunately, tonight’s game was more like a concert where your favorite band takes the stage and not only do they fail to play your favorite song – they don’t play any songs at all. The Mariners were coming home and were sure to rough up Bartolo Colon as they had in their last meeting and it was supposed to be an easy win with Felix Hernandez on the mound… unfortunately the team failed to score a single run in a disappointing loss to the Athletics.
Felix started out sharp, recording three strikeouts in the first four batters he faced. He ended up going seven innings while looking not quite like himself but still throwing a good game, fanning a total of six and giving up two runs. Lucas Luetge took over in the eighth and gave up a single before he was pulled for Tom Wilhelmsen who pitched the rest of the eighth.
Hisashi Iwakuma has been on this team since Opening Day and has yet to pitch. Charlie Furbush was called up mere hours before first pitch today and pitched in the ninth inning. Unfortunately, his return to the majors wasn’t a spectacular one as he gave up a homerun to Jemile Weeks in the ninth to give the Athletics their fourth and final run of the night.
Bartolo Colon once again dumfounded Mariners hitters all night long – the team was only able to muster three scattered singles throughout the night. Hot hitter Kyle Seager went 0-4 and no Mariner is now hitting .300 or more. While we have seen improvement on some nights on the offensive side of the ball, we have to remember that this is a team that scored only 556 runs last year. The team hasn’t made a ton of improvements offensively and young players don’t just grow into superstars overnight.
There were a few positives from Opening Night and the recap just wouldn’t be complete without them.
- Safeco Field is awesome. I made my first trip up to Lookout Landing today (the actual section in Safeco Field, not the fantastic Mariners blog), and the view is incredible. It took forever to walk there, however – if you think Seattle drivers are unequipped and clueless when it comes to driving in snow, you haven’t seen Seattle walkers in a packed Safeco Field. Let’s just say it’s a good thing there wasn’t a fire marshal present.
- Yoennis Cespedes didn’t hit a homerun.
- Nobody got injured.
I wish I had more for you. From the first inning to the final out, this may have been the worst baseball game I have ever seen in person. As I left the stadium walking to my car, I passed the guy who sits outside Safeco Field and plays his makeshift drum set (if you haven’t heard him, I would suggest taking a few minutes and listening… he is really talented). As the noise from the drums began to fade away, I heard a familiar piercing sound. It was a bagpipe player on the sidewalk playing a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace, a song frequently played at funerals. Somehow, it seemed to fit just right with the mood of the disappointed crowd leaving SODO.
Next game: vs. A’s | April 14 | 6:10pm
Daisuke Matsuzaka was the last phenom pitcher from Japan with a highly awaited debut in front of his home fans. He did so on April 11, 2007 and he did so against the Seattle Mariners. Much was made of Matsuzaka’s arrival and eyes all around the world were on him, wondering how his success in Japan would translate to the Major Leagues. Matsuzaka performed okay, but the real story after the game was the performance of one Felix Hernandez, who only gave up one hit on the night, a leadoff single to J.D. Drew that still pains many Mariners fans.
Yu Darvish, just like his fellow countryman, made his home debut (and MLB debut) against the Seattle Mariners, and just like Matsuzaka ended up being an afterthought once the ninth inning was over. Sure, he got the win, but he got the win after giving up five runs and not making it through the sixth inning. The real story was the offense put up by both teams, but especially the Rangers, who finished with 11 runs.
The Mariners looked good in the beginning, putting up four runs in a rough first inning for Darvish. The Mariners had a debut of their own in the bottom of the first, sending Hector Noesi to the mound to make his debut for Seattle. The Rangers got two runs back against Noesi and the Mariners responded by tacking another run on in the second, but that’s where the good news for the Mariners would stop.
It has been said that history repeats himself, and in the past Mitch Moreland has destroyed Mariners’ pitching with some clutch hits in key situations. Tonight was no different as Moreland hit a two run homerun off of Noesi in the fourth, chasing him out of the game early.
As if there weren’t enough storylines in this game already, Noesi was replaced by Erasmo Ramirez, who made his Major League debut. Ramirez impressed in three innings, with his only mistake being a solo shot given up to Josh Hamilton.
George Sherrill continued his frightening 2012, only getting four outs and giving up three runs, all on a three run homer by Ian Kinsler.
Ichiro and Seager were the two stars on the offensive side of the ball, both with three hits and a run scored, with Seager adding three RBIs.
Tomorrow brings the first start of Neftali Feliz’ career. Feliz had been the Rangers’ closer over the past two years; two years in which he has faced 53 Mariner hitters and given up zero hits. We’ll see how that goes. Blake Beavan gets the start for the Mariners. Beavan pitched twice against Texas last year – he gave up three runs in 6.2 innings in his first start and went eight scoreless in his second. Catch the game at 5:05 once again on ROOT Sports or 710 ESPN Seattle.
Spring Training is over, and today’s game matters as much as the last day of school—that is, not at all. In fact, it matters so little that MLB.com didn’t even show the link to Gameday on their front page, probably because some teams actually have their Opening Day games today. And tomorrow. And Friday.
I give up trying to understand MLB scheduling, so here’s what happened in today’s game.
First, and most importantly, Chone Figgins started to resemble the kind of leadoff hitter the Mariners have been hoping and expecting him to blossom into this spring. He went 2-for-4 with two triples, driving in John Jaso for the seventh run of the game. While I wouldn’t start singing his praises quite yet—he batted .194 with 7 hits in 36 AB prior to this game—it’s certainly a promising start.
Figgins wasn’t the only one to make progress this afternoon. John Jaso went 3-for-4, grabbing a ground-rule double, 2 singles, and 2 RBIs. As Larry Stone pointed out on Twitter, Jaso had only one Cactus League hit coming into this game.
Hector Noesi made his third and final Spring Training start, going 7 innings for 7 hits, 1 earned run, and 3 strikeouts. His replacements, George Sherrill, Steve Delabar, and Lucas Luetge, managed to hold the Rockies to 3 hits and only 1 more run in 2 innings.
Well, that’s about as much as I can stand to write about Spring Training. Good work, Mariners; we’ll see you for Opening Day Part II on Friday!
Next game: @ Athletics | April 6 | 7:05pm | 9 days until Opening Night
Every now and then, I have to remind myself that Cactus League games mean squat, and I should probably write about more important things happening to the Mariners—like, say, the final cuts for the 25-man roster.
Three players were moved to Tacoma: OF Carlos Peguero, RHP Shawn Kelley, and LHP Charlie Furbush. If you’re wondering where the rest of the optioned and re-assigned players will end up this spring, the Mariners released the minor league rosters on their blog earlier today.
Here are the final 25 players starting the season at Safeco. The roster is carrying three players on the DL—Mike Carp, Franklin Gutierrez, and Adam Moore—so expect lineups to be shifted as we head towards April and May.
- RHP Blake Beavan — No. 4 starter
- RHP Steve Delabar
- RHP Felix Hernandez — No. 1 starter
- RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
- RHP Brandon League
- RHP Kevin Millwood — No. 5 starter
- RHP Hector Noesi — No. 3 starter
- RHP Erasmo Ramirez
- RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
- LHP Lucas Luetge
- LHP George Sherrill
- LHP Jason Vargas — No. 2 starter
- John Jaso
- Jesus Montero
- Adam Moore
- Miguel Olivo
- Dustin Ackley
- Chone Figgins
- Munenori Kawasaki
- Alex Liddi
- Brendan Ryan
- Kyle Seager
- Justin Smoak
- Mike Carp
- Franklin Gutierrez
- Michael Saunders
- Ichiro Suzuki
- Casper Wells
What do you think of the 25-man roster? Any unexpected players or moves you’d like to see made?
In the first four innings, the Yomiuri Giants pelted Hisashi Iwakuma with 10 hits, 6 runs, and a home run. During the 6th, Guillermo Quiroz let two passed balls slip to score Hisayashi Chono. Back-to-back errors from George Sherrill and Alex Liddi allowed pinch runner Takahiro Suzuki to steal second, third, and then home.
Unfortunately, Seattle’s offense did little to pick up the slack. Dustin Ackley went 2-for-3 with a home run and triple off starter D.J. Houlton. Chone Figgins went 1-for-5 in the leadoff spot with a single, and Ichiro went 0-for-4 batting third. Kyle Seager scored Justin Smoak on an RBI single, but by the 7th, the Mariners were out of runs.
That being said, here’s the good news. First, exhibition games mean little to nothing. It’s not fun watching our pitching and hitting get pummeled, but they’re likely never going to face these teams again. Second, the A’s also dropped their game 12-6 against the Hanshin Tigers—which doesn’t correlate in any way to the Mariners’ success, but makes me feel better nonetheless. Third, almost half of Seattle’s starting lineup against the Giants will not be starting on Opening Night. Okay, so Chone Figgins will probably go 1-for-5 again, but we should see slight improvement from the No. 5 spot down.
Get excited: Opening Night is less than 48 hours away!
Next game: @ Athletics | March 28 | 3:10am
The world-beating Mariners haven’t shown much vulnerability. They have scored runs upon runs and their pitching has done well enough to win a good majority of their ballgames so far. After this game, half of the Mariners’ losses have come at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, who are having as successful a Spring Training as the Mariners are. The Mariners just can’t topple the Giants – it’s a good thing they play in the A.L. West and only have to face the lowly Rangers and Angels.
This game started off in a very disappointing and frustrating fashion. Erasmo Ramirez, renowned strike-thrower of the Mariners, started off the game by… throwing a ball. Gregor Blanco lined the next pitch to Mike Wilson in right field, who added to the frustration by fumbling the ball and allowing Blanco to reach second. Ramirez proceeded to then strike Freddy Sanchez out and induce a Brandon Belt fly ball, but Casper Wells frustratingly took his time in getting the ball back in, allowing Blanco to tag up and advance to third. A Brett Pill double drove in the Giants’ first run.
Ramirez ended up going 4 innings, giving up 4 hits and only that one run. He struck out two and lived up to his reputation, throwing 34 strikes and only 16 balls.
The best thing to come out of Spring Training is finally here: the 2012 Mariners commercials. From superhuman strength to incredible ventriloquism skills, your 2012 Mariners have it all. Click on the photos below to watch each video, and follow the jump to see how you can vote for your favorite.